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Remembering 8th Man

I enjoyed your site. Although I donít remember seeing 8th Man during the mid-sixties on KPLR, (I was more of an Underdog fan) I DO remember watching it in the early 1970ísÖon a new station in town, KDNL-TV 30. They aired it between approximately 1970-73. It was part of an afternoon of childrenís programming that aired on weekdays starting at 3 pm. It was more or less in this order: Mr. Patches (a live-action birthday party show featuring local kids show host Jack Miller), AstroBoy, 8th Man, Johnny Sokko and his Flying Robot, and Ultraman. These programs were later replaced by Batman, Lost In Space, The Munsters, etc.

Kerry Manderbach

The Following memories are from the late great Yesterdayland boards...
(Oldest entries at the bottom, newest at the top)

Be aware the entries are unedited by us and do contain some technical errors concerning the 8th Man series.

I just got a copy of an old tv guide from Cincinnati where I grew up. October 25-31, 1969. Now I know that I used to watch 8th Man when I was 5 years old on channel 19 WXIX-TV weekdays at 5pm.

There's a prehistoric monster
that came from outer space,
Created by the Martians
to destroy the human race.
The FBI is helpless.
It's twenty stories tall.
What can we do?
Who can we call?
Tobor,the 8th Man!
Tobor,the 8th Man!
Faster than a rocket!
Quicker than a jet!
He's the mighty robot!
He's the one to get!
Tobor,the 8th Man!
Quick, call Tobor,
the mightiest robot in the land!
-Richard Ranke 1954

Still the most detailed of the Japanamation of the 60's for me, in terms of the plots (still remember some). As well, he borrowed from other themes (the chief group of villians were "InterCrime"; too similar to James Bond's "Spectre" for it to be accidental). But some items are just outrageous when viewed from today. The best was his use of "cigarettes" to help his brain clear when he was overloaded (kept them behind his belt buckle). When I have looked at these old shows, I am just amazed at the saturation of television in my youth with smoking advertising and artifacts. Some things have changed.
-Warren Hamilton 1954

I first met Tobor on channel 13 WNEW out of New York city. It was 1967 and a hot spring day when this amazing cartoon leaped from the screen and into my imagination. It took 8 Man andAstroboy to get me hooked on Japanese Animie. I have one of the rare episodes on video tape and my son and I watch it to get that nostalgic feel of the simpler 1960's. It was a great time to be young.
-Richard Breese 1955

I didn't think anybody remembered him except me!! Especially in Chicago, There was an afternoon cartoon show called "Rocket to Adventure" that used to show it, and also Gigantor, But the show was only on for about six months or so, And WGN never showed either one of those cartoons again!! That was in 1965, I was 7 then, I'm 42 now!! -Larry 1958

YESYESYES!!! This is one of my all-time favorite TV shows, no lie, and it led to a fascination with Anime, as it seems to have done for others. THANK YOU to the person who posted the lyrics! Except I used to sing the last line as "the mightiest robot of them all," and I blush to think I've been wrong all these years. I am from Rochester, NY too, though I now live in Milwaukee. I recall mosters destroying cars in the opening sequence, and for the longest time I thought "human race" referred to an actual car race. I also remember a sequence where the police commisioner (?) who knew Tobor's identity was crying and he asked Tobor why he wasn't crying too...Tobor said "I'm crying on the inside. If I cried on the outside, I'd rust." I thought that was really brave. *embarassed grin* -Sabine 1961

When I talked about tobar people thought I was nuts; when I sing the song it relieves all doubt.
-nina dashwood 1960

I think it took me thirty years to just realize that his name ("Tobor") is Robot backwards. As a kid (also from Rochester, NY) I use to watch this show all the time. Good fun. Also miss the Monster Horror Theater that use to be on Saturdays. -GotaClue 1955

