Towards the end of the Spacex era, the second series of the toys were released. Unfortunately for us collectors, Tri-ang were in difficulties at the time and it must have affected production on this less prominent line of toys. A series of four adverts went out in kids comics during the run up to Xmas 1970, showing Spacex models old and new as well as the offer of a new addition to the line - a badge. I saw the adverts at the time of release, probably in Buster or one of the similar weeklies and promptly became so excited at the prospect of new Spacex toys, that i couldnt sleep for weeks. However, it would be another three years before I discovered any of them, quite by chance while visiting my mother in hospital, in a small discount store in Liverpool.
I never found any of the toys in a high street store. Woolworths always had huge amounts of the first series and all the major department stores had displays and playsets, but the second run were nowhere to be found. Apart from being exclusively new models, the few i found in the few weeks following that initial discovery, the chief difference alongside the radically different cards - was the badge. Not all models carried one, the Booster Rocket and Lunar Orbiter came with one and several of the larger models like te Molab, ATS and LAMA may have had one, but the nuclear ferry and NASA Glider - similar size to the Booster, did not.
Tri-ang had obviously decided that the SWORD badges some time earlier had been a big selling point and 'borrowed' the idea. As far as I know, all Spacex Commander badges were a uniform red with silver plate letters. Sword badges had, i believe, four ranks - Astronaut, Captain, Commander and the elusive Supremo. As you can see from the photo, the similarities are obvious and the two types of badges work well together. Ive never seen a Supremo badge, let alone own one as it would only have come with the premium models such as Zero-X or the large Apollo set - has anyone got a picture of one ? Wotan.
Brilliant article. Woodsy