Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Collectible of the Week: Space Academy Action Figures (Hasbro; Aviva; 1977)



Space Academy (1977) is 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 Space Academy 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...) amid several computer read outs. Unfortunately, his name has been misspelled as Issac instead of as Isaac.  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 2013, 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. 

A number of "adventures" outfits were also released for these action figures, some of which are seen below.





2 comments:

  1. As a boy in '77, I remember thinking, like you, where is the Seeker or Space Academy playsets to go with these action-figures. If Kenner had produced the toy line they might have done as they did for the Star Wars line later that year.

    SGB

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  2. I remember having these had them all,used them with my super Joe's and Big Jim figures they pretty much had the same bodies,I was so young when they were sold at the stores. sadly they didn't survive like my other toys did.You hardly hear any thing about the toy line or the show, till finding a few episodes on you tube I almost thought it was a dream or something,Great toy line though thanks for posting.

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