I always liked watching 8th man and Giagantor after school at 3:30 every weekday. The one memory I had about 8th man was that he had to smoke cigarettes to replenish some of hid power. A crazy thought, but I was just a kid...
-Tony Y 1962

I thought I was the only human to remember the great 8th Man. Glad I was wrong. I was telling my son Kevin (10) about how yesterdays cartoons were much better than today's. (I sound like my dad) Pokemon is a joke. 8th Man rules forever. -Jeff Lipson 1955

Not one of my friends can remember this one. Ah, the memories. -Ray Agrotis 1958

I remember when this show was all part of a block on Channel 11 (WPIX). You would see "The Amazing 3", "Gigantor", then "8th Man", followed by "Kimba" and then "Speed Racer". That had me hooked on Japanese Anime. But I must confess that I enjoyed those shows then compare to how Anime is handled now. -Hector Montalvo 1957

To Richard Ranke 1954:

Just before the song, they said

"You'll love fantastic out of this world adventures with 8th man" -John B 1953

Even today I sometimes will get an irresistable urge to intone in a solemn voice, "8th Man!" and then immediately make a swooshing noise like someone running at super speed.

I watched 8th man every afternoon I could after school on Channel 10 out of Rochester NY. It was part of the Superhero Hour, along with The Marvel Superheroes.

I remember the episode where he met 9th Woman - his robotic "sister", the episode with the robotic tiger, and the episode where he defeated shape-changing aliens by freezing them with liquid nitrogen, among others.

I liked the way he would change identities by sort of "splitting" and reconfiguring his face. (You really have to see it to know what I'm talking about.) -steve bierly 1955

I was very young and can remember just that I felt thrilled by 8th Man stories, but now that I was able to acquire all possible American version that I knew of, I enjoy it much more. Of course the technical production comparison is preposterous, although by that time you also had Astroboy and Astroboy was really well done. But the ingenious plots and dramatic caracterization turns it into the strongest piece of art in Japanese manga/anime. It's been really a great show and no Pokemon, or Dragon Ball or Yu Yu Hakusho can ever be at it's feet level.
Roberto - 1963
Brasil (Brazil)
-Roberto Nogueira 1963
again, i thought i was the only one! At least i knew i was the only girl that loved 8th man, Astroboy, and Speed Racer! Nobody in my 6th grade class watched it. I was alone with my love for 8th man! I must find vhs copies! thanks for the space!
-marti-eklectic52@yahoo.com 1952

Just FYI I beleive that Tobor was voiced by the late Ray Owens. The same guy who did Danl Baboon on Kimba and inspector Blooper on Gigantor. -Anthony McCahill 1962

I'm so elated that the Internet has found this missing cyborg. The original Anime that began my SciFi world in my bedroom. I would hold my Major Matt Mason doll and run through the house singing "Tobor, The 8th man"! I'm African American and you should see the looks I get when I ask about this great 60's cartoon. Are there any other brother's out there that can recall this memory?
-Kene Lucas 1958

I thing I remember the most about 8th Man was his being a politically incorrect robot - he smoked!!!!!
-Ken Burke 1954

8th Man was who I wanted to be. No one I know remembers him or this cartoon. I don't remember him flying that much. For some reason, I thought he roller skated at high speeds lifting him off the ground. Since roller skates have eight wheels, I correlated that with the 8 he wore and taught myself to roller skate. Long live the 8th Man. -Phillip Mejia 1965

Wow, am I pleased to see all the 8th Man memories. It was always one of my favorites! I have collected tapes from japan and here which show Tobor in the original Japanese version as well as the one we remember so that my kids now can watch the show at the same point in their lives as I did. As an FYI for all you fans of Tobor, there is a live action version available (which is great!) and a new animated version as well. -Bob Robinson 1961

