A seemingly ordinary household in Olde Towne Bellevue is home to handcrafted robots from across space and time.
From Daleks featured in “Dr. Who” to droids from “Star Wars,” this workshop contains several creations that pop culture fans would recognize instantly.
All the robots were created by Chris Mendolia, nicknamed “Moose” and eventually his wife got into the hobby as well.
The couple is not limited to robot replicas as their basement is adorned with miniature figures and their backyard contains a rideable track for the trains they build.
Mendolia said the track in their yard is by invite only.
“Moose” began the journey of building up his droid army over 12 years ago when he began to lose his hearing and develop tinnitus.
He said he has always loved building things and is self-taught.
“I’m the guy who fixes what everybody else breaks when they try to do it,” Mendolia said.
He said the first R2-D2 he built in 2008, nicknamed “Patches,” is still his favorite.
The best part of the experience for Mendolia? He said it’s the fans interacting with the robots and other props.
“The smiles, the camaraderie, getting to meet other fans, it’s a labor of love really,” Mendolia said.
He said keeping the robots to himself would be boring.
Mendolia said his builds are a never-ending process.
“It’s like you get it out there, it’s perfect, it gets a little damaged putting it in and out and people with it, so I’m always constantly repairing or redoing something,” Mendolia said.
The materials the couple uses for their builds are almost completely recycled.
The R2-D2 unit is made up of mostly wood aside from the metal dome, which is hand spun aluminum.
Mendolia said he and his wife have also had the opportunity to raise money for several charities with their robots such as Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Wounded Warrior Project.
One creation the couple is keeping for themselves is a ride-a-top train set. Except for the aluminum rail, the train set is made out of about 90% recycled materials.