Monday, August 24, 2009

Argentine Robot (Giroplast / Early 1970s / Argentina / 6 inches)

The Attic of Astounding Artifacts was recently mentioned on a blog called Oink ( Sadly, I can't actually read the blog because it's in Spanish. However, I greatly appreciate the shout out, especially since it's driven more than 200 400 new people to the Attic. Wow! Thanks!

In honor of all my new Spanish and Latin American readers, I've decided show off the only robot I've got from a country where Spanish is the native language: The Argentine Robot.

It probably won't surprise anyone to learn that this neat little toy hails from Argentina. It has a simple enough design, but make no mistake: The Argentine Robot's charm lies in the details. Unlike every other vintage toy robot, this one is hand painted, making each a singular piece of artwork. Collectors dream about owning a unique toy -- in this case, every example of the toy is unique!

Note the roughly painted details on the face and chest. I particularly like the gold details on the belt and hands.

I love the robot's action: when wound, it skitters around with a sort of bouncing, jittery movement, kind of like it's dancing to its own spastic, internal beat. The Argentine Robot's made from very -- very -- thin celluloid plastic, and I'm always amazed that any survived the last 30-plus years. But survive they did, and a couple pop up every year or so. (Quick Note: I don't like to discuss active eBay auctions, but I have to break my own rule this once: There's one on eBay now with an outrageous Buy-It-Now price of more than $400. Be patient, save your money, and you'll eventually find a much more affordable example.)

The tin celluloid plastic walls and minimal mechanics makes for a light, delicate robot.

The Argentine Robot is yet another toy that I used to dislike. I thought it was kind of primitive and, well, ugly. Then, one day, I had a chance to really examine the robot up close -- its hand-painted details quickly won me over. The primitiveness became an asset, and I've since grown to enjoy it immensely. A fun, odd, interesting little robot that looks great on any toy shelf.


  1. Now we are plenty of robots, they call 'politicians' themself...


  2. Two curiosities:
    - Made in Argentina by Giroplast in the 60ies, under license of Nurentoy AG of Nurenberg, Western Germany.
    - Yonezawa made a similar robot.


Doc Atomic wants to hear from you!