COPIES & CLONES
LINDA - Apollo Spacers
Whoever Linda may have been, they produced very close copies of the Spacex Space Patrol and Hawk ships as well as a Forklift that's a bit different and a Freighter and MEV2 that have quite some more differences to the Spacex originals. The latter is most likely due to avoiding legal entanglements with Triang (who did sue some companies for infringement) and perhaps there were earlier versions closer to the original. Because there aren't any other toys listed or illustrated on the blister cards, we don't know how many toys the range comprised, or which ones.
Linda toys exist in different colours - the freighter is sure to (have) exist(ed) in the reverse colour combination as per the Spacex original, and we have examples in different colours for the forklift and patrol craft. Much as Bill Bulloch remembers them, these toys are rather "more flimsy" than the Spacex originals. Bill also remembers them being sold from an ice-cream van(!) at the British seaside as well as from a mobile shop at a housing estate in Liverpool.(1) I found mine in Belgium, which would suggest a wider distribution across Europe. I also found a loose incomplete freighter on eBay US, though whether that was sold under the Linda brand or another brand I don't know. On the other hand, a few more loose examples from Australia will very likely have been sold by Linda, Australia being in the Commonwealth and thus likely to receive the same goods as the British home market.
Bill has blogged about this memory, after coming across a photograph of the same mobile shop on the very estate he visited at the time (it's the unmarked truck in front). (opens in new window) back to text