REVIEW: Welcome home, friend of Will Robinson! PLUS: Pix aplenty of Diamond Select Toys’ awesome Robot!
I think — I think — that the very first pop-culture toy I owned was a Lost in Space Jupiter 2.
One that I made myself — by stapling together two paper plates, cutting out a doorway and drawing some details on top and below. I made a number of them because they obviously weren’t too sturdy.
I can’t be 100 percent sure, but it was definitely right around the time I got my first Action Jackson, Corgi Batmobile and Batman and Robin soakies.
I much prefer this theme by the way …
Now of course this is all a cheat but I’m just pointing out how early on Lost in Space was a part of my life: Probably around the age of 4 and 5. Definitely by kindergarten.
We used to watch Lost in Space in reruns on New York’s Channel 5 every day. We never missed it. I watched it. My sister watched it. Our friends watched it.
It never really occurred to me that there would be Lost in Space toys until later, when I’d see ads in comic-book back issues — though the only other TV-show View-Master set I owned besides Batman was Lost in Space.
I owned a Space Family Robinson comic from Gold Key because it was the closest I could find to the show.
In the intervening decades, of course, I’d see toys here and there. But then I just got a gander at Diamond Select Toys‘ new talking Robot and I had to have it. Simple as that.
And now I do!
Robot is about a foot tall, speaks around 20 phrases, lights up and rolls around (not automatically) on the coffee table. He retails for about $50, give or take.
I love it!
The arms extend and you can pose them in alarm — claws open or closed — as he calls out “Warning! Warning!” or “Danger, Will Robinson!” at random.
He’s a superb addition to my home “museum” of mid-20th century pop-culture artifacts.
It’s interesting how little I actually remember of the show itself — other than just how cool Robot was.
Favorite character? Don West. Favorite episode? When Robot — I didn’t even know he was technically called B-9 — got really big and Will and Dr. Smith went inside and then Robot shrank and they had to race to get out.
Freakiest episode? When Athena (called Lorelei originally, Wikipedia tells me), the lucite-helmeted green alien floated outside the windows of the Jupiter 2, scaring the bejeezus out of Dr. Smith — and me.
God, I hated Dr. Smith.
Eventually, Lost in Space passed into the ether for me: I didn’t even know it was my wife’s favorite show when she was a kid until I got Robot. Others have kept the flame alive and it’s a kick to see it pop up on Me-TV now on Saturday nights. I haven’t really tried to sit and watch it — because what little I’ve seen isn’t exactly, shall we say, compelling.
Perhaps I should give it another try. Because now I have one of the coolest toys missing from my childhood.