The SKYEXPRESS, #MS-378 from China, is a knock-off of the Hungarian Holdraketa of the 1990s, the biggest difference being the graphics, which are in English. After owning and featuring several Chinese made toys I've really begun to enjoy them. There's also been an explosion of Russian space toys over the past year or so and they too look quite cool. Oh heck, cool toys are made all over the world and it would be great to have them all, but ya know we do live in a house, not a warehouse, and there's just no room for them :-)
This is a fairly big toy measuring 15 1/4" (38.7cm) ***corrected measurement (NOT 15 1/2" as reported originally)***H x 4 1/4" (10.8cm) fin-to-fin and is essentially a variation on the time honored classic 'pointy tube with fins' school of space ship design. The bump action mechanism causes the ship to go from a horizontal 'in-flight' to a vertical 'landing' position. Inside the ship, there are hooks integral to the ship's 'needle' which engage the spring loaded raising bar and loading ramp. The rocket has a friction motor and when one pushes it along the ground and releases it, as the spring loaded needle hits an object the needle goes backwards disengaging the hooks from the raising bar and the ramp. The bar causes the ship to spring upwards while at the same time the two-piece ramp (which also has has a spring) flies open deploying it in the extended position. All of this happens much faster than it took me to type it up :-) Okay folks, there you have it. Get ready to board the SKYEXPRESS, your ticket to the Cosmos! Enjoy! Opa Fritz and Oma Bettina
Even if it didn't have a bump-&-raise mechanism, this is still one nice looking toy!
You can just barely make out the spring in the middle of the ramp which allows it to deploy
To get it ready for take-off, fold up the ramp (notice that little latch at the bottom of the ramp which engages with another hook on the needle)...
Push the ramp against the fuselage...
While holding the ramp in place with one hand, use the other hand to fold up the raising bar.
Push the needle down before trying to latch the raising bar
This is pretty much a two-handed effort. Ensure the hook inside the fuselage engages the raising bar and ramp
It's ready for take-off!
Blast-off to high adventure!!
The background is from the Marx Moon Landing playset. Because these plastic playmat sheets are nearly always so wrinkly I did a fair amount of Photoshopping to minimize that crinkly look. Those of you out there who own a Moon Landing playset will notice alterations in the graphics. For this illustration I think it turned out well.