X-series space toy line-up

Collectors refer to the line-up above as the "X-series" because each toy or its box is marked with a number preceded by an X. Because the X-60 was sold in a JR21 box, it is reasonable to assume Jack Rosenthal distributed the entire series. The X-40 has a registered design number moulded in underneath, which Paul Woods discovered was granted to the Ming Tat Plastics Factory of Hong Kong when he ordered the documents from the National Archives in Kew (near London). These toys being a series is obvious because of the X-numbers, the identically-styled box art, and certain details being similarly shaped from one toy to another. The clincher is in the consecutive model numbers marked on the boxes, with the gap in the sequence between the X-70 and X-80 implying that the X-80 and X-90 were late additions to the series. Only the model number for the X-30 is an odd-one out, but that toy has a marking on its tail similar to the X-50 as extra proof of being related.

X-30 Space Explorer

X-30 Space Explorer - No. 303

Features friction drive and a rotating antenna on top. The tail is packed separately in the box.
Note the similarity of this toy to the Space Explorer by LP, which is different in detail however (use link on that page or your browser's Back button to return here). There is no knowing which of these two toys is the original design and which is the copy.

X-30 Space Explorer box
X-40 Space Rocket

X-40 Space Rocket - No. 232

Features friction-driven rear wheels and a capsule that ejects by pressing the wings. Underneath is marked the registered design nr 919800, which turned out to be "Registered 18th January 1965 as a toy rocket ship, By Lee Wai Po, Of Chinese Nationality, Trading as Ming Tat Plastics Factory, No.8, Sui Lun Street, To Kwa Wan, Kowloon, Hong Kong" represented in the UK "C/O Gill, Jennings & Every, 51-52 Chancery Lane, London, WC2." The design remained protected until December 1969.

X-40 Space Rocket box
X-50 Space Racer

X-50 Space Racer - No. 233

Another friction-driven toy, the design of which is based on Craig Breedlove's first Spirit of America record car from 1963 as shown below. For those interested, I've written a bit more about this toy for Moonbase Central (opens in new window). The same design later turned up in black as a Batman Batjet distributed by Salco. The X-50 is 18.4 cm / 7 1/4 in long.

X-50 and Spirit of America X-50 Space Racer box
X-60 Space Rocket on Launching Truck

X-60 Space Rocket on Launching Truck - No. 234

The truck has friction-driven front wheels and rotating antenna. The rocket came in separate pieces in the box, to be assembled and loaded onto the truck. The box features a prominent JR21 logo, but also exists without it, indicating that Rosenthal had a run of boxes printed for his distribution of an already existing toy. The shape of the rocket is very similar to a larger toy by Lucky Toys and a Midori model kit; the truck bears some resemblance to a transporter by Ideal. (open in new windows)

X-60 Space Rocket in JR21 box
X-70 Astronaut

X-70 Astronaut - No. 235

A robot called an astronaut, with clockwork-powered walking action which also swings its arms and moves its head while making a clicking sound. The little blue arrow on the chest is the on/off switch. Minus antenna, it stands 15 cm / 6 in tall.

X-70 Astronaut box
X-80 Space Capsule

X-80 Space Capsule - No. 240

Features friction driven rear wheels in combination with a tiny swivelling front wheel. Based on a Gemini capsule, this toy has a smaller Mercury capsule at the rear which can be ejected by pushing a lever on the side.
More views and the box can be seen in a blog post on Moonbase Central (opens in new window).

X-90 Flying Saucer Car

X-90 Flying Saucer Car - No. 241

Another friction driven toy, 21 cm / 8 1/4 in long. The spinner at the rear is launched as soon as the front bumper is pressed by running into something. The canopy lifts open as well.

X-90 Flying Saucer Car box

back to top