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Robot

AMT 1/48 Lost in Space Movie Robot Kit First Look

By Ray Mehlberger

Date of Review September 2008 Manufacturer AMT
Subject Lost in Space Movie Robot Scale Unknown
Kit Number 8458 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Neat Sci-fi kit Cons Nothing noticable
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) Out of Production

First Look

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The TV show 'Lost in Space' followed the adventures of an astronaut family known as the Robinsons. In the pilot episode, their mission to Alpha Centauri is sabotaged by the base doctor, Zachary Smith, who slips aboard their spaceship Jupiter 2 before the launch and re-programs the robot to destroy the ship and crew shortly after leaving earth orbit. Smith unwittingly becomes trapped aboard and they manage to stop the robot and save the ship, but damage to the ship's guidance system leaves them lost in space (thus the name of the show). Eventually, they are forced to land on an alien world where they have to survive a host of weekly adventures.

In the third season they travel to other worlds in their never-resolved attempts to reach their destination, which was either Earth or Alpha Centauri. The show lasted 3 seasons, from Sept. 15, 1965 to March 6, 1968. It was produced by 20th Century Fox Television and aired on CBS. It starred Angela Cartwright, Mark Goddard, Marta Kristen, Jonathan Harris, June Lockhart, Guy Williams and Bill Mumy. It was a space-age adaption of 'Swiss Family Robertson' (therefore most of the cast's last name being Robertson on the show). People that watched the TV show mostly remember the phrase 'Danger Will Robertson' that was uttered by Robbie the robot on the series whenever some danger was near.

In 1998 Lost in Space was produced as a Hollywood movie. It had a new cast. Prof. John Robertson was played by William Hurt, his wife Dr. Maureen Robertson was played by Mimi Rodgers, their oldest daughter Dr. Judy Robertson was played by Heather Graham, the youngest daughter Penny Robertson was played by Lacey Chabert, Will Robertson was played by Jack Johnson, Spider Smith was played by Gary Oldman and Major Don West (Judy's boyfriend) was played by Matt LeBlanc. The robot in the movie (subject of this kit) was totally different in configuration than 'Robbie' the robot in the TV series, and much more menacing looking. New Line Cinema produced the movie and their name is on the kit's box as New Line Productions, Inc., with all rights reserved. So, obviously AMT/Ertl was licensed to produce this kit and also a kit of the Jupiter 2 spaceship form the movie (kit no. 8459) Both kits are now out of production, but available several places on the internet.

This kit is by AMT/Ertl of Dyresville, Iowa. The company was famous, for years, for die-cast farm toys (tractors, plows etc.). Later on, they started producing plastic toys and model kits. Production of the plastics was moved to Mexico, in the 90's, and this kit was molded there. The die-casting is done quite a bit in China now too.

The kit comes in a large tray and lid type box. It measures 17 ½' x 12' and is cram-packed inside.

The boxart has a picture of the robot, from the movie. I don't think it is a picture of the model made up. This is because of all the bright metal parts shown on it (there are no chrome plated parts in the kit anyway). The catch phrase 'Danger Will Robertson' is on the boxart, along with a frontal shot of the robot's head and his menacing red cyclops eye. Skill level is called out as a 2. This translates into modelers 10 years old and up. A side panel has 2 more photos, of what I also believe is the robot in the movie. Next to these photos is a list of the kit's features, in 4 languages including English. We are told that the kit has over 70 parts (actually 88). I has a positional arms, head and can be displayed in the normal 'squatted' position of 7' high, or extended to be 12' high, or anywhere in-between. The other side panel has 2 more pictures of the robot and a 1-800 number and AMT's street address, to contact with any service needed on the kit.

Inside the box are 3 large sealed cello bags. Two of these contain dark navy blue parts. The third bag holds pale gray parts. There is a loose tree of clear parts, the decal sheet, the instructions and a subscription card to subscribe to Ertl's 'Blueprinter' newsletter. This newsletter was always 90% car model stuff, and of very little interest to me ever. I donno if it still exists.

The instructions consist of a single sheet that accordion folds out into 6 pages of 12' x 6 3/8' format.

Page one begins with 'Important assembly information' in several languages, including English. In a column, to the right of this, are 13 different international assembly symbols and what they mean. The bottom of the page has a listing of paint colors, suggested to use to finish the model. Finally, is the 1-800 number and Ertl's street address to contact for any help with a kit problem.

Pages 2 through 6 give a total of 11 assembly steps. Colors that need to be painted are indicated in each step, along with decals that may have to go on in a particular step. There are no parts tree illustrations in the instructions. Parts are numbered, but the trees are not alphabetized. This means identifying things by the assembly drawings. I don't think this will be too hard a task, as most of the parts have very unique shapes.

The first navy blue parts are loose; they are the 2 halves of the robot's torso.

The second treed of navy blue parts holds two parts that are the electronics that go into the torso.

The third navy blue parts tree holds the top and bottom parts of the robot's hips.

There are 3 navy blue parts trees that hold 37 parts that make up the robot's arms. One of these trees has a duplicate.

The last navy blue parts tree holds the robot's claws etc. (13 parts)

The first pale gray parts tree holds 2 suspension arms for the robot's tracks.

Two more pale gray trees make up more suspension arm parts (6 parts)

The next pale gray tree holds the robot's track bogie parts (4 parts total on two identical trees).

There is a single pale gray part that is a plate that goes between the left and right track bogies.

The final gray parts are 4 parts that are the robot's tracks.

The clear tree holds 4 lenses.

The decal is printed with red triangular logos, and numerous warning and data plates. The fine printing on these is highly readable and registration is good.

The kit has a copyright date of 1998, which is the same year that the Hollywood movie was released. It makes up into a highly detailed kit of the robot from the movie and with careful painting will be a show-stopper. A welcome relief from aircraft and armor kits. It looks to be a simple build. Care will have to be taken, so as not to solidly glue parts that should move after the robot is completed. Highly recommended.

Although currently out of production, I found numerous sites on the internet that advertise that they have this kit in stock. Prices range from $15.00 on up to an individual selling one on eBay for $35.00. So, if interested in this kit, shop around good.

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