Polar Lights Robbie the Robot








Scott Van Aken







Forbidden Planet is without a doubt, the premier sci-fimovie for those who like to think. Initially shown around 1955 and starringWalter Pidgeon, Anne Francis, and Leslie Nielsen, it is the story of a scientistwhose investigations of a race of beings called the Krell. His investigationslead to some very interesting events, the majority of which involve some verysophisticated animation for the time, all done by George Pal and his studios. Itis blessed by a total lack of iguana-based dinosaurs and other 'monsters' thatwere popular at the time.

Every non-monster sci-fi movie ever made after that has elementsof Forbidden Planet woven into the storyline, whether the author realizes it ornot. The props for the movie appear in many different places including a largenumber of Twilight Zone episodes. Probably the most amazing and rememberedcharacter from the movie (aside from the then-daringly dressed Miss Francis), isthe robot named Robbie. Capable of lifting tons of weight and prevented fromharming sentient beings thanks to Issac Azimov's three rules for robots, Robbieisn't the vicious beast depicted on the box art (which is a poster from themovie itself).



Polar Lights kits are made in China and so come in a box strongenough to drive a truck over without damaging the parts. Once you manage towrestle the top off it, you find two bags of parts. One contains the chromeplated and clear bits and the other the main parts of the robot in tanplastic. 

Unlike the Lost In Space robot, this one appears to be a newmold and not reverse engineered. All the parts look clean and crisp with novisible flash and the mold marks where they can be hidden. The chrome parts arewell done, with mold seams small enough to be left on the parts if you are soinclined. The clear parts are sort of bluish in cast with the large domescratched. There are four 'Voice simulator tubes' (part 15) of which they arenot all the same shape. It will be interesting to see if this affectsconstruction.

The rest of the parts are very nicely done as well. All the bitswere still on the sprues. There are a few parts that were loose in the bag alongwith the base. These have been removed from the sprues at the factory. A resultof this is that the attachment points need to be cleaned up and in some cases,filled as there are small gouges in the part at the attachment point. There isalso a large base on which to display your Robbie. Sorry, but there is no passedout Anne Francis for Robbie to carry in his arms!

Kit instructions are similar to those with the LIS robot withone side of the sheet as image, ads and warnings, with the other side includingan assembly sequence, painting guide and exploded view of the kit. All the partsare noted as to if they are chrome or transparent and all of them are named.

Frankly, I am looking very much to building this kit. If only Ididn't have a dozen other projects on the bench. Well, maybe just onemore............

In passing, I'd like to put full blame of my interest inmodeling things sci-fi where it belongs, with John Lester and his website, StarshipModeler.  Thanks John!

Review copy courtesy of me and my wallet!! If any of youmanufacturers or shop owners want to send products for review and building,please contact me.