LINDA WERTHEIMER, host:
We travel even further into the past for our next story. If you grew up watching television in the '60s, this might sound familiar.
(Soundbite of television program, "Lost in Space")
Mr. RICHARD TUFELD (Actor): (As Robot) Danger, danger, Will Robinson. Which way did they go, partner?
WERTHEIMER: The robot from the television show "Lost in Space" still has a small but intense following. And some old fans are paying big money to try to relive part of their childhood. From South Dakota, Johanna Sailor reports.
JOHANNA SAILOR: As a young child, Mike Joyce dreamed of two things: Being an astronaut and owning his own robot from the show "Lost in Space." Now 48, the retired Air Force pilot is sad he hasn't been to space, but Joyce beams as he shows off the features of the "Lost in Space" robot replica he designed and built by hand.
Mr. TUFELD: (As Robot) I was very famous at one time. Now I am retired and I - well, I just stand here most of the time and look really cool.
SAILOR: It started as a hobby. Then it became a business, selling these replica robots. His factory is in his home's basement. Surprisingly, Joyce is able to build these highly detailed, 275-pound robots far from any support services deep in South Dakota's Black Hills Forest.
Even though Joyce makes a living building these replicas and has a model of the show's rocket in his backyard, he doesn't consider himself an obsessed fan.
Mr. MIKE JOYCE: Some people would say if you had a model - a life-sized model of the Jupiter II in your backyard that you're an obsessed fan, I suppose.
SAILOR: Either way, Joyce isn't alone. He's already sold 53 robot replicas. Each can take two months to build and sell for $25,000.
Richard Molnar of Vancouver bought one of them and is thrilled to own it.
Mr. RICHARD MOLNAR: My robot still appeals to me because the 21st century turned out to be crashingly boring, and I still do not have a flying car.
SAILOR: Robot creator Mike Joyce still dreams of flying to the moon, so much so he's now investing in another project. This one is about real space science and aims to land a robotic rover on the moon.
For NPR News, I'm Johanna Sailor in Rapid City, South Dakota.
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