Spacex in Morgan dept store advert 19 July 1969

The day before the very first landing on the Moon, the Morgan department store in Montreal, Canada, ran this full-page advert in the local La Presse newspaper. Lucky for us, a young Christian de Grandpré took it out of that paper and kept it ever since.

Making the most of the historic occasion, the advert has a Revell kit of the Saturn and Apollo craft as its main focus, followed by a Revell kit of the LEM on its own, a Major Matt Mason Space Station and a GI Joe Mercury Astronaut outfit with capsule. The bottom of the page is devoted to the Stage 1 series of 15 Spacex toys.

The headline translates as "Our science-fiction astronauts at work - New Meccano Spacex miniature toys". Meccano had been bought by Triang after it got into financial difficulties a few years before, and may have been mentioned here because of its famous, quality brand name. And perhaps Triang made use of Meccano's established dealer network in the Commonwealth as well.

Spacex prices in Morgan advert

Next to the headline are prices for the toys. Instead of the 'ordinary' unit price of C$ .49 Morgan's sold three vehicles together for C$ 1.17 while all 15 toys together were offered at C$ 5.35 instead of the C$ 7.35 they would ordinarily cost.

All fifteen Stage 1 toys are pictured, but numbered in another sequence than that found on their blister cards. It does look like Morgan's copywriter received the name of each toy and that he tried his best, but well, judge for yourself...

Morgan Advert detail

Helicopter P3. Reproduction with free wheels, sliding fuselage door and rotating propeller.


Prospection Craft. Vehicle equipped with radar in search of craters and water courses on the moon.


Mercury Airplane. An indispensable Mercury transporting the astronauts' ammunition.

Morgan Advert detail

Nuclear Freighter NF2. With interplanetary diplomatic suitcase.


Probe. A rocket for exploring interplanetary space.


Hawk Space Ship. An airplane with tapered shape and propulsion for Earth and interplanetary [space].

Morgan Advert detail

Research Instrument MEV2. Imitates a farm tractor except that its wheels are constructed with spiral-shaped spokes and it's equipped with an antenna.


Interplanetary Patrol 1. Space patrol ship with ejecting capsules.

note that in French the word 'cosmos' was often used instead of 'space'.


Mobile H.Q. Tractor on caterpillar tracks equipped with radar like Jules Verne has imagined it.

note the copywriter didn't translate HQ into the French QG (for 'quartier général'). And although it's been ages since I read Jules Verne, I'm pretty sure none of his stories feature a vehicle like this!

Morgan Advert detail

Rocket 'Nova 1'. Ready to launch for the conquest of the moon or any other adventure, removable fuel tank.


Reconnaissance 2. Craft carrying probes to explore the lunar ground.


Fork Lift 7. Lifting craft with platform for moving lunar particles.

Morgan Advert detail

Pleasure Airplane. For the joy of tourists during their voyage to the moon. Exit door.


Tractor T5. Terrestrial vehicle with winch, spring suspension and traction tyres.


Base Patrol "Crickat" P1. Car in a purple colour that imitates a fire truck, with probe launcher and rotating turret.

note the spelling of "crickat" must be a typo, esp as the insect is called "grillon" in French.

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Christian de Grandpré can arrange a photocopy of this advertising page. If interested please contact him for details and cost.