Toy Robots and Space Toys
Home > 5: Vintage Flying Saucers


Name: Space Patrol, Space Patrol 9, Mechanical Wind Up Space Cruiser
Maker: T.T (Takatoku Gangu Co., Ltd)
Timeline: No solid dates yet
Materials: Lithographed tin with plastic dome
Actions: Wind up bump 'n go and wind up walking action

One of the most popular names for space toys is Space Patrol - nearly every Japanese toy manufacturer made some sort of Space Patrol or Space Explorer back in the 50's and 60's. In fact the only flying saucers ever made by T.T. of Japan were called Walking Wind Up Space Patrol and Wind Up Space Patrol 9. They also did a color variation of the Space Patrol 9 for the toy importer F.E White from New York called Mechanical Wind Up Space Cruiser. They all have their own box design and vary slightly from each other.

The Walking Space Patrol has a very simple yet clever mechanism that allows it to walk on four legs. It really must be seen to be fully understood but a simple crank shaft protruding from the bottom drives an s shaped linkage transferring an elliptical rotation to the legs which creates a walking action. Great play value. The walking Space Patrol comes in all red with white, silver and black details including the great floating astronaut litho that all three variations share.

The Wind Up Space Patrol 9 is the exact same pressing, litho and color scheme as the Walking Space Patrol but with a bump 'n go action (listed as mystery action on the box). The Space Patrol 9 box is the best of the three with a couple of nice planetscapes and faithful renditions of the actual astronaut pilot found at the helm of the toy. The Bump 'n go mechanism on this toy is extremely efficient so just a few winds of the key sends the saucer running around the table top for such a long time that it seems more like a battery op than a wind up.

The third variation is the Mechanical Wind Up Space Cruiser, basically a name change and color variation done for the New York importers F.E White. This toy is the same pressing and litho detail as the other two and the same bump 'n go action as the Space Patrol 9 but the predominant color has been changed to silver for the top half of the toy. This was a common practice back in those days, manufacturers would slightly alter the design of a toy they were already producing to accommodate an importer who wanted a toy they could market as their "exclusive". The managers at T.T had the foresight to depict both the all red and the red/silver variations on the Space cruiser cellophane window style box so that either color scheme could be sold in that box. Not to confuse matters further, but I think it is entirely possible that both variations of the bump 'n go saucer (the all red and the red/silver) were sold in the Space Patrol 9 box as well as the Space Cruiser box. (Fineas J. Whoopie)