Archive for the 'Space: 1999' Category

1977 J.C. Penney Christmas Catalog: Space: 1999, Micronauts, and Shogun Warriors

The Eagle 1 has landed yet again. It was the space toy to have pre-Star Wars, clearly, and it’s still one of the coolest spaceships ever. I suspect many of the Eagle kids didn’t even watch Space: 1999, a frigid British series that moved about as fast as an ice shelf, but we dug anything that happened in space, and if we had some imagery and a prop or two, well, that was all we needed to riff on—for days, months, years.

The more I see the Micronauts line, the more I realize how influential and exceptional it was. I’ve talked before about the lack of a back story making them more exotic and attractive. In fact, they’re downright strange, as translucent beings from “the endless frontier” should be. The catalog describes them as “fanciful galactic travelers… fully jointed so they can cope with situations in any dimension.” I love it.

I had the Astro Station. These missiles, and Micronauts missiles in general, were the best (i.e. fastest, truest, heaviest) in the toy universe, and the launchers were detachable, so you could mix and match with other toys.

The Shogun Warriors never did much for me, but they were tall and their fists shot off. I guess that’s something.

(Catalog images via WishbookWeb)

Boy’s Room, 1977

October 11, 1977. (Glen Martin/Denver Post)

First of all, that’s the Eagle 1 on the shelf behind the bed.

Second, what’s up with the bowling game? I’ve never seen one quite like it, and it looks pretty lame. Trade it in for an air hockey table, kid.

Third, scan far left, click image to enlarge, and you can make out the Mission Control Center from The Six Million Dollar Man toy line, seen below via Toys You Had. I can’t tell what the boxes to the right of the Command Center are.

(First image source: Big Ole Photos)

Toy Aisle Zen (1976): Space: 1999 and Star Trek

toy aisle 1976

December 14, 1976. (Stephanie Maze/The SF Chronicle)

This one’s for Lefty Limbo. According to the San Francisco Chronicle article in which the photo appears, the kid is playing with the Star Flash Computer, part of the Moon Base Alpha set. But not so fast. The Star Flash Computer is a different shape and much smaller, as seen below via Plaid Stallions.

mb alpha

I think he’s playing with the Star Trek Command Communications Console from Mego. The boxes (to the left of the kid) are the right size, although I can’t read the writing.

The Star Trek Phaser Gun he’s looking at was made by Remco.




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