Toy Robots and Space Toys
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MECHANICAL KIDDY ROCKET - YONE - JAPANAnother reworking of the popular SY/Yoneya Jumping Rocket design. This is a lithographed tin friction rocket with a vinyl child's head. Unusually, there is a small tin propeller on the front. Red and yellow with PLAYLAND wording on the front and the serial R.26 on the tail fin. The box depicts 72 on the rocket. 15cm long

This rocket also formed part of the Super Rocket Ride.
MECHANICAL ROCKET U-2 - PRIFTIS - GREECEMetallic blue and red lithographed friction powered tinplate Space Rocket. The rocket has a red plastic canopy with pilot inside. At the back is a cylindrical yellow plastic structure with three fins. Runs on wide plastic wheels. Friction action with noise and spark. Pi Logo. There are several litho versions of this rocket including the lower one with the elaborate exhaust litho. The maker Ananiades has also been suggested.

MECHANICAL SPACE CRAFT - DAIYA - JAPANThis is a very basic tin and plastic wind up rocket from Daiya. The cylindrical silver rocket has a transparent red plastic nose and a red plastic rotating tail. Markes SPACECRAFT. Window box. 17cm 1970s
METEOR BELL-310 ROCKET - BELLONI - ITALYTin friction rocket. Meteor wording on nose. Bell-310 on tailfin. Believed to be by Belloni, an Italian company. Box? 1950s

This appears to be the same pressing as the German HWN Jupiter D-119

Also shown is an incomplete example (no tail fin) of the Bell 314 rocket.
MOBIL JET - IJ MARUBISHI - JAPANThis is a variation of the Marubishi Astro Mobil.
An red and white lithographed tin friction space vehicle. The vehicle has an unusual tear drop shape with vinyl pilot head under a clear dome and two long clear green plastic engine tubes at the back. Two wire antennas sweep backwards along the top. Marked Mobil Jet. 8" 20cm.

Friction action with noise and spark. The Mobil Jet is marked "Look for good toy" in a circle with IJ inside and Made in Japan.
MONDRAKETE MOON ROCKET - GUNTERMAN - WEST GERMANYMondrakete tin wind up space rocket. This red and silver tin rocket comes in two versions.

In one form (top) it has a long metal strip passing through the center. When wound the rocket travels along the metal strip and releases a passenger sitting in a parachute style metal canopy.

A second version (bottom) the rocket has a propeller at the front. When suspended from the ceiling the rocket rotates in the manner of a traditional airship or Zeppelin toy.

W Germany 1950s.
MOON EXPRESS MOON ROCKET XY - NOMURA - JAPANTin friction space rocket with rear spark windows. Fins marked XY. 1950s. Plain box with paper label. See also the Moon Mars and Rocket Mars.

Image courtesy of Smith House Auctions.
MOON EXPRESS ROCKET - HAJI - JAPANFrom this small Japanese company comes a relatively early rocket with a unique character. This is a blue tin friction rocket with red and yellow trim and litho pilot detailing. 6.5" 16cm The rocket's body tapers more than most and has a rubber safety tip, There are three angular fins which extend slightly beyond the exhaust. The rear of the rocket has a series of spark holes with red inserts. The friction mechanism sits in full view below the tail. Box? Date?
MOON MARS XY ROCKET - NOMURA - JAPANAn early Nomura tin friction rocket. This silver lithographed rocket has a red nose and is covered in boilerplate style rivets. There are shooting stars and planets along with the wording Moon Mars on the sides. Three fins. 11cm Spark windows at rear. Date? Box?

