The Ding-A-Lings 

Like most avid Robot collectors I can trace my passion back to a specific time in my childhood when I received that very special toy sparking a fascination with Robots and Space Toys that has lasted well into my adulthood. The Ding-A-Lings by Topper Toys represented a unique blending of the versatility of brightly molded plastics with the ingenuity of motorized action as they glided along their elevated skyway. My initial set of Ding-A-Lings included Boxer, Answerman, Fireman, Saucer, Claw and that wonder of Battery Driven Wonders-the King Ding with Brain. Most collectors remember Ding-A-Lings as some of the most exciting and cherished toys of their childhood, but like most playthings were lost over the years to hard play, garage sales or fell victim to a younger sibling. Thanks to the Internet, Ding-A-Ling enthusiasts have again found a means to recapture some of their past by forming a loose Ding community to not only put collectors in contact with each other, fill gaps in collections, and provide tips on repair but perhaps, most importantly, to reminisce and validate the existence of one of the most important toys of their lives. Why would a relatively obscure toy line foster such fascination and devotion after thirty years? Ding-A-Lings may have struck a spark with the kids in the sixties who lived through the real space race, kids who not only watched endless science fiction films and television but who sat up late one night to watch man's first landing on the moon. Firmly embedded in our psyche these toys are a part of our cultural history and express the direction we felt our lives would take with the promises of 2001- A Space Odyssey and Star Trek.