Yoneya ( SY ) – Electroman
1th of December 2013: A normal sunday morning in the Netherlands. I am asleep and its early in the morning.
My cellphone wakes me up with the well known beep beep…..Its Italy calling again at 07:00.I rub the sleep out of my eyes and check my cellphone. Some pictures show up of my friend cruising on a toy show in Milano.He found a lot with robots and space toys and i am awake in a split second.I contact him to buy the lot of robots and spacetoys. There are not really rare pieces but the lot is ok and I decide to buy it. 30 minutes later, a mint in box Thunder robot appears on my screen just at the moment i wanted to get some sleep again. Hmmm interesting and 10 minutes later the deal is closed.
Too much robotinput to catch sleep back again and I decide to go down stears for breakfast and check my computer for email. Just when I touch my coffee, my cellphone beeps again. I check my cellphone and I am in shock…I am looking at a picture and I can not believe my eyes…I check again, and again and again… must be the early coffee or am I still asleep and dreaming ! ?? On my screen appears the holy grail of robot collecting.
I still can not believe what I see, and decide to call him immediately.
” Hey there..nice find my friend, but are you kidding me ?. Why ?”
this is really a very nice and rare robot, can you buy it ? SI SI ! ”
We talk about the price and tell him, no order him, to buy the robot immediately and to protect it with its life 🙂 Than all Hell broke loose… Toy show “stopped” and everybody took a dive to the stand where the robot was found. The rumour spreads fast and suddenly there seems to be one thing interesting and that is a little tinmade robot with a smile on its face “hidden” in its original box. What happend afterwards on that toy show i will leave in the middle but it was a special sunday for sure. Many phone calls to Italy.
Arranging the first available flight to Rome, packing my suitcase…calling my best friend Martijn to shock him as well and so on :).. After a couple of hours when the dust fell down I prepared to leave for Italy again. After visiting Trieste, Milano, Pisa, Napoli, Bari and Florence, Rome was scheduled and I was ready to leave but still in shock 🙂
Arriving at Eindhoven Airport, early in the afternoon, the sun was shining but not for long. In a timeframe of 10 minutes, the visibility went down from 10 KM to 100 meters. Planes could not take off or land anymore and many flights were diverted to other airports… Damned…My plane landed in Weeze, all passengers were put into busses and we all went off to Weeze ( Germany )
5 hours later than planned ( it was already midnight ) I landed in Rome and was picked up by my friend and invited to his house were good food, beer, wine and of course champagne were waiting to celebrate the robot of the year.. of the decade…of the century: ELECTROMAN !
There it was, and I was able to touch the Robot for the fist time, the Legend, the Holy Grail !
The story behind this robot was stunning allready. Going back to the year 2000: Sotheby`s An ultra rare robot was printed on the frontcover of the Famous Griffith auction. I have read some stories about this legend through the years. The robot was discovered in France and ended up in the Griffith collection. It was an unboxed example and because it was the only robot known to exist, nobody even know the manufacturer or even the robots name. It was described as: Mego Man, unknown manufacturer. The story goes that the robot was overlooked by many and that nobody even realised it was the battery operated variation of the common Mego Man. The robot was sold and disappeared into a collection. The legend remained and a couple of Years later, a picture showed up of the box: Electroman made by SY in Japan but only the box was discovered and did not came with the robot.
The mystery remains…. out of reach for all collectors because there was still a single example known to exist: the one out of the Griffith Estate, Still the only known example on this planet. The mystery remained unsolved until that early sunday morning in December 2013 !
You are looking at the Holy Grail of Robot collection: SY – Electroman in its full glory. The robot is complete with its original box in near mint condition. There is a lot to tell, so lets just begin: All tinmade robot with litho that is out of this world. I can not remember i have EVER seen such a beautiful lithographed robot, its ART in its purest form ! Almost everything has “electro” litho, the arms, legs, body, inside the piston chamber, the battery cover, the head… all is mechanized, electrolized ! The colors all fit and match. The robot is powered by ( surprisingly ) 2 D-Cell batteries which are placed horizontally in the back of the robot. The battery cover is deep and the batteries “stick out” about 40 % in the oversized cover.
You would expect 2 c-cells vertically in this relative small robot ( about 25 cm high ) but the Japanese choose the bigger and more powerful batteries: D-Cell In action the robot hoovers around with mystery bump and go action. The wheels on both sides drive the legs and the arms in movement. The “energy chamber” which reminds me a bit of the back to the future flux compasitor, is decorated with fantastic litho on the inside, illuminated by a red light and three small tin pistons move rapidly in action. The robot mouths opens and closes automaticley when the robot is in action. What even fascinates me is this: How on earth were the Japanese able to put all these actions inside the relative little space inside the robot. This is probably the reason the batteries stick out so much 🙂
But there is MORE !: what to think about the original box ! It shows the robot almost exactly as it is in real, surprisingly art because most of the time the robot differs a “bit” compared to what you will find in the box. NOT for Electroman… The artwork is precise and shows whats inside the box. The robot is drawn on a planet surface with planets and stars. On the side panels you can see the actions in a couple of schematic drawings.
Than there is the condition of this robot and box. IF you find such a robot, you simply can not be picky on the condition and even missing parts or remainings of the original box would have been great. But this example beats that all: The robot is in near mint C-9++ condition and looks hardly been played with. No damage, no missing parts, no rust no flaws: The robot is simply perfect.
When I took the robot back home, I waited 2 days to insert some batteries. I would have been happy with a non working one and to be honest and I did not expect the robot to work. After 2 days, I took Electroman to my workshop, put it on my workbench and installed 2 fresh batteries: WOW, I almost lost him, he took off like a rocket and almost dropped from the table. ( absolute no NON FALL ACTION on this MAN 🙂 I grabbed him firmly in time ( no worries 🙂 He worked fine like the day he left the factory. Surprisingly this robot is not marked. No Manufacturer sign or not even “made in Japan” I also can be short about the condition of the original box: Near Mint box. No tears, no holes, no repairs. Unbelievable that the box survived so well. Complete with the original bottom as well which
is also perfect, no damage there either. I dare to state that you are looking at the most rare and scarce robot on this planet in complete, awesome and all original working condition. Finally after all those years of collecting, searching and travelling… It looks like I reached the top. what is beyond Electroman ! ? Well, I guess i Have to find out and continue my search for the next decade. Its FUN to do for sure and this is what this hobby is all about: ROBOTS 🙂