ALPHADROME ROBOT AND SPACE TOY DATABASE

Toy Robots and Space Toys
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AIR DEFENSE CENTER - CRAGSTAN (MAKER?) - JAPANA tall red lithographed tinplate battery operated console with radar screen and flashing lights.

The 1962 Sears catalog advertises this toy: "Radar scans sky.. warning lights blink.. missles fire! Air Defense Center is busy with action.. has rotating antenna and radar scope; winking lights; moving air speed register and altimeter. 3 rubber-tipped darts. Steel, 12 in. long."

Large oval rotating antenna. The box art depicts a military scene but the actual toy resembles the Masudaya range of similar control centres.
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ATOM GUN - MAKER? - WEST GERMANYBrightly lithographed tin gun on base. Gun rotates and tilts. Shoots plastic balls. Based on the chassis for a variety of cranes.
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CAPE CANAVERAL ?AK 1100 ROCKET LAUNCH PAD - STRENCO - WEST GERMANYTin wind up rocket launch pad. Red and white rocket on blue base with gantry. Rocket approaches the gantyr then launches. Small plastic figure included.
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CAPE KENNEDY, PROJECT SWORD - CENTURY 21 TOYS - HONG KONGCentury 21Toys Very large plastic battery-operated launch pad and Apollo rocket. An adjustable crane lowers the ship onto the gantry. A hand held control drives the pad forwards and backwards on caterpillar tractors. The rocket is friction drive and about a foot long. The words Made in Hong Kong appear underneath.


Large oblong 2- piece box. The toy is called Cape Kennedy Three in one Toy. The artwork shows a painting of the rocket and gantry coming out of the hanger. On the box is Made in Hong Kong for Century 21 Limited? No reference to a badge on the box, although the set comes with the Official Manual and a plastic Sword badge
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CRAGSTAN GREAT ASTRONAUT - ALPS - JAPANTin battery op 1962. Advances with walking motion, moving arms, and a rotating color wheel as a space scene plays on the chest screen. Removable antenna acts as the on-off switch. TV. Based on the very popular Television Spaceman. The space scene in the chest is the same. The dome is appreciably larger than the Television Spaceman and the battery door has been replaced by a highly litho'd alternative. Only produced in an all-tin version. The first sighting of this robot was in 1962, a year after the Television Spaceman. Oddly the picture is of a Great Astronaut but a Television Spaceman is described.

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DISTANT EARLY WARNING RADAR STATION - MASUDAYA - JAPANA large grey-black lithographed tinplate battery operated tracking station. It has the usual Masudaya rotating plastic antenna and the pylon tower with the flashing light and Morse sound. The novelty feature of this toy is its attempt to recreate a radar cathode ray tube.

One of the four Masudaya space toys using this distinctive pressing.

Radar N Scope. Radar screen. Morse button. Rotating antenna. Detachable pylon with light. Console.
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EXPLORER AND VANGUARD TRACKING STATION - MASUDAYA - JAPANStructoys / Masudaya Large red lithographed tinplate battery operated radar control center. MT. Satellite rotates around Earth in the central window. Rotating antenna. Morse key operates buzzer and light on pylon. Versions exist with Structoys and Masudaya logos at bottom left of box lid. In the Miles Kimball catalog for 1958.

One of the four Masudaya space toys using this distinctive pressing.
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FLASH GORDON 500 SHOT WATER GUN - ESQUIRE NOVELTY CO - USAA retro styled plastic space gun with telescopic sight. A ridge runs along the underside of the rocket shape body to the unusual shaped trigger. 6" 15cm. Water pistol with brass nozzle. 1950s.

The gun was released as part of the Flash Gordon outfit in 1952.It was carded with a holster and compass. Available in a range of colors: grey, clear red, clear blue etc

It was also available separately as the "Space Ranger Water Gun" in a Popsicle mail-away in Canada in 1953. See also the Super Jet Water Pistol advertised in The Capital Times, 17 Dec 1952.

A slight variation is known with no lower fin and a with a different plug arrangement at the back (bottom).

