Tag Archives: Robot Monster

CLASSIC MOVIE POSTERS GALLERY – THE ROBOT MONSTER

Classic Movie Posters Gallery

Robot Monster One-Sheet Movie PosterThe Robot Monster (Astor Pictures, 1953) Style A One Sheet (27″ X 41″)

 

In my last post, I reviewed a toy inspired by this movie.  As I was writing that review, I did quite a bit of research on this film and thought it worthy of being this week’s installment in our Classic Movie Poster Gallery.

This 1953 science fiction romp is frequently cited as one of the worst, or at least silliest, movies ever made. Twenty-five-year-old writer/director Phil Tucker made Robot Monster in four days for an estimated $16,000. Most footage was filmed outdoors in Bronson Canyon, the site of innumerable motion pictures and TV settings, including It Conquered the World (1956), Earth vs the Spider (1958) and in more recent times, Army of Darkness (1992) and The Lost Skeleton of Cadavera (2001).

Robot Monster‍ ’​s budget was so low , Tucker couldn’t afford a robot costume as intended, so he hired his friend George Barrows, who had made his own gorilla suit, to play Ro-Man; Tucker then added the space helmet.

Robot Monster‍ ’​s special effects include stock footage used from 1940’s One Million , 1951’s Lost Continent, and Flight to Mars. Also spliced into the film is view screen footage with a brief appearance of the Rocketship X-M (1950) spaceship boarding; a matte painting of the ruins of New York City was also included from Captive Women (1952).

Robot Monster 1953

In spite of the minuscule budget and garage sale monster costume, the 3-D in the film is considered well-crafted, according to Jeff Joseph, organizer of the World 3d Film Expo in Hollywood. “Robot Monster is actually well-shot,’ he says, “and the 3-D is spectacularly good.”

Poster Value

This film flopped at the box-office, grossing $1,000,000 and received extremely limited distribution.  As a result, the posters are quite rare.  Further impacting scarcity and value, most theaters didn’t show the movie in the intended 3-D and the majority of posters have been restored where “3-D” was marked out or taped over with paper.

While not astronomically valued, the rarity of this poster would lead me to believe that it will continue to increase in worth over time and could be a good investment.

A couple of these posters are listed on eBay, starting at $2,000.  I couldn’t find any recent auctions for this poster to benchmark values against, though Heritage Auctions has sold other poster styles from this film in recent years, including:

Half-Sheet (22″ x 28″) VF Sold for $1,553 in 2009

Robot Monster Half-Sheet movie poster

Banner (24″ x 82″) FN+ Sold for $1,793 in 2012

Robot Monster Movie Banner 1953

 

Summary

This is another example of a really great poster for a really bad movie.   I love how much they’ve crammed into this poster — including love scenes, space ships, battling “dinosaurs” and even added a skull-face to Ro-Man to ramp up the fright.  Never mind that he doesn’t have a skull face in the movie, or that the iguana / “dinosaurs” appear for less than a minute.   Truly a poster from a different era and a great example of over-the-top, B-movie pop art at its finest.

Sputnik Supplies Ro-Boy – Rondo Awards 2015 Best Toy Category Nominee

Collecting the Rondo Awards 2015 Best Toy Category – Part 9

Sputnik Supplies Ro-Boy Vinyl Figure

It seems I’ve been exploring the intersection of iconic monsters and horrible movies in recent posts. In last week’s Classic Movie Poster post, I profiled 1958’s Attack of the 50 Foot Woman  – a bad movie with an iconic and timeless poster.

As we continue to review 2014 Rondo Awards nominees for Best Toy/Model/Collectible, today’s featured collectible certainly fits the bill for iconic monster/bad movie as we take a look at Sputnik Supplies original creation Ro-Boy.  Ro-Boy by Sputnik Supplies

Ro-Boy is a unique blend of the classic Big Boy restaurant mascot

Bobs Big Boy

with the infamous Ro-Man Extension XJ-2 from the campy, not-so-classic 1953 B-movie Robot Monster:Robot Monster

Sputnik Supplies is the brainchild of artist Paul Schiola who explains the inspiration behind his creations as:

“My love for vinyl toys and sculpting led me in a direction where I could meld the two and produce a truly collectible toy…make small runs of cool, unique and truly collectible vinyl-like toys; each one is an individual work of art and is always handmade by me here in the U.S.A.”

Ro-Man Extension XJ-2 is the titular monster and/or alien from The Robot Monster, a film with such a low budget that they used a gorilla suit because they didn’t have the budget for a full robot suit. 

It’s worth noting that the lack of budget and resulting gorilla/robot mash-up is the singular reason this film remains in the popular culture–it certainly isn’t the movie itself!

Product Details

  • Height: 7″
  • Handmade in USA
  • Sculptor: Paul Schiola
  • Hand-painted
  • MSRP: $85

 

Where to Buy Sputnik Supplies Ro-Boy

The only place that I could find this collectible figure was direct from the artist:

Sputnik Supplies Website

Paul offers these limited edition figures @ $85 which includes shipping.

Sputnik Supplies Ro-Boy Rondo Awards nominated Best Collectible 2014
© Sputnik Supplies

Summary

I love this figure.  Of all the nominees in the Rondo Awards category for Best Toy/Model/Collectible, it the only original creation.

While I love licensed merchandise, and am awed by the incredible life-like detail of many models, maquettes and even action figures of today, there is something magical about the discovery of a toy that isn’t from a movie, comic or TV show.

As a kid, it always felt like discovering something uniquely mine.  Obviously, a mass-produced plastic toy wasn’t uniquely mine, but the feeling was pure and joyful just the same.  I think it is one of the original draws I felt to monsters and genre movies in general– the fantastic and original creations of the artists and filmmakers were magical to me and, I suspect, most other monster kids.

I really appreciate that, while inspired by a rather infamous movie monster/alien, Ro-Boy is a creation of the artist’s imagination–and a hand-painted, handmade one at that.

The price point is steep, as it is for most of the nominees in this category.  But, given that this is really a work of pop culture art and is clearly NOT a toy, I’m okay with $85.  I imagine that price will only go up once Sputnik Supply sells the original inventory and it winds up on the secondary market.

The Robot Monster

Speaking of the movie that inspired Ro-Boy,  I watched it last night on Amazon Prime as I was drafting this article.   Honestly, I can’t say for sure if I had ever seen this film in its entirety.

My thoughts?  This movie is so bad it’s good!  It’s not going on my list of favorite films anytime soon, and I love 1950s B-movie SciFi camp.  If you haven’t seen it, it really is  good fun and worth a little over an hour of your time.

You can stream it for free with an Amazon Prime membership:
(click image to watch movie)

or you can watch it for free onYouTube:

 

So what do you think of Ro-Boy?  Any Sputnik Supplies aficionados out there?  And The Robot Monster?  Share your opinions about this movie and the collectible toy it inspired below!