Spacex Prospector at right, Golden Astronaut Moon Explorer at left. Apart from the change in name sticker the two versions are identical.
Why the name was changed for the US market is a mystery. The only semi-plausible reason I can think of, is that the Prospector already existed as a larger toy under that name (see Origins section linked below) that was registered as a design in the UK, while Jack Rosenthal managed to register the design of his toy in the US. Changing the name of the toy may have helped cover the tracks a bit, but this may also be conjecture on my part.
3 15/16 in
3 3/16 in
Radar dish can be turned
Wheeled arms can be removed
Here's the insides of a Prospector (it arrived in the mail like this). Fitted inside the bottom is a round metal weight. The loose part is one of two brackets that hold in the main axle (the other is still in place) while also affording a bit of spring suspension. It fits over two pegs and was then attached by melting all this together with a soldering iron or such. The brown stains are dried glue residue.
- Prospector, trademarked
- Moon Explorer, trademarked
- Prospector, no trademark
- Moon Explorer, no trademark
An unmanned mobile laboratory intended by NASA for moon exploration.
A larger toy version of the above, manufactured by Tai Hing for the Project Sword range.
UK Registered Design
Probably application nr 943302, the number missing from the series of Stage One registrations. It won't have been granted because Tai Hing already had their larger Prospector design registered.
US Design Patent
24 Nov 1970
Toy Space Exploration Vehicle