See the XY Moon Express and Rocket Mars versions of this rocket.
MOON RANGER SPACE CAR - KOTA - HONG KONGLarge blue plastic battery operated space rocket with plastic pilot under a clear plastic dome. Four holes in each side aft of the canopy. Red lights in the nose area. This is a Chinese variation of the sonicon style toy operated by a whistle. Marked Kota, Hong Kong

A 1968 Denver Post article says of this toy: "switched whistle that operates a sound-sensitve membrane in the .... The unit switches on power supplied by regular flashlight ..... ignores all sound but the whistle and shuts itself off automatically after 30 seconds. It is made by a Hong Kong .... company"
MOON ROCKET (SPARKLING ROCKET SHIP 3) - MASUDAYA - JAPANSmall lithographed tinplate friction rocket. Red, yellow and blue color scheme. Litho pilot detailing, but there is no windscreen on this model. Red cellophane spark window at rear. Circa 1950's. Friction noise with spark. Plain card box with a paper label. MT Rocket Racer style.

Versions exist with wording (green fin) and without wording (yellow fin). Rocket Ship 3

An early example of Masudaya Rocket Racer design. This toy is featured in a 1953 Masudaya advertisement. It was on sale in December 1952.
MOON ROCKET - MAKER? - JAPANEarly tin friction rocket. The odd fins are correct. This is a half-shell rocket. There is no manufacturer's mark on the toy. Box?

There are at least two versions: metallic green, and metallic silver blue.
MOON ROCKET - MASUDAYA - JAPANOne of Masudaya's tin battery operated space ships with a non-fall action. An astronaut pilot sits inside a cockpit with a clear plastic cover. Rear tail fin. A metal rocker in the base detects edges and alters the direction of the rocket. This toy has particularly long red conical engines that run the length of the ship.

Two box versions are shown. There's also a version with two astronauts in the cockpit.

Distinctive Features:
Multicolored litho, light blue, red, pink and yellow.
Astronaut with rotating blue plastic periscope.
Marked Moon Rocket
Curved yellow fin
Three colored lights in either side.
Date: Appeared in the 1963 Masudaya Catalog and Firestone 1963 Gift Catalog. Two box versions shown.
MOON ROCKET - MASUYA - JAPANWhite lithographed tin friction rocket wit red detailing. Three rear fins. A striker pin in the nose releases and arm that enables the rocket to stands up when it hits an object. A door opens and a gangplank descends, revealing a lithographed astronaut standing in the doorway. Marked Moon Rocket. There are at least four litho versions of the Masuya rocket and an Ohta version. MASUYA Cupid Logo.
MOON ROCKET - YONEZAWA - JAPANA large red tin and plastic friction rocket. 26" The rear half of the rocket is tin and the forward part is plastic. Green tail fins. The rocket rolls along the floor with a simple friction action with sparks in the tail section. A spring loaded spinner launcher is positioned in the middle and spinners are launched by throwing a switch. Marked Moon Rocket. Box?
MOON ROCKET XM-12 - YONEZAWA - JAPANVery large metallic blue tin battery operated rocket. 38cm. Two pilots under a clear plastic canopy. The rocket can be steered via the nose wheel. Hatches in the front and rear give access to replace the light bulbs, a possibly unique feature. Lighted spinning engine. The fins are detachable for storage.

"Action lighted spinning rocket engine & Radar lunar scope".

The design of the rocket is clearly inspired by the rocket Luna in the 1950 film "Destination Moon" though the name is a variation of the craft in "Rocket Ship X-M".

Dee also the similar X-12 version of the rocket.

Currently the first sighting is in the 1958 Sears Christmas catalog and in the Lazarus catalog for 1959 .
MOON SHIP SUPERSONIC - MASUDAYA - JAPANMarked Super Sonic on the sides and Moon Ship on the tail fin. A metallic blue body with a white canopy and red trim. Red tin pilot under a clear plastic canopy. The box depicts a grey, white and red version of the toy.

"Supersonic non stop action." Large tin battery op Sonicon style spaceship. Bump and go action. Currently the first sighting is in a FAO Schwarz Christmas 1961 Toys Catalog. This rocket does not have an antenna.

