ervino

Messenger from Mars, carded...

10 posts in this topic

Hi All!

 

I have been offered this carded "Messenger from Mars" for about 200 bucks.

 

Two questions, if anybody could be so kind to help me:

 

1) how can I decide if it is original and not a copy (both for the figure and the card)?

2) is it worth the asked price?

 

TIA for any help! :-)

 

Cheers

Ervino

 

mfm.jpg

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I believe this is a later copy made by Archer as the original was silver plated plastic and made by Ideal.Original is about 5 1/2 inches long. So many copies. Cannot help with originality of the card sorry.

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Hi Tinluver2,

 

thanks for your note! :-)

 

I think I will pass on this...

 

Cheers

Ervino

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Hi guys.  I'm unaware of Archer ever making this toy.  I'm pretty sure that they never did.  But it was remade in the 1980's or '90's by a Central or South American maker--probably a Mexican firm.  It's easy to tell the later reissues apart from the originals because, as Tinluver2 has reported, the bike's body was electroplated silver.  Also, the original Ideal driver was always done in a lime green, and the helmet design on your pictured example is also wrong.  (Original helmets had a clear strip extending from the back edge of the helmet and down between the driver's air tanks, plus a smoothly curved top.)  Finally, even the packaging on this toy is reproduction, which you can easily tell by the fact that the driver's pistol tip on the originals went through an elliptical shaped slot on the back plane.  This helped hold him in place, but may be part of the reason for why his pistol tip is so often broken off. 

 

These reissues were obviously done from the original molds for the bike's body, its wheels and the rider.  Unfortunately, the helmet mold was never used, and I believe all that I have seen have used Ajax helmets because they are so common.  But I may be wrong with that assignation.  Some of the reissued bike and rider color combinations can be really nice.  This one that you pictured isn't really.  ToyTent makes a nice reproduction package for their hybrid offering.  Unfortunately the aluminum version of the bike that they are selling, as nice as it is, is not by Ideal as they are reporting (Ideal only made their Messenger from Mars bike in plastic), the rider is not in the original green (unless that's just a trick of the light going from one monitor to another and making it far darker), and the helmet is obviously not original either.  Damn nice repro packaging though--better than the repro accompanying the one that you are being offered, Ervino.

Here's theirs:  http://www.ebay.com/itm/Messenger-from-Mars-plastic-spaceman-on-space-scooter-motorcycle-Ideal-/121997415567?hash=item1c679cd48f:g:fu0AAOSwhkRWdhLI

 

If you want to see an original on the card I believe that one is pictured in the Blast-Off! book.  But if you just want to see the original without the packaging then here's a few quick shots of my complete original Messenger from Mars toy, including a third shot showing him pulling up to meet the two other key Ideal space toys:  The Take-Apart Spaceship and the Space Fighter Transport with all three of the fighters.  (They should face backwards to allow them to launch from the rear via rubber band power.)

 

Oh, and I forgot to add that I sold my reissue a couple of years ago (no repro package) for $75, and that the reissue packages like the one accopanying your white and blue bike example were being offered on eBay at the same time for $35.  I couldn't tell you really what it's worth now.  $200 sounds a little high, but at least the toy isn't being represented as original at that price.  I hope this helps!

Ideal Messenger.jpg

DSC_0208.JPG

DSC_0220.JPG

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1 hour ago, ejpetrie said:

 

Hi ejpetrie!

 

Many thanks for your exaustive post!!!

 

I suspected something similar.

 

AAMOF I believe the repro card of the item I'm offered is the same of the auction you cited: the missing/blurred pieces in the image I posted are an editing of mine of the site logo where it is sold.

 

Anyway, I too found on the web some images of an original Ideal carded set: http://www.grandoldtoys.com/toydb_Detail.php?id=518

 

The price at which it sold, as cited in the above site, was 850 US$... in 2008!!! :-D

 

Thanks again for the info! :-)

 

Cheers

Ervino

 

 

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Thanks, ejpetrie. Very informative.

 

Toytent listing is rather vague: a repro bike, repro helmet, repro rider and repro box. The box is acknowledged but that leaves a lot unclarified.

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I agree, Brian.  Most of Toy Tent's stuff appears to be either stunning original examples or quality restorations (not reissues).  But every once in awhile a piece like this Ideal Messenger from Mars toy, or the silver Best Spacemen from Eastern Europe (on an original card no less), shows up as one of their listings with no disclaimer as to the item's true vintage or known point of origin.  A few years ago I questioned them about a carded set of original Best Spacemen that they were currently offering on eBay.  I could tell that the figures were good, appearing in the usual candy colors, but the card looked a little too identical to one that they had sold earlier.  I figured that it was probably one of their nice reproductions of an original that they had already sold, but I wanted to make sure before bidding so I asked them.  They replied by blocking me as a bidder.  Their action spoke volumes, none of it to their credit.

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Yeah, no surprises there. They sell a lot of "art toys", and all that it implies.

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I don't bid on Toy Tent stuff for a variety of reasons, not least of which is that I don't trust it to be original. Vague listings, blocking people who ask questions... those aren't the kind of things I look for in a toy dealer. (I might be on their block list, but I haven't bothered to bid on anything to find out. Ha ha ha!)

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Same here, Doc. Dan won't answer my question about an item that I've been looking for for years. I'd jump at the listing if I knew it was genuine but I'm not paying hundreds of dollars for a photocopy. I'm probably blocked, I'm certainly blanked.

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