Little Helper, Lil' Bulb, or simply Helper, debuted in the story "The Cat Box" in Uncle Scrooge #15 (September 1956). Helper is a small, humanoid robot (about 20 cm tall), constructed from pieces of metal and a lightbulb, which serves as his head. He acts as the assistant to the inventor Gyro Gearloose.
In the Donald Duck comics, he is often shown as an inventor himself, sometimes copying Gyro's inventions. A few stories have given Little Helper prominence, such as when a movie director is shooting a film in Duckburg about an outer space giant attacking Earth, which is in actuality a robot programmed to destroy houses on a set. However, the robot walks off start and starts destroying actual houses in Duckburg, to include one with Gyro and the director inside. At the last minute when the two men are near death, Little Helper disables the giant robot's machinery. Gyro is given a medal for saving the director, and Little Helper is given a medal for saving all of Duckburg.
Little Helper never speaks, but occasionally uses thought bubbles. He enjoys chasing mice and helping Gyro clean up the unusual consequences of his inventions.
Helper's origin is given in the story "Gyro's First invention" (written by Don Rosa), which appears in Uncle Scrooge #324 (December 2003) as part of Gyro's 50th anniversary. In this retelling, Gyro accidentally passed on some of his intelligence to Donald Duck's desk lamp. Gyro added small metal arms and legs to the lamp, so that it could move about. Little Helper lived up to his name, helping his creator with his inventions.
In the Italian comics, his name is Edi, in reference to Thomas Edison.
Televisions and Films
Sport Goofy in Soccermania (1987)
Little Helper appears as cameo.
Little Helper occasionally appeared alongside Gyro in the animated series DuckTales. He is called Little Bulb in the series, which is compatible with the Brazilian name for the character - Lampadinha - informal diminutive of Lâmpada (lamp), in Portuguese. However, despite his prominence in Gyro's comic stories, as well as being prominently seen in one shot of the theme song, Little Bulb's only major appearance on the series was in "The Money Vanishes" (1987), though he also briefly appears in the show's intro sequence and "Dough Ray Me" (1989).
DuckTales (2017) (2017-present)
Little Helper, this time known as Lil Bulb, reappears in the reboot series. He first appears in the episode "The Great Dime Chase!" (2017) as a multi-purpose assistant Gyro tries to present to Scrooge McDuck. After the idea is rejected by Scrooge's advisers (primarily due to Gyro's history with malfunctioning robots), Louie convinces Gyro to let him borrow Lil Bulb to recover the Number One Dime Louie lost. As Louie carelessly mistreats Lil Bulb during the assignment, Lil Bulb's negative feelings corrupt it and it merges with the coin-sorting machine to upgrade into a larger, dangerous mech that chases after Louie for the dime. During the chase, Gyro saves Louie by distracting the robot, where it turns out that Lil Bulb was malfunctioning from a 75-watt bulb (he can only handle a 50-watt bulb); he replaces the bulb, returning Lil Bulb to its dutiful state. Despite the incident, Gyro keeps Lil Bulb around and is inspired to begin Project Blatherskite.
- Donald Duck's Goin' Quackers (2000, cameo in intro in home consoles only)
- Uncle Scrooge: The Cat Box (1956)
- Disney Comics and Stories: Gyro's Imagination Invention (1957)
- Almanacco Topolino: Roscoe the Robot (1958)
- Zé Carioca: O Domador De Ursos (1961)
- Gyro Gearloose: A Sticky Situation (1962)
- Donald Duck (Boom Studios): Solar Ski Meet (1971)
- Huey, Dewey and Louie Junior Woodchucks: Tracking Tricks (1971)
- Moby Duck: Waterproof Positive (1974)
- Chip 'n' Dale: Instant Camping (1982)
- Mickey and Donald: Fir-Tree Fracas (1987)
- DuckTales: Flights of Fancy (1989)
- Uncle Scrooge's Adventures: The pied piper of Duckburg (1990)
- DuckTales: Scrooge's Quest (1990)
- Disney Adventures: The Dream Scheme (1990)
- Daisy Duck: Uma Aula Muito Particular (1990)
- Urtigão: Bregazinho E Rococó (1991)
- Lustiges Taschenbuch: Paperino in moto ai guai (1993)
- Seleção Disney: A Casa Do Futuro (1993)
- Darkwing Duck/DuckTales: Dangerous Currency (2011)