Monday, December 22, 2014

A Tale of Two Robots or The World is Flatpacked

One day this summer I suddenly thought to myself "There should be robot shaped toy storage.  Why haven't I seen any?" and I proceeded to google immediately.  This thought is 5-15% less random when I mention that I need some toy storage in Henry's room and I don't want him to grow up thinking all robots are scary, like the one taking over earth in the 5ft poster in his room.  

By Mogi, once distributed in Sweden, found on Apartment Therapy

After a lot of googling and searching eBay, etsy, Alibaba and Pinterest, it turns out there is very little robot shaped toy storage.  There are a few amazing foreign product offerings....which all seem to have disappeared off the face of the earth or are prototypes.  

Only $113 dollars shipped from 2008.  Found on Robotsnob.
Prototype, made by this guy

And finally this showed up in my search results--from Rakuten, the global marketplace (or really, the Japanese Alibaba).  It said it only ships in Japan, but I emailed the seller and they will ship anywhere.  I emailed back and forth, and ended up buying two robots (the shipping is the more than the 'bot, plus they are cardboard so I'll be less stressed to have a back-up).  

Now, their shipping estimates were....a little low.  In the end these robots cost me almost $90, and I'm pretty sure the estimate was closer to $75.  In either case, yes, probably more than I should have spent.  But it's head opens for storage--can you put a price on that?

I knew it was made of cardboard but I did not know that it would arrive as flat sheets of cardboard, perforated into the shapes I needed to cut out.

And, because I'm a genius, it had not occurred to me that the instructions would be IN JAPANESE.

Kevin did not think it would get done but the instructions (front and back) were illustrated well enough that after about an hour I had this guy.

I cannot RAVE LIKE A CRAZY WOMAN enough about the engineering that went into this product.  Not your average cardboard toy, they care enough to make sure the bends have a finished face with mitered corners, the drawer sides are sloped so they pull in and out easily.  And it is so crazy sturdy.  And the instructions were amazing considering I couldn't read anything.  Seriously, we should have flying cars for the amount of work that went into this product.  

When I was ordering this, I felt like red was better.  Not sure why, as it is a little Christmas-y up in H's room.  But, I can always spray paint him if it still looks crazy with all the other stuff moved in.  Yellow?  Silver?

1 comment:

  1. You always were a clever child. Japanese instructions- amazing. Very cute.