Friday, July 23, 2010

Wind Up Gear Robot (Horikawa / 1960s / Japan / 9 inches)

Now this is a colorful robot!

The Wind Up Gear Robot isn't the first gear robot made by Horikawa, and it wouldn't be their last. The company definitely got a lot of mileage out of its gears, but that's great because, let's face it, gears and robots go together like... well... gears and robots.

This is one of Horikawa's famed "Fly Eyes," so called because of the trapezoidal, perforated pieces of tin on their faces. The company made a lot of them, with all sorts of functions, over the course of its multi-decade manufacturing run. There are so many Fly Eyes out there, in fact, that many collectors have sub-collections of nothing but this particular style of robot. And those collections are probably bigger than my entire collection combined!

You can tell that this is one of Horikawa's later robots by the plastic head, arms, legs, and feet. The body is still tin, as is the lithographed panel behind the clear, plexi chest shield. I used to not really love too much plastic on my vintage robots, but over the years I've come to accept that, regardless of what it's made of, a cool robot is a cool robot.

I think it's a lesson we can apply to many parts of our lives, yes? Yes.

I won this robot -- and one other -- at an auction recently. It was a fun experience; I was phone bidding for the first time. For all the auctioneer knew, I was bidding in my boxers. I wasn't, but I like that I could have been!

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