COPIES & CLONES

LP of Hong Kong

LP logo

The company behind the LP brand above represents a mystery. We know quite a few of their toys, which were marketed by the company itself as well as supplied to numerous repackagers. We find their brand under the bases of half our beloved Spacex astronaut figures. But there is sadly no trace to be found about the company itself, or what the initials may stand for. The brand wasn't registered, for it can't be found at Hong Kong's registry of trademarks. The old, unofficial toy museum there couldn't help, nor could the newly-founded official one. The abbreviation doesn't appear as a company name at Hong Kong's equivalent to Companies House, and any likely meaning for the initials didn't yield anything either.

Initials which, incidentally, often get misread as ID, LD or IDL, but which the image above clearly depicts as LP, being held in the arms of a giant figure against a background of light rays.

Looking at the figure, it might possibly be well-known in China but unknown to us here in the West. But it could equally be a composite of various positive features, which would then bring prosperity to the company it represents. The figure is obviously strong and powerful, while it has large ears (and a bald head) like Buddha, which I gather are tokens of luck and wisdom to the Chinese. The light rays might again represent strenght, or a bright future perhaps?

Small toys by LP

Production appears to have started in the early to mid-60s, judging by a few clues. Their ubiquitous astronaut figures are based on US Mercury astronauts, pictures of which were published from 1959 and particularly when Mercury missions were undertaken in 1961-3. Their larger Moon-Explorer Car was based on an illustration published in 1962. And a number of their toys are copied from other toys such as Mattel's Major Matt Mason and Triang's Spacex, which respectively appeared from 1966 and 1968. The astronaut figures of course predate Spacex to have a plated version included with Spacex toys from the start. But, a number of LP sets exist that do not include the miniature MMM Moon Crawler, which would suggest the toys in them predate MMM and so would be from 1965 or earlier.

The LP brand was still present on their toys marketed as Apollo Moon Exploring (linked at left) by Imperial Toy Corp in 1970, but disappeared from their figures as included with later Pippin-produced Spacex toys, probably in 1971. Maybe the company was taken over, maybe it disappeared after selling off its moulds. What is certain is that their toy designs lived on and continued to be available in one form or another and sold under a variety of brands. And that even last year (2011), the ones shown below could still be bought brand-new as cake decorations, marked with a little gold sticker.

LP toys made today

Not all LP toys carry their trademark, but the ones listed will most certainly have been produced by the company, having been available in their own packaging next to having been repackaged for others. The best-known smaller space toys are listed first, followed by the larger space toys (the latter listing only such toys as I have images for, and missing at least two others I know of - a deep-sea diver sitting on a rocket and a space-faring Santa Claus).

A third list further down has examples of LP's own packaging for the smaller toys, while the last list has examples of their small toys repackaged by others. This last list does not include the Apollo Moon Exploring series by Imperial Toys of Los Angeles and the Apollo Exploration boxed set, which are important enough to be listed in the main menu at left because they were such major competitors to Golden Astronaut toys and are still very well-known amongst collectors today.

One note on the packaging listed below: I have included only packs that I own myself or such pictures as friends could take of the toys in their collections. I have numerous other pictures collected from the internet and auction sites in particular, but have decided not to include these through lack of picture quality and especially for not having their owners' permission to use them. Although it's not the main subject of this website, if you have LP sets not included here and can supply good photos of same, then I'll be happy to add them with full credit to you of course.

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LP toys - small size

Click on images to see details
Note: some similar toys have been grouped in list below.

More colour variations can be found in the packaging,
both by LP (below) and in the Apollo Moon Exploring series (qv).

Link to LP astronauts

Astronaut figures

Link to LP aliens

Alien figures

Link to LP rocket

Rocket

Link to LP saucer

Saucers

Link to LP explorer cars

Explorer Cars / Space Vehicles

Link to LP space buggy

Space buggy

Link to LP MMM Space Crawler copy

MMM Space Crawler copy

Link to LP MMM Firebolt cannon copy

MMM Firebolt cannon copy

Link to LP MMM Astro Trac copy

MMM Astro Trac copy

Link to LP MMM accessory copies

MMM Accessory copies

Link to LP moon station

Moon base station

Link to LP Helicopter P3 copy

Helicopter P3 copy

Link to LP Prospector copy

Prospector copy

Link to LP moon transport

Moon transport

Link to LP spaceship

RM-1 Spaceship

Link to LP space cruiser

Space cruiser

Link to LP command centre

Command centre

Link to LP mobile launch platform

Mobile launch platform

Link to LP Mercury capsule

Mercury Capsule

Link to LP Apollo Command Module

Apollo Command and Service Modules

Link to LP Lunar Module

Apollo Lunar Excursion Module

Link to LP Apollo figures

Apollo astronaut figures

Link to LP moon equipment

Moon Equipment

Link to LP moon rocks

Moon Rocks

Link to LP domes

Domes

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LP toys - larger size

Click on images to see details
Note: larger-sized astronaut and alien figures are included with small figures above.

link to LP Space Dog

Space Dog

link to LP Space Bus

Space Bus

link to LP Space Explorer

Space Explorer

link to LP Moon-Explorer Car

Moon-Explorer Car

link to LP Space Rocket

Space Rocket

link to LP Astronaut robot

Astronaut

LP small toy packaging

Click on images to see details

link to LP Lunar Exploration set

Lunar Exploration

link to LP 201P4 set

201P4
2" astronaut figures

link to LP 405 series

405
Explorer Cars

link to LP 406 series

406
Space Vehicles

link to LP Space Set series

Space Set

link to LP 607 series

607
Exploring on the Moon

Link to LP Exploring on the Moon box

48-24397
Exploring on the Moon box

link to LP 704 series

704
Space Exploring

link to LP 901 series

901
Moon Landing tie-in

LP toys repackaged for other brands

Click on images to see details

link to Clifford Moon Explorers

Clifford

link to Delamare Rockit Launching set

Delamare

link to Fly to the Moon set

Fly to the Moon

link to Mikephil set

Mikephil

link to Toy House card

Toy House

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