There's something really magical about this old plastic toy, something that conjures up strong feelings of nostalgia even though I was born decades after it was sold. Maybe it's the simple, plastic construction -- in some ways, Electric Robot's much more primitive than his cousins from the Far East. It just feels like it dropped out of the past, you know?
The toy features a variety of actions, all of which are controlled individually by different knobs and buttons on its back. Not only does the toy roll forward and backward, and have light-up eyes, but it also can deliver Morse code (and there's a handy cheat sheet printed on the back of his head). Electric Robot's arms move up and down by turning the two knobs near his shoulders, and a switch at the back of his base determines whether he moves to the right or to the left. It's all so manual, so interactive -- it's hard not to have fun with the toy.
A knob on the back of the head controls the lights in his eyes; the two knobs on the shoulders move the arms; the button in the center of the robot's back activates the Morse code; the horizontal switch in the middle determines whether he moves left or right; the vertical switch underneath the waist turns the toy on and off. Take that, XBox!
The Morse code key.
There's also a small drawer in its chest which originally held small, plastic tools.
Electric Robot was also sold as Electric Robot and Son. This other version came with a small, plastic, robot child that could hang from the Electric Robot's claw. I never really liked the Son component -- it looks a little too much like a robot monkey wearing a loin cloth. I much prefer the Electric Robot on his own, running solo without a care or responsibility in the world.
The toy also comes in black and red -- more common than the silver version -- and there are two versions of the son as well (corresponding to the color of the main robot). It's not a tough toy to find -- Electric Robot pops up on eBay fairly often -- which means that everyone can have an opportunity to add this great toy to their shelves.