Tinplate6

The Tootsietoy Universe

10 posts in this topic

Those who know me, either personally, or from my posts, know that I am often attracted to toys with personality, or just "different" from the mainstream, a case in point are the space figures made by the Tootsietoy company. I own, what I believe to be examples the only 3 space figures that Tootsietoy ever produced. Tootsietoy is a manufacturer of die cast toy cars and other toy vehicles which was originally based in Chicago, Illinois. Though the Tootsietoy name has been used since the 1920s, the company's origins date from about 1890. An enduring marque, Tootsietoy products were consistently popular from the 1930s through the 1990s. By the late 1960s, Tootsietoys were made in both the United States and Hong Kong. So, why would a diecast toy company produce space figures? Well, my guess is, like most manufacturers at this time, they wanted to cash in on the Space Opera craze.

 

 

 

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Each of these figures are cast in a dense plastic, and stand roughly 3 inches tall, and hastily painted. I seem to remember that in the early 70's-80's the company produced a play set containing these figures. The first is Major Mars; the sculpt on the space suit is festooned with fanciful boxes and hoses. The helmet is often missing on these. The character has an odd expression as if he smells something unpleasant.

 

 

 

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The next is Zoltan the android; resembling a military Michelin man, his chromed chest plate is again covered with wires and boxes. The chromed brain sits under a clear bubble and he has a cluster of tanks, or rocket engines strapped to his back.

 

 

 

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The third figure, Captain Lazer, is either an alien, or a superhero; your typical muscular figure in tight-fitting spandex. This one has a definite attitude, and is pointing to the ground, for some reason; perhaps that is because if you examine the sculpt closely, you can see that he is not wearing boots, but has bare feet, painted black.

 

 

 

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Looking at the closeup photos of the bases, I noticed they were numbered; 2, 3 & 4...I wonder if figure number 1 is still out there somewhere? Anyway, although these may not be as popular, or well-know as many space figures,  I like them.

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Very cool "weird figures, Brady. Thanks for sharing. Capt. Lazer sure has some toned glutes.

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Nice!  I've been wanting a Major Mars and Zoltan for my collection but they're tough to find in decent shape. 

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Thanks guys, they are pretty cool. 

 

 

 I have solved one mystery about Captain Lazer; I now know why his hands appear to be pointing down...actually, they aren't, they are pressing keys on a communications center. I just spied this accessory, sold with the 1978 Captain Lazer playset. He was designed to be placed in front of this keyboard and screen, and fearlessly stare into the face of his mortal enemies.

 

 

 

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I have been going back and forth for some time now about whether I wanted to chase these guys or not.  They are cool looking but they are from a period after the time parameters that I once set up for my collection.  (I'm going crazy enough as it is with just collecting stuff that's pre-Sputnik 1!)  But I'll probably wind up shooting for them.  They're just too nice not to, particularly the android.  Besides, Tootsietoy started the whole space figure market back in the 1930's with the Buck and Wilma lead figures for their big boxed Buck Rogers Spaceships set, right?  Might as well finish off the vanguard firm's figure output.

 

By any chance is the console marked similarly to the figures, either under its base or somewhere else on its surface?  Is it the missing #1 piece?

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Ejpetrie, they certainly do have a quirky space opera nostalgia about them. As for the console, I didn't win it, the photos are from the auction, so I can't tell you anything else about it. The playset does come up for sale on occasion.

 

Regarding #1, dunno, I think that the numbers only denote the figures, as these were not all sold together in one set; Zoltan and Maj Mars were sold together, and Captain Lazer was in another set, so perhaps his "evil villain" figure has yet to be found.

 

 

        

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I came across this small picture - Possible figure - which shows a box set with a black figure as well as Captain Lazer. Also the picture on the box seems to show the black figure attacking the Captain's base. So could this be the missing figure?

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Anz , good catch; it's tough to tell from the grainy photo, so I did some more searches, and came up with 4 playsets, that show all the figures I mentioned, and a few I was unaware of:

 

Starbase Zeus, with Major Mars and Zoltan...

 

 

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The Captain Lazer set, and the black figure is an "ape man"...

 

 

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A Flash Gordon playset, I've yet to see these figures loose...

 

 

TootsieToy #1793 Flash Gordon and The Evil Ming Playset 1.JPG

 

 

And, a Bionic Man playset too...

 

 

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Here's a close-up of the Bionic-Man, this one is missing the chromed plastic bionic inserts...

 

 

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Brady you made mention that you haven't seen the playset Flash Gordon pieces loose. You must have missed them May at my house. 

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Well, you had so much great stuff, I couldn't see everything. I figured if anyone had them, you would, thanks Phil!

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