Mr. Machine

Mr. Machine

Synopsis of Toy

On a good day, you could stare at Mr. Machine for hours—watching his little gear innards turning, his perma-smile mouth chomping, his arms and legs swinging in their never-ending robotic goose-step… And the fact that it was an educational toy meant that mom and dad had no good reason not to buy you one. Truly, this was the best of all possible worlds.

Ideal introduced its plastic-bodied robot back in 1960, and a horde of mechanically-inclined youngsters fell in love at first sight. As a spectacle, Mr. Machine was impressive enough. With a few twists of the key on his back, Mr. Machine took off, his clear body letting kids watch his insides churning. Gears spun around, arms and legs swung (though wheels provided the actual locomotion), his mouth opened and closed, and a bell on his belly rung. And as a final testament to his showmanship, Mr. Machine advertised his own name in bold white letters printed across his plastic chapeau.

But Mr. Machine was more than just a spectacle—he was a learning tool. Kids could take the robot apart and put him back together again, all with the plastic wrench included inside every Mr. Machine package. Budding engineers (as well as kids who just liked taking stuff apart) were enthralled, and Mr. Machine became the pride and joy of the Ideal toy line. The company even produced a 1961 board game in his honor, though it didn’t catch on as well as the company’s 1963 game, Mouse Trap.

Mr. Machine left the market for a while, but he returned as a refurbished, reissued robot in 1977. The bell was replaced with a whistle, and the gears were now molded in brightly-colored plastic, but the biggest difference was the lack of a certain plastic wrench. The new Mr. Machine could no longer be taken apart and put back together (well, not officially), but the sight of that silly robot spinning and walking across the floor was still enough to make most kids happy. Alas, Mr. Machine’s second incarnation was as short-lived as the first, and the wacky, see-through robot was lost to the great toybox in the sky.

Release History of Toy

1960 - Mr. Machine
1977 - Mr. Machine (reissue)

Sub Categories of Toys

action figures

Toy and Game Manufacturer


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