B9 Robot Builders Club
the heart of this club is our builders. There
are almost 400 subscribed members plus literally hundreds of other
non-member builders with Robot projects in various stages of completion.
come from all walks of life and all over the world! There's
probably one near you. Nearly
all the information known about the original Robot prop has come
from the dedicated research done by our fellow builders. Hundreds
of hours have been spent studying original photos, studio blueprints
and in some rare cases actual parts or molds from the original
prop. The willingness to share information and help
fellow builders has allowed the club to grow and amass an impressive
body of information about the original prop. If you
have a question about the Robot, there's probably a club member
who can answer it!
year members of the club attempt to meet and share their creations. We
have met at established sci-fi conventions, held our own Lost
in Space conventions and even met at the homes of fellow builders. But
no matter where we've met, we always find that the bonds created
by Robot building are stronger than our differences.
A brief history of the club by
Before the Internet
up watching the Robot and the adventures of the Robinson family
left many of us afflicted by the same desire... "I want
a Robot of my own." Perhaps we drew pictures,
played with the Remco Robot, built the Aurora models or even
tried to build him from scratch. But working on our
own, often with limited information and resources, it seemed
an impossible task. Years passed by and the memory
of Lost in Space faded a bit as the more pressing issues of
life took over. Yet somewhere in the back of our
minds the idea remained... "I want a Robot of my own!"
forward to 1998. Excitement(and concern) builds
to an all time high as we await the release of New Line Cinema's
updated version of Lost in Space - The Movie. Fans
of the Robot take their renewed interest to the internet,
searching for the information they need to build their own
Robot B9. Thanks to the ground breaking work already
done by pioneer Robot builders such as Fred Barton, John Riggs,
Flint Mitchell, Michael Davis, Dan Monroe, Dewey Howard and
many others these prospective builders are not disappointed!
Dewey Howard finds that he is swamped with emails and questions
about his Robot replica. He begins making photos
and information available on a web site and the B9 Robot Builders
Club is born. Other builders begin contributing
and some begin offering parts. Club growth is rapid
despite the failure of the movie to become the blockbuster
New Line Cinema had hoped for.
Around this time a company called Icons begins advertising
licensed, full size, Robot replicas.
- The First Club Convention
the spring of 1999 club members attend the 1999 Frightvision
convention in Ohio. Several members bring their
own Robot replicas. Bob May and Mark Goddard are
also in attendance. The response to the club creations
is huge. (Perhaps one of the reasons so many builders seem
to come from Ohio?) Scott Sanderson's excellent
Robot is awarded "Best Replica" by Bob May!
During 1999 Robot information and parts became more readily
available and their quality increases. I discover
the club in the fall of 1999 and began working on my building
my own torso and mold.
Many fans also wait in eager anticipation for delivery of
the Icon Robot replicas that they have purchased.
again in spring of 2000 the club meeting is held as part of
the Frightvision convention in Ohio. Bob May attends
as does many new builders. Scott Sanderson's Robot
now features an awesome animated soil sampler and again is
awarded "Best Replica" by Bob May! Several
builders, including myself, display Robot parts that we are
offering for sale to fellow builders. Afterwards,
word of these part sales gets blown out of proportion with
exaggerated remarks such as "it was the 'Superstore'
of Robot parts". In early 2000 Icons declares bankruptcy. This
terrible event leaves dozens of Robot fans with a big hole
in the wallet but no Robot. Some members fear that
the club might be made a scapegoat because of the failure
- The club deals with ClassicsReborn and Mannetron
are made for the club to meet once again as part of Frightvision
2001. However, those plans are upset by rumors the
club is to be "shut down" by New Line Cinema for possible
copyright violations. Attempts by Dewey to license
the club are met with little response by New Line Cinema. Meanwhile,
a new company, "ClassicsReborn" plans to offer full
size Robot replicas for sale. Although we are forced
to rent our own room and are not technically considered to be
part of the Frightvision 2001 convention, the club meeting is
still a success and a great time is had by all in attendance. During
the meeting we are visited by the owner of ClassicsReborn, Dave
Gielda. The club is promised to be left intact if
we will stop making our own parts and just advertise parts that
ClassicsReborn will supply to the club (note that ClassicsReborn
is the distributor, a company known as Mannetron was selected
to manufacture the actual parts). The club agrees
and Dewey removes the old part suppliers list from the club
web site. Most members understand that there are
not many other options and support Dewey. Still,
the tone of the club is somewhat depressed for the rest of the
year as we wait for the ClassicReborn parts that never materialize.
- Still No Parts but a great "Non-Con"
2002 rolls around it becomes clear that parts are not going
to be available. Dewey pursues other interests and it
looks as if there won't be another club convention. Then
builders Gwen Meunier and Dennis Wilbur step in and offer to
host a small gathering in MA. This turns out to be a great
event both for the members that attend and for members that
attend "virtually" via a web cast.
At the end of 2002 Craig Reinbrecht and I began planning LISFest
- LISFest and a license for the Club
April of 2003 we meet in Ohio again. This time we hold our own
mini-con called LISFest. It's great to see all the familiar
faces again as well as many new builders. Neil Allison's excellent
replica is awarded "Best Robot" by Bob May and Scott
Sanderson's B4.5 is awarded "Best Model" by Mark Goddard.
Also in April, New Line Cinema's Lost in Space merchandising
license expires. Kevin Burns and his company Synthesis
Entertainment, working with the Allan estate, now control the
property. After working with Kevin to license LISFest
I began discussing ideas for a club license. In July
2003 an agreement is signed and as a result we can once again
build our Robots, attract new club members and produce our own
has released the original series
on DVD. B9Creations has been licensed to produce a
full size Replica. This continuing interest in
Lost in Space should help the club continue to grow and expand. Who
knows, perhaps one day the Robot will no longer be just a "replica"
but the fully functional machine we all dreamed about as kids!