Why is robot street art appearing in Musselburgh?
They've been popping up all over Musselburgh '“ outside shops, down by the harbour and on the side of lampposts.
But the full story behind the “Little Robot Guys” artworks has remained a mystery... until now.
Today, the Evening News can name the Banksy-style artist whose creatures have been brightening up the town for months.
Toby Larner, 40, from Leith, began designing the Little Robot Guys eight years ago when his son was a baby.
The freelance artist, who recently moved back to Edinburgh after a stint south of the border, said he had decided to share his creations publicly to make people happy.
He said: “I’ve always found designing the robots really cool.
“They always make me smile and I wanted them to make other families smile too.
“The first time I drew one publicly in Musselburgh was when part of the lamppost outside Eskquire Barbers was broken.
“I took it home, painted it and just put it back again.
“I then started drawing more on paper and using wallpaper paste to stick them to walls – that way if people didn’t like them, they could just be torn back off again.
“But the feedback I’ve had has been amazing.
“I can’t thank the local community for supporting me enough.”
Toby told of how support for his designs has flooded in on social media.
The artist – who said the Little Robot Guys were a combination of the Lego robot and Hello Kitty – dreams of illustrating a children’s book.
He said: “It’s great to hear the kids love my designs.
“I try to put all of my emotion and soul into every character.
“My own little boy has always loved them, so it’s great to hear they’ve had the same affect on other people.
“It just shows if you have a dream you should go for it.”
Emma Carnegie, manager of Cakes & Shakes in Musselburgh, discovered one of the Robot Guys on the wall outside the cake shop before Christmas.
She told of how she started discovering them in “true Banksy” style and asked Toby to design two especially for their shop doors.
She said: “I first discovered one of the little robots when I turned up for work a few weeks ago.
“I thought at the time it looked really interesting, and ever since they have just been popping up all over Musselburgh.
“I managed to track down the artist and commissioned him to paint a couple on our doors – people love them.
“These characters are a little ray of shine all around Musselburgh.
“Everyone is talking about them.”