In part, I favor this 1970s Mattel toy because it comes from my all-time favorite science fiction TV series, Space: 1999 (1975 – 1977). But in part it is also because the toy is downright colossal: over 2.5 feet long, as the box trumpets.
In the latter case, that means that this Mattel toy came complete with three intrepid Alphans: Commander Koenig (Martin Landau), Dr. Helena Russell (Barbara Bain) and Professor Victor Bergman (Barry Morse).
As a kid, I remember being deeply disappointed that there was no Alan Carter action figure, especially since he was the character most commonly seen piloting the craft on the series. Anyway, the figures featured the show’s trademark orange space suits, as well as removable helmets and back/chest packs.
I was given this really awesome toy shortly before my sixth birthday, in 1976, by my Mom and Dad.
I remember that I was sort of depressed because my older sister didn’t want to play with me on a Saturday and I had nothing to do.
My Mom noticed I was down in the dumps. So she led me into my parents’ bedroom and told me to look underneath the bed. I did, and there was Eagle 1, ready for action!
The surprise gift made my day…and I’ve never forgotten it, or my Mother’s kindness. She was always doing things like that for me (and still does, for my son Joel, to this day.)
That Christmas season, both Mattel Eagles went to forest planets (my backyard), ice planets (on snow days) and other dangerous environments. I recruited the giant squid from G.I. Joe’s Sea Wolf submarine to serve as the tentacle monster from “Dragon’s Domain.”
Anyway, if you look closely, you can detect yellow glue lines on the toy, apparently from manufacture, at all the seams. These lines are becoming more pronounced over time. The hull is also yellowing in spots (the dorsal lattice, particularly…).
And then I’m leaving instructions to my son that it should be buried with me (along with the box).
Unless, of course, he wants it, in which case I’ll be happy to pass it on.