Christmas, 1963. I was seven years old on that Christmas morning when I found this big guy waiting for me under the tree. Big Loo, the giant moon robot by Marx toys, was one of my all-time favorite toys when I was a kid. This beauty truly lived up to his name. Loo stood three feet tall, one foot wide and nine inches deep and retailed for the then exorbitant price of $9.99. He was a virtual one man army robot who could do almost everything. You think I'm kidding? How about these features:
He had a sight scope with cross hairs in his forehead. Two battery operated flashing red eyes. A hand cranked mechanical voice box with several different recorded phrases. Two rubber tipped drafts fired from his chest plate. A water squirter sprayed out of his navel. His L-shaped left arm fired four red "ping pong" balls. The right arm was hinged at the shoulder, could rotate 360 degrees and pick things up with his pincer claw of a right hand. Even his feet were weaponized, with a small spring-loaded missile launcher embedded in the left foot. Also included in Big Loo's arsenal were a compass, a whistle, a bell, and a Morse code clicker. He rolled on wheels and was jointed at the waist allowing him to bend down. He was the perfect robot toy and I loved him.
That is, until I didn't. Years later, my buddy Terry Porter and I were reenacting television's ALL STAR WRESTLING show in the hallway of my home. We were rolling and tussling on the floor and somehow I got the notion to grab Loo and start hitting Terry with him. Not hard, mind you, just hard enough to do complete and permanent damage to the old guy. Yep, I busted Big Loo over my best friend's head.
A few years ago, Judy and I toured Geppi's Pop Culture museum in Baltimore, Maryland (a must see for comic book and pop culture fans). In the room displaying vintage toys was Big Loo, placed high up on a display shelf, with a commanding view of the entire room. I squealed like a little girl when I saw him. I pointed and gasped, "It's Big Loo!" Judy, of course, had no idea what I was talking about. I filled her in on my childhood friend and his ignominious fate.
To this day, I wish I still had the goofy looking guy. But toy dealers are asking a king's ransom for the toy alone, more for the toy and the box. Still, I have my memories of that long ago Christmas morning when Big Loo was waiting under the tree for me to take him into my heart.