ALPHADROME ROBOT AND SPACE TOY DATABASE

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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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SONICON WHISTLE AND ANTENNABoxed set of spares provided with Sonicon rockets.
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Space Boat MF 895 - ChinaBlue lithographed tin and plastic friction rocket boat. Tin body with litho star detailing, red plastic wings with yellow mudgards. Black textured base with two drive wheels and a small nose wheel. Pilot under canopy. Boat is the translation of ship, as in space ship.

Two box versions shown.
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SPACE BOAT No 3 - CHINAThe styling of this rare Space Boat is quite unique for a Chinese toy and is reminiscent of Japanese vehicles. This silver tinplate friction space ship with a red upper section. There's a rounded front with a clear plastic dome containing an astronaut pilot. There are two fins at the back. It is marked Space Boat with a No 3 at the back. Friction action with spark. MF?? Date?

C00
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SPACE BOAT ROCKET 3 ME-078 - CHINAA white lithographed tin battery operated space rocket with red, blue and gold trim. Bump and go action with flashing lights. Vinyl pilot head behind windscreen. A variation of the Masudaya Rocket 9 Space Boat. Unusually this rocket has a small pair of spoked wheels at the rear. Bump and go action with noise and flashing lights. ME 078 Size 13" 32cm Box?

Masudaya Rocket Racer design.
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SPACE CADET- TOM CORBETT SPARKLING SPACE SHIP - MARX - USALithographed tinplate wind up rocket ship. Marked Polaris. First seen in the Sears Christmas Book for 1952. The ad wording reads:
"Tom Corbett Space Ship. Authentic reproduction of "Polaris," rocket space ship of Tom Corbett, popular TV personality. Made of sturdy steel. All-over lithographed design shows Tom Corbett at the controls with other space cadets. Cadet insignias on rocket. Sparks shoot from tail exhaust when space ship scoots along floor. Long running keywind motor. Has front and rear side fins, rudder. Raised dummy observation domes. Two large side wheels, 1 small rear wheel. 49 N 5669 - 12" long."

This is similar to the Marx England Moon-Ride, and both based on the 1934 Buck Rogers Rocket Ship. The original design has been pared down by removing the wings and simplifying the cockpit.
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SPACE CAPTAIN ROCKET - DAIYA - JAPANThe box art gives the impression that this is going to be a realistic NASA rocket but actual toy is not. The stubby silver cylindrical rocket has a clear red plasic nose and a yellow plastic rotating engine at the rear. In the middle of the rocket is a hole containing a vinyl astronaut head. Battery operated bump and go action with a lighted spinning tail and space noise. 27cm.
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SPACE FIGHTER X-Y-105 - K LOGO? ALPS DISTRIBUTOR - JAPANThis is a very large (46cm) and impressive spaceship, a classic of the genre. Made by a little known company, possibly Okada or Kukyu, the brightly lithographed tin rocket is a combination of dark blue, light blue and red. There's extensive litho detailing of exhaust pipes and other space features. There's a relatively small cockpit on top with two pilot heads inside; this gives the impression of a big space rocket. Two engines run the length of the sides and there's a small rear fin with tailplanes at the top (missing in the lower example). Two small tin machine guns sit on the top front. Marked SPACEFIGHTER

A newspaper advertisement dates this to December 1954.
Very similar in design to the Jet Fighter. Okada connection? X-Y-105 Label box.
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SPACE FRONTIER ROCKET APOLLO 11- YOSHINO - JAPANAlso sold in a virtually identical box as SPACE ROCKET. This is one of the rockets with complex actions designed to reflect the NASA space program. A long silver tin and plastic battery operated rocket with a red plastic nosecone and a large yellow plastic engine at the rear.

Battery operated bump and go action. The rocket stops, the nose cone rotates, and finally an astronaut with camera emerges from the hinged panel on the top.

This toy has been dated to 1969 in a Lewis Galoob Toy Catalog.

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SPACE JET FIGHTER X-1 - YONEZAWA - JAPANThis is a Yonezawa copy of the Pyro hard plastic X-200 Space Ranger. This is a green-blue friction tin rocket jet with red and yellow detailing. It is a cross between a rocket and a plane. It has two short wings tipped with large engines, and the distinctive Pyro tailfin. The rocket sits on a box shaped friction drive mechanism. Uniquely a USAF star logo is cut into the sides to display the spark action. Box?

