Even before he passed away, Henk I. Gosses was a legend in his own time. He was a man whose love of robots drove him to amass one of the best collections ever; he was also an artist, one who could -- and did -- build pretty much anything that popped into his head, from toys to advanced, animatronic sculptures. He was known for his wily and mischievous sense of humor, but also his kindness towards newbies just getting into the hobby. Henk's passing left a hole in the community that can't easily be filled.
A few years before he died, Henk had given a home movie to Joe Knedlhans, curator of the Toy Robot Museum in Adamstown, PA. It features a virtual walk through Henk's toy collection, which included both the ultra rare -- such as the Diamond Planet and Jupiter Robots -- and some of the more common playthings. The tape also included footage, narrated by Henk, showing off his various artistic and commercial projects. It ends with a bizarre bit of one-man theater. (Remember Henk's sense of humor...?)
When Henk died, Joe felt that the film would make a fitting tribute to his friend, and he decided to give away copies at that year's Botstock (a convention for toy robot collectors). He asked me to transfer the footage from VHS to DVD, and maybe do what I could to clean it up a bit. I did my best (darn VHS quality footage!) and added a little music and some subtitles to help cover various audio issues. I also cut together an opening title sequence, something to give the film a more solid beginning.
Now, with Joe's permission, I've uploaded the footage -- in three parts -- to YouTube for other collectors to enjoy. Parts 1 and 2 contain the tour, while Part 3 features Henk's art. I apologize for the quality of the footage -- like I said, it was shot years ago on VHS. Nonetheless, I think it's a great peek into a small part of Henk's life, one that hopefully conveys even a little bit of what made him so important to so many people.