This toy uses the pressing for the bulbous Sonicon rocket ship, but has a non-stop action instead of the sound mechanism. Flashing lights in the tail.
MOON-RIDER SPACE SHIP - MARX - ENGLANDBlue and cream lithographed tinplate space rocket. Elaborate litho detailing of pilot and passengers. Marked 745. Yellow tail fin. Two pairs of small side fins at the front and the rear. Large fixed keywound motor. Two large rubber wheels and one small rear wheel. Wind up action with sparks. On/off switch to back. 12" 30cm UK Marx. Circa 1952

Very similar to the Tom Corbett tin wind up spaceship, which in turn is based on the 1934 Buck Rogers Rocket Ship. The original Marx rocketship has been pared down to its essentials here. The side wings have gone along with any astronaut poking out of the top. This changes the scale of the toy.

Box? Date? Moonrider spaceship
NASA SPACESHIP SPACE RANGER 1 - MASUDAYA - JAPANOne of Masudaya's tin battery operated space ships with a non-fall action. An astronaut pilot sits inside a cockpit with a clear plastic cover. Rear tail fin. A metal rocker in the base detects edges and alters the direction of the rocket. This toy has particularly long white conical engines that run the length of the ship.

Distinctive Features:
No astronaut.
Red plastic lights at the back.
White litho with blue trim and a blue cockpit cover.
Large rotating plastic antenna
Marked NASA United States
Curved white fin
Three colored lights in either side.
Picture box with Japanese wording, translates as SPACE RANGER 1
NAVETA SPATIALA ROCKET - AGATEX? - ROMANIAOrange and white tinplate wind up space rocket. Pushing the rocket forward winds the mechanism. The slider allows access to the compartment for replacement of the flint. Box? Marked LEI 45 NI 34584-79. Perhaps 79 is the year of manufacture. This is a color variation of the COSMOS-189 ROCKET but there is no obvious logo.
NIKE SAM-A7 SPACE ROCKET - MASUYA - JAPANWhite plane style in friction rocket with red and yellow detailing This cockpit with litho pilot. Three fins. In the nose is a striker pin which, on impact, releases an arm that enables the rocket to stand up. Marked NIKE SAM-A7 US Army. Masuya Jupiter-Nike rocket.
NIKE SR-7 ROCKET - MASUYA - JAPANWhite and bue plane style in friction rocket with red and yellow detailing This cockpit with litho pilot. Three fins. In the nose is a striker pin which, on impact, releases an arm that enables the rocket to stand up. Marked Nike Space Rocket SR-7. Masuya Jupiter-Nike rocket.
NON STOP MOON EXPLORER - MASUDAYA - JAPANMarked Moon Explorer. A red and white battery operated rocket. Circa 1961. Remote control rocket advances as antenna turns. Red tinplate pilot.

This toy uses the pressing for the bulbous Sonicon rocket ship, but has a non-stop action instead of the sound mechanism. Flashing lights in the tail.

NON STOP MOON EXPLORER X-5 - MASUDAYA - JAPANMarked X-5 Moon Explorer. Cream and silver grey battery operated rocket. Circa 1961. The box depicts a red version and is identical to the box used for the red and white version of the toy. (unless there is a box mismatch here?) Non Stop bump and go action. Red tinplate pilot.

This toy uses the pressing for the bulbous Sonicon rocket ship, but has a non-stop action instead of the sound mechanism. Flashing lights in the tail.
OCEANIC ROCKET - AUTOMATIC TOY CO - USASimple blue and yellow lithographed tin friction space vehicle. Pull back and release. Two wheels, the tail trails on the ground. "To Wind Draw Backwards". USA Tear shape. Automatic Toy Co. of Staten Island, New York. Also sold with "G-Man Pursuit" and "Transcontinental Rocket" litho variations. Probably sold loose as a "bin" toy.
ORIENT COMMANDER ROCKET - OMI - INDIABrightly lithographed tin friction rocket. India. Date? Better picture anyone? Based on the Yoshiya Japanese Commander Rocket.
See also the Oriental Air Rocket. Asia
ORIENTAL AIR ROCKET - OMI/HEC - INDIATin friction rocket with bright childlike lithography. Blue plastic nose cone. A variation of the Skymaster rocket. India. Copy of A novelty rocket from India. Designed for the young child is this tin friction rocket. Based on the Yoshiya Commander Rocket. Asia

OMI, the maker, is Oriental Metal Industries of Delhi. HEC is the importer.

