I’m really starting to get into the Christmas spirit, if you couldn’t tell. With Christmas just days away I’m doing all sorts of different stuff to really get me in the mood. I was thinking about Christmases past and then I looked over and saw my old friend, the Robot Banker…

We all know Robby the Robot from Forbidden Planet, but do you recall, Robie the Robot? He was sold primarily at Radio Shack in the 1980’s and was a big holiday gift. Whoever named him clearly was trying to play him off as some relation to the other more famous Robby, although they bare no resemblance. Back then Christmas meant shopping at Radio Shack and this little guy was just about the coolest bank you could get.

I don’t remember specifically what year I got Robie, but I remember thinking he was awesome. Basically you pop a quarter (or nickel, dime, penny, every little bit helps!) and Robie eats in and then stores it in his belly for safe keeping. You can pop his bottom off and get the money out when you feel the little bugger has eaten enough change.

In hindsight, Robie really isn’t that neat. He has one function, he’s kinda creepy and you can’t really store much money in him. Plus he’s really loud. Like the little motors and servers moving him sound like they could power a tank. Still I remember being overjoyed at getting this guy when I was a kid. Sure he wasn’t like a main gift territory, but this was the kind of stuff you lived for at Christmas. Stuff you wouldn’t buy yourself any other time of the year.

Robie has been in and out of storage for years and you can see he’s more than his fair share of beat up. So when I decided to write this little article about one of my favorite offbeat Christmas gifts, I decided to pop some batteries in him to see if he would work. Low and behold, HE DOES work. Although he’s a bit possessed.

I guess after all these years Robie is starving for coins and attention because once I turn him on he keeps eating even when there’s no money in his hand. He’s a strange thing, he goes from pitiful, to surprised to a zombie-like beast craving more brains change! See for yourself below.

Do they still make these? I know TOMY sold them in Japan for a bit. This guy also reminds me of a robot from some movie… I can’t remember the name of the horror movie now, but this robot who looks a bit like Robie gets struck by lightning I think and then starts killing people. If you know the name of that movie, respond below.

7 Responses to Robie The Robot Banker

  • TJDietsch says:

    Haha, yes! I totally remember Robie. Can't remember if my dad or grandma had it, but I loved feeding him change as a kid. Great post.

  • Russ says:

    I certainly remember him! I believe the movie you're thinking of is Chopping Mall.

  • Magic T says:

    Gotta believe that Russ us correct. Chopping Mall (aka Killbots – the far inferior alternate title) has got to be what you are thinking of.

  • Hey thanks for that, but it's not Chopping Mall. Never seen that one, looks amusing.

    I did manage to find it though, it's "Deadly Friend" which is probably the worst title for a movie ever. It's by Wes Craven and the robot doesn't quite do what I thought, but I remember it a bit clearer now. He doesn't look much like Robie, but he is yellow.

  • Nope, it's "Deadly Friend" that I was thinking of.

    Apparently the robot doesn't do the killing. Kristy Swanson does. However there is a robot that looks a bit like Robie in it.

  • Elise G says:

    We're modelling robbie's at my school for CG practice. I've read somewhere that he has a demo mode that would make him repeat the movements over and over, something about a button on the bottom. Thanks for the turn around shots of him!

  • Bungholio says:

    It's servos, not servers. If he had servers inside he might have been worth something.

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