Sunday, March 27, 2016

JR21(?) X-50

We've got a really cool space ship this time. I got this from fellow collector Paul Vreede in Belgium who has also helped in trying to track down this toys lineage. This didn't have a box and there are no markings other than 'X-50' in a circle on the tail fin. Here's an article wrote by Paul for Moonbase Central in which he discusses the X-50s resemblance to Craig Breedlove's first Spirit of America in 1963. You can read the article here: A NEED FOR SPEED

Paul also referenced noted space toy collector Andrew "Ferryman" Cook's article for Moonbase Central on the origins of the toy as possibly being JR21: TO BE OR NOT TO BE JR21(?) BY FERRYMAN 

It appears that the toy was marketed as a 'Space Racer' a land bound craft designed to outrace 'em all! However, as many space toy rocket ships have wheels under them anyway, it's no stretch of the imagination for this to become a space ship. The toy measures 7" (17.78cm) L x 4" (10.16cm) wingspan x 2 1/2" (6.35cm) H. The toy is missing an 'L' shaped, nickel plated tube on the top forward fuselage that I believe was meant to be a pitot tube, which would make sense if it were a land based race car designed for high speeds. You'll notice that same protuberance on this photo of the Spirit of America:

Of course the toy isn't an exact copy of the SoA but follows the general outline nicely. Those two rocket nacelles at the end of each wing is really the clincher for me in arguing that it's more of a space ship than race car. But of course it's a toy and can be anything you want! Enjoy! Opa Fritz and Oma Bettina

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