VST / Nomura – Space Robot X-70 Tuliphead Prototype. (no. 2 of 3 )
A couple of years ago, I bought an original catalog from Nomura. Its interesting to see how the toys were offered those days and the catalog was made in color but that was not the main reason I bought it… There was ONE interesting page in that catalog that shows 2 robots: Tuliphead and Topolino.
Even more interesting was the fact that both robots were never taken into production the way they were shown in that catalog. Both the Tuliphead as the Topolino are shown in a total different configuration and does not even come close to the final products we known them these days.
This happend more often. A prototype was made, pictured for the catalog and then taken into production in a total diffent colorscheme and configuration. I dont know the reason for this but my best guess is that the influence of the American distributors was big and they decided the final look of the toys at the end…
Anyway.. the page in the Nomura catalog of 1971 show a fantastic picture of a Tuliphead Prototype in metallic blue with totally different lithography. I have had many prototypes in hand and most of them were handpainted so we can assume that also these 2 robots in the Nomura catalog were handpainted protoypes.
When you take a good look at the box of the X-70 than you can see it comes much closer to the prototype than to the lavender / orange final robot.. Whatever the reason may be… we will probably never find out the ins and outs why the final robot differs so much from the prototype.
in 2016 I bought a near mint Tuliphead to made the second prototype in a series of 3 limited pieces.
This was also the perfect opportunety to learn all the ins and outs about this robots mechanism. when you have to rebuild this robot from scratch… you MUST force yourself to understand how this robot was supposed to work.. a really cool job and YES.. there are NO secrets anymore for me here ! 🙂 i know exactly how this robot works now 🙂
The robot was brought to the correct color, metallic blue. My number one airbrusher, Jean Pierre, helped me to create the details on the outside again.. the rivets, the litho and some of the parts were made with decals, simply because there is not enough good material to work with. The picture in the catalog is all there is available for this prototype.
After a couple of weeks of work, it was time to polish the painted parts by hand to give them the right vintage gloss.. and than… putting the robot back together.. The mechanism was cleaned and the settings of the mechanism put back to default setting to make sure the opening and closing would work perfectly.
I found out some “hidden” markings on the parts of the head. I always expected there to be markings but i could never find them. Now, with a all the parts on the table i found them and I can assure you.. you really need these to put the robot perfectly together, anything else will fail !
The final result is stunning… There is was on my table suddenly.. Nomura`s Tuliphead Prototype in real…brought to live from the picture in the catalog.
This robot is unique in many ways.. not only it works like new.. its one of the three known excisting prototypes of Tuliphead on this planet ! 🙂
The first one I made in 2015. This one, number 2 of 3 I completed early 2017 and I will make the third and final one in 2024
Unique and one of a kind example of Nomura` Tuliphead.
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