Friday, November 27, 2009

X-2 Rocket (Masudaya / 1950s / Japan / 7.5 inches)

Few objects represent mid-century futurism like the cigar shaped rocket.

"General, may I present... the X-2. This is the one that's gonna get us to Mars!"

Oddly enough, I only recently added one to my collection: The X-2. It's common, it's relatively inexpensive, it's hardly the fanciest ship in the space port. But I happen to think it perfectly captures everything I'm looking for in one of these rockets, so on the shelf it went!

Those red slots near the fins would have glowed when the toy sparked.

Like most of the toy rockets produced in the 1950s, the X-2 is a fairly basic toy, with a simple friction mechanism to provide locomotion and a sparking action. But it's hard to resist the iconic design, the whimsical lithography, those kickin' fins. Let's face it, this is how a rocket is supposed to look.

Of course, I only have one, and it's hard to make one of anything stand out on a display shelf. So I decided to jazz it up a bit with a custom made display stand designed to look like a burst of flame. I used Super Sculpey with a tin foil core, paint, and cotton balls. Fairly simple, and a little rough, but all in all I'm happy with it as a first effort. If I'm ever feeling bored, I might have another go at it. I also think I might rig up some sort of launch pad, maybe dress it up with a few really small-scale figures, cars, etc. Or would that be a little too crazy?

3... 2... 1... Blast off!

I know a couple collectors with incredible rocket collections. There are many different examples out there, and some are as difficult to find -- and as expensive -- as the rarest robots. That's why it's taken me so long to add even one to my shelves. Robots remain my first love, and I've been hesitant to divert the necessary funds required to support yet another habit. But one rocket can't hurt, right?


Ah, crap. I'm in trouble, aren't I?

Amazing what some trick lighting can do, right? No Photoshop here, folks!


  1. Expertly done flame -- Doesn't take away from the rocket's purity. Dang, now I need to add a rocket to my ray gun collection.
    -- Ogdorg (B Basset)

  2. Nice choice for a rocket. I have a few mixed in with my collection of robots as well. I think the rockets add some excitement. I also like them because they remind me of my childhood during the space race era when there was a lot of optimism, and anything was possible. You can also track the development of the history and technology through the toys. Because the space toys are mirroring reality in some way. For instance your rocket looks like a German V2. So it is probably from the fifties.

  3. Tom:
    They definitely add some excitement to a collection -- different shapes and colors, something to break up the shelves. I'd like to get more, though it's probably a dangerous path for me to go down...

    It's definitely a 1950s toy -- many of the rockets came out during the 1950s. The cigar shape stuck around into the Fifties, though at that point, more realistic representations of rockets begin to pop up as well.

  4. I absolutely love the display you worked up for the rocket. It gives it a neat kinetic look.


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