Tuesday, September 26th, 2006
Review: Robie the Robotic Bank
Robie the Robotic Banker is a battery-powered piggy bank. It’s my daughter’s latest favorite way to dispose of coins, next to her Big Belly horse bank. Whenever there is loose change around the house, she grabs it up to feed Robie or her horse.
With eyes downcast, the forlorn Robie holds his left hand out as if to ask, "Spare a quarter, friend?" He is a remembrance of those bygone days when you really could buy something for a quarter, or at least buy a few minutes of Pac-Man bliss.
Made by Radio Shack in the 1980s, Robie has a singular purpose. You place a quarter on his platform hand and press down. Robie’s eyes look up at you, he lifts and slides the coin to his now-open mouth and down it goes. His jubilation is evident as Robie rocks back and forth while chomping his mouth open and closed. He even licks his lips a couple times before returning to a dormant state.
His hand is conveniently tattooed with a dollar sign, but don’t given Robie any silver dollars or you’ll choke him. Standing just 4 inches tall and 6 inches wide, he only eats small change.
Both the coins and battery are accessed through a bottom panel that just slides off. So Robie should be used only under direct supervision (but that kind of goes without saying if you’re letting a toddler handle coins).
This bank was just too damn cute to pass up for 50 cents at a garage sale. Of course, he’ll only cost you about $10 plus shipping on eBay.
I’d love to hear what banks other parents use, especially if they don’t require a AA battery.