Robert the Robot

Although he wasn't the first toy robot in the world Robert the Robert was the first to appear in a Sears Christmas catalogue. The year was 1954 and the Atomic Age was building momentum...

The first nuclear submarine was launched by the First Lady, Marnie Esenhower, a hydrogen bomb test had been carried out at Bikini Atoll and  H. Percy Wilkins, a mechanical engineer and member of the  Royal Astronomical Society, was trying to figure out where would be the best place to land on the moon.

For such an age as this, robots were the perfect toy - they reflected a new confidence in science and technology and when the little mechanical man rolled off the production lines and into the catalogues, just about every boy wanted one.

Robert the Robot was a pretty schmick toy..for one thing he could talk, thanks to a tiny inbuilt crank operated phonograph: 

"I am Robert the Robot, the mechanical man. Ride me and steer me wherever you can."

Other spiffy features included light up eyes, a chest panel that opened to reveal a set of tiny tools and a crank-turned remote control.

The first mass produced toy robot to be produced was Liliput , made by KT, a Japanese toy manufacture. You can read more about him in a longer article about Toy Robots.

Note: Tin Toy Robots were selling exact replicas of Robot the Robot. I note they've sold out but it could well be, they'll be restocking.