Thursday, January 5, 2012

Marty Toys Bendable Robot 1985

I have really never found out much about this bendable robot I found at the bottom of a box of a Star Wars collectibles I bought one day back in 2004. The guy I bought it from had spent time overseas, mainly in England, and was fairly sure that's where it came from. Over 7 years of researching I had only found one other character from the line; a squat, saucer shaped robot with stubby arms and legs molded in the same green rubber. Unfortunately, the owner of that particular eBay auction thought very highly of it and wanted around $80 for the figure. This, in my personal opinion, was far too steep and I refused to pursue it further. The auction closed without a single bidder and the robot was never re posted from what I could tell.

From what reputable sources I found, Marty Toys was an American based toy company that started in the late 70's and didn't make it into the 90's from what I could tell. Upon further researching I found their specialty was rubbery toys. Most of them along the line of UFO or gumball machine toys but this series looked like it may have been among their first foray into retail store shelves. After digging a little deeper I found carded examples of rubber finger puppets and some Rat Fink-esque figurines. It seems my search for more information on this toy has hit an inevitable dead end of sorts. Over the last 7 years, I have still yet to come across any others even like it.

I personally admire the figure for how unique it is, but how very reminiscent it is of simpler toy lines from the early 1970's like Major Matt Mason. The usual construction of any bendable toy is a wire armature encased in a pliable plastic or rubber and this is no exception. One solid color without a trace of paint on either representation I've found, so I think it's safe to assume these were never meant to be colorful. The robot stands around 4 ½ inches tall and his fists have holes drilled into them like it was meant to hold some sort of weapon; but without seeing a carded example, this is only a speculation.

I have to admit the sculpt is very intricate for what in the toy world is considered a “throw away” toy. If you think about toy history, bendable toys or “bendies” are usually meant for small children and they end up broken within weeks; wire armatures snap or the rubber dries up and becomes brittle. I have to say I feel fortunate since the box of figures this came out of was in an outside storage unit that didn't have any climate control features and this figure is in pristine condition. I welcome any more information any readers have on this toy.

No comments:

Post a Comment