Blast Off!: Rockets, Robots, Rayguns, and Rarities from the Golden Age of Space Toys

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Who could have believed that a toy robot made in Japan from scrap tin would one day fetch nearly $70,000 at a Sotheby's auction? Blast Off! chronicles the golden era of space toys, an age of imagination unbound by the more mundane realities of space travel ushered in by Sputnik and the Space Age. Containing hundreds of striking color photos of some of the most beautiful and ofttimes bizarre toys ever created — many never before seen in print — Blast Off! unearths the nearly lost histories of these space treasures...
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Overview

Who could have believed that a toy robot made in Japan from scrap tin would one day fetch nearly $70,000 at a Sotheby's auction? Blast Off! chronicles the golden era of space toys, an age of imagination unbound by the more mundane realities of space travel ushered in by Sputnik and the Space Age. Containing hundreds of striking color photos of some of the most beautiful and ofttimes bizarre toys ever created — many never before seen in print — Blast Off! unearths the nearly lost histories of these space treasures and the companies that created them. Not limited to the presentation of these unique and fascinating playthings of the past, Blast Off! includes one-of-a-kind prototypes, original packaging and instructions, glimpses into ultra-rare