ROBBIE THE ROBOT – Marilyn Armstrong

RDP Saturday – ROBOT


One day, some years back,  the mailperson delivered a copy of a wildly expensive catalogue store in Manhattan. For more than $3000. they were offering a full-size version of Robbie the Robot.

The catalogue model was bigger than a normal human and featured the robotic performer — statuesque — who was a top draw on one TV show I never watched as well as the dearly beloved movie “Forbidden Planet,” a feature that fits neatly into my guilty pleasure film genre.

I believe Robbie also did a few other performances in other science fiction movies.

However huge the model, he didn’t do anything but stand in a corner and gather dust. I wanted him.

At that price, he was completely out of the question and he was huge.  We can barely fit our existing stuff into this house, which is much too big for us, yet is simultaneously not big enough.

I decided there had to be an old-style version of Robbie in a size and price I could manage.  Through the good offices of the “used/vintage” section of Amazon, I found this guy.

He is one of the originals from the 1970s and he works. He talks (badly and muffled) and he walks. Actually, he shuffles in a somewhat forward direction, then falls flat on his face.

I love him anyway. He is my favorite robot. He is my robot.

About a month after I overpaid for this vintage Robbie. His date of manufacture is on the box — which is put away somewhere safe. I’m pretty sure I know where the box is. I am pretty sure where the box is, but this is n0t the same as really sure. My memory is only 15 seconds long these days.

Robbie is always with us. He stands on the coffee table much of the time, on the top of the huge dog crate and occasionally on some other surface, but he is always out where I can see him. No safe place for HIM. He lives with us. Our guy.

Garry went to turn off the “night-light” we leave on in the living room overnight and knocked him over. He’s not hard to knock over because his balance is bad, but at least Garry could deliver him for a few extra shots of Robbie in all his glory.

Our own Robbie. He can’t do anything much, but he not much of a robot, either. But I love, love, love him.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. I am retired and delighted to be so. May I live long and write frequently.

29 thoughts on “ROBBIE THE ROBOT – Marilyn Armstrong”

  1. He’s lovely. ❤ We all have things that we love dearly, which others might go "Huh?" at. And I've always enjoyed that old Peanuts cartoon strip where Snoopy is having his dog house 'cleaned' and there are voice balloons emanating out, one of which says "What would he want THIS for? Why would someone keep something like that?" The tag line is "I don't know if they're cleaning my house or psychoanalyzing me." True enough. Me? I have a collection of bears. Big, small, stuffed, wooden, and all colors. When I'm dead, I'm sure someone is going to say "Why all the bears? Why would she want all these bears? " Because each is special and reminds me of friends who have passed away who gave me them. Robbie? Would give me the heebie jeebies … I've had a horror of that sort of thing (life sized? Someone is twisted) since I glimpsed the Terminator movies and the first RoboCop. Those big bug like robots who were the 'bad' robots gave me nightmares. But Robbie looks relatively benign and I'm sure benefits from all the love. Tell me: Did Duke ever try to gnaw on him?

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    1. I was lucky and got one of the last ones. But they have reproduced him in both plastic and metal and these are newer, but less money because this one is “collectible” and the new ones aren’t. Yet.

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  2. Forbidden Planet was probably David’s favourite film so of course he was a big Robbie fan too. He only had a 90s replica Robbie who from memory didn’t do anything. He’s safely packed away until the day he can go and keep company with Naomi’s collection of toy robots.

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  3. I love the movie “Forbidden Planet.” I used to have it on DVD, but I no longer own a DVD player and I think in one of my household moves, I gave away the DVD. But Robbie the Robot was my favorite character. Your post brings back a lot of great memories.

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    1. We do have the movie on DVD and we have a spare DVD player in addition to the two that are connected because a lot of the movies we have, you can’t buy them anymore — not digitally or any other way.

      I love Robbie too and when I saw his little plastic talking walking replica, I raided our (humorously so-called) savings account to buy him 😀

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  4. He looks awesome! You ought to take him on vacation with you for vacation shots. I saw some fun shots where a family sets up little dolls at each vacation spot. Look at the third picture down. Wouldn’t it be really cool to do something like that with Robbie when you go someplace — even having him at a coffee shop would be cool — Robbie tours the earth . Sighs might be too dangerous though.
    https://touringwithkids.com/2018/08/16/photo-challenge-toys/

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  5. A couple of Robbie’s TV credits that I’m aware of are two appearances in episodes from the final season of The Twilight Zone, and he even popped up in an episode of Dobie Gillis. He has a more impressive acting resume than a lot of other thespians in Hollywood…

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