Bender Unit 22 is a robot who was built to spend his life bending steel girders in factories. After an unsuccessful suicide attempt, botched by Fry, a delivery boy newly arrived in the year 3000 from the 20th century, he now works for the intergalactic delivery firm Planet Express, owned by Professor Farnsworth, Fry’s distant grandnephew.
Bender is the backbone of the TV show Futurama, produced by Matt Groening of Simpsons fame. He is a sarcastic, cynical tough guy, prone to boozing and pocket-picking, whose major role seems to be to antagonize the main characters and place them in situations of danger or discomfort so they can squirm their way out, causing hilarity for all. Bender’s strongest character trait as a robot is that he has more human flaws than most humans.
Tin lithograph toys were quite common once upon a time. Before the popularization of cheaper plastic materials, thin printed metal bent into forms made for a large selection of toys, from dolls to cars to carousels to wind-up robots. They were built with tab-and-slot fasteners, and were durable and fun. Rocket USA has crafted a toy in that noble tradition.
Standing 8 inches tall, Bender is appropriately made mostly from bent metal. Turn the knob on his chest and his panel opens to reveal a good old reliable wind-up mechanism. Stick an oversized key in his side, wind him up and watch him go. Just like old times.
Not all of Bender’s parts are metal, however. His eyes are plastic and can be moved up and down manually. His plastic antenna can be used to rotate a cylinder which emulates his mouth when he talks. A hole in his mouth can accommodate a plastic cigar, and a beer bottle fits into his soft plastic hands.
Yesterday's best is reborn