PLANET EXPLORER - MASUDAYA - JAPANOne of Masudaya's tin battery operated space ships with a non-fall action. An astronaut pilot sits inside a cockpit with a clear plastic cover. Rear tail fin and two red conical engines on the side. A metal rocker in the base detects edges and alters the direction of the rocket.

Disticnctive Features:
Silver and blue with red detailing.
Large square rotating plastic antenna.
Marked Planet Explorer
Triangular tailfin.
This version does not have lights or portholes in either side.
PLANET EXPLORER M5 ROCKET - LYRA - GREECEA delightful example of a completely misleading box. The box art is a copy of the artwork on the Nomura/Nikko Three Stage Rocket with the name changed to "Planet Explorer". It is claimed to be a Non-Fall toy. The box contents are, however, a simple friction rocket. Brightly colored blue and red tin friction rocket with vinyl pilot head under a clear plastic canopy. M-5 on wings and tailfin. Lyra Greek. M 5 25cm

This is a variation of the JUPITER ROCKET M5 by MASUYA

PLANET SPECIAL - WELLS BRIMTOY? - ENGLANDThere are not many English rockets but here's a rather cute early one. This is a very small (10cm) blue, red and yellow tin friction rocket with spark aperture at rear. It has simple litho detailing of a cockpit and portholes with passengers. There's a small red fin on top and a large spark window at the back with a red plastic cover. Crimped tin construction with a slight flare to the center join that looks like a fin surrounding the toy. Marked No 245 Made in Great Britain

The "New Gyro Sparking Motor" mentioned on the box is simply a friction motor. Muted pastel colors. Early 1950s. Manufacturer not confirmed.
PROBE FORCE No 1 - HOVER - HONG KONGVery long grey plastic friction drive rocket spaceship just like the Probe Force Flight 1. The box cover is a colour photograph of the ship flying through space past a huge gas cloud. Hover logo. Based on the Project Sword vehicle and carries SWORD logo on tailfin. A virtually identical toy was produced by Tarheel - all the same except for the maker's logo on the box.
PROBE FORCE No 2, PROJECT SWORD - CENTURY 21 - HONG KONGCentury 21 Toys- This plastic friction space rocket is titled 'Probe Force No.2' on the box. Its plastic, about a foot long and coloured off- white. Has a bit of an XL-5 look to it, but with extra fins. The exhaust area is bright red translucent plastic, as is the cockpit . Has 'made in Hong Kong' on the base.
The box is a one parter of thin card. The 'Star features' on the front and rear are ' Powerful friction drive, realistic siren sound, SWORD insignia.' The Astronaut badge is advertised as being inside with the free Manual. A sheet of thick card came as inner- packaging. 1967
PROBE FORCE No 3, PROJECT SWORD - CENTURY 21 - HONG KONGCentury 21 - chunky plastic space - plane with friction drive and siren sound. The plastic wings are detachable.
Rectangular one - piece box with great artwork showing the ship , painted, zooming through space. 'Star Features' are 'powerful friction drive', 'realistic siren sound' and 'sword insignia'. It states that it is 'Made in Hong Kong for Century 21 Toys limited'. Unusually, the artwork of the ship only appears on two of the four sides. The other two contain a large Project sword emblem and the above manufacturers details on a largely yellow (with some red) background.
RAKETE - BING - WEST GERMANYA beautiful and unique rocket. This is a brightly lithographed blue and red rocket that looks just like an airship. There's no name that I am aware of so Bing Rakete or Rocket will have to do.

It is a tinplate wind up rocket with a propeller at the front. The most striking feature is the stylised red and yellow tin representation of the rocket's flame trail. It is hinged for storage. The toy has a spark window with red cover at the back to provide real sparks.