See also the Spark Rocket Fighter version of this rocket.

mddd
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SPACE PATROL - ASC - JAPANAoshin decided to cash in on the Jerry Anderson Thunderbird popularity with this outrageous knock-off of the Thunderbird 2 rocket. This has, of course, made it a very sought after toy. Green tin battery operated spaceship. Mystery action, flashing lights and noise. battery operated mystery action with noise and flashing lights. 1967-8
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SPACE PATROL CAR - MASUDAYA - JAPANTinplate battery operated rocket with bump and go action. Lithographed tin top, blue plastic base.The rocket has an oversized vinyl child astronaut head. The astronaut fires a red plastic gun with lights and sound.

See also the Snoopy knockoff version of this rocket.
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SPACE PATROL FIRE BIRD 3 - MASUDAYA - JAPANMarked Fire Bird with the number 3. Metallic green with red detailing. Circa 1961. The box depicts this same color version. Mystery action. Red tinplate pilot. Circa 1955

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

Tin battery op rocket. Advances with mystery action as the lights blink. Sonicon style. MT Firebird

Image Smith House Auctions
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SPACE PATROL ROBOT ON ROCKET ( Z MAN) - OHTA - JAPANThere are a few space toys based on a robot riding a rocket and this is Ohta's version of the comic theme. It is a wonderfully executed toy. A red boxy robot with a yellow head encased in a square helmet (Why? He's a robot!) sits astride a tin rocket with a friction mechanism fixed below the back . He's holding on to handlebars and his legs are attached to the front wheel so that he looks as though he's pedalling. Marked Z Man, K in Circlel logo. The box has the delightful error "Robbot" (sic). Tin friction robot astride rocket.

Date?
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SPACE PATROL ROCKET - SUZUKI - JAPANA little simple red, orange and blue lithographed tinplate rocket. Pilot litho. Marked Space Scout. Crimped construction, metal wheels, toothed front wheel. Friction action with noise.
Possibly sold in trade boxes. This is the same pressing as the XYZ and V-3 rocket.

Image Smith House Auctions
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SPACE PATROL ROUND ROCKET - ASAHITOY ATC - JAPANThis is an early lithographed tin rocket toy. The small (6" 15cm) green tin battery operated rocket has a pilot head behind a tin windshield. The small wheels are set very close together. Marked SPACE PATROL on the sides.

The rocket runs along rubber tubing which is laid on the ground. The front wheels have metal guides which fit over the tubing. Takes single C cell battery.

Early brown card box with paper label.

See also:
Winner 23 Rocket
Round Race No-1 Jet
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SPACE RAIDER X-21 - ALPS - JAPANA brightly lithographed tinplate spaceship. The red, blue and yellow litho has design has a large amount of space detailing: a cockpit with astronauts, portholes, guns, rocket engines and lightning flashes. Space Raider is printed on the sides. The spaceship is unusual in that it has two horizontal rear fins but no upright fin, giving the ship a flat apperance. There are two red spark windows set into the back edge. Friction action with noise and spark. 9" (22cm)

See the similar pressing, the Atomic Racer 7 by Alps. Box? Advertised in October 1953.
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SPACE ROCKET - TOYMASTER - JAPANThis is an unusual and rare rocket fron a little known company. It is a long wheeled rocket with two giant whisker-like antennas attached to the front, reminiscent of the Space Whale. The white and red lithographed rocket has a long clear plastic canopy near the front with no less than three astronauts inside. There's a spark window behind the three rear fins. It's marked Space Rocket. The maker is Toymaster
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SPACE ROCKET - HOLDREKATA - HUNGARYVariation of Maursan (Cupid logo) friction tin space rocket. Hits object then raises up. Hungary
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SPACE ROCKET 9 - MASUDAYA - JAPANLithographed tin friction space rocket racer style. One box version has the error"with Detnation" (sic) clicking noise. Vinyl pilot head behind windscreen. The older green version has a tin astronaut head.

Two box variations are shown, along with three litho variations of the rocket: light blue, darker blue and a green version. Featured in the 1963 Masudaya catalog.

Masudaya Rocket Racer design.
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SPACE ROCKET 9 VARIATIONS - MASUDAYA - JAPANTin friction space rocket racer style. Vinyl pilot head behind windscreen. Used as the basis for a series of Japanese Superhero rockets.

