Monday, January 31, 2011

Flash Gordon

Flash Gordon, figurines and spaceship, Premier Products, USA,
Pioneers of Sci-Fi TV shows in the 50ies (after having already a very big audience through the comics of the newspapers in the 30ies and 40ies), Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers were the best known space heroes of all.

It is no wonder they remained at the top when TV stations began battling for audience rates.

Lots of products were made of both heroes. Here a set of Flash Gordon spacemen and Rocket from Premier Products in New York.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Fusée de l'Espace - Made in France

Fusée FI54 - SFA Paris, France

Fusée FI54 (detail) and Brittains Space creatures, SFA Paris, France + U.K.,
1950's + 1961

Not only Japan became master in the art of tin toys - some nice examples of rockets and other spaceships came from Arnold (Germany), EGE (Spain) or even France, like this rocket from SAF Paris.

En avant pour l'infini !!! To infinity and beyond !!!

A space saucer exists from the same maker.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


Rocket with astronaut and camera, La Parisienne, Hong Kong,
(made for Joseph Markovits Inc.) 1960's
With the "real" space age, Sci-Fi spaceships began taking more and more the shape of the real deal... It could be from the Gemini, Mercury or Apollo Missions, but the toys made in that timeframe did indeed look a lot more like rockets, astronauts had updates spacesuits and helmets... The whole romantic side of the toys was put aside for science.

Take as example the astronaut above and the "astronauts" below...

Spacemen and woman (inlay puzzle - detail), Rip Foster,
USA, 1953

Monday, January 3, 2011

Paper Spacemen (Iberic Peninsula)

Soldados do Espaço, ?, Portugal

Comandos del Espacio, Recortables Bruguera, Espada, Spain,

Portugal and Spain had a lot of things in common, and on the political front both countries were dictatorial states where Franco from the Spanish side and Salazar from the Portuguese side ruled their people in quite a nationalistic way. They were also (and especially in the 50's) both very poor countries, where the cheapest of toys was all that most of the population could afford.

From the nationalistic side of the coin are of course the toy soldiers (There were quite a lot of Germany made Elastolin products distributed here before and after the war - without speaking af course of the "soldadinhos de Porto": lead casted soldiers from different historical timeframes). The poorer part of the population had to do with paper cut-outs, to be glued on pieces of cardboard. Most of these "soldier sheets" I could find are actual military soldiers, tanks, airplanes etc. But the 2 sheets above form the exception: space men ! In the group are quite a lot of blonde specimens... (hmmm, Portuguese are not very blond...) and uniforms that look more like a Gestapo themed Buck Rogers than anything else I have seen (wait, rubber horse riding boots to go to space ?) But hey, on hte plus side, we do have helmets, oxygen tanks and rayguns !