Category Archives: Robots

Homemade Doctor Who and Dalek Costumes


The Cardboard Keep has toppled. It wasn’t due to poor construction, or even an enemy invasion. No, the Cardboard Keep was pillaged by my own two hands, as evidenced by the quantity of paper cuts.

A bit of background: It was last Friday, and I had just learned that my local comic book store was participating in Halloween ComicFest, which included a costume contest among other fun things. I was brainstorming costume ideas for the kids throughout the day, with no clear winners coming to mind. It was while I was on hold, buying movie tickets to the much anticipated Doctor Who 50th anniversary special event in 3D, that these two thoughts melded so beautifully in my mind. Indeed, the kids will go as the Doctor and a Dalek!

The Doctor was a piece of cake. I had already made the 4th Doctor’s scarf, and the rest of the outfit was easily pulled from our closets within minutes. What I didn’t have on hand was a stockpile of cardboard and other materials for the Dalek. If I was going to pull this off I had to make haste. I ransacked the place for materials: a metal pot lid, plastic easter eggs, a honey stick, a plastic serving spoon, a plastic bowl, a whisk, broken lamp parts, and a plastic salt and pepper shaker set.

Dalek partsFinally, the Cardboard Keep had to come down. I tried not to think of it as destruction, but more like a metamorphosis (try leaning on that analogy with a two and five-year-old). A lot of hot glue and the majority of my weekend later, and the costumes were complete.

IMG_3876 IMG_3877

IMG_5693 IMG_5682We didn’t even make it into the store and someone stopped us for a picture, which made the kids as proud as peacocks. We’re anxiously waiting to hear who won!


Robot Part Roundup #3


Today we have an old toy toaster and a broken kiddie cup. The toaster is solid upper body material, while the cup lid looks like it may make a good helmet. The kitty is already wary of this whole situation, which, on a side note, reminds me of a fun game that we play on the iPad called Robot Wants Kitty.

Robot Roundup 3


Robot Part Roundup #2

Robot Part Roundup #1

Robot Part Roundup #2


While my wife and I were getting rid of some old and broken toys, I managed to squirrel away a few things for my toy robot that I hope to someday make. Today’s additions include:

  • A broken spin-toy. I like the plastic bubble casing, and look, a motor!
  • A broken face from a kid’s meal toy. I’m eyeing those eyes!
  • Another spin toy, sans motor. Good robot head potential.

Robot parts

I should probably be on the lookout for some core body parts. Suggestions welcome!

Robot Part Roundup #1

Mr. Bean and the Dalek

I loved watching Mr. Bean when I was a kid. The Christmas episode, Merry Christmas Mr. Bean, was one of my favorites and always had me in stitches. I hadn’t seen it in years, so I pulled it up last night to watch and share with my family. It was all extremely familiar to me, until the Dalek appeared. I couldn’t believe it! I have absolutely zero memory of seeing the Dalek before. Granted, when I was a kid I never watched Doctor Who and didn’t know what a Dalek was until I was much older, but I didn’t remember there being a robot at all. I remembered the truck, dinosaur, tank, helicopter, and all the animals, but no robot. It’s so strange, it’s as if the Dalek was just added into the scene. It’s funny how your brain forms and categorizes memories depending on your frame of reference, or lack thereof, for certain things. Anyway, if you haven’t seen this, you must. Classic Mr. Bean at his best. You can watch the full episode on hulu. Enjoy!

Robot Part Roundup #1


The other day I was pulling out some christmas decorations in the basement, and when I leaned on an old lamp, the base of it just completely broke apart and I nearly went headlong over it. Don’t worry, I escaped unscathed and live to tell the story.  I was about to take it out to the trash when I realized I may be able to salvage some parts. I’ve been wanting to build my kids homemade robots for some time now, but I never seem to  have  enough materials lying around to work with. Even though the lamp is a good start, I’m still going to need a lot more parts, so I’m dedicating a box in the basement for random robot parts, and whenever I come across something I think may be useful, I’ll just toss in the box. Hopefully, I’ll look in that box someday after amassing enough random roboty junk, and I’ll be struck with inspiration to build the perfect robots for my kids. Better than Wall-E and Number 5! (Notice that I set the bar much lower than R2D2 and 3CPO, ’cause they’re the best!)

I Love Lamp