Memory Lane: ‘Mr. Machine’

Remember this toy–Mr. Machine? It came out in 1960, and my kid brother soon got one.

The cool thing about Mr. Machine was, you could take him apart and put him back together, and he’d still work. The design was practically foolproof: the parts were simple and sturdy, very hard to break, and the only way you could put him back together was the right way. It would be nice if more of the gizmos in our lives were like that.

Maybe, if you were only three or four years old, and of a particularly sensitive bent, you might’ve found Mr. Machine a tiny bit unnerving. But the commercials were in black and white, and Mr. Machine in person–as it were!–was a nice, bright, cheery red. He wasn’t really all that menacing.

5 comments on “Memory Lane: ‘Mr. Machine’

  1. Back then, there was craftsmanship and the materials were real metals. Today, real metals are hoarded by the elite and craftsmanship has been replaced with mass assembly line production, usually in China, which doesn’t use anything real. I had a box of tissues that were made in China for consumption in America. The tissue was so thin, it fell to pieces in my pocket before I had a chance to use it. I assume Mr. Machine was made in America…

  2. A friend of mine had one of these. We took it apart and put it back together one or two times. Cranked it up and let it go a few times but … did kind of creep me out, though. Years later and while at my current position as a direct support personnel I was cleaning out the closet of one of my service recipients. Guess who was hiding in there! Good ol’ Mr. Machine! I pulled him from behind all the shoes but I couldn’t get him to work. I wanted to show my younger coworker what a cool toy he was.

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