Toy Robots and Space Toys
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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. 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.
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? The version at the top is green, the one at the bottom is silver.
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 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 - USABlue 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

A variation of the Tom Corbett - Flash Gordon tin wind up spaceship. 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 - 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.
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 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.
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 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 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. Litho details. This is a rathe stubby version of the rocket. Pilot head behind windscreen. Masudaya Rocket Racer design.
ROCKET RACER 7 - MASUDAYA - JAPANRed and yellow lithographed tin friction rocket racer with tin pilot head behind a blue tin windshield. Masudaya Rocket Racer design.
ROCKET RACER 8 - MASUDAYA - JAPANA large red and white lithographed tin friction space rocket, Rocket Racer style. Tin pilot head behind windscreen. Box? c1960s
Masudaya Rocket Racer design.
ROCKET RIDER - MAKER?Another version of the popular man-riding-a-rocket theme. A white and red plastic rocket with four wheels. A relatively large boy sits astride the rocket holding a steering wheel. "With Sound Signal Friction Drive". Maker?
ROCKET SHIP - MAKER?Futuristic silver lithographed tin push toy of a space rocket. This tear drop shaped rocket has four porthole windows on each side with litho detailing of two astronauts in each. Three rear fins. Hollow metal wheels. The front has a large litho window at the front with pilot and instrument panel being shown. The front is rounded with a Zeppelin like airship style. Date and maker unknown. Maker? Box?

Image courtesy Bergin Toys
ROCKET SHIP - WYANDOTTE - USAPressed steel rocket. USA Wyandotte "Rocket Racer" (no.319) produced by All Metal Products Company in 1935 and 1936 and sold for 10 cents. There is no evidence of a license affiliation like "Buck Rogers" and it more likely was not really intended to be a space toy but rather a land speed car. They would have been shipped bulk with 3 dozen to a carton. Some of the later models came with black rounded wheels on the front. Various color combinations exist
ROCKET SHIP X-4 "VENUS EXPRESS" - MASUDAYA - JAPANAn early Japanese tinplate friction rocket. A silver tinplate rocket with traditional slender lines, three red tail fins and five cut out portholes in each side. Wheeld. Most unusually for one of these early rockets there is a clear plastic nosecone.

This rocket appears in a Masudaya trade advertisement for 1953.
ROCKET SPACE SHIP - KOKYU - JAPANA small red and light blue tin cross between a spaceship and a flying saucer. Brightly lithographed with a blue tin base. Cockpit detailing with portholes on the side. The rocket is perched high on three wheels. There is a picture of a spaceman on the tail fin. Friction action. 4" 10cm

The design of this spaceship has more than a passing resemblance to the Gilmark hard plastic Flying Saucer.

Kokyu, K in a flower logo.
ROCKET SPACE SHIP 305 - AUTOMATIC TOY CO - USARed and white lithographed tin friction space rocket marked 305 on one wing, Rocket Space Ship on the other. Jet plane swallow shape with swept back wings. Friction action with spark. This rocket has window litho detailing. A much copied design. Similar to 306. First sighting: Toy Fair 1952-1953 Planet Toyfair catalog "Shoots Sparks as it Speeds Along"
ROCKET X-200 - MASUDAYA - JAPANThis is a rarely seen version of the wheeled tin friction rocket from Masudaya. A silver, red and yellow rocket with three porthole windows in each side. An astronaut can be seen in the first window and equipment in the other two.
Three long red fins with a distinctive notch in the tail fin. Box? Date? 1950s

Image: Smith House Auctions
ROCKET X-6 - MASUDAYA - JAPANEarly tin friction rocket. 9cm Litho details. The box carries elaborate patent details and a "Registration of Association". The same body is used for the Sparkling Rocket with the longer tail fins. The oval design on the side is a reference back to the wing panels of the old rocket design.

The Registration of Association No 350 may have been an early attempt to protect the design. The box has a formidable number of patents, possibly fictitious.

First sighted in an August 1952 Masudaya Trade ad, and in a 1953 ad.
ROCKET XB-115 - HORIKAWA - JAPANTin and plastic friction rocket. Friction action with spark. Two similar rockets were produced by Horikawa, Japan in the 1960s. While the body design is similar, detailing is different and one was battery while the other was friction. This is the friction version 11.5" tall tin litho/hard plastic. Toy is marked "XB-115" with space insignia whereas the battery version is marked "Apollo-1000" with US flag. The body has a crimped construction making repair difficult.
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