I can't believe that this was available on the internet!!!! I have been looking for this particular cartoon forever. No one knew what I was talking about when I sing the theme song to this cartoon, and I'm 36 years old! I would give almost anything to get an entire copy of this cartoon on video!. I don't even think that my mother can remember this cartoon. I am probably the youngest person to leave a message on the board. But, there is nothing on TV that can compare to Tobor, the 8th man, Hercules, Ruff & Reddy, Clutch Cargo, Speed Racer, Gigantor, and my main man Deputy Dawg!!!!!!!!!!!!! -Nylevette Milligan-Moore 1963

8th Man was one of my favorite cartoons of all time. It was a major contributor to my becoming an SF/Fanatsy illustrator/sculptor. Years ago at a convention I picked up a VHS tape featuring Tobor's big sister Samantha 7 (among other episodes). I can't be the only one who still feels the strange eyes of Samantha 7 and the weird Theremin inspired sound effects to be chilling! The stark backrounds and less is more detail of the series, along with the serious deep-voiced narrative were just great. And the sound of him running! Only the new Batman/Superman animated series come close for me these days (as for movies, The Iron Giant is a must see). It's amazing how these things stick with you throughout your life. -Eoj OtIved 1957

This is what the internet was made for!!! I can still sing the entire theme song an I'm 42. I used to sprint home from school to watch it. Awesome series, great hero, funny little cigarettes, and plenty of guided miss-eye-les hiding under that evil-doer's cape. Great memories. -Ron Schiller 1958

The 8th Man was my favorite cartoon growing up. It use to come on with the original Marvel Comic Super Heroes--Hulk, Thor, Ironman, Captain America, and Prince Namor, The Submariner--when I watched it. I actually thought the 8th Man was a Marvel Comic Super Hero. I do know that as popular as they were, when the 8th Man didn't come on it was a let down. People didn't believe me when I told them about this character so thank goodness my reputation was saved by this site. Are there any videos available? And what TV or cable stations would the 8th Man be still showing? -Reginald Tarver 1959

Wow, it's great to find this site. My brother and I watched this show all the time. We thought it was the coolest cartoon around. He still is the best superhero and they should make a new cartoon of him. He was and still is a great concept... -Luis Tassara 1959

This show was honestly so full of flavour and excitement that it was a tangible sensation for a seven year old me to watch it. It will live with me as one of my fondest memories. One day I will find it on video, and on that day I will rejoice. -Russell Ayres 1959

I remember rushing home after school to watch 8th man on channel 17 in Philly with Wee Willie Weber, hearing the theme song, imagining running as fast as him, fighting Pounce the robot tiger, man they were great!
-larry w 1956

...my brother and i would watch 8th man..--the 8th robot made by his creator...dont remember the creators name...remember the robot tiger....and the cigarettes he would use to replenish his energy supply...hehe...the big monster destroying the bridge that then gets wrapped up by tobor in the intro is quite a memorable visual...so glad to come across this site on the web!!...thanx...along with gigantor and astroboy and speed racer ...8th man made for such wonderful imaginations growing up...:) -thomas sodeur 1960

I remember telling younger friends about 8TH man and they thought I was making it up. The older cartoons like 8th man, Speed Racer and others in my memory seemed to be so well written. The cartoons of today have to rely on special effects to get an audiance. I miss the animations of old. I know that some of them are on the cartoon network but now I cant find the time to watch them. -Mel Frasier 1959

The theme song... There's a prehistoric monster Who came from outer space. Created by the Martians to destroy the human race. The FBI is helpless, He's 40 stories tall What can we do, who can we call... Call Tobor, the 8th Man! Tobor, the 8th Man! Faster than a Rocket, Swifter than a Jet, He's the mighty robot, he's the one to get! Call Tobor, the 8th Man, Tobor, the 8th Man -Bruce 1958

