Versailles celebrates robotics at Espace Richaud

Versailles celebrates robotics at Espace Richaud

Published January 6, 2024 at 3:42 pm

Goldorak, Astroboy or Blackfire… There are a lot of names that will be heard by the ears of fans who followed the adventures of these cartoon characters in the 70s and 80s. These three special pieces are among a group of three hundred robots presented from December 22nd until the end of February at Espace Richaud, in the former chapel of the Royal Hospital of Versailles (Yvelines), which has been converted into a museum.

This is the first time that this collection of Japanese robots, the most important in France, has been fully revealed to the public. These statues and their original boxes were collected over a period of twenty-five years by the exhibition's curator, Baptiste Caillaud, a collector, but also a professor of drama. “The culture of super robots experienced huge global success in the 1990s and continues to this day. “The main or secondary characters, these metal guards, wearing armor and shields often inspired by samurai, were available in the form of toys for Japanese children,” points out one of the exhibition directors. .

Japanese manufacturers

Quite a few of these metal heroes are represented at Espace Richaud. A special place is devoted to toys from the Popy collection such as the famous Goldorak (real name Ufo Robo Grendizer), imagined by Go Nagai in 1975, Astro Boy or even Ulysse 31… The exhibition also presents robots produced by more secret Japanese production. Manufacturers such as Bullmark, Takatoku Toy, Clover or Nakajima which are presented in France for the first time.

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The robot quickly became the most emblematic toy of the boom in Japanese culture in Europe in the 1970s and 1980s, and was a harbinger of the arrival of manga, anime series and major popular series. It also had a prolific lineage, through, for example, Power Rangers, Gundam or Transformers.

Espace Richaud, which was acquired by the city and opened in 2015, is today a well-known venue for Versailles exhibitions. It offers an eclectic program and attracts tens of thousands of visitors every year.

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