Shen Chen Toy Factory – King Kong of Mars aka Flower Robot
The first example of this mysterious robot allready showed up in the the Pierre Boogaerts Bible many many years agoo. The robot was only pictured from the back. No collector in the world had ever seen this robot before, a robot with flowers lithoed on the body… WOW…
It was again my personal expert, Martijn who told me that every collector always thought the robot was a Horikawa robot and build in Japan but it all turned out totally different, here is the story…
This robot, lets call him “Flower Robot” stayed a total mystery until the year 2009. Then, in Australia a second example showed up and sold for over 25.000 usd without the original box . ! The same month, a third one showed up on ebay but was pulled from auction after a few days. A few months later again a Flower Robot hit the market but this time the robot came with original box. This example was sold to a collector in Japan for an unknown amount but finally there was some material to work with.
The fact that the robot also had a box, proved that the robot was not a custom made robot. In all those years three examples of this robot hit the open market one thing was for sure: They ALL had the same printing with flowers and it was clear that the bodies of these robots were stamped out of the same plate of flower lithoed tin. The artwork on the box took away a lot of mysteries: The robot was manufactured in Hong Kong in the early seventies by a totally unknown company called: Shen Chen Toy Factory. Also the original box revealed the robots true name: King Kong of Mars.
Three examples are known to exist now. They all shared the same flowered lithoed tinplate but the robots all came with a different kind of head, at least the colors were different. Green, Red and Yellow Head. Only one robot has the original box and this is the only box known so far.
I have seen the red headed flower robot in real in Brussels in a collection there. The green headed one… I have no idea who has it and the yellow headed one… you are looking at it right now 🙂 !
This info brings me to the following questions: First, I can NOT believe that this robot was meant to be produced with flowers as a childs toy. When you look at the box, the robot was made for total destruction so nopes…. NO flowers fit in that story.
Then, the robot NEVER showed up in an other ” normal ” lithoed form. This is strange. Why should there be only three of these with flowers and NONE as it should be.
Futher there is a small written number on the robots shoulder ( A-2271 ) and this proves my theory about this robot: All these three robots were salesman samples or just made as samples! (at least that is my personal theory. The inside of the robot has the same lithoed tinplate as well. I have seen this on more robots. used tinplate was used to make battery cases for example but the whole robot is made out of the same tinplate so this proves the robots were a sample run ? most likely though !) BUT…all three the robots were factory made. A piece of tinplate ( in this case a piece with flowers lithoed on it ) was used to stamp the robots body. the plastic parts were ” stolen ” from Horikawa. The head, feet and legs are from Horikawa robots, at least it are exact copies.
The fact that the three flower robots all have different color feet and heads, proves this even more. A box was made and added to the robots to show it to the importers but…. for some reason the robot was never taken into production.
For me, this is the only theory that fits this rare robot. The robot never showed up in ANY auction, ever. I searched all the auction books, Lesser, Mr Mint, Griff…. none of them had this robot in their collection. This makes this robot the most rare and scarce tin plated robot in the world.
The condition of this robot is excellent and a few missing tiny pieces of the green plastic frontcover are keeping it from higher grading. I removed the front plate to glue 2 tiny pieces back in place. The inner part ( I pictured it with my Iphone ) are even MORE wonderful….. there are flowers all over the place and yes, the grew there even without any sunlight ! 🙂
The robot has 2 lights inside, one to light up the guns and a second bulb goes in the head. When batteries installed, the lights light up but the motor is stuck. I did not try to keep it going… i just believe its a great walker but I don’t want to do any harm and decided to leave the robot as I found him.
This example, with the yellow head is the best kept example out of the 3 existing flower robots. besides the fact a few minor pieces
are missing from the frontplate, the robot is complete and all original. even the stickers are undamaged on the plastic frontplate.
No rust no dings and the flowers are bright and shiny ! The more you look at this robot, the more you like it….who on earth was responsible to create a robot with flowers decorated….. FANTASTIC !!
Then….there is the original box. There is much to tell about this box but its the artwork who tells the story. the robot ( without flowers ) is pictured there, it shows the robots name ( in Japanese ) and… the maker The logo is not known in the robot scene but it turned out the maker was Shen Chen Toy Factory of Hong Kong.
Also the box survived very well and a few tiny punctures are the most important thing to mention. The bottom part is original but it looks like some mouse used some parts to build their nest luckily the did not use the toplid. 🙂
King Kong of Mars aka Flower Robot made in Hong Kong in 1974
3 examples are known to exist these days: red head, green head and yellow head.
Most likely the robots were salesman samples and only a few were ever produced and stamped on the original molds out of a plate of tin, decorated with flowers. Never a “normal” example ( read: without flowers ) was ever found.
Ultra rare and scarce robot. Unique in the world with original box !
CFP: Contact me For Price at firstname.lastname@example.org