One space toy I have not seen mentioned on the blog is a set of “100 Spacemen” produced in Hong Kong, probably around 1964. They were sold attached to a large, perhaps A3-sized sheet of card printed with a space or moonscape scene. There were about 8 different figures, most with long ray guns, but one (I took him to be an officer), with a pistol. The spacemen were in matte silver polythene, so slightly flexible, like the Airfix model soldiers.
They were about 24mm high. The same firm produced at least one other set, “100 soldiers” which turned out to be crude copies of Airfix’s German infantry and 8th Army figures, all moulded in a dark blue-green polythene.
From a shaky memory, I think the spacemen sold at 2s 11d, or nearly 15p in today’s money. This made them considerably cheaper than the Airfix figures.
By the standards of firms like Airfix, Golden Astronaut, or the Apollo space sets (which were quite a bit later), the detailing was crude. Nevertheless, they were the first decent spacemen I had come across as a youngster, and fitted in well with other space vehicles & rockets available at the time. They were probably, in answer to a question Woodsy posed on the blog, my favourite space toys.
I’d love to know if any still survive. I enclose two sketches, just drawn from memory, of what they looked like. The rear view shows the “officer” figure, the front view a walking figure with typical long ray gun.
editors note: I remember these figures clearly and distinctly recall a carded set appear on ebay recently - did anyone either grab a shot from the auction or win them ? The little figures also appeared in various unbranded HK space sets in legions of gun metal colour and bronze.
ps - fabulously evocative art once more!