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Domed Easel Back
 

Linemar, 1950s
6 inches tall

This extremely rare robot delights on many levels. From his intricate, colorful litho to his curious dome, the toy stands as an aesthetic masterpiece, as much a work of art as a toy.

But the walking action truly sets this style of robot apart from his contemporaries. When the button on the remote control is pressed, the Easel Back moves forward with a heel-toe motion, actually lifting his foot up off the ground. Unfortunately, this lifelike movement causes the toy to topple, so the designers attached a wire easel to its back for stability.

More often than not, this toy is found without its dome, which is made of an extremely thin and fragile plastic. The one on this particular example is a reproduction.

Three other versions of the Easel Back exist -- one other with a remote control, but with no dome and with less intricate lithography; plus two different wind ups, one of which is super rare, while the other can be had without much effort for a decent price. (Don't let the availability and price fool you, though -- it's still a nice toy on anyone's shelf.)