Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Tomy or not Tomy, That Is The Question...

Actually, there is no question these wind-ups I found recently are made by Tomy.

Actually, I found the 2 on the right.  The one on the left is mine from childhood.

There was a period of time when I was about 12 when my mom would do our weekly grocery shopping on Saturday mornings.  I would go with her (I have no idea how she drug me away from Saturday morning cartoons) and once I had tired of eating the sample cheeses in the deli, looking through the meager offering of rack toys, and staring at the bank of vending and gumball machines in the lobby,  I would wander over to the K-Mart next door.  This was 1978 and everyone had gone Star Wars crazy.  Tomy, capitalizing on R2D2's popularity, had created their own version in "Rascal Robots" and I discovered them hanging from a peg board in the toy department.  

Image courtesy thefwoosh.com

Their wind-up action and promises of robot battles sold me.  There were two color variations to select from, orange/blue and purple/black and I bought both.  It's funny how obscure memories stick with you, but I recall we were rear-ended at a yield sign on the way home that day by a guy who was distracted picking up McDonald's french fries that had spilled on his car floor.  But back to the robots.  My favorite thing to do with the robots was to have battles with them.  Their claws could be rotated so two robots, when aligned properly, would grasp each other in a death lock with one eventually succumbing to the other's force, toppling over, its spring-wound feet still kicking in vain.  Eventually, their battles took their toll and a claw or foot stabilizer would break off.  Losing the foot stabilizer was the death knell for these robots since it would cause them to list in one direction and inevitably fall over.  I bought a number of replacements at 99 cents each before they disappeared from the aisle or my interests moved elsewhere; I'm not sure which happened first.

Along with these robots, I picked up a few other Tomy wind-ups at the sale.

This robot was released under Tomy's "Pocket 'Bots" in 1982.  By that time, I had lost interest in wind-up toys.  Amazing how radically your interests shift in the span of 3 years between 12 and 15.

Photo courtesy theoldrobots.com

Photo courtesy theoldrobots.com

This Pac-man wind-up is also from 1982 and signals a shift from the robot era to the video game craze.

Image courtesy terapeak.com

And finally, the last wind-up I found was this Tomy "Flip Flopper" from 1978.

Image courtesy ebay.com

Over the years, Tomy, like myself, has moved away from wind-up toys and has released such toys as Furby, Beyblades, Jenga, and AquaDoodle.


  1. Hello, Tom. Could you tell me about the 3 Tomy Robots pic? Does the one in the center have a green color dome head?

    1. Yes, the one in the middle has a greenish-blue dome. The picture is an accurate representation of the color.

    2. Hello Tom, Thank you for responding. Would you ever consider selling that one? I have a small collection and I could use that color? I could pay with paypal?

    3. Since it isn't one of my originals I would consider selling it. However, I'll have to find where I packed it away. Write me at garagesalefindsblog@gmail.com and I'll get back to you when I find it.


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