I was surprised to find an "Astroboy" site. I am happy to find the Tobor the 8th man site. I'm glad to see that it was recoginized as being the forerunner of the "Six Million Dollar Man" and "Robocop". I remember that Tobor usually ran at extremely high speeds about as often as he flew. And I remember in one of the early episodes, the doctor was training Tobor on how to use his powers. Tobor's reflexes were so fast that objects that were in motion (birds in flight for example) seemed be motionless in the air when he tried to catch one. -Bill Arthur 1953

I remember watching 8th Man on Wee Willie Weber's Wonderful Cartoon Club, after school on WPHL-17 from Philly. I remember tha Samantha 7 show, and one where he was going to close his ofice because he thought he was getting "too mellow". I remember the extra brain in his arm, and the wonderful plastic skin that could take any shape. He was running at supersonic speeds right?
-SiamLord 1961

He has got to be both the most politically incorrect cartoon character there ever was (HE SMOKED!!!) and the least known. I actually forgot all about him until I saw a toy 8-man for sale in Los Angeles. Great memories of a simplier time.
-Lou Marino 1960

I saw this in the late '60s, when we got our first color tv, with UHF. It was on the old KEMO in SF. It rapidly became one of my favorites (I can still sing the theme song at the age of 44, making my wife wonder about my sanity). I think it somewhat ironic that Tobor used to have to "light up" to restore his energy, when there were many anti-smoking ads at the time, trying to dissuade people from smoking. -ralphkramden 1957

A couple of corrections to the theme song...
He's 20 stories tall, not 40. It ends with "Quick, call Tobor, the mightiest robot of them all!"
I can't remember my own name anymore, but I can remember this. Go figure...
-dactyl 1957

What I great site! I've spent the afternoon walking down memory lane. I can't believe I found a Tobor site. I've always wondered if it was a cartoon I had seen or if I had dreamed it or what...
-tang 1961

Tobor the 8th Man was a cut above eh? No wonder I took up smoking (actually Bogey did that to me). 8th was one of the greatest and most polished animes of my 60's youth. Good to see Jerry leaving a message.
-bill trusewich 1959

I remember it all like it was yesterday. Running at super speed, he didn't even have to fly. Our TV was black and white and I'm color blind so I don't know if it was in color or not but it was cool when cool wasn't an expression beyond the weather. One of my favorite all time cartoons. And I only recently found out that there is a new Japanese version out. I recorded it off the Sci-Fi channel one Saturday morning. Even though I thought it was great, it made me long to see the original 8th Man. Can it be had?? I suppose using a cigarette for a power booster would be politically incorrect today. Too bad. 8th man was a classic hero story and always be. ButI guess the rest of you already know that. It's good to know there are other fans who remember Tobor, the 8th Man.
-thecubest1 1956

am i the only one left..... has this site become a tobor-less ghost town? NO...I JUST FOUND OUT I HAVE THE 4 TOBOR VIDEOS ABOUT TO SHIP ALL THE WAY FROM AMERICA TO MY (NTSC READY ) VIDEO....I TOLD YOU I WOULD REJOICE. I AM THEYRE NEARLY HERE... I REJOICE (hope th boat don sink) rus
-rus 1959

Well, gang, after reading all your great comments I decided it was time for me, THE GUY WHO PLAYED TOBOR THE 8TH MAN, to say hi and thank you. I contacted some of you individually but thought this would be a good way to tell everyone how much I appreciate your memories of the show. It took close to a year in the studio to do all 52 half-hour episodes and, frankly, after it was over I thought it was over. I moved on to other things in TV and radio and never expected Tobor to resurface all these years later. It's all thanks to fans like you and sites like Yesterdayland. Light up those energy tabs and keep it comin'! JERRY, THE REAL TOBOR...
-TheRealTobor 1939

A GOOD HELLO TO ALL YOU 8THMAN FANS. I would like to say that 8thman cartoons were one of the best around for it's time. IT would be greast if someone would bring back 8thman, it would be great for today's kids. Anybody know were i can purchase any of the 8thman or Hercules videos? Let me know. I am at phantm74@hotmail.com.
Richard P. Reyes 1956
-chicano(8th man) 1956

