Saturday, December 22, 2012

Lido (Was UNK MFR) - Space / Race Car

*****CORRECTION 25 Dec 2012*****
I now believe - about 90% sure - that this was made by Lido

During the 1950s everyone was looking towards the future. The greatest war man had ever seen was just a few short years behind and the recovery efforts from it were still impacting many. Technology was becoming king in the lives of ordinary people and the Space Race was on. Russia of course had won the first round with the launching of Sputnik but the world had started looking towards the great unknown more than ever. By the mid-1950s space programs were already popular on television with Tom Corbett, Rocky Jones Space Ranger, Captain Video, Flash Gordon and the like plying the airwaves. The '50s also saw some pretty decent movies - and some not so pretty decent - sci-fi flicks hit the big screen. Gems like Forbidden Planet and When Worlds Collide came out, but less than stellar movies (but actually quite fun just the same) like Abbott & Costello Go To Mars brought space travel into the fore.
Then there were the toys. Space ships, flying saucers, aliens, and space cars started popping up everywhere as toy companies capitalized on the latest craze. The designs were often times multi-purpose. Design a sleek looking car and you could call it a Space Car, Futuristic Car, or put racing stripes and a number on it and call it a Race Car. Your pick. Today's featured car is one of those. It's a blue, soft plastic car with a one-person seat and exposed engine measuring  5 1/8" (13cm) L x 1 3/4" (4.4cm) W x 1 1/2" (3.8cm ) H.  I have seen it sold more often than not as a 'space car' but it looks more like a race car. HOWEVER, I can visualize this as something that could have appeared in a Flash Gordon or Buck Rogers cartoon. As to who made this, I have no clue. Identifying toys can be very frustrating at times as many toys - like this one - had no manufacturers marks. It has a very distinct 1950s 'feel' to it in both design and manufacture and I'm willing to bet it was made as a cheap bin toy. Quite a few of the old Christmas catalogs have either been reprinted or are available for viewing on the Internet but as good as they are, they simply don't show everything made by the toy companies. Often times the manufacturer isn't listed as well but you at least know the year but so far I haven't been able to find this particular toy (or I simply missed it). So, for your enjoyment today we feature a 1950s Futuristic Space Race Car! Enjoy!