The Masuya tin-litho Moon Rocket is a toy that just won't die. First appearing in the '60s it was a classic toy design.A fairly straight forward rocket ship design taking it's cue from the Mercury or Apollo space program but with the addition of fins - so it has something to rest on when it lands on the Moon. It features a friction motor and spring release mechanism which, when the nose runs into an object and gets pushed backwards, causes the forward wheel to pop out and uprighting the rocket. At the same time the side hatch opens, and the ladder deploys showing the spaceman inside ready to explore new worlds. Masuya made at least two versions of this that I'm aware of, the white bodied rocket featured today and a blue bodied version with a nice representation of space capsule lithographed on the top portion. The rocket measures 15 1/2" (39.37cm) H x 4 1/4" (10.79cm) wide at the widest part of the fins.
I say this is the toy that wouldn't die because it has remained such a popular design that it was being manufactured in Hungary in the '70s as the Holdraketa (which was featured here on Nov 22, 2014). The Hungarian rockets also came in at least two designs, one being the Holdraketa, the other one lettered for the Soviet Union - CCCP. Then in the '90s China put out their version called the Sky Express which was featured here on Oct 4, 2014. Also, if I'm not mistaken there were at least two variations of the Chinese rocket as well so there's plenty of variety out there to for anyone interested in collecting these. Enjoy! Opa Fritz and Oma Bettina
Blasting off for its rendezvous with the Moon
****added Nov 29 2015 - a nice animation courtesy Google****
Passing over the Moon in low orbit
Mission complete. Time to head home.