Revolving Flashing Robot, ca. 1965
It was originally my dad's, and I like to say it's mine, but I have six brothers and two sisters, so I think we kind of fight over it.
Uh-huh. And you didn't find a box or anything like that?
This is a robot that was made in Japan in the 1960s. There were a lot of different makers, and I think this one was made by a company called R.O., but it's really a little unclear as to who made what, because they all swapped parts and they had different names on the boxes. It's battery-operated. And it is called the revolving flashing robot. Why? Because... (whirring) Well, he walks like this... But then, when you push this button, he revolves and flashes. So, therefore, we call him the revolving flashing robot. And he can do both things at once, I think. Let's see. Oh, no, he can't. He can't walk and chew gum at the same time. (whirring stops) I know you were concerned if it wasn't working, we wouldn't have a story. Well, if this were totally not working, for about $35 to $50, we could have it fixed, which might seem a lot to pay to fix a toy that originally sold for $1.98, but it's worth a little more than $1.98. Now, if you'd only found the box, we would be looking at a robot that was worth about $3,000 to $4,000.
Because the revolving flashing robot is one of the rare ones. He's in amazing condition. A little scratch right here, but that's not a big deal. So without the box, I would say at auction, it would bring somewhere between $1,200 to $1,800 on today's market.
So go back. Maybe that box is somewhere.
Executive producer Marsha Bemko shares her tips for getting the most out of ANTIQUES ROADSHOW.
Value can change: The value of an item is dependent upon many things, including the condition of the object itself, trends in the market for that kind of object, and the location where the item will be sold. These are just some of the reasons why the answer to the question "What's it worth?" is so often "It depends."
Note the date: Take note of the date the appraisal was recorded. This information appears in the upper left corner of the page, with the label "Appraised On." Values change over time according to market forces, so the current value of the item could be higher, lower, or the same as when our expert first appraised it.
Context is key: Listen carefully. Most of our experts will give appraisal values in context. For example, you'll often hear them say what an item is worth "at auction," or "retail," or "for insurance purposes" (replacement value). Retail prices are different from wholesale prices. Often an auctioneer will talk about what she knows best: the auction market. A shop owner will usually talk about what he knows best: the retail price he'd place on the object in his shop. And though there are no hard and fast rules, an object's auction price can often be half its retail value; yet for other objects, an auction price could be higher than retail. As a rule, however, retail and insurance/replacement values are about the same.
Verbal approximations: The values given by the experts on ANTIQUES ROADSHOW are considered "verbal approximations of value." Technically, an "appraisal" is a legal document, generally for insurance purposes, written by a qualified expert and paid for by the owner of the item. An appraisal usually involves an extensive amount of research to establish authenticity, provenance, composition, method of construction, and other important attributes of a particular object.
Opinion of value: As with all appraisals, the verbal approximations of value given at ROADSHOW events are our experts' opinions formed from their knowledge of antiques and collectibles, market trends, and other factors. Although our valuations are based on research and experience, opinions can, and sometimes do, vary among experts.
Appraiser affiliations: Finally, the affiliation of the appraiser may have changed since the appraisal was recorded. To see current contact information for an appraiser in the ROADSHOW Archive, click on the link below the appraiser's picture. Our Appraiser Index also contains a complete list of active ROADSHOW appraisers and their contact details and biographies.