Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Space Toys on eBay: A (Third) Round Up of Ended Auctions

As always, this is by no means an exhaustive survey of the space toys and robots available on eBay over the last few months. However, they are toys that caught my eye -- and made me catch my breath -- and I share them this evening for your amusement and edification. And also because I'm too lazy for a proper post...

So without further ado...

1. Space Rockets (Unknown, 1950s)

These nifty little toys, only six centimeters tall, are made in Germany. The astronaut is removable. I've not idea what they are, who made them, or any other details. But they're cool as all heck, and I wish I'd placed a bid on the little buggers!

2. Mighty Robot (Yoshiya, 1960s)

A rare cousin to the Chief Robot Man. This great toy features a transparent plastic, illuminated head with internal gears that rotate. A fantastic toy!

3. Silver Mechanized Robot (Nomura, 1957)

One of the rarest robots. This version preceded the more common black version, which can be read about here. Legend has it that when Nomura produced this toy, they only had black and white photos from the film Forbidden Planet and thought this character would be silver. When they realized their mistake, they switched to the more accurate black paint scheme. A funny little story, but I'm not so sure it's true. After all, salesman's prototypes -- which were the first versions of the toy produced -- are available in both silver and black. Whatever the reason, the silver Mechanized Robot is tough to get...

4. X-70 Robot (Nomura, 1960s)

More commonly known as the Tulip Robot because of its great action. First it walks forward with flashing lights in its neck. It then stops and its head opens like a flower to reveal a plastic TV camera. The whole thing -- camera, head pieces -- then rotates before closing up and repeating the cycle. A classic, and one of the best robots out there.

5. Moon Robot (Yonezawa, 1960s)

A nicer, more elegant version of Robby the Robot, this toy is commonly known as "Ribbon Robby" on account of the ribbons in his dome that rotate when he walks. One of my favorite toys.

6. Radar Robot (Nomura, 1960s)

A ridiculously rare toy, the Radar Robot is also known as Topolino, the Italian name for Mickey Mouse. He walks forward while the red squares in his chest light up to reveal a space scene. I'll be honest -- I don't really love this toy. I don't mind goofy looking robots -- and we all know I own a bunch of 'em! -- but this one is just a little too aesthetically disjointed. A lot of collectors will sell body parts to own it, but not me... They're welcome to him.

7. Lilliput Robot (Unknown, 1938)

The first robot ever produced, and one of my all-time favorites. Very rare, very beautiful, a classic toy and everything I love about these old robots. One day...

8. Mr. Atomic (Cragstan, 1964)

Another one that's near the top of my wish list. This was one of the first toys I fell in love with when I got into this hobby... but it's rare enough and pricey enough that it could end up being one of the last I add to my shelves. That's okay -- the hunt makes it worthwhile. In action, Mr. Atomic rolls around with bump and go action while a light flashed behind his domed head.

9. NY World's Fair Candy Pail (Up To Date Candy Manufacturing Company, 1939)

An unusual piece, rare in this condition. Only three and a half inches tall -- it's designed to hold candy, which you'd buy as a souvenir of the fair. A piece I'd love to add to my growing World's Fair collection.


  1. The German rockets are almost certainly Manurba (Manfred Urban) or - at a pinch - Jean/Big (Jean Hoeffler) and would in the late 1960's/early '70's have been the pocket-money/rack-toy equivalent of 1950's Dime-Store toys.


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