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The B9 Robot Builders Club


At 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.

Builders 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!

Each 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 Mike Joyce

Before the Internet

JerryL (B9-0096) & his Robot, 1967Growing 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!"


We are not alone!

Lost in Space - The MovieFast 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.

1999 - The First Club Convention

Frightvision 1999In 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.

2000 - A gathering storm

Frightvision 2000Once 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 of Icons.  

2001 - The club deals with ClassicsReborn and Mannetron

The B9'ers Rock Cleveland!Plans 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.

2002 - Still No Parts but a great "Non-Con"

The "Non-Con"As 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 2003.


2003 - LISFest and a license for the Club

LIS Fest 2003In 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 parts.


The Future

The FutureFox 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!

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