Why is it that all of the robots that I REALLY want are the most expensive and hardest to find? I find this to be humorous and annoying.
What’s more, is there’s very little information on the robots that I look for… One such instance, today I seek after an original Winky Telephone Robot. These are rare and yes, expensive.
When I first saw its picture, I had no idea just how expensive it could be, to me I saw an unusual robot that not many would probably seek after back in its day (by appearances alone).
It appears to have been made for a very young crowd, not just the little ones of 5-10, but the cute puppy dog sticker has me feeling like the toy company who made it was aimed to sell it for a much younger market. Such as 2-5 years old. of course, this is an assumption, as there is very little information about this online.
The Winky Telephone robot is modeled after the Winky Robot; taking the body and replacing the arms with phones. As well as adding a rotary dial that chimes when turned and resets to its original position when done turning . The reason it’s called Winky is because of its holographic eyes, they wink when tilted like an old-school doll.
The Telephone Robot has become a valuable and rare robot, and there isn’t much to be found on it with a general web search. I was able to find Oz Man’s video about the robot, very nice overview, though not much history has been provided.
It first appeared in a Yonezawa catalog for 1968.
Its only highlighted feature was its ability to walk. It’s such an unusual piece that it’s a shame the removable plastic phones and chiming rotary dial weren’t highlighted in the slightest.
Here we have the Masudaya Apple Tin Age Collection Telephone Robot Miniature Diecast figure. This version is nothing more than a replica of the original, standing at 2.5 inches tall. A little – pun intended – reminder of a toy brought back in another fashion to try and make more money.
Although Yonezewa isn’t making money from these today, you can still get the little replicas off of eBay for about 9.99. This is how much I paid for mine and I guarantee it does not walk and it does not chime.
The original toy robot is now worth thousands.
However, the attention to detail is remarkable and the notch on/off switch on the back was a nice touch. Try not to touch it, it is made of plastic and I wouldn’t want you to break this lil guy. An important note, that which seems less valuable and worthless to the past may very well be a sought after collectible worth thousands today. This diecast model is just a part of that unbelievable history.