Boulder History Museum
1206 Euclid Avenue
Boulder, CO 80302
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Highlights From Our Collection - February 2009

Moon Space Ship & Moon Rocket XM-12, 1956

These two rare space toys represent the interest generated by the beginning of the Space Age and the race to the moon. They were donated by Laurence and Harriett Paddock of Boulder and played with by both of their sons in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Laurie Paddock is well known in the Boulder Area as the former editor and publisher of the Daily Camera.

The so-called “Moon Space Ship” is really more of a moon surface vehicle and was produced by the Linemar Toy Co. of Japan. The “Moon Rocket XM-12" was made by the Yonezawa Toy Co. also of Japan and was introduced in 1956. A vast amount of these toys of the period were made in Japan and are classified as tin toys.

Both toys get their design from popular science fiction films of the 1950's “Moon Space Ship” looks very much like the ground vehicle from “Forbidden Planet” (1956) which was inspired by Shakespeare's play “The Tempest”. “Moon Rocket XM-12" from the rocket depicted in “Rocketship X-M” (1950). The Space Ship is battery operated, has motor driven rear wheels and action lighted spinning rocket engine and a radar lunar scope. These toys were featured in the 1958 Sears Christmas catalog. The “Moon Space Ship” sold for $3.79 and the “Moon Rocket XM-12” at $3.69.

For other 'Highlights from Our Collection', check out our Archive.