Spacex Golden Astronaut Copies & Clones
Spacex was a very popular range of toys, a fact quickly noticed by other Hong Kong manufacturers. So, in keeping with the practice at the time of copying competitors' designs, quite a number of lookalike toys came to be, sometimes on blister cards that also copied some features of Spacex/GA packaging. Often of even less quality than the Spacex originals, these copies will have been offered at even lower prices.
Although Spacex was produced in far greater numbers (judging by the relative quantities that have survived to this day), the competition of these knock-offs will have been felt. So much so, that action over these infringements was undertaken in the Hong Kong courts - something that must have been groundbreaking at the time.
I've had a look, but Hong Kong court records for these cases can't found be online - I'll have to try the old-fashioned way some day. But based on the evidence we have, the main case will have been brought by Miner Industries against Roxy, primarily over the latter's use of the Golden Astronaut name. Miner had a page in the Toys and Novelties trade magazine (see Paperwork section) to notify the trade of their victory (though not naming any defendants) and a look at Roxy's toys and packaging clearly shows before and after versions. The toys were altered enough to be visibly different, and the name disappeared from the blister cards (see details on the Roxy pages in this section).
And as Bill Bulloch discovered, the LP company also changed a toy; their copy of the Spacex helicopter getting an extra pair of horizontal fins and a differently shaped tail, which apparently sufficed to make a difference as well.
Coming back to the copycat manufacturers as a whole, a lot of them sadly didn't leave any traces of their existence apart from their toys. Such trademarks as were used were rarely registered, and companies seem to have come and gone with apparent regularity. In this section I've included all toys from their offerings that included Spacex copies. But since the copycats rarely included a series list on their packaging, there may yet be toys lurking in the woodwork waiting to come out and surprise us some day.
Most popular with the copycats was the Spacex Nuclear Freighter, shown here with vehicles
by seven of the eight different brands that we know it inspired.
For toy ranges that include copies of Spacex designs, I try to show the other toys of the range as well inasmuch as these are known. Which in the case of LP means quite a number! But since these toys were major competitors to Golden Astronaut toys and (afaik) these haven't been listed anywhere else yet, I thought a complete list would be good to include. With copies of astronaut figures I may be straying a bit off-topic, but what the heck - those I have I may as well show. :)
At the very end of this section you'll also find some nice things produced by our little community of Spacex fans.