Tuesday, May 01, 2007

RETRO TOY FLASHBACK # 60: Space Academy Action Figures

With the recent official release of the Space Academy DVD, it's a perfect time to remember a rare and special collectible from 1977...the action figures from the same disco decade TV series. If you recall, I've blogged the series as part of my Saturday Morning Blogging (which I'll soon be resuming...), but here's a refresher: it's the story of futuristic young cadets at a university in space; flying on missions in Seeker space craft and learning lessons about the galaxy at large. The late Jonathan Harris played the wise instructor, Isaac Gampu.

These four action figures were released in 1977 and distributed by Woolworth Co., (New York, NY, 10007). They were produced by Hasbro/Aviva, and their price tag shows they cost $3.99 at the time (though Loki, being shorter than the rest, was $3.33). I'm old enough to remember seeing these toys on the shelves and wanting desperately to own them. And what I would have given for a Seeker space craft toy or model! Anyway, at the time, as a youngster (in second grade...) I just assumed the series would continue and become popular like Star Trek. Didn't quite happen that way, however since 1977 also saw the release of a little production called Star Wars...

Leaving that aside for a moment, there are four figures in this set. The packaging, as you can see, is quite exciting and colorful; each figure is adorned with eight photographs from the series, showcasing the fabulous set interiors as well as the impressive miniatures. Each figure boasts the Space Academy logo and the line "A Flying University, Almost a City in Size."

The Gampu figure features an illustration of the character (dressed in blue...) amidst several computer read outs. Unfortunately, his name has been misspelled as Issac instead of as Isaac. Oopsy. On the back of Gampu's box is this description: "Instructor in Space Academy and Favorite of the students, Professor Gampu, "Issac" to his classes."

Chris Gentry, who is here described as a "Member of Space Academy" is shown in his illustration showing off his muscles. Although they didn't make a figure of his sister, Laura, they should have...because these two shared a psychic link in the series. On the back of his box: "Chris is an athlete, a linguist and has earned a reputation as being the Academy's most proficient cadet pilot."

The third action figure is "Tee Gar Soom," and his card reads "almost Super-Human Strength." His illustration reveals him hurling what appear to be giant purple and blue gum balls or something. The back side of the Soom card reads: "One of the Orient's contributions to the Space Academy, Tee Gar, or "Tiger" as he is better known, is a medical student, enrolled in the academy's school of space medicine." We don't use the term Orient in 2007, so I doubt we would in the thirtieth century either...

Last but not least is "Loki," "Everybody's mascot." He is described as "a young boy, perhaps thirteen, possessing certain supernatural power that enables him to become invisible." The whole Loki character and background, by the way, got assimilated for Odo on Deep Space Nine. (An orphan; in search of his home; with unique abilities that separate him from the humans he works with...).

Anyway, I love these figures, although they are now showing their age (three decades this year!). All the figures' hands have fallen off'; their glue long-since having lost their adhesion. Still, I also have a loose Loki (that sounds dirty...), and remarkably, his hands haven't fallen off yet. My cat did try to eat one, however. This was the same cat, by the way, who urinated on all my Star Trek: Voyager action figures, which I always took as a telling comment on the quality of that series.


  1. Briiliant !! But no Lt Adrian figure ? :(

  2. Anonymous9:29 AM

    I have Chris Gentry, Issac Gampu, and Tee Gar Soom, two have one hand off, Anybody know if they're worth anything? (Like Ebay)