Germany The rocket is intended to hangs from a string in the manner of similar dirigible or airship toys. Zeppelin. The box is a plain card one with a paper label. It has a space scene every bit as charming as the rocket.
ROCKET - ANANIADES PRIFTIS? - GREECELithographed tinplate space rocket, 20 cms. A bulbous design with two tailfins but no upright tail fin. Large celar red plastic dome in the middle. Blure plastic wheels. Lithographed detailing shows astronauts inside a window. Friction action with spark. Marked Rocket. Greek. Date?

The same pressing with different litho was used by Priftis. Pi logo
ROCKET - HWN - WEST GERMANYTin friction space rocket with cage structure on top. Litho detail of a pilot entering the door. This toy uses the same pressing as the Turbojet Bank. It is clearly an adaptation of the earlier bank version: the coin mechanism of the bank has been covered by the cage, but the litho explaining the operation of the coin mechanism is still present. Holes have been added at the tail and the litho varies slightly.

This version does not have the tinplate dome at the front.

Made by Heinrich Wimmer Nuemberg 1950s
ROCKET - TATRASMALT - CZECHOSLOVAKIATinplate 16 cm rocket, friction action. Rubber nose. Plain metal fins. Market TM on rear fin. Various colors known. The number on the fin can vary: 264, 364, 464 - the reason is unknown. Box?
Possible 1967 CSSR Czech.
ROCKET 54 - SI? - JAPANBlue lithographed tinplate rocket with red and silver detailing. Litho pilot in cockpit details. Lightning flash on sides. 1950s. Long tailfins. Box? Identical in shape to the X-36 Sparkling Space Ranger by SI. Friction action with spark.

Image courtesy of Smith House Auctions.
ROCKET CAR - WOODETTE - USAA streamlined wooden rocket pull toy. Four wheels. Details? Picture? Box?
So far only known from an advertisement in a 1945 Billy & Ruth catalog. It is not known if the toy went into production.
ROCKET MARS XY - NOMURA - JAPANCragstan logo. Early tin friction rocket. See also the XY Moon Mars and Moon Express versions. (This may be the same rocket as the Moon Mars - the right hand side)
ROCKET METEOR - MARUSAN - JAPANThis space toy is certainly a unique piece in many ways and may be the first battery operated rocket.

This is a silver and white patterned tin rocket with a blue nose and red trim. The litho incorporates lots of rivets. It has three red and silver fins that extend well beyond the exhaust. Along the sides are two rows of four red lights or portholes. There may be a light in the nose. At the back is a rod with a propeller at the end. The rocket can be attached to a string and will fly in circles while the lights flash. Date? 1950s styling. Marked SAN

The box art depicts a slightly different style and color of rocket.

This is the same pressing as used on the HIGH SPEED ROCKET THE MOON ZX-8 and UNIVERSAL ROCKET, THE MOON X-1
ROCKET MISSILE - MASUDAYA? - JAPANSomething of a mystery, this rocket has no obvious manufacturer's logo but it is very close in design to the Masudaya Sparkling Rocket V-1. This is a realistic looking light blue and white tin rocket with a V-2 style. USAF and a US Airforce star logo on the side. Interestingly the box has an error, with USAE wording. Three fins. 13" 33cm. Spark windows at the rear. Rubber nose tip. Friction action with noise and spark. 1950's.
ROCKET MONEY BANK - MAKER? - JAPANA lithographed tin money box in the shape of a rocket. Space graphics include an astronauts with rifle and riding a USAF rocket. Crimped construction. 10cm
ROCKET RACER - MAKER? - HONG KONGThis rather stubby plastic rocket appears to be based on the Masudaya Rocket Racer 3 version of the popular design. Yellow and red plastic with green side wings and a pilot head under a clear plastic canopy. Friction action with siren. 1960s.
ROCKET RACER 3 - MASUDAYA - JAPANA red and white lithograhed tin friction rocket. Distinctive exhaust litho on the sides and the number 3 on the top. This is a rather stubby version of the rocket. Tin pilot head behind windscreen. Friction action with noise. Masudaya Rocket Racer design.

Advertised in the San Antonio Express, September 1964
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