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FLOATING SATELLITE TARGET GAME - HORIKAWA - JAPANTin battery op shooting game. (See also the Floating Satellite Target game with a rectangular space scene.) A battery powered fan behind the arch shaped space scene supports a floating ping pong ball. Two pistols with darts. First seen in 1960 when it appeared in the Niresk 1960 Book of Gifts

Note the misspelling "sattellite" in the lower version. It's possible that this is the earlier of the two
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ICBM VANGUARD SATELLITE LAUNCHER - REMCO - USAPlastic missile launch station. Launches planes and spinner disks.
Appears in the Miles Kimball 1958 catalog.
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LANZA COHETES SPUTNIK - RODADOS BRILLO - ARGENTINATin missile launch toy. A stubby plastic rocket fits inside a launching tube mounted on a rotating platform. Two sentry posts. Marked Rodados Brillo. The term Sputnik is included for topicality: there is no obvious connection.
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MISSILE LAUNCHER - HORIKAWA FOR CRAGSTAN - JAPANTin battery operated ICBM launcher with mirror sight. Fan-powered target unit with printed card target supporting styrene target ball. Japan 1960s. See the other Horikawa lower-tech versions of this theme
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NASA CONTROL CENTER - MASUDAYA - JAPANA large blue and white tinplate battery operated command center console. This is a later example of the Masudaya control center and it has a decidedly less toy-like feel; it offers more realistic computer influenced design.

A command ship orbits the Moon. The object is to dock it with a lunar module. Inspired by NASA's Apollo moon program. Rotating two dish antenna.
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OPERATION ORBIT - TRANSOGRAMPlastic battery operated control panel with levers and dials.
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PIONEER 3 STAGE ROCKET WITH LAUNCHER - NOMURA FOR ROSKO - JAPANTin spring loaded rocket launch pad with USAF rocket.

The white rocket has red and blue fins. It consists of three sections, the last being a rubber tipped dart. The rocket sits on a spring loaded base alongside a blue tinplate gantry. When the button is pressed there is a "countdown" delay before the rocket is launched. 19" 49cm

"At Cape Canaveral".

The Pioneer is featured in a newspaper ad in June 1959
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ROCKET LAUNCHERS - AMERICAN TOYS - USAA target game. Rubber tipped wooden darts are thrown at the tin rocket launching pad. If the target is hit the rockets are launched. Large three-rocket and small one-rocket versions.

The smaller version has feathered darts.
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ROCKET LAUNCHING BASE - MASUDAYA - JAPANA red lithographed tinplate rocket launch station. The console has a detachable pylon with a red light, a rotating dish antenna and a plastic rocket. The station has graphics of various dials. In the center is a ring of white lights that provide a countdown before the rocket is launced. Morse buzzer, spinning antenna and lighting pylon. 8"x5" Date?

One of the four Masudaya space toys using this distinctive pressing.
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ROCKET LAUNCHING PAD - NOMURA - JAPANTin battery op rocket launching station. This is a green version of the Nomura Two-Stage Rocket Launching Pad. In addition to the litho change there is a completely different box art and name. No date yet but details suggest it is later than the Two-Stage (See Gernot's article in Alphadrome)
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ROCKET LAUNCHING PAD, COUNT DOWN VERSION - YONEZAWA - JAPANTin battery op rocket launch pad. Countdown clock with lighted screen and "radio signal". Push the firing switch and the countdown meter starts backwards from ten as a radio signal sounds. TV screen shows rocket takeoff.

Two versions of this rocket launch are known, this one with Count Down wording and one with Firing Command wording. The Firing Command version has been sighted in various 1959 catalogs including Aldens. It is possible that the name later changed to reflect the popular TV countdown sequences.
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ROCKET LAUNCHING PAD, FIRING COMMAND VERSION - YONEZAWA - JAPANTin battery op rocket launch pad. Countdown clock with lighted screen and "radio signal". Push the firing switch and the countdown meter starts backwards from ten as a radio signal sounds. TV screen shows rocket takeoff.

Two versions of this rocket launch are known, this one with the Firing Command wording has been first sighted in various 1959 catalogs including Aldens.
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ROCKET LAUNCHING TRUCK - LIMEMAR - JAPANBlue tin friction truck with star on door and two fixed missiles X-2. Japan 1950s
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ROCKET STATION No 136 RAKETEN STATION - HWN - WEST GERMANYTin spring loaded rocket launching building with plastic rocket. Wind up timing release mechanism. West Germany.
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SATELLITE TARGET GAME - HORIKAWA - JAPANTin battery op shooting game. A variation of the Floating Satellite Target game with a rectangular space scene. A battery powered fan behind the scene supports a floating ping pong ball. Two pistols with darts. The downed version of this game has been dated to when it appeared in the Niresk 1960 Book of Gifts
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SON OF GARLOO, VERSION 1 - MARX - JAPANTin and plastic windup. Circa 1961. Advances with step over walking motion and moving arms. This version has a tin lithographed body with plastic arms. Monster

