Originally uploaded by Tempusmaster.
A replica of the classic N.P. 5357 tin robot. Originally produced in Japan in the late 1940's.
According to friends here, after the war (WWII) Japan desperately needed foreign currency and focused on exports. Since they couldn't purchase raw materials from overseas, some enterprising craftspeople recycled the tin cans discarded by the US military to make small toys, including robots, trains, and cars, to export. The N.P. 5357 robot is considered by many to be the first success.
While a replica, like the one above, can be readily purchased for $10 or so, originals have become collectors items and tend to be rather pricey.