Saturday, October 16, 2010

Processed Plastics / MPC Rocket Ship

Today's post is actually somewhat of a mystery child.  In Mark Young's book "Blast Off!: Rockets, Ray Guns, Robots, and Rarities from the Golden Age of Space Toys" (Publisher, Dark Horse Comics, Inc, Milwaukee, WI - see links at right)  The rocket appears on page 104 and is credited as an Ajax toy.  Rusty Kern, editor of 'Playset Magazine' (see links at right) stated the toy was from Processed Plastics.  A photo of it appears in PM Magazine, issue #5, pg6 but appears to be attributed to Multiple Plastics Corp. (MPC).  Again there are no figures included and Rusty has stated there were none included regardless of Processed Plastics/MPC lineage.  Yet, the two astronauts pictured here seem to come with this toy in so many instances of it's eBay sales that they must have been included somewhere along the line.  My problem is, I bought these without their original packaging and cannot verify it one way or the other.  What we need here is to see one of these in the original packing to determine both company name and whether or not it came with figures.  The rocket itself is a colorful red, white, and blue soft plastic, with a lever actuated spring loaded projectile ('satellite') topping the rocket.  The rocket's first stage is surrounded by a red and white checkerboard peel-&-stick applique'.  The second stage has a 'USAF' peel-&-stick applique'.

The toy itself is rather unremarkable but because it had been around for so long is bound to bring old memories to the surface.  You can take even an unremarkable toy and give it a nice display using simple techniques and the one we show here is super simple to make and can be used in many space toy applications.  First, the base and background are nothing more than black foam core board cut down to size and you can size it to suit your needs.  The base is covered with a photo of the lunar surface downloaded from NASA's website, trimmed and glued to the foam core as is the photo of Saturn.  Here's the link to NASA:

Although this display was made for temporary photography purposes you can 'beef' it up by gluing stripwood to the back to strengthen it and then gluing the back piece to the base.  Still, it's an easy project which can net great results.  Hope you enjoyed it!  Aufwiedersehen!