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Astro Boy returns as your new buildable robot buddy

Those in Japan can build an Astro Boy robot by collecting 70 magazines that come with a different piece of the robotic puzzle.

If you've always wanted an Astro Boy of your own, you're in luck. You can now build your own Astro Boy robot, and all it'll take is 70 weeks and around $1,600.

To assemble young Astro, you'll have to be in Japan and buy the weekly craft magazine Shukan Tetsuwan Atom o Tsukuro (which translates to "Let's Create Astro Boy Weekly"). There'll be 70 issues of the mag, running from April of this year until September 2018, reports The Mainichi.

The toy may not be powerful enough to fight crime like the real Astro Boy, but it does have some decent tech, provided by Japanese carrier NTT Docomo and Fujisoft. Standing at 44 centimetres (17 inches) tall, he'll be able to walk and talk, and is equipped with facial recognition tech that lets him distinguish between his owner and other humans.

Following a robot child created by a scientist to replace a son killed in a car crash, the original "Mighty Atom" manga has sold over 100 million copies since launching in 1952. It's spawned three separate anime series, an American comic and a 2009 film adaptation.

This latest project, unveiled last week, is in celebration of the would-be 90th birthday of Osamu Tezuka, the creator of Astro Boy. Born in 1928, Tezuka passed away in 1989 at age 60 from stomach cancer. 2018, when the project ends, will also mark 50 years since the original "Mighty Atom" Astro Boy manga concluded in 1968.

A robotic Astro Boy won't be cheap though. Each edition of the magazine will cost 1,990 yen, which converts to around $17. That puts the total cost around $1,250, AU$1,600 and £1,000.

Should that be a little expensive, there's also a free-to-play mobile game in development for those avid Astro Boy Fans called Astro Boy: Edge of Time, with a free demo available.

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