Masudaya Rocket Racer design.
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SPACE ROCKET FRIEND SHIP 7 - YONEZAWA - JAPANSilver lithographed tinplate friction rocket with a distinctive red and white checker pattern around the body. The rocket has a plane style raised canopy with pilot detailing. Three red fins and a spark window on the top. Rubber nose tip. Friction action with noise and spark. Marked Friend Ship 7. Friendship 7 was the Mercury spacecraft that first orbited the Earth in 1962. Date? 12" 30cm.
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SPACE ROCKET MF 108 - MAKER? - CHINAJet plane style tin lithographed rocket ship. The silver friction rocket has rear wings and smaller wings at the front. A pilot sits under a canopy that springs open when the rocket hits an obstacle. Marked Satellite MF-108, and the number 1070 is printed on the tail fin. Friction sparking action. The box carries a Foreign logo which suggests it is an earlier production.

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SPACE ROCKET RANGER-7 - YONEZAWA - JAPANA variation of the Fire Rocket X-0077, a cross between a space rocket and jet plane. Two pilots under a clear plastic canopy.
A blue and red lithographed tin friction rocket. 38cm long. The large fins resemble wings. Marked R-7. Spark windows surround the rear exhaust. Circa 1960. Advances with siren and spark.
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SPACE ROCKET SHIP 306 - AUTOMATIC TOY CO - USARed and yellow lithographed tin friction space rocket. Jet plane swallow shape with swept back wings. Friction action with spark. Litho variations exist. A much copied design. Similar to 305. Date?
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SPACE ROCKET SOLAR-X 7 - NOMURA - JAPANSilver and red lithographed tin and plastic battery operated rocket with opening wings. The SPACE ROCKET SOLAR-X is battery powered and features lighted nosecone with stop and go lifting action and automatic retracting wings. Marked 7 on the base. 15" long. Fist seen in the 1968 Nomura catalog, though the number on the base is 1 rather than 7.

Lights flash, circular movement, wings open then rocket rises to vertical position. TN Japan

This is a Gerry Anderson Thunderbird 1 knock-off.
See Wonder-L and Solar-X 8.
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SPACE ROCKET SOLAR-X 8 - NOMURA - JAPANMetallic blue lithographed tin and plastic battery operated rocket with opening wings. The SPACE ROCKET SOLAR-X is battery powered and features lighted nosecone with stop and go lifting action and automatic retracting wings. 15" long. Marked 8 at the base. Also shown is the Japanese language box. 1970

Lights flash, circular movement, wings open then rocket rises to vertical position. TN Japan

This is a Gerry Anderson Thunderbird 1 knock-off. See Wonder-L, Solar-X 7.
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SPACE ROCKET SP-207 - MASUYA - JAPAN"Space Rocket with Revolving Capsule". Jupiter style tin friction rocket with capsule nose. Black grey and red color scheme. Standing action. The wording EXPEDITIONARY CAPSULE appears around the nose cone. The box is a variation of the Jupiter Rocket artwork, adapted to mention the revolving nose.

The rocket appears in a 1964 Yoneya (SY) advertisement, establishing a link between Masuya and Yoneya.

Masuya Jupiter-Nike
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SPACE ROCKET-SATURN X5 - ALPS - JAPANTin and plastic battery op rocket. Red plastic nose, yellow plastic tail. Mystery action, stop go, cargo door opens to reveal inner lab. Japan 1970s. Item no 5758
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SPACE SCOUT X110 - K&K/ALPS - JAPANBased on the Pyro hard plastic X-100 Space Scout. It is a fascinating tinplate rendering of the original toy.

A light green/blue lithographed tin friction rocket plane. This is a cross between a rocket and a jet plane. The winged space plane has rocket motors mounted on the wing tips. X100 is printed on the wings and on the sides of the spaceship, as well as the wording Space Scout. The cockpit contains a molded red plastic cover. Friction action with noise and spark. 18cm

This is a litho variation of the Dream Jet Mars. This spaceship has also been seen with a different K&K manufacturer's logo on the tail. This would appear to be the Kamiya Seisakusho comapny. Alps may have been the import agent. Box?

