http://www.opamerica.com Considered to be one of the “holy grails” of robot collecting, this is the ultra-scarce Modern Toys/Masudaya tin Giant Sonic Robot (aka “Train” robot), manufactured in Japan in the late 1950s and very early 1960s. It is believed to be the last member of the so-called “Gang of Five,” a set of skirted battery-op robots that included Sonic, along with Radicon, Target, Non-Stop and Machine Man. These robots command the top spots in the pantheon of robot collecting, and prices as high as $42,500 have been paid for them individually at auction in recent years.
The robot stands an impressive 15 inches high, and is complete and all-original. There are a few light scratches and shallow dings — nothing notable — as well as a slightly pushed-in head, which can be pushed out easily. None of the dings have crimped or permanently damaged the surface. The battery compartment is clean and corrosion-free. The colors are vibrant! Best of all, it runs! I tested with 3 size D batteries and the toy lit up, moved in a “mystery action” fashion, and had a loud train whistle.
This robot is absolutely guaranteed, without reservation, to be 100% authentic and vintage in every way!
Measurements: 6 1/4″ long, 15 3/8″ high, 8″ wide.
The following article can be found in the book Vintage Toys; Robots and Space Toys concerning Sonic Robot:
“Giant Sonic Robot, better known as Train Robot, is one of Masudaya’s famed ‘Gang of Five’ large skirted robots. They’re a ‘gang’ because they share body and arm stampings, as well as drive mechanisms, but each is unique in its own, ultra-collectible way. This example is called ‘Train Robot’ by space-toy enthusiasts because the 15-inch automaton emits a loud ‘wooooo’ (as the package describes) during mystery-action operation. Knowledgeable toy collectors recognize it as a basic sound generator from Masudaya’s commonplace tin train toys of the same period. Train Robot is also the only member of the Gang to sport this rather unremarkable head design. Exceedingly scarce, Giant Sonic Robot is probably the least desirable of all the Gang members, simply because it is also the most mundane visually–and perhaps because no one can really stand that train sound for very long. Even so, for any veteran collector, this and all Gang of Five Masudaya robots occupy the pinnacle of collecting, with values to match”
Duration : 0:1:28