Big 1988 - the skyscraper robot toy

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Geuse

Active Member
Hi!
Been a while since I was here.
I just saw an episode of Tested where Adam Savage taught me a new word, the MacGuffin.
Apparently a prop used in film to drive the plot forward and I realized there is one MacGuffin I always wanted to have. The ultra-lame transforming skyscraper as depicted in the film. This is the scene I'm referring to

I searched and been searching the web for info about this, but found very little. So any insights, tips and oscure info are more than welcome to be shared.
So all I have are screen grabs of this prop. I might go and buy a blu-ray of this movie for more high definition images. But the problem is that it's used so briefly and he keeps playing with it so it's often blurred anyway.

I also found a link where they discuss this prop briefly.

I'm thinking it's a kitbash of other toy parts. Do you recognize any of them? The big door on the front seem to say "Mitor".
In the prior link it's stated that nearly all the toys used in the movie are made by Mattel. Would they have had a hand in building this prop?

Since I'm ok at modeling I thought this would be a fun project and also something to inspire me to finally buy a 3D printer of my own.
I'm planning on making it behave as it does in the movie. The head should slide up and down, the arms should be able to come loose etc.

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Aku

Active Member
The eyes look a little like Tin Toys 1970s Horikawa robot "jumbo Mars the Great" . Both have the three dots over the eyes and the claws "sort" of look the same.
 

Geuse

Active Member
The eyes look a little like Tin Toys 1970s Horikawa robot "jumbo Mars the Great" . Both have the three dots over the eyes and the claws "sort" of look the same.
Wow! Good find. Yes, that is his head. You can see the round holes where his antennas used to be. Covered with another part in the movie.
I can't seem to see any other parts from this toy being used. Then hands look similar, but the are wider on the Horikawa robot.
 
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Geuse

Active Member
So a wip.
There's really not much to show yet, but I've started. I'm just blocking out everything to try to get the proportions right. It's time consuming. Here I'm trying to match my camera in Maya to the shot from the movie, but it's never 100%. :rolleyes:
And I have to figure out what to do with all the details that most likely comes from vintage toys which I have no idea what they are nor the dimensions of things. It's going to have to be an estimation to the best of my abilities.

AKA That toy you found, "Jumbo Mars the Great". I'll see if I somehow can get the dimensions of that and it should help me to get the correct scale better.

And the scraper doesn't seem to be a square. I've come to the ratio that it's 24cm wide and 20 cm deep and stands 55 cm height(not counting the roof), and model everything thereafter, but I can't really tell. It's just an estimation and it seems pretty big. It would be like a meter or 3.28 feet :oops:
A fast look at the footage and comparing o myself, 80 cm seems more like it including the spire.
 

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Geuse

Active Member
So I got the nobrainer to ask in the facebook group facebook.com/groups/ActionFigureIdentification/
for help in finding out what parts were used and then I got a tip and googled my way to this gem


That's the actual robot. Both colors, eyes and hand checks out. Think I will be able to get some good references and find out how this was put together.
 

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Geuse

Active Member
Blocking out the arm. It's really hard to figure out what it actually looks like. how wide it is etc. And above all, what is it from?!?
The right and left arm are identical like this. It's just that they are flipped the wrong way. See third image. Also I have to figure out that range of motion. In the movie they bend somewhat, in my 3D-model they intersect too early as you can see.
 

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Geuse

Active Member
Tiny update. I still haven't found any more sources to what parts have been used to build this Frankenstein's robot.
If anyone have any ideas, or recognize anything, please share =)
Can only eyeball it as I go. trying to piece it together as best I can.
I'm not sure if the original prop transforms completely. It's never shown if the legs slide all the way up into the body or not. They seem to do because they are not completely static. They move some when he's playing with it.
But my intention is to make it fully operational. A nice thing is that there's a mechanism for the head so it doesn't just fall down into the body when it's transformed back into a building. Instead there's some resistance to it. He presses some part(which I can't really make out) to release a pin(I'd assume) that makes the head slowly go down. Have to look into replicating that. I don't think it's battery operated.
 

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