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A daily look back at the toys, games, and objects that captured our attention as children and continue to fascinate us today.

Dingbot from TOMY (1982)

Company: TOMY
Release date: 1982
Where to purchase: eBay

“A non-stop, chattering, bump ‘n go Robot!”

In 1982, TOMY released Dingbot, a small toy robot whose design was heavily influenced by the fictional film character E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. The toy was part of the company’s Home Entertainment Robot series, which also included Verbot and Omnibot.

Running on one AA battery, Dingbot did one thing: bumped into walls and other obstacles and moved quickly in another direction. This was made possible due to a set of runners built into its base. As it moved, Dingbot made noise and moved its head from side to side.

In addition to head movement, the toy’s arms were also poseable. In a quirky design decision, TOMY provided Dingbot with a foldable paper “floorplan” that could be carried with it, a play on the statement that Dingbot was “slowly learning the meaning of walls.”

Dingbot was known by alternate names in other countries, including Ding-Bo, OMS-B, and Zig Zag.

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