Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Collectible of the Week: Dingbot (Tomy; 1984)


The Robot Age is here and Tomy is three steps ahead…”

So promised the Tomy Company in 1984 on the box for one of its memorable “Home Entertainment Robots:” Dingbot.

Dingbot’s story goes thusly: “Once upon a time…in the not so distant future, a robot was made and left alone to find his way.  His name was…Dingbot.”

Operating on one double A battery (not included), Dingbot is also described on his box as:


“...a fast traveling robot who bumps into walls and obstacles.  He chatters.  He turns his head.  He speeds off in another direction!  He carries his own floor plan (included) in his poseable arms.  He’s a funny robot who’s slowly learning the meaning of walls…He’s Dingbot!”

The cute little Dingbot -- who can fit in the palm of your hand, really -- was one of three Home Entertainment Robots released by Tomy at about the same time.  One was called “Verbot” (A voice-controlled robot) and the other, giant one was called “Omnibot” (“The Leader that operates by remote control and memory.”)

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always had a fascination for these 1980s “real” robots who, basically, do nothing besides beep and bump into walls.  When I was a kid, however, I considered these robots a promised to be delivered upon.  They were the “beginning,” I believed of the revolution to come: household robots.

Alas, here we are in 2012 and the revolution has not yet occurred. I don’t have a robot maid or butler, or a robotic cook.  We’re still a long way from the world of the Jetsons.

But one of these days.  Definitely.  And in the meantime, Joel and I enjoy watching Dingbot bump into walls…

4 comments:

  1. Anonymous4:43 PM

    Am I the only one who thinks this looks an awful lot like Wall-E?

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous,

      Dingbot is very Wall-E-esque. Not just in the face/head, but similarities in the arms and torso as well. I need to do a "cloned at creation" post on this subject.

      Best,
      John

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    2. Anonymous6:50 PM

      You mean Wall-E looks like Dingbot. Right?

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    3. Yea Dingbot is clearly due some credit for the creation of Wall-E. Andrew Stanton is quoted "What if mankind had to leave Earth and somebody forgot to turn off the last robot?" when he thought of Wall-E, sounds a bit similar to Dingbots story to me!

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