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SPACE SHIP No 194 - METTOY - ENGLANDEngland did not produce many rockets. This is one of the first and it is certainly different from most. The gold and red lithographed tin rocket has plenty of porthole detailing along the sides. There are trinagular spark windws at the back. The unique feature of this rocket is the set of three transparent red plastic fins at the back. The box claims it has a gyro action, but this is simply a friction motor. The rocket has a crimped construction so it's just about impossible to dismantle
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The first sighting is currently an Advertiser newspaper dated 15th May 1954. It's possible that this rocket drew it's inspiration from a drawing in the British Spaceman magazine. spaceship
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SPACE SHIP NO. X-5 - MASUDAYA - JAPANThe Space Ship No. X-5 of the largest space rockets made by Masudaya in the 1950s. The blue, red and yellow lithographed tin rocket measures 30cm (12 inches) It has three wheels. Three long tail fins extend well behind the rear of the body and enable the rocket to stand elegantly in an upright position. There is simplified litho detailing of windows and a canopy. At the rear are two cellophane spark windows. Friction action with spark and noise.

First sighted in an August 1952 Masudaya Trade ad, and in a 1953 ad.

MT X5, X 5
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SPACE SHIP X-2 SPARKLING FRICTION ROCKET - MASUDAYA - JAPANAn early lithographed tin rocket. There are two versions of this wheeled rocket, one with a greeny-blue color and one in light brown. body variations. The rocket has three portholes on each side and X-2 on the tail fins. Lithp cockpit detailing. Spark windows at the rear. Friction action with noise and spark.

The rocket has long tailfins that extend beyond the exhaust, allowing the rocket to stand upright. 19cm

This toy is featured in a 1953 Masudaya advertisement.

Image courtesy of Smith House Auctions.
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SPACE SHIP X-3 SPARKLING FRICTION ROCKET - MASUDAYA - JAPANThis is a classic early tin friction rocket from Masudaya. The green-blue spaceship has a long body with three notched tailfins that extend well beyond the rear of the body, allowing the rocket to stand upright. There is litho detailing of a cocpit on top and a row of five rounded square windows in each side. Each side has a triangular spark window covered in red plastic. Wheeled friction action with spark.

The rocket was sold in its own box and in trade boxes of several units.

First sighted in an August 1952 Masudaya Trade ad, and in a 1953 ad.
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SPACE SHIP X-7 - MASUDAYA - JAPANA very large (23" 60cm) early lithographed tin friction rockets with, uniquely, wings. The rockets have slender shapes with litho detailing of square windows and a cockpit. The long fins extend well behind the rear exhaust allowing the rocket to stand upright. Red spark windows at the rear. Marked Space Ship X-7 on each side and on the right wing. Wheels. Friction action with noise and spark.

There are two color versions: silver with red trim and green with red trim. Box?

This rocket is featured in a 1953 Masudaya advertisement. On sale in November 1953
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SPACE SIGHT SEEING BUS - MASUDAYA - JAPANThis is a large heart-shaped (unusual double bodied construction) tin lithographed battery operated rocket. Two pilots under a clear plastic canopy at the front. Bump and go action with sound. The version on the right (Planet 81) is a hand painted prototype of the bus.

Earliest sighting 1965 Pathe film.
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SPACE-CRUISER - ALPS - JAPANLarge tin friction spaceship with wings and tailfin. Spark action and sound. A variation of the Alps X-300 Interplanet Spaceship. Space Cruiser. Litho differences. 1950s. Box? Name?


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SPARK ROCKET FIGHTER X-1 - YONEZAWA - JAPANThis is a copy of the Pyro hard plastic X-200 Pyro Space Ranger. This is a friction tin rocket jet with red and yellow detailing. It is a cross between a rocket and a plane. It has two short wings tipped with large engines, and the distinctive Pyro tailfin which extends above and below the body. The rocket sits on a box shaped friction drive mechanism. Uniquely a USAF star logo is cut into the sides to show the spark. Box?

Two versions are known, blue and green.

See also the Space Jet Fighter version of this rocket.

