Mr. Zerox is a robot with a lot of personality. Just look at those shades! Look at that jaunty cap! Stylin!
Popular culture in the Fifties and Sixties was obsessed with atomic energy, and toy manufactures capitalized on this by sticking variations of the word "atom" in the names of everything they produced. Heck, in the world of robots alone I can think of four examples off the top of my head: Mr. Atomic, Atomic Robot Man, Mr. Atom, and Atom Robot.
Making less of an impact on people's imaginations? Photocopy technology. And yet, and yet, Horikawa decided to embrace this mad science by naming a robot after the Mac Daddy of all photocopy companies, Xerox. Of course, they changed things up by using a Z instead of an X. Perhaps to avoid lawsuits? Or maybe the Japanese company spelled the name phonetically. Who knows? Horikawa's departure from the world of atoms and all things atomic was bold, and darn it, I salute their gumption and individuality!
Note the separate, contoured eye piece. You can just make out the circles underneath it where Horikawa would have put the round eyes found on similar robots.
Mr. Zerox has a fun, if straightforward, action. Flip the switch on this battery powered robot and it walks forward while the green window on its chest lights up. After a few steps, the front door flips forward, and two guns pop out and flash while making a rat-tat-tat sound.
The center bulb between the two guns is what actually lights up.
Horikawa was one of the longest running toy companies, producing robots for more than four decades. Horikawa made so many robots, in fact, that many collectors have sub-collections of the toys within their robot collection. This is one of the earlier pieces, marked as such by its all-tin construction and small stature. I definitely wouldn't call it a rare toy, but it's not too common either -- especially in decent condition.
A nice burst of colorful litho accompanies the chest guns. The "SH" symbol stands for Horikawa.
The grill on top of the hat helps the rat-tat-tat sound come through loud and (annoyingly) clear.
I was late in coming to this robot. In fact, I was late in coming to Horikawa robots altogether. I'm not exactly sure why, I think I just wasn't familiar with them. But as I delved deeper into the hobby, and as I became exposed to more and more robots, I discovered the Horikawa's undeniable charms. Creative actions, iconic designs -- all the elements of a great toy robot.
By the way, in case you didn't notice, I've decided to abandon my old photo background. The shelf of toys was getting played out, so I'll be messing around with some new ideas in the coming posts. Keepin' it fresh!
1 year ago