This example is a reproduction battery operated tin toy robot. Its box identifies it as 'Space Walk Man' but this is a modern Chinese-made copy of a robot toy first made in the 1960's named "Star Strider" that was produced by a Japanese manufacturer, Marumiya, and sold by the Japanese toy company, Horikawa. Because of its great multiple actions the "Star Strider" robot has remained popular with toy buyers for decades. The light on his head glows as the robot walks forward, his torso rotates and his chest doors open, then there are guns and lights and loud realistic shooting sounds. He spins around again and the actions repeat.
Marumiya's successor company, which operates under a different name today, does in fact still manufacture Star Strider, but in Japan, not China. Since 'Space Walk Man' exactly copies the earlier Japanese robot's design it can easily fool collectors. Especially when sold without the accompanying box to identify it as a newer 'Made in China' toy.
Buyers who are unaware copies of vintage robot and other tin toys are being made may believe they are buying a popular or valuable original mid-20th century toy, though they are not. In the case of the toy in this listing, when an original and a modern non-Japanese copy are compared side by side the differences in manufacturing quality are easily seen. 'Old-time quality' is another aspect that often affects the perception of value for vintage collectibles.
If you only have one example to consider, check the chest doors and the 'gauges' just underneath them. Frequently these are slightly misaligned on reproductions because of hastier manufacturing methods today, and fewer quality controls.
The robot's eyes and the small triangles on the chest doors are also painted differently. As this is being written the reproduction toys only rim the outside of the eyes with red. Originals typically have red on the flat area inside the eyes, surrounding the yellow 'pupil.' Blue and red are the colors used to frame the gauges on the chest doors. On originals the frames are thin, just enhancing the outside edges of each gauge, which helps make them 'pop' visually. On reproduction robots gauge frame colors are wide and heavy. The gauges do not look nearly as real or appealing. Also the reproduction toys have only a single blue triangle inside the red-framed yellow triangles on their chest doors. Their triangles lack additional lines and dots that surround the central blue triangle on original toys, making for a more complicated central design.
Many robot and space toys from the 1950's and 1960's can sell today for hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Cost is one of the biggest reasons why some buyers who might prefer the real thing will end up buying a copy, instead. Since this particular robot toy has been produced for so many years and it is still being made by the original maker, even old original examples in excellent condition shouldn't carry a big price tag. So, even though the 'Space Walk Man' reproduction can be easily found and purchased brand new in the box for $40 or less, since there isn't much space between the cost of an original "Star Strider" robot and its reproduction, why invest any money in a copy?
Measures 12 inches tall.
Illustrations and Characteristics for Help in Identifying Many Confusing New Items
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