I remember that the cartoon built up a great deal of suspense. I remember a scene, a dark night, a fearsome robot coming to kill someone in a complex behind a tall electrified fence. 8 man waiting, tense. The robot emerges from the ground, lights from its head glowing... We sure are not hurting for special effects these days. It would be nice to see it matched with some of the plots from these old classics. Anyone know where to get good VHS copies? -Scott_ 1957

Thank you, THANK YOU! for posting the full lyrics to the theme song. When I was in grammar school, this was one of my favorite weekday afternoon cartoons. The problem is, when we got to the part, "What shall we do; who shall we call?", my friends would sing, "Call Roto-Rooter, that's the name, and away go monsters down the drain!" It's taken me 30 years to finally get the correct lyrics back in my head! This was one of those great early Japanese animation shows, along with Gigantor, Astro Boy, and Speed Racer.
-frankie bag o'donuts

Didn't grow up on 8th Man, but found some videos and loved 'em, mainly since I prefer old-school anime to some of the stuff they've got today with all the pseudo-fights and contrived love triangles. I think one of the cooler episodes I've seen was one where this villain named Evil Jaw (no clear reason for that name) invents "Devil germs" that consume metal. 8th Man can't get near enough stop him because of that until the professor coats him with plastic so the germs can't touch him. Oh, and it's "What can we do? Who can we call? Call Tobor, the 8th Man."
I know I saw a live-action version of this in my old video store, but that's long gone, so does anybody know where I can get a copy?
-Dave Anderson 1981

Back in 1965, my Dad and I watched 8th Man every afternoon on KPLR-TV Channel 11 in St. Louis. The cartoon drew my Dad's interest because (1) it was Japanese and not kiddie fare like "Astro Boy" and (2) it was a pretty gritty show with characters being killed right and left and a film noir feel. I watched it because it was violent and the robot concept was cool. This show presented the major elements of current Japanese anime including the loner hero, the "good" girl who can't love the hero, the cutsie kid, and the bizarre villians. Seeing some episodes again recently, I noted that the animation was very basic by today's standards and there was much too much goofy humor for adult tastes. But it still packs a punch, even today.
-jmeadows 1954

Question:

What was the name of the repeating bad guy the one with the cape and the small rocket hidden in his cane? He was spooky.

Answer: Dr. Spectra
-kidswifty 1959

I love this show. I was able to find videos of 8th Man and was relieved that it held up to seeing it again after all these years. Things I found funny, though. The way translators would misinterpret things like camera pans. In one episode, someone is trapped in a room and we're obviously seeing a POV shot to show that the room is sealed. The voice actor says, "Oh! The walls are moving!" As for the live action version, I've seen it and it was BOR-ing. It had none of the characterization and charm of the original series. Although I must say the 8 Man (as the character is called in the video) costume was impressive.
-Detective Kemper 1958

Oh my what wonderful memories - I remembering getting off the school bus in and rushing home to get to the set in time to see 8th Man (1965-66 I'd guess)on channel 11. I can still remember the song (and the cruel parody we would sing on the bus home with one of the teachers in my school taking the name of the monster). The funny thing was I couldn't at first figure out why all the signs were in japan - it was only later that I realized it was a japanese cartoon.

Looking back on it i think it had an enourmous appeal to me because 8 man was the first well damaged hero I ever saw. Face it this guy was total cut off from all humanity. Batman back then was just a guy in cape - his dark knight days were yet to come. It was weird and frightening and engrousing because of that.

Question What was the name of the repeating bad guy the one with the cape and the small rocket hidden in his cane? He was spooky. The episode I remeber best is were Tobor just manages to beat one this fellow's creations - a female cyborg in the process destorying her. As he looks at the flames he reflects that this had been in a way his sister. It was the first time the notion of tragedy and loss even in victory was presented to me.

