Sunday, October 19, 2008

7 Foot Tall Monster Robot ad

(Click on image to enlarge.)

The Greeneville Post, Oct. 20, 1974

A 12 year old boy is dead, shot to death by police, and the grieving parents can only wonder how this tragedy could have been averted.

On Sunday afternoon, as the autumn leaves blew down the street of this average suburb, what started out as a young boy's craft project ended up with a terrified neighborhood, stunned police, and a bereaved family mourning for a budding scientist cut down in his youth.

At 6:18 PM on the eve of the 19th, the Greeneville Police Department received a panicked call from Mrs. Crinklecut, the elderly retired schoolmarm beloved by the whole town. Her frantic report of a "monstrous, horrifying mechanical man" terrorizing her and her dog were at first met with disbelief by the dispatcher. But the patrol car sent to calm her down soon reported back a confirmation of the description.

With a request for backup, Lt. Spooner's radio call described a "hulking metal creature" on the rampage down the street. It stood seven feet tall, with "flashing, glowing eyes," with giant-sized arms that defied everything in its path. "It acts just like a creature from outer space" he radioed in, and as soon as the other cars arrived the police surrounded the mysterious being and demanded that it surrender.

Ignoring the commands crackling over the loudspeaker, the menacing metal monster slowly raised its left arm threateningly toward the armed authorities. The command to fire was given in response, and when the smoke cleared the thing lay on its side, blood leaking from holes left in the silver body by the policemen's bullets.

It was with shock and horror that they then discovered that inside the thing was the body of a boy. Identified by a neighborhood friend as Bobby Theakson, the saddened police realized that the "alien creature" had only been a suit made of spray-painted paneling wood and cheap scrap items available anywhere. The inventive young man had apparently tinkered it together in his garage, over the course of several weeks each day after school. He had been controlling it from the inside, via an ingenious series of levers. Plans for building the incredible machine were found in the garage, and were seized by the authorities to be turned over to the F.B.I. for investigation.

Wiping his eyes, Lt. Spooner bemoaned, "I'm sorry that this turned out so badly. When it raised its arm, we could only assume it was about to fire some kind of ray-beam that would turn us all into skeletons."

The tearful parents did not blame the brave police as the ambulance took away the body of the boy. "We never dreamed he was building such a dangerous weapon," sobbed his mother, Helen. "We thought it was a doghouse." "He was too smart for his own good," agreed the father, Bill Theakson, as he held his wife close. "Always reading those comic books. We knew it would get him into trouble one day." Motioning for Bobby's younger brother, he drew him near. "At least we still have Randy, who is on the PeeWee football team, which is more normal and safe."

The machine that caused the horror was burned by the neighbors on a curbside leaf pile, as they gathered that evening to console one another and try to purge the fear that for one brief fall afternoon gripped this quiet town. But few will be able to forget the nightmare that stalked the street with blinking, glowing eyes.


CRwM said...

May whatever dark gods you worship bless you for this, Fred. Without fear of overstatement, I think I can safely say that this is the most awesome blog post ever.

Frederick said...


Wow, thanks for the applause! I thought I was just filling in til I could post a good one!

I wonder if any kid every actually built one from those plans... and what it looked like. I used to turn waterheater boxes and such into robot bodies, but nothing like that!

Spin the Moon said...

As my man Billy Ocean once said... 'Simply awesome'.

Mr. Karswell said...

How do you see inside that thing?

Frederick said...

I wondered about that too! Maybe in their haste to make a buck they forgot to draw in a viewing slot on the plans.

Probably that's why little Bobby had it so rough, he couldn't see the local cops before they blew him away!

Eddie said...

Hey did anybody ever order this plans???

Eddie said...

Hey did anybody even know a friend that order one?

Frederick said...

I used to make my own robot bodies out of cardboard water heater boxes. I was a common sight in my neighborhood, trundling around with my legs coming out of the bottom of the box. I was looking out of the slots cut in the front and side near the top, and occasionally put my arms out of the holes and the side. In some hoods today that would get you shot for sure!

Eddie said...

This plans were sold by the same company that sold the 7 feet Monster ghost and the bat. The company went under the name Melton co. and Guarantee dist. I have never heard of anybody that ordered this robot plans ???...If anybody did please e-mail me info at please.

Simon said...

Applause, good sir. Well done.

Count Robot said...

great post sir.

i used to use old boxes to make robots too but nothing as menacing poor bobby put together! :)