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SPARKING PLANE SPACE SHIP - DIP - BULGARIAPainted tin friction space rocket. Jet plane swallow shape with swept back wings. Friction action with spark. Many color variations exist. Simple spray finish. Various paint schemes exist. Box details translate as "Sparkling Plane Made by DIP Metal Products". Based on the Automatic Toy Co original design.
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SPARKLING ROCKET FIGHTER SHIP 5 - MARX - USARed tin wind up rocket with retro style litho. A reuse of the pre-war Buck Rogers Rocket Ship pressing. Forward motion with sparks from the rear. Louis Marx USA

Note: This rocket is Marx's own in house rocket ship, a reworking of an earlier design and carries no reference to Flash Gordon. The box is the same, except the words "Flash Gordon" are not printed behind the pilot's head or on the wing and the nose cone has a black stripe with the Marx logo only. Versions are known with and without the number 5 on the wing. Catalog photos often show it without a tailfin.

Current earliest sighting is in a Montgomery Ward 1951 catalog, which puts it earlier than the Flash Gordon version.
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SPARKLING ROCKET V-1 - MASUDAYA - JAPANDespite its name this early tin rocket is based on the German V-2 rocket shape. A red, white and yellow wheeled friction rocket with three green fins. Spark window at rear. There is a red button set into the body by the tailfin. Possibly this a pull back rocket released by pressing the button. Friction action with spark and noise. 12" 30cm Date? 1950s. TM

There are two versions:
1. V-1 wording and a US Airforce star. USAF on the tail fin.
2. Marked ROCKET on the side. Graphic of the Earth with a ring around it on the sides. Marked 2 on the fin.

Both versions were sold in the V-1 version box.
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SPARKLING ROCKET X-6 - MASUDAYA - JAPANMasudaya have taken the tailfins to extremes with this early tin friction rocket. Red, green and yellow rocket with lithographed pilot in a cockpit details. Marked Rocket X-6. The three fins are relatively long and extend far beyond the exhaust. Large spark window openings at the back. 1950s. Plain box with paper label. Long tailfins. 13cm

The body of this rocket is the same as used for the Rocket X-6 with the spark window openings cutting through the original litho.

Image courtesy of Smith House Auctions.
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SPARKLING SPACE RANGER L-5776 - SI - JAPANMetallic blue red and yellow lithographed tin friction rocket. 7 inches. Circa 1950's. Three red tail fins, one marked L-5776. The space rocket has a lithographed canopy and pilot. A variation exists marked X-36 on tail fin. Long tailfins extend well behind the exhaust. Friction action with spark and noise. The significance of the serial number and reason for the variation is not known. SI in a Diamond logo. An Elvin Product.

Shipped in the same box as the X-36 which carries no markings on the artwork.
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SPARKLING SPACE RANGER X-36 - SI - JAPANMetallic blue red and yellow lithographed tin friction rocket. 7" 17cm Circa 1950's. Three red tail fins, one marked X-3. The space rocket has a lithographed canopy and pilot. A variation exists marked L-5776 on tail fin. Long tailfins. Runs by friction with spark and noise. SI in a Diamond logo. An Elvin Product.
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STAR JET - YKS? - JAPANThis is another version of the YTS Atom Jet Rocket. A small, simple blue-green and red tin friction space rocket with a tin astronaut pilot head under a clear plastic canopy. The toy has relatively large rubber wheels and a small tail wheel. There are slots in the front for sound effect. Box?
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SUPER OVNI (SUPER UFO ROCKET) - JYESA - SPAINWhite and green lithographed battery operated tinplate space rocket with two large rocket engines with tailfins mounted on either side of a central fuselage.Tin battery op space ship. Spain.

This is a copy of the SUPER SONIC SPACE ROCKET S301. Oddly, the box art depicts the original blue Japanese version rather than the one in the box.
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SUPER ROCKET - DAIYA - JAPANA novel variation of the traditional rocket design from Daiya, turning the rocket into a type of dragster racing car. This light blue tin friction space rocket with a white stripe along the top has two recessed front wheels and a tail wheel. A tin astronaut pilot's head emerges from a lithographed cockpit. In front of him is a large red plastic spark window. There are two slightly angled red fins extending from the rear. They have flame effect litho. Friction action with noise and spark. Part crimped construction. 9" 23cm

Japan 1950s Box?
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SUPER ROCKET APOLLO 15 - YOSHINO - JAPANAnother attempt to represent the complexity of Apollo space missions, and in particular the space walk. This is a silver tin and plastic rocket with a rotating red plastic nose cone and a yellow plastic engine at the back. Unusually the rocket has a rectangular base. 45cm

Battery operated bump and go action. The rocket stops, rises up as the nose cone extends and rotates, and finally a saluting astronaut emerges from the hinged panel on the top. Yokoto KY Logo. Apollo 15 suggests a date in the 1970s.