8 man rules. thanks again.
-bob3 1956

I am thrilled and amazed to see 8th Man again.
I watched 8th Man on WPIX/11 in New York in the 1965-67 time frame. I was six or seven years old.
My mom clearly had no clue what I was absorbing, because the show was surreal and haunting and dug deep into me. The minimalist backgrounds, the deep, scary eyes, the weird bursts of lush music, the jarring transitions, the enigmatic dialogue about loneliness and identity crises -- all this has stayed with me for 35 years.

I particularly remember one frightening episode where 8th Man had been disassembled by an adversary and he was pretty much a disembodied robot head on a shelf, trying to get his torso and limbs back together. I also remember the first episode, the "origin-of-8th Man" episode, where Dr. Genius fished Peter Brady's body out of a car wreck (I think) and installed his intelligence in the Tobor body -- then taught him that he could assume the likeness of anyone he wished just by thinking about it. At six years old I thought that would be the coolest ability.

8th Man far outranks Speed Racer and Gigantor on the spooky/affecting scale. I really think it was art. I would love to see those episodes again.

And I, too, can still sing the whole theme song!
Thanks for this community.
-8thManRules 1960

hi!my name is julius.i'm a big 8th man fan since childhood,i also collect original 8th man cartoons !i have 38 episodes of the 56 total episodes of 8th man.if any one would like to trade video with me,please send a list of what episodes you have and let's see ii we can help each other expand our collections.please e-mail me at julius1000@altavista.com thanks julius
-julius1000 1952

Dear Mr.Breese,"The 8th Man TV Cartoons"were never on WNEW TV Ch.l3 in NYC.Since WNEW TV Was Ch.5 Metromedia TV .Ch.l3 was a part of The National Educational TV Network(PBS TV)at that time.WNET TV Ch.l3 was broadcasting out of it's Newark,N.J. tv studios at that time and they would never aired cartoons like"8th Man".It was WPIX TV Ch.ll in NYC that aired "The 8th Man TV Cartoons"weekday afternoons from l964 to l966.Dear Mr.Montalvo,I don't know if you are aware of it.But Mr.Jerome Berke.The voice of "Peter Brady"/"Tobor:The 8th Man"was also the narrator and announcer of another Tomei TV Cartoon adventure series:"The Amazing Three!".Which was also seen Weekday afternoons on WPIX TV Ch.ll in NYC from l967 to l968.Kids TV Man.I remember on an episode of WPIX TV Ch.ll NYC's:"Beachcomber Bill Show!"."Beachcomber Bill"Biery and "Melvin The Girraffe Puppet"(created and manipulated by the show's first head puppeteer/puppet maker:Herb bass)did a skit.In which"Melvin"called himself"The 8 & A Half Man!".Believe it or else! Kids TV Man.
-Kids/TVMan 1955

YES!!!! First the yesterdayland website. Then the cartoons sections. And finally 8th Man. Anyone else from Rochester, NY remember watching him around 4 pm on WHEC channel 10? I also remember Samantha 7. To the best of my knowledge it was the cigarette recharging that doomed 8th Man on American TV. I heard somewhere that it was considered a bad influence to young tv viewers. If anyone hears about 8th Man on video, please send me a note. I will do the same for you of course. Also, there is an early 90's anime movie "8th Man After" available on video. BE WARNED it is in the modern more violent/graphic anime style (killings, ripped off limbs, etc).
-gregjl 1960

Tobor was a fantastic cartoon. In fact, I think one of the first earth shattering lessons of life I had was trying to deal with the fact that they took it off the air. I can still feel the disappointment 35 years later. My favorite episode was when Dr. Spectre had the little missiles under his cape. It was a totally cool show. For anyone who is interested, check the "Messages Board" for info on downloading the opening sequence of the cartoon. Talk about Memory Lane. I'm also from Rochester, NY by the way. Several of us here.
-Dave R 1959