King Ding And His Robot Brain (1971)

Yesterday while doing a little shopping at the comic shop in our neck of the woods I saw a customer bring in a box under his arm in an attempt to see if the shop wanted to purchase it. The box was just like you see in the image above and I found myself 100% captivated by the robot it held within, this King Ding and his Robot Brain. Sadly the store owner didn’t see any need for the robot and I followed the guy outside and offered to buy it myself. I offered $75 bucks but he was looking for more in the $300 and up category…I was really tempted but I had to let this amazing toy slip away, on the other hand the guy was kind enough to open up the box and let me mess around with it.

King Ding was a motorized toy from the late 60s and early 70s line called the Ding-A-Ling robots, a brand of robots to fit any situation like Ding-A-Ling Fireman, Spy, Chef, and Police Man to name just a few.

King Ding was a 14″ construction robot that was “piloted” by the Ding-A-Ling Brain robot, flipping the elevator switch on the back of King Ding allowed a yellow lift to descend from within the robot allowing you to load Brain on the platform. Once loaded the Brain Ding-A-Ling would ‘grasp’ the controls of King Ding and when you would move the Walk lever King Ding would begin to move forward, the movement of the legs would also cause Brain’s arms to move back and forth as if he were truly piloting the giant machine.

The guy who owned…and still owns King Ding didn’t know anything about the toy besides the fact that hit used to belong to his Father and he had found it in the attic of his childhood home. Trying to find out more information about King Ding lead me to a fantastic site called Collectiondx and the author of the post Robokeith shares more photos of the toy and his personal recollections of it as well as many more robot related toys from years past. Makes sure to follow the link provided to check it out. Robokeith also made this fantastic video including some modern day sounds to show the King Ding in action.


Editor at Retroist
Searching through the alleys for useful knowledge in the city of Nostalgia. Huge cinema fanatic and sometimes carrier of the flame for the weirding ways of 80s gaming, toys, and television. When his wife lets him he is quite happy sitting in the corner eating buckets of beef jerky.

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