Image Smith House Auctions
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SONICON ROCKET - MASUDAYA - JAPANTin battery operated remote control rocket advances as antenna turns. Direction controlled by whistle. Complete with two boxed whistles and spare antenna. MT. Two litho versions of this rocket exist: blue/light blue version (top) and the blue/silver patterned version. (bottom)

The mechanism works as follows: an air chamber with an opening and a diaphram above the opening with a conductor across two contacts. When the whistle blows the air in the chamber resonates causing the diaphram to vibrate and open the connection between the contacts which switches a relay causing the wheel assembly to spin in circles until the whistle stops and the ship heads off in whatever new direction the wheels are heading.

On sale in December 1960.
Appears in the Mail Order Gift Catalog for 1961.
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SPACE ROBOT CAR, GOLD ROBBY- YONEZAWA - JAPANMetallic blue lithographed tin space car. This large space car has a gold tin lithographed Robby robot driver sitting at the wheel. Behind him is a cylindrical turret covered with a clear green plastic dome. The gun turret pans from side to side as the gun tips move in and out as a firing sound is emitted with flashing lights. Battery operated with a stop and go action. 9.5" 25cm

This space car uses the same pressing as the Space Car with the red Robby driver. The box carries a FLARE importer's logo.

Date? c1955

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SPACE SATELLITE STATION - MARX - ENGLANDMarx Great Britain - English box version of the SPACE SATELLITES WITH LAUNCHING SITE AND ROCKET. Tin space station with launching flying saucers and spring loaded rocket.
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SPACE SATELLITES WITH LAUNCHING SITE AND ROCKET - MARX - USALithographed tin launch sattion with crank powered spinners, large oval antenna and the spring loaded rocket. This is a variation of the Space Satellites with Launching Station
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SPACE SATELLITES WITH LAUNCHING STATION - MARX - USATin lithographed space launch base with crank powered spinners. See the "Space Satellites with Launching Sites and Rocket" variation.
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SPACE TRIP STATION - YONEZAWA - JAPANA large lithographed tinplate control center combining battery operated and wind up drives. Electro Toy space launch station. Shoots spinners. Approx. 13.5" long. Brightly lithographed console. Lighted space scenes moving across central screen while the top dome with astronaut spins around. Plastic spinners can be launched from the wind up mechanisms at either side.
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THE SATELLITE TRACKING STATION - MASUDAYA - JAPANLarge red lithographed tinplate battery operated tracking station. Behind the screen is a model Earth with an orbiting satellite. Morse button. Rotating antenna. Detachable pylon with light. Console. Appears in a newspaper ad dated November 1958.

One of the four Masudaya space toys using this distinctive pressing.
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TWO-STAGE ROCKET LAUNCHING PAD VERSION 1 - NOMURA - JAPANTin battery op rocket launching station. This is the rarer light blue version with a "flatter" finish than the slightly raised litho of the purple version. There are no rocket holder clamps and the litho on the launcher top and base is different. The plate at the bottom of the launcher also has a different shape.

The main difference is the crank handle attached at the front and the presence of an additional button on the launch tube. The crank is used to start the launch sequence mechanically. The later version is started by simply pushing the rocket down. The handle folds flat for storage in the box. It is assumed that this is an earlier version which was unnecessarily complex and dearer to make.

The box is believed to be the same.
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TWO-STAGE ROCKET LAUNCHING PAD, VERSION 2 - NOMURA - JAPANTin battery op rocket launching station. This is the more common light purple version. In this version the rocket is pressed into the silo manually, instead of crank action loader. The launching function is automatically started (battery operated) after pushing down the "launcher" part. A countdown sequence begins, the controller pulls levers, then the rocket launches. This version has extra rockets mounted around the firing tube. Some examples still retain a direction arrow at the point where the crank handle of the earlier version would have been. The earliest sighting of this, the more common version, is in the 1960 Higbee Company catalog. Marked Jupiter on the side.


There is a less common green litho version, the Rocket Launching Station.
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X-15 ROCKET TRANSPORTER - STRENCO - WEST GERMANYMilitary green tin friction? six wheel rocket launching truck with red plastic X-15 rocket. Launch ramp elevates and fires rocket. Germany 1950s
   
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