Tag Archives : Men of Metal


collectible of the day: R50R MINI Robots

R50R MINI Robots

R50R MINI Robot (blue)

These three R50R MINI Robots are highly-sought-after limited edition collectibles from the “Men of Metal” viral marketing campaign by Crispin Porter + Bogusky from early 2004.  The bendable robot collector’s models came in three variations:

  • Electric Blue with Stars and Stripes roof-shield
  • Dark Silver with Checkerboard roof-shield
  • Chili Red with Union Jack roof-shield
Men of Metal

The R50R action figure is inspired by Men of Metal, Eyewitness Accounts of Humanoid Robots.  The book chronicles Mr. Rowland Samuel’s investigation into eyewitness sightings of robot-like creatures in Oxford, England.  A 44-page excerpt of the book, including 18 startling photographs, is included with every R50R action figure.

CONTENTS: One (1) autonomous biped robot, a.k.a. the MINI R50R humanoid robot, in the likeness of the robot first discovered on the World Wide Web at www.r50rd.co.uk/research/internal/v2i/engin/
Constructed with materials sourced via 2004 MINI. Leg length and mass optimized for maximum acceleration. Proprioceptive sensor-capable. Movement algorithms based on use of elastic actuators.

The R50R MINI Robots were sold at US MINI dealerships for $20 each.  They also appeared in the MINI MOTORINGGEAR SPRING/SUMMER 2005 catalog.

The MINI USA part numbers are 99 00 0 006 748 (Chili Red), 99 00 0 006 749 (Electric Blue), and 99 00 0 006 750 Dark Silver).

See the Men of Metal ad.


collectible of the day: Men of Metal ad

Men of Metal ad
Men of Metal: Eyewitness Accounts of Humanoid Robots

This 2004 ad insert was part of a viral ad campaign by MINI USA’s then advertising agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky.  The cover states that this is “an excerpt from the book by Rowland Samuel”.  The stapled 37 page booklet contains four pages of black and white photos and an Author’s Note at the end.  The story involves an engineer in Oxford, England who builds a robot from a MINI Cooper.

The Men of Metal booklet can be found inserted in the following magazine issues:

  • Adventure. Vol. 6, No. 4. May 2004. (between pages 32 & 33)
  • Esquire. Vol. 141, No. 5. May 2004. (between pages 72 & 73)
  • Men’s Journal. June 2004. (between pages 88 & 89)
  • Motor Trend. Vol. 56, No 5. May 2004. (between pages 80 & 81)
  • Rolling Stone. Issue 947. April 29, 2004. (between pages 28 & 29)

Download the entire Men of Metal: Eyewitness Accounts of Humanoid Robots excerpt.

Note that the website address in the excerpt no longer works.