The Red Dot Fatboy has an blade adjustment mechanism very similar to the Standard Toggle. Also, the Red Dot Fatboy clicks on each of its nine adjustment positions via an internal spring plate just like a Standard Toggle. Both of these razors, the Red Dot Fatboy and the Standard Toggle, have a "Red Dot" indicator. This is different than a Standard Fatboy which has an partially exposed long internal spring (which is has a dual purpose of being position indicator and causing a "click" on each setting position.) Of course the Red Dot Fatboy has a twist-to-open mechanism to activate the opening of the doors to facilitate loading of the blade as opposed to a toggle lever which is the defining characteristic of the Toggle family of razors The case for the Red Dot Fatboy is similar to a Standard Fatboy case however it is higher and longer. The Red Dot Fatboy handle is also longer than a Standard Fatboy and the Red Dot Fatboy is heavier. The Red Dot Fatboy's entire blade tray moves up or down when the adjustment dial gets turned just like the Standard Toggle. The Red Dot Fatboy was test marketed for a list price of $2.49, a 54 cent premium over the price of the Standard Fatboy. However, in other markets this razor sold for $1.95. The most commonly found manufacturing date code for the Red Dot Fatboy is D-1 - the first quarter of 1958. The Red Dot Fatboy weighs 84 grams.
Comparing a Red Dot Fatboy Case to a Standard Fatboy Case
As you can see the cased Red Dot Fatboy is on the right and the cased Standard Fatboy is on the left. You can confirm this by noticing the Standard Fatboy razor's position indicator is a rectangle. Notice the Red Dot Fatboy razor's position indicator is a circular "dot". Many sellers on auction sites list Standard Fatboys as Red Dots - don't make this rookie mistake..
There are slight but important differences in the transparent lids. The Standard Fatboy case on the left has extra material to keep the blade pack in place - the Red Dot Fatboy case does not. Also the Red Dot Fatboy case is missing half of it's plastic ridge used to strengthen the lid. So now, if you see an empty standalone case without a razor in it, you will be able to tell from the lid whether or not the case is a much more valuable Red Dot Fatboy case or not. Voila!
Not to get too far into the weeds but in the interest of being thorough, the bottom of the Red Dot Fatboy's case is stamped with the patent number 2,702,116. While the Standard Fatboy's case is covered by patents 2,848,806 & 2,848,807
So now for your quiz!!
Imagine you were to see pictures of two different razors for sale and the indicator was obscured. Could you still tell the Red Dot Fatboy from the Standard Fatboy? Which of the following two mystery razors is the valuable Red Dot Fatboy? (Read on for the answer!)
Mystery Razor #1
Mystery Razor #2
Amazing But True! - The F-4 Red Dot Fatboy
Most people don't know this but there is a 1960 F-4 Red Dot Fatboy! The 1958 D-1 Red Dot Fatboy, while rare, is much more common than the super-rare F-4 version. Just a small handful of these razors exist today.
This is the Red Dot Fatboy instruction sheet. Please note on the first panel where it says "THE Gillette Adjustable ONE-PIECE RAZOR" and it does not say The Gillette 195 Adjustable. Also the close up of the adjustment dial shows a standard Fatboy indicator... Curious!
Answer to the Quiz: Mystery Razor #1 is the Red Dot Fatboy. Mystery Razor #2 is a Standard Fatboy. Did you get it right? The trick is noticing the notches of the base plate on the Red Dot Fatboy. The Red Dot Fatboy has a "toothy grin" when looking in past the silo doors (just like a Standard Toggle).
Significant Recent Sales
(eBay auction item number included if available)