Readers of the cool Alphadrome and the Airfix Forum may already know of Baravelli Spaziali but I only discovered them last night on a random cybercruise down the autostrada.
Baravelli Spaziali were a set of six different boxed space toys and figures released by the Italian toy company Baravelli from 1970 onwards. The Spaziali sets were part of a larger series called Minizero, which included soldiers and cowboys and Indians.
Of interest to Moonbasers, SWORDies and SpaceXers is Baravelli's use of LP astronauts, which they imported from Hong Kong, bagged and stapled and along with a plastic space vehicle, formed the contents of the Spaziali sets. The LP astronauts are marked HONG KONG on the base and are HO scale.
The vehicle designs have been knocked-off from both UK and Japanese TV shows popular at the time, with Thunderbirds and Ultraman at the fore. The positioning of a Thunderbird 2 and LP astronauts is especially neat and almost SpaceX-like. One other vehicle looks like a stripped-down LT10 Lunar Transporter from SpaceX, but in reality i think it's a Japanese TV space rocket.
Probably the most interesting feature for me is the box art, which is quite stunning. I have never before seen an artist take the trouble to illustrate astronauts using LP Spacemen's actual poses. Here we can see the classic 'sky finger pointer', ' sky pistol pointer' and the 'orb in palm' [my names!] we are so used to seeing in SpaceX, Golden Astronaut and Apollo Moon Exploring, not to mention the Project SWORD Moon Base Set. They are so good they could have been contenders for SWORD box art and easily be the basis of a much-needed SpaceX Annual in their own right!
The artist was Gino Pallotti and you can read more about Baravelli's Minizero Spaziali sets at Atlanticplus.eu which interestingly says that some of the box art is at the V&A Museum in London. In the meantime here are some pictures from Italian auction archives. If you have any of these sets or know any more then please share the Italian joy!