Review: Fans of Classic Mac Designs Will Love the iBot G3

by

If you're a fan of classic Mac designs, you may be interested in the iBot G3, a figurine that's modeled after Apple's iconic iMac G3, first released in 1998.

The iBot G3 was designed by Philip Lee, who previously released another Mac-related figurine called the Classicbot. The iBot G3 is Lee's latest project, and like the Classic bot, it's a fun take on one of Apple's original Mac designs.

ibothomepod
There are two variants of the iBot G3, one in Bondi Blue and one in Tangerine, both of which are two classic ‌iMac‌ G3 colors. The figures are made from plastic and are injection molded with details that closely mimic the design of the original ‌iMac‌ G3.

ibotmanual
Injection molding allows for the smallest of components to be included, which means you get the classic ‌iMac‌ G3 design with translucent teardrop-shaped enclosure, carrying handle at the top, side hatch that gives a peek into the internal components, and even a tiny round mouse and matching keyboard.

ibotside
It's so accurate to the original design that the inside components have also been separately created so you can see the machine's hardware through the translucent outer shell.

ibotinhand
You can see the CRT tubes, the speakers on the front, the vents, the CD drive, the power button (and the power button on the tiny keyboard), all of the ports (hidden by an access panel complete with mouse cord cutout), and the spot where the power cable plugs in. The only thing missing is an Apple logo, as not including one prevents Lee from running into trademark issues. The Apple logos traditionally at the top and the back of the ‌iMac‌ G3 have been replaced with little bot logos.

ibotg3top
The display of the iBot G3 features two little eyes, because it is, as the name suggests, an ‌iMac‌ that's been transformed into a robot. It has detachable legs and magnetic arms, and it is able to stand (or sit) on its own. You can remove the arms and the legs if desired, add an included stand, and set it up as a more traditional looking ‌iMac‌ with the keyboard and the mouse as accessories.

ibotmacmode
I like that the iBot G3 converts because it allows those who prefer the ‌iMac‌ robot look to use it their way, while others who would rather have a little ‌iMac‌ that looks more similar to the traditional design can disassemble it and display it that way. You can also combine the two, with a sitting or standing iBot G3 that also has the keyboard and mouse nearby.

ibotback
Speaking of the keyboard and mouse, these two accessories are quite cute. The mouse is about the size of my fingernail and is an accurate miniature replica of the original round mouse that came with the ‌iMac‌ G3, while the keyboard features a translucent plastic housing with black keys.

ibotmouse
The arms and legs of the iBot G3 are made from the same translucent plastic of the enclosure, so everything matches up well. The display is printed on, which is worth noting. I think it would have been neat if it had an actual electronic display, but that would have driven the cost up and been a lot more difficult to implement.

It would, however, be nice to be able to purchase an iBot with different eye expressions, and I would have preferred a lighter film because the the face of the iBot can be a bit hard to see sometimes depending on the lighting conditions of the room.

ibotfront
I don't have an ‌iMac‌ G3 to compare the iBot to, but I do have an iBook G3 that used the same design elements. It's in Blueberry, which is pretty similar to Bondi Blue (though a touch lighter) so it looks like the color of the Bondi Blue iBot G3 is close to accurate. The Tangerine color also looks quite similar to pictures of the Tangerine ‌iMac‌ G3.

ibotonibook
The iBot G3 is not a toy and it is meant for displaying. It is not made of the sturdiest of plastics, and I would not be too rough with it. I did snap off the little hatch that lets you look inside on accident on one of the models, but it snapped right back in place. Still, I was worried about breaking it when trying to put it back together.

ibotparts
The magnetic connection between the arms is not particularly strong and there are a lot of small components, so this is not an ideal toy for a child. It would be easy to lose the pieces since many of the components are so tiny, and there is a warning on the website that the laminated cover of the display is prone to scratching. I didn't have any issues, but I was also careful with it.

ibotonshelf
$39 is a little expensive for an inanimate toy, but that's not unusual for figurines with this level of detail and it seems like a fair price given the attention put in to making the iBot G3 look like an ‌iMac‌ G3.

Bottom Line

If you're an Apple fan looking for interesting Apple-related desk or shelf decor, I don't think you're going to be disappointed by the iBot G3. It's adorable, fits in well with Apple products, and looks good in any home or office environment.

ibotontv
Similarly, if you're looking for a gift for an Apple enthusiast, the iBot G3 is a great choice that will delight everyone who sees it. Hopefully the artist, Philip Lee, will continue to make additional figurines like the iBot G3 based on classic Mac designs because I'm sure Apple fans would love to have a collection of Apple device bots.

How to Buy

The iBot G3 can be purchased from the Classicbot website for $39.

Note: Classicbot provided MacRumors with two iBots for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received.

Top Rated Comments

nutmac Avatar
23 months ago
They are extremely cute and look very high quality.

I bought the Discount Combo ('https://classicbot.com/store/Discount-Combo-p125106738') as my favorite desktop Mac designs are the Macintosh Classic and iMac G4 (aka iLamp).
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
oneMadRssn Avatar
23 months ago

But how do they license the  designs?

I don't know exactly, but my guess is the design patents on those designs have expired. Design patents last 15 years from the date of grant. Since the iMac G3 came out in 1998, even if Apple waited until 1999 to first file, and it took 4 years to get the patents granted (which is a way long time), then those patents would have expired last year.

Apple hasn't used those designs or even that style in a long time, so I don't think they can credibly argue they have any kind of trade dress protection.

And if you notice, there are cleverly no Apple logos.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iKwick7 Avatar
23 months ago

They are extremely cute and look very high quality.

I bought the Discount Combo ('https://classicbot.com/store/Discount-Combo-p125106738') as my favorite desktop Mac designs are the Macintosh Classic and iMac G4 (aka iLamp).

