The other day I got a Spacex set, with what looked like a few common Spacex toys on top of its regular contents. Except that closer inspection has me delighted and mystified on two of them. With Mr Woods' kind cooperation, I would like to ask everyone if they have any that show the same details?
First thing I noticed was that the Needle Probe is marked "made in Hong Kong" underneath its fuselage. Whereas every other one I've ever seen has that marking underneath its wings, with or without a Triang Spacex logo. Second thing I noticed was the rather vivid shade of blue on the landing gear, also the first time I'd seen that as opposed to the greyish blue or black found on other Spacex toys. It's also whitened from having the wheels pinned in, which I'd never seen happen before. And finally I compared it to another example and saw the most obvious difference being the rather mauvish shade of pink, also never seen before. (Other tiny differences are the width of the front landing gear being slightly more narrow, the wheel pins having slightly thicker heads, and the cockpit being a tad higher than usual, but all of those could be still be due to production tolerances I think. And it doesn't have name stickers on the wings, but perhaps those got lost).
And then I noticed the same "made in Hong Kong" under the tail end of my new Space Patrol 1 as well. All narrow caps, with almost no spaces between the words, as opposed to a larger, better spaced marking in the middle of the fuselage, again with or without Triang Spacex logo. And it has the same blue landing gear with the same whitening in it. So I compared that to another example as well, and only then noticed the most obvious again, in that it isn't screwed together like all the others. When preparing the picture above I finally spotted the difference on the engine housing fins, but seem to recall having seen others with rounded instead of square-cut ends which I'll now need to doublecheck. (The darker blue engine nacelles are a common variation, normally found on later-production Patrol craft).
I have no reason to believe these aren't bona-fide Spacex toys (and wouldn't know what the heck else they might be if they're not), but all the different details on them do make me wonder a bit. And also where they might fit in time-wise with the other variations. Which is why I hope somebody else has these toys showing the same details, or yet another Spacex toy with the same colour landing gear. And if you've got it in (or removed it from) a Spacex pack then I'd be very happy to hear that too. Any luck?
Many thanks in advance