Tobor from Schaper (1978)

Company: Schaper | Release date: 1978 | Ages: 5+ | Where to purchase: eBay

“Tobor is robot spelled backwards.”

Released in 1978, Schaper’s Tobor promised “imaginative science fiction fun!” in the form of a remote-controlled robot.

The sound-activated plastic robot stood about 9-inches tall and ran on 2 D-batteries. Children controlled Tobor’s motion with the telesonic commander (a remote control). Pressing a button on the remote elicited an audible click and caused Tobor to move. Options included forward, in a circle, or having Tobor pick up the support module — a motion made possible thanks to its spring-loaded arms.

Tobor’s motion was enabled by a series of internal motors, worm drives, capacitors, sensors, and a circuit board that powered 2 back wheels.

The box included the robot, Tobor, a hand-held controller, a support module, decals, and a double-sided sheet of instructions.

Tobor was part of Schaper’s telesonic U-Drive-It Toy series, which also included Max Machine, Max Machine Night Hawk, Ranger ATV, Vic, Baja Bike Scrambler, and Auto Race. The relative simplicity of the U-Drive-It soundwave operation made the toys more affordable than some of their radio-controlled contemporaries.

Watch a classic commercial for Tobor on the Toy Tales YouTube channel.

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