This complete and timely entry was sent in in response to the toy ID competition last week. It was entered by reader John Croot, who is rapidly becoming the competition king! Well done John! That's one super SWORD eye you've got there! A Probe Force 2 'Pop Rocket' toy will be winging its way to you next week!
Hi Paul - What an amazing photo !
I'll have a quick try at the compo - Starting on the shelf from left to right I can see a Space Glider, a Moonbus, a Moon Prospector, an Apollo Saturn rocket, a Booster rocket, another Apollo Saturn, another Booster and what could be another Prospector (it's also possible that the dark oblong between the Moonbus and the 1st Prospector on the left could be the main body of Zero X - bit of a stretch but I thought I'd mention it !). The young lad is holding what is almost certainly Probe Force 1 (but where's the box ?), the young girl has yet another Apollo Saturn, and the hostess appers to be holding what could either be Probe Force 2, but is more probably one more Apollo Saturn.
Having said that,it might just be a generic ray gun (even a Century 21 Captain Scarlet Dart Gun or water pistol - but probably not the Cap Gun !).In case I can get a bonus for the boxes - in front of the boy from top to bottom - Booster Rocket (Maybe?) Space Glider (must be from the shape), Booster Rocket again (?), Apollo Saturn (very clear), and from the table - top to bottom -Moon Bus (very clear), Apollo Saturn (clear), possibly another Moonbus (I'd say Scramble Bug but they don't seem to have the toy )and then to the right of the pile at the bottom is probably another Booster Rocket (judging by the shape and size ). There might be something to the left of the bottom box on the table pile, but I think that's just a part of the table (or possibly even a Sword Manuel from one of the boxes !).
Odd that there's such a small selection of the range (keep trying to match each one up to the box they have) but that was probably the way publicity was done back in the day !It's a great photo that backs up the Sword/2001 Space Odessey link from the annual, and like you I did a double take when I saw the hatchet logo ! It would be wonderful to see it at a higher quality - I wonder if the original negative is in the files of a newspaper or magazine office somewhere like "Time Out" or "London Standard" as it's possible Hatchetts sent out copies for publicity.Anyway - hope my entry looks good - the art on those prizes is really great ! Hope I'm in with a chance!
All the best and keep up the good work - John Croot