December 14, 2010
What kid could have resisted Robert the Robot and Electric Robot (aka E. Robot and Son) who has a nifty little drawer in his chest to store his tools. These were the first two examples of all-plastic molded body parts to be used in toy robots, which were always constructed of lithographed tin plate before.
In the 1950's Electric Robot and Son were manufactured in the U.S.A. by Louis Marx in response to the immensely popular Robert the Robot by rival manufacturer Ideal Toys. Electric was just different enough from Robert to avoid copyright infringement, yet the strong similarities undoubtedly appealed to young buyers with smaller budgets.
This toy robot was molded with a black plastic body (there was also a rare silver-brown version) with movable red head and arms was electrically powered by two batteries, allowing Electric to illuminate his bulb eyes, run along on manually steerable rubber wheels (forward and reverse), and make loud buzzings through a Morse code button on his back (a nifty code guide was inscribed on the back of his head). Also on his head is an extendible antenna with an adjustment knob, knobs for right and left arm movement and from his chest opens a small drawer with tools (aka the tool chest for a hammer, wrench & screwdriver).
Completing Electric's gadgetry is a smaller "baby" version of himself, all red, and clad in a silvery diaper who the proud Father could swing from one of his silver clawed graspers.