Ranger Robot with box packaging, manufactured by Horikawa, Japan, 1979.
This rare toy robot was battery-powered, allowing it to walk while its gun 'fired, and it made shooting sounds. Two of robots’ defining features are that they are ‘embodied’ and ‘situated’ – that is, they are given tangible form, and are very much ‘out there’ in the world, rather than being confined to roboticists’ labs. This toy robot speaks strongly to these themes: it is the classic robotic form so often expected by the wider public (even if their actual forms have actually been rather different), and it shows how that form has been appropriated in a wide range of media, not just in film and on screen, but in other popular media like toys and more ephemeral items. Robots are as much performers and entertainers as they are pieces of formal science or technology per se.