ABSOLUTE ZERO: Cool Websites: Toys

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Science Fiction has, for me, always involved a toy component.  It is apparently not enough for me to read, or watch, or listen to great, wonderful, awe-inspiring ideas, I also need to have them in my hands.

I missed the great mid-50s boom of Tom Corbett (and other property) inspired toys – the plastic space helmets, the Buck Rogers Ray Gun (from Daisy), – but I was in on the 60s Irwin Allen & Gerry & Sylvia Anderson craze.

seaviewspacecityFirmly in.  I had a Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea Seaview submarine; a model kit of the Spindrift from Land of the Giants, a Fireball XL 5 playset, a Cape Canaveral playset;  I had a spacesuit and capsule for my G.I. Joe (he was always crashlanding on some mysterious planet that greatly resembled north eastern suburbia, populated by giant humanoids);  later, I would acquire Zeroids, Hamilton’s Invaders, and a host of one-off space & SF – related toys, a spaceship, aliens and space marines made by the GIANT plastic toy company of Honk Kong (the aliens from that set now command tens of dollars per figure); various rocket and missile launchers, ray gun water pistols, wind-up and battery operated robots, plastic astronauts and aliens, even 12″ articulated aliens to accompany my G.I. Joes, Action Men & James Bond dolls.

Zeroids-Bots1I never did manage to convince anyone to start me down the Major Matt Mason road – but that probably had more to do with my own internal toy conflict – I liked soldiers and tanks and military model kits almost as much as the SF themed toys and the military stuff was generally in wider distribution (still is today….).

gijoeSadly, although I am a packrat, the vast majority of my toys have disappeared over time;  the Seaview is probably diving deep in some Jersey landfill; the XL 5 is defenseless (I know, its twin missile launchers were broken well before I lost track of it).

hamiltons-invadersFortunately, the one group that has probably benefited the most from the internet are nostalgists.  I kinder word for graying oldsters who never entirely grew up and are now (spending big dollars) recapturing the toys of their youth.  I’m no exception, though a limited budget prevents me from collecting in a systematic fashion (as in “find it, buy it”);  I have to be content with making good finds and the happy circumstance that those finds coincide with a budget that can support them;  I’ve picked up a Fireball XL5 lunch box (to go with my Lost In Space lunchbox – I use them both as toy chests, lol) and some Archer plastic spacemen;  a set of these frequently topped my birthday cakes.

$_57There are a ton of websites specializing in space toys, plastic army men (space marines count), rockets, ray guns and robots.  If you’re looking for a nostalgic toy trip, try visiting some of these sites:

Alphadrome Robot and Space Toy Database;  if you can’t remember the name of that toy, Alphadrome has a pretty good image database.

Doc Atomic’s Attic of Astounding Artifacts is a blog and visual repository (sadly, not updated since 2012), but it still has a nice collection of various toys.

The Spaceman’s Toy Chest is another blog chronicling the adventures of a collector and archivist – lots of good research there.

Ebay itself is not a bad place to search either.

Main Street Toys has a “vintage space toys” section worth perusing, as does Collector’s Weekly (with mostly links to Ebay auctions).

Ozzie’s Robots Toys & Collectibles generally specializes in vintage robots, and is for the higher – end collector

Cybertoyz has several pages of (relatively high-end) space toys;  Neatstuff offers similar.

Hobby Bunker covers more than SF toys, but sometimes has things of interest…Toy Memories is more of a blog but has some interesting information.

Those into Gerry Anderson properties can find stuff at Fab Gear USA and Metropolis Toys;  Fab Gear also covers Irwin Allen properties and more on the Irwin Allen site.

Uncle Odies is more image oriented but also has some collectible toys.

Plastic Soldier Review has some good space marine & related figures and, finally, Toy Soldier HQ often has some hard to find items.

 

 

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