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SUPER ROCKET SPUTNIK-X - MAKER? - WEST GERMANYBrightly lithoed tin friction rocket with sparks. Distinctive V shape. West Germany. Maker?
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SUPER SONIC SPACE ROCKET BATTERY OPERATED VERSION - YOSHIYA - JAPANBlue lithographed battery operated tinplate space rocket with two large rocket engines with tailfins mounted on either side of a central fuselage. The litho shows copious star detailing. There is a large red plastic engine at the back of the body and smaller green plastic covers on the engines. A pilot head is mounted inside a central tin canopy with clear windscreen. Marked S-301 on the fins. Battery operated bump and go action with rotating rear engine and flashing lights. S S SPACE ROCKET SUPER SONIC SPACE ROCKET S301 See also the friction operated version of this rocket with the abbreviated name. Date?
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SUPER SONIK INDIAN ARMY ROCKET - VTC - INDIAA red, green and yellow lithographed tinplate rocket. Litho cockpit detailing. Masuya style three finned rocket, friction drive with a standing action when the nose spike hits an obstacle. 8" 20cm (Sonic misspelling.) Asia
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SUPERSONIC SPEEDSTER ROCKET RACER 5 - MASUDAYA - JAPANA red and yellow/tan lithographed tin friction rocket No 5. Tin pilot head. Windscreen. Masudaya Rocket Racer design.
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SUPPER SPACE ROCKET 9 - KAKA - INDIARed, yellow and green lithographed tin friction space rocket. Three rear fins, one vertical and two angled. Tin pilot head behind a tin windscreen. Kaka wording on tail and a Kakka logo on the bottom. The typo "Supper Rocket" is printed on the body. The base also clarifies that this is No 9. Asia
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THE MILKY WAY BOAT - CHINATin friction rocket. Pilot under bubble dome. Red lens at back. Sparks. Though it use the term "boat" this is a translation of "ship" and the toy was not intended to float.
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THOR-DELTA MISSILE WITH MERCURY SPACE CAPSULE - DAIYA - JAPANA silver lithographed tin space rocket with a unique detachable Mercury capsule attached to the nose. Three fins. Spark windows at the rear. Marked THOR DELTA on the sides and TD 54 on the fins. Friction action with spark.
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THREE STAGE ROCKET - NOMURA / NIKKO - JAPANA large and elaborate space toy that attempts to reflect the multistage rockets of the time. Tin silver battery operated rocket has a jet plane look with large swept back wings.

The unique feature of the rocket is, of course, the fact that it comprises three distinct sections that separate. The front section has small wings and a red plastic dome: it becomes a Fireball XL5 like space vehicle. The other two components do not look like anything other than incomplete parts. The middle section has an on off button that activates the battery operated bump and go action.

Marked USAF. The toy is marked TN but also carries the Nikko NK logo. The box has been seen with a label that states that this is an exclusive for Italy.

Appears in the catalog for the 1st Japan International Toyfair in 1962.
Also seen in a 1965 Pathe film.
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TITAN ROCKET - OMNIA - CZECHOSLOVAKIAA very eccentric angular tinplate friction rocket with Titan wording at rear. Plastic engines and nose cone. At least two litho versions are known. CSSR Czech Box? c1970
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TORPEDO BOAT - CHINAIt's often said that the Chinese call their rockets "boat" because they have made a literal translation of "ship". In this case they've added the word Torpedo for no obvious reason. This little blue, white and red lithographed tin friction rocket has a couple of interesting features. First is the odd shape of the cockpit canopy, it's atall thin bubble dome covering a pilot head. Second, there are three distinctive white plastic fins at the back. Long spark windows in the sides. Friction action with spark. MF???
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TRANSCONTINENTAL ROCKET SHIP NO 1 - AUTOMATIC TOY CO - USASimple red tin friction space vehicle with blue and yellow detailing. Pull back and release. Two wheels, the tail trails on the ground. "To Wind Draw Backwards". Litho variations exist. USA Tear shape. Automatic Toy Co. of Staten Island, New York. Also sold with "G-Man Pursuit" and "Oceanic Rocket" litho variations. Probably sold loose as a bin toy.
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TURBOJET BANK - HWN (Heinrich Wimmer Nurnberg) - WEST GERMANYAn interesting conversion of a rocket into a mechanical bank. This is an orange, red and blue tin lithographed rocket. Circa 1960's. Spring loaded coin launcher shoots coins into the bank. This version has the distinctive tinplate dome at the front and a detailed drawing of a pilot with parachute boarding at the side. Marked Turbo Jet Money Bank

W Germany. The instructions on the rocket are printed in German and English. Box?

