Friday, July 07, 2006

RETRO TOY FLASHBACK # 43: Tom Corbett Space Academy Set (Marx Toys)

A couple months back, I had the amazing good fortune to find a neat old sci-fi collectible at a flea market in Deltaville, Virginia...a Tom Corbett Space Cadet thermos from Aladdin!

For those of you who may have forgotten, Tom Corbett Space Cadet was a CBS (and then Dumont) TV series from the early 1950s, and a forerunner of Star Trek. The series imagined a futuristic and golden space age in which responsible, decent-minded cadets like Tom patrolled the universe in rocketships such as the Polaris.

Well, this past weekend, my really incredible parents surprised me yet again with another treasure (after last week's Micronauts find, no less...) My father brought down from the attic a boyhood toy he had enjoyed with his best friend, Bob. In fact, on a recent trip to New Jersey, Bob had revealed to my Dad that he still had this toy in his attic, and that he wanted to give it to me. How can one guy be so lucky? I often wonder...

What's that toy my Dad played with back in the early 1950s? Well, it's the much sought-after Marx Toys Tom Corbett Space Academy playset..

Now, as you can see from the photographs decorating this post, what remains of this official Space Academy set (issued from Louis Marx & Co. Inc, the "world's largest manufacturers of toys"), is basically the small Corbett figurines (including space helmets on some!), several of the out-buildings, one vehicle, and several key accessories (chairs, desks, laser posts, control panels, an easel and the like). The protective outer/perimeter walls of the space academy, as well as the central buildings are long gone, alas.

But heck, this is still a real retro treasure from a great manufacturer of toys in the 1950s and 1960s. Marx used to make playsets like Fort Apache (with cowboys and Indians...) as well as this one, and as a kid, I remember owning some kind of Viking fort with figures, also produced by the company.. Anyway, this particular toy is made all the more special because my father and his best friend played with these very cool "action" figures fifty years ago. Some day, maybe my own son will be interested? Hopefully...

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous4:14 PM

    So I was talking to Jan Merlin the other day . . .


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