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BRAZILIAN OVOMALTINE ROBOT

Updated: November 25, 2013

This is a very rare unlicensed Brazilian manufactured B-9 Robot. The molds for these Robots were built in the late 1960's and the Robots were not manufactured until the late 1980's in Brazil due to licensing issues. These Robots have been confused with the Ovomaltine Robot promotion which was actually Remco Robots imported from the US. This Robot represents one of the last of the Brazilian Robots made before one of the molds cracked and stopped further manufacturing. This information was obtained directly from the person responsible for mold creation and manufacturing of these Robots.

Manufacturered in Brazil and Argentina in the early 1990's. This forgein B-9 item is quite rare here the U.S. It is 6" plastic, and has a roller at the base for moveable action. The arms also move up and down, and the dome head can be removed.

Value: $200.

"Item History Update"

Evidentally Ovomaltine worked with Lost in Space productions and/or Remco to buy enough robots for their offereing. There were tickets inside some of the Ovomaltine jars/cans that were redeemable for the robot. Evidentally the sales ploy it worked because I've translated some of the web pages from Brazilian fans that bought a lot of the product to get a robot. I believe there weren't a whole lot of the robots in the offereing. I've heard 50, but I'm not sure. Using the Remco Robot places the Ovomaltine offering into the late 60's, most likely when the TV show was on the air.

The guy that made the Brazilian Robot (Let's call him Mr. BB9) tried to get the Brazilian robots produced in the late 60's but couldn't get the mold owner to produce without the LIS licenses from the US. I think the Remco Robot prompted him to build the molds in the first place. So, the Brazilian Robot molds date back to the late 60's early 70's in fact. After trying in vain to get licensing rights from LIS Productions Mr. BB9 eventually gave up and made the mold owner promise to NOT produce the robots behind his back.

Fast forward 20 years. For some undetermined reason Mr. BB9 went back to the plant where the molds were created and asked if the molds were still around and available. Evidentally they were kept for all of those years. He then took/bought those unused molds (5 total) and produced 1000 B9 robots himself. Those 1000 robots became known as the Brazilian Robot and somehow confused with the Ovomaltine offereing two decades previous. Quite possibly a B-9 urban legend, who knows?

Today, 1 of the 5 molds is broken and there are no more being produced. There's 1000 total in circulation throughout the world.

A very interesting story indeed. I have his phone number and I'm using a Brazilian interpreter. I'm going to try and get Mr. BB9 to write his story down for me. I'll see how it goes.

Also, the Brazilian B-9's sold in the US in the 1999 were apparently part of the original 1000 produced and are completely legitimate. If you can call an unlicensed toy legitimate? I guess that's why it's so valuable.

A little more news on the Brazilian Robot. I must apologize. I confused a few facts in my e-mails. After further investigation and questioning of the Brazilian Robot maker I learned that the Ovomaltine Robots were in fact licensed Remco robots. I confirmed this with a few other Brazilians who envied and owned one. You may have known this already but I was referencing information on the web that had the two confused.

Anyway, there is a great back story behind the Brazilian Robot that I'll have to share with you for your web page. It dates back to the early days of Lost in Space and I found it facinating. By the way, these robots are not being produced anymore. In fact the mold that makes one of the parts is broken. The robots that I'm getting are the last of the only 1000 that were ever made.

I'll tell you the whole story when I have the time. I may want to get more details as well.

"Many thanks to Randy Turnbow for all the info on this item!"

Update from Randy Turnbow: (01/29/03)

As promised, here's a picture of the last 14 Brazilian Robots. These were made around 1988 in a batch of 1000. I further found out that most were given to friends of MR. BB9 as well as sold within Brazil. Very few ever made their way to the US. I know of a batch of 125 imported around 1999.

I received this e-mail update from Perdidos no Espaço Do Brasil - O Clube

Date: February 9, 2004 4:19 PM

MY FRIENDS I ASK FOR GENTILITY TO PLACE ON YOUR SITE THE PERSON WHO MADE THIS ROBOT WAS Mr. Carlos Gasparetti.

http://www.geocities.com/margaspar3/Portugues/RobotPort.html

(*) Update 11-2-5:

This Brazilian Robot, which has been confused with the Ovomaltine promotion Robot. This Robot was initially pitched as a premium for the drink, which sponsored Lost in Space in Brazil in the 1960's, but instead, Remco Robots were used for a special promotion.

The design and molds for this B-9, were created in the 1960's by Carlos Gasparetti. Mr. Gasparetti was a salesman at a plastics manufacturer in Brazil. He financed and created the molds himself, determined that it would be a successful endeavor with the popularity of the TV show. He presented it to the owner of the company and a potential order of 30,000 units. The owner of the plant however discovered that the B-9 was patented, otherwise the Estrela toy company would have manufactured it. Mr. Gasparetti could not get around the patent or find the patentee. The plastic manufacturing company kept the molds and it was never produced. It was 20 years before he could finally get the molds back.

In the late 1980's, Mr. Gasparetti was finally able to retrieve the original molds. He ordered 1,000 units produced and sold them as antiquities. Apparently one of the molds was broken and so only 1,000 Robots were produced worldwide, which is why this toy is so rare, especially in the United States.

The base is mounted with 2 rollers so he can scoot along. His arms are moveable and his waist can turn. He stands about 6' tall and is very charming.


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