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Golden Robot

Masudaya, 1956
6 inches tall

One of the earlier toys, the Golden robot makes up for its simple construction with an endearing series of actions. With the press of a button on its remote control, the robot walks forwards or backwards with swinging arms and light up eyes via a pin mechanism.

The piece really stands out, however, thanks to its striking golden color and intricate lithography, which features old-style electrodes, vacuum tubes, and bolts of lightning. The robot's smile might not rank up there with the Mona Lisa's for enigmatic charm, but it nonetheless conveys the quaint, optimistic idea that robots will interact with humanity in a friendly, helpful way. [Rather than becoming the death-dealing menaces that plague us all today.--Doc Atomic]