Now I want an iMac g4 one! Hands down my favorite computer design of all time. I have a 20” on my desk as my photos server and a 17” in storage as a backup. Friggin love that machine.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Doctor Q Avatar
23 months ago
I'd like to have a toy Flower Power iMac or toy Blue Dalmatian iMac, please.

See photos of the real ones (https://cdn.cultofmac.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/imac-780x439.png).
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
biziclop Avatar
23 months ago
But how do they license the  designs?
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TomaxXamot Avatar
23 months ago

how cute- they even made a mini replica of that horrendous mouse

I’m getting carpal tunnel just thinking about that mouse.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

apple briefcase

AppleCare Memo Hints at Potential Hardware Announcement Next Tuesday

Thursday December 3, 2020 9:12 am PST by
Following a busy fall season in which Apple hosted three events in as many months, the company may have one more product announcement in store this year. In an internal memo this week, obtained by MacRumors from a reliable source, Apple informed service providers that it has AppleCare-related changes planned for Tuesday, December 8 at approximately 5:30 a.m. Pacific Time. Specifically, Apple ...
apple top apps games 2020

Apple Shares Top 20 Most Downloaded Games and Apps of 2020

Tuesday December 1, 2020 9:38 pm PST by
Alongside picks for the top iPhone, iPad, and Mac apps and games of the year, Apple today shared charts featuring the Top Games of 2020 and the Top Apps of 2020, revealing the most popular free and paid apps and games during the year. Among Us! was the top free game of 2020, followed by Call of Duty: Mobile, Roblox, and Subway Surfers. Ink Inc. Tattoo Drawing was the number four free app,...
homepod mini amazon echo size

$99 Speaker Showdown: HomePod Mini vs. Amazon Echo and Google Nest Audio

Wednesday December 2, 2020 3:12 pm PST by
Apple recently released the HomePod mini, a new $99 version of the original HomePod that's smaller, cuter, and, most importantly, competitively priced. At $99, the HomePod mini can better compete with affordable smart speakers from companies like Google and Amazon. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The HomePod mini has been praised for its high-quality sound at its...
iphone8guide b

iOS 14.2 Quietly Added FaceTime 1080p Support to iPhone 8 and Later Models

Wednesday December 2, 2020 3:21 am PST by
Back in early November, Apple released iOS 14.2 and announced with it a slew of new features for iPhones, but one thing it didn't mention was the apparent addition of support for 1080p FaceTime calls on iPhone 8 and later devices. The little-known fact was discovered by MacMagazine, which found that Apple quietly updated the specs pages for devices like iPhone XR shortly after the release of ...
16 inch MBP Mini Led

Kuo: Two Redesigned MacBook Pros in 2021 and New MacBook Air in 2022, All With Apple Silicon and Mini-LED Displays

Wednesday December 2, 2020 5:46 am PST by
Apple plans to release two redesigned MacBook Pros in 2021 and a new MacBook Air in 2022, all with mini-LED displays and Apple Silicon chips, according to TFI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a research note to investors, seen by MacRumors, Kuo explained that two new MacBook Pro models equipped with an all-new form factor design are expected to launch in 2021, and a new "affordable"...
iOS 14

Apple Releases Third Betas of iOS 14.3 and iPadOS 14.3 to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Wednesday December 2, 2020 10:04 am PST by
Apple today seeded the third betas of upcoming iOS 14.3 and iPadOS 14.3 updates to developers for testing purposes, two weeks after releasing the second betas and a month after the launch of iOS and iPadOS 14.2. iOS and iPadOS 14.3 can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or over the air after the proper developer profile has been installed. The iOS 14.3 update brings the...
best apps of 2020

Wakeout! Named Apple's Best App of 2020, While Zoom Earns the Title for Best iPad App

Tuesday December 1, 2020 9:26 pm PST by
Apple today shared its App Store Best of 2020 winners, highlighting its picks for the top iOS, iPadOS, and macOS apps and games released over the course of the year. Apple's iPhone App of the Year award went to Wakeout!, which is a family friendly exercise and movement app that encourages people to complete easy exercises while at home. Apple's iPad App of the Year was Zoom, which soared in...
wristcam design

$299 'Wristcam' Adds a Pair of Cameras to Your Apple Watch

Thursday December 3, 2020 9:32 am PST by
The Apple Watch has never included a camera, likely due to battery life and space concerns. A new Apple Watch product aims to address that lack by introducing a wrist-worn camera that works with the Apple Watch. The Apple-certified Wristcam attaches to the Apple Watch in the form of a band that adds a rather large camera set to the top of the Apple Watch. It's quite thick and bulky, but can...
iphone 12 5g

Multiple iPhone 12 Users Report Sudden Drops in 5G and LTE Cellular Coverage

Thursday December 3, 2020 1:18 am PST by
Since Apple launched the iPhone 12 in October, an increasing number of users of the new smartphone have been reporting persistent drops in cellular coverage. Multiple reports of dropped 5G and LTE connectivity have appeared on Reddit, on Apple's support forums, and on the MacRumors forums, with many people suffering issues when walking or in transit and some seeing the same problem when...
magsafe duo charger

MagSafe Duo Charger for iPhone 12 and Apple Watch Now Available for Purchase

Tuesday December 1, 2020 4:15 pm PST by
Apple today began selling the MagSafe Duo Charger that was announced alongside the new iPhone 12 models back in October. Priced at $129, the MagSafe Duo offers a MagSafe charging puck for the iPhone 12, 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max, and 12 mini, along with an Apple Watch charger. Though the accessory was announced in October and was listed as coming soon, it was not clear when it would launch. Orders...