Image courtesy Smith House Auctions
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TWO-STAGE EARTH SATELLITE - LINEMAR - JAPANWith Launching Station. An early, complex toy from Linemar, the Japanese arm of Marx. This must be one of the first representations in toy form of the multi-stage rocket. This is a red tinplate rocket divided into two sections: the front has three wheels and two side wings, the rear has just two wheels plus the tailplane and fin.

The toy sits on a tinplate base and the rocket's motor is wound up to speed with a crank handle. A button is pressed to release the rocket and it speeds across the floor for a few feet before it splits in two. The tail section simply topples over as the nose section pulls away.

Newspaper ad dated Nov 1958.
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UNIVERSAL ROCKET, THE MOON X-1 - MARUSAN - JAPANThis is an early, iconic space rocket with classic lines. It employs the propeller drive long associated with wind up airship toys of the early 20th century. Silver and red lithographed tin rocket with celluloid prop. Three red tail fins. Porthole detailing. Marked THE MOON around the base. Wind up spinning propeller. The rocket hangs from a line and moves as the propeller rotates. Date? 1950s. Plain box with paper label. The artwork depicts a streamlied rocket that varies considerably from the traditional one in the box. Plain card box with paper lable. SAN

This is the same pressing as the Marusan HIGH SPEED ROCKET THE MOON ZX-8 and ROCKET METEOR

Image courtesy of Smith House Auctions.
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UNIVERSE FRICTION ROCKET EXPRESS - MF 030 - CHINAChinese tin friction rocket with wings. Universe wording on one side of fuselage, Rocket Express on the other. ST-101 on wings. Spark windows at rear. Nose point has spring action. There are several sligh litho variations of this rocket. MF030
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UNIVERSE TELEVIBOAT ME777 - CHINAThis is a substantial and ambitious Chinese rocket ship. The 13" 33cm tin lithographed rocket, the one that forms the basis of the Rocket Racer 7, has a large tail fin with a lighted rocket engine at the top. There are additional red lights fitted to the ends of the side wings. A large tin astronaut with a blue vinyl head is fixed on top and he holds a TV camera. Television Boat. Bump and go battery operated action with noise and flashing lights. The rocket stops, the astronaut operates the camera, then the action repeats. ME-777? Judging by the number that survive this was a popular toy.
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US APOLLO PROJECT - 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:
White lithographed tin with a pattern of lines.
Astronaut cadet attached to a wire orbits the ship.
Marked US Apollo Project
Curved white fin
Three colored lights in either side.
Date:1970
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USA NASA APOLLO 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 silver conical engines that run the length of the ship.

Distinctive Features:
Chrome silver lithographed tin with a pattern of lines.
Astronaut cadet attached to a wire orbits the ship.
Marked USA NASA Apollo
Curved silver fin
Three colored lights in either side.
Two box version shown.

Listed in the 1971 Azrak Hamway International catalog.
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USA-NASA GEMINI X-5 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 silver conical engines that run the length of the ship.


Distinctive Features:
Chrome silver lithographed tin with a pattern of lines.
Astronaut cadet attached to a wire orbits the ship.
Marked USAF Gemini
Curved silver fin
Three colored lights in either side.
Date:First sighting 1966 Masudaya Trade Ad in Playthings Magazine
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V-3 ROCKET - HAJI - JAPANHaji's unique take on the toy rocket is this relatively small (14cm) tin friction wheeled rocket with wings. A combination of light blue and dark blue. The rocket's body has a pointed shape with short side wings and a single red rear fin marked CM-548. Crimped construction. There is no tailplane. Box?
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V-3 ROCKET - SUZUKI FOR CRAGSTAN - JAPANA very small 3", simple red and yellow tin friction space rocket with litho cockpit detailing. Crimped construction, metal wheels, toothed front wheel. Marked Cragstan Patent No 369885. Three short fins. V-3 on the side. Probably sold in trade boxes. 1950s.

This rocket is based on the same pressing as the Suzuki XYZ and Scout Rocket and has the same patent number.
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VISPA ROCKET - VISPA - ARGENTINAA bright red and blue lithographed tinplate rocket, three fins, predominantly red with yellow and blue detailing. Holes at the rear for spark windows. Litho cockpit details on the top. Crimped construction of the two halves. Marked VISPA on the side. Friction motor and spark action. This looks like the German HWN rocket pressing. Box?
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WINNER-23 ROCKET - KDP EXELO - JAPANThis is an early lithographed tin rocket. The small (6" 15cm) red and yellow tin battery operated rocket has a pilot under a plastic cockpit canopy. Two engines run along the sides. The small wheels are set very close together. Marked Winner on the tail.

The rocket runs along rubber tubing which is laid on the ground. The front wheels have metal guides which fit over the tubing. Takes single C cell battery. See Round Rocket. Compare with the Asahitoy Round Race rockets. See also the No-1 Rocket Jet. There may be an Asahi connection.

Early brown card box with paper label.
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WONDER-L ROCKET - NOMURA - JAPANThe shape of this rocket betrays the Thunderbird 1 influence. A white plastic battery op rocket with retracting blue wings. Red plastic nose cone. The significance name Wonder-L is not obvious, unless it's simply a wonder.

Battery operated. The rocket moves forward, stops and a metal bar underneath moves down to lift the rocket up. The wings retract and the nose flashes. See Solar-X 7 and Solar-X 8.
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X-100 SPACE CRUISER - SUNLITE - HONG KONGHard plastic spaceship. Based on a friction drive version of the Tudor Rose X-300 spaceship, which in turn is a copy of the Pyro original.

Tudor Rose added friction drives to a number of these early spaceships. The molds eventually found their way to Hong Kong and this was the result. Confusingly the spaceship has X-100 molded in the side, although it is quite obviously a X-300. The reason for this is unknown. The spaceship has a box structure added to the base to house the friction motor. Other color combinations exist. A box is not known, but is quite probable.
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X-12 MOON ROCKET - YONEZAWA - JAPANThis is a rarer version of the Yonezawa XM-12 Moon rocket; the main difference is the red litho on the tail fins. Very 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.

There is also a silver-grey bodied version of the rocket with the same red tailfins.
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X-30 SPACE EXPLORER - HONG KONGBagged version with header card. Plastic friction rocket vehicle.
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X-40 SPACE ROCKET - HONG KONGBlue plastic friction rocket with red nose section containing a pilot. Pressing the wings allows the nose cone to separate from the rear body. Thin nose antenna and two additional rotating antennas. There are two box versions, the X-40 Space Rocket and the Thunderflash II Hong Kong
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X-7 MOON ROCKET - MAKER? - JAPANA very small (8cm) early tin friction rocket. Red and green-blue with litho cockpit details. Moon on one side, X-7 on the other. Unusually this rocket has just the two horizontal tail fine, not the upright fin. Three small fins. The wheels are in the middle.

The same pressing as the Atomic Ray X-30.

Probably sold in trade boxes. Japan

Image courtsey smith House Auctions
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X-950 SPACE ROCKET - ARNOLD - WEST GERMANYThis is a particularly striking looking wheeled rocket from Arnold of Germany. The rocket has a sleek design with three angled tailfins extending well beyond the exhaust. The litho is a vibrant combination of black and red with X-950 in yellow. Along the top are four spark holes covered in red plastic. Rocket advances with spark. The box has impressive artwork showing the rocket in motion but, as is often the case, it has no wording.

Uniquely this rocket has two wheels, one in front of the other. Stability is provided by two bumps on the underside that touch the ground.


Image courtesy Smith House Auctions
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X202 ROCKET - COHETE X202 - SPAINRed plastic friction US Air Force rocket with three white fin and a white striker set into the nose. Stand up action. USAF X-202. Based on Masuya Jupiter-Nike Rocket pressing. Juguete No 202

Image courtesy of Smith House Toys
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XYZ ROCKET - SUZUKI - JAPANA very small (3" 7.5cm) early tin friction rocket. Red and green-blue with litho cockpit details. XYZ on one side, Rocket on the other. Three small fins. The wheels are nearer to the back. Marked Suzuki on the base. Pat 369885 Probably sold in trade boxes. See the V-3 and Space Scout rocket. Japan
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