Sunday, July 24, 2016

At Flashbak: Space Raiders (Diener; 1979)

This week at Flashbak, I also remembered Diener’s “Space Raiders!

“In the late 1970s, Diener Industries create two memorable lines of characters (and spaceships) that also doubled as…erasers. 

The first was a line called “Space Raiders,” which premiered in 1979 and was a kind of (delightful) Star Wars (1977) knock-off.  The Space Raiders could be found in stores, but also -- delightfully -- were sold in McDonalds Happy Meals. 

The Space Raiders were actually four unique robotic individuals. 

First there was Zama, who looked like an offspring of R2-D2 and the Lost in Space (1965-1968) robot. 

Then there was Dard, who seemed part-Darth Vader, part-Shogun Warrior. 

The other two robots were Horta (think Star Trek’s “The Devil in the Dark”) and Brak (think: This Island Earth [1951], replete with giant forehead).

The Space Raiders were also sold with spaceships earasers, including a flying saucer (the Lyra 4), a rocket ship (the Altair 2), and two other vessels, the Ceti 3, and the Kyrgo 5.

I vividly recall, in the summer of 1979 – while on a cross-country trip – absolutely begging my parents to take me and my sister to McDonalds’ so we could collect more of these Space Raiders, who came in a variety of colors (pink, brown, blue, green and yellow, if memory serves). 

I definitely recall having a Green Zama, a brown Dard, a pink Horta and a green Lyra 4.

In 1980, Diener went a (slightly) different way and marketed “Space Creatures.” These small erasers were marketed as “Space Aliens” in McDonalds’ Happy Meals, and looked quite familiar if one happened to be a fan of classic science fiction movies…”

Please continue reading at Flashbak.

1 comment:

  1. I too enjoyed collecting Space Raiders and begged to go to McDonalds as much as possible to get more! After they ended their run at McDonalds, I did find them at a local toy store, sold separately in big bins along with other toys, including the Space Creatures which I also collected as well. A friend and I played endless hours with our Space Raiders and enjoyed them very much in the late 70's and early 80's. I wish I still had my collection!