And so the confluence of these strands brings us inevitably to Robo Hacchan (aka 8-chan). I had seen some of these toys (made by Popy in the early 80s) tons of times at shops. I'd see the postman or telephone booth figure and do a "Huh wah - cool!" But I never pulled the trigger...until yesterday.
The figures are characters from a tokusatsu (特撮 - live action) TV show called ロボット８ちゃん, which is sometimes translated as Robo Hacchan, or 8-chan (the name of the main character).
More after the jump:
The show, produced by Toei as part of its Fushigi Comedy Series, ran from 1981-1982. It's often compared to Robocon, a somewhat earlier live action show that remains popular and much better known than Robo Hacchan. But does it have a robot postman on roller skates? Eh? Eh? Thought not.
Let's check out these 8-chan figures, starting with the telephone booth. (For our younger readers, a telephone booth is a small rectangular chamber that transports riders through both space and time....Newer models may accept stored value cards.)
|This toy is chock full of playability. Press a green bar on the back, and the spring-loaded legs pop out.|
|You can open the door to place a call (or just to say hello).|
|Receiver comes off the hook.|
|And when you turn the right arm, a bell sounds.|
|The figure also comes with five coins that go into the slot above the dialer. They pop out the bottom slot. Such a cool toy!|
|Here you can see the other figures in the series. (I don't believe the signpost (is that what it is?) or robot girl characters were made into toys.)|
|It's 8-chan vs. Barabara man!|
|This figure's main attraction is its poseability. The figure is on roller skates with rotating wheels.|
|Letter holding slot.|
|You can put the letters into the slots and use a key to open the postal box. Very cool!|
|The figure comes with keys and letters.|
|I wanted to ask the boys a few questions, but they were off and running to fight crime and defeat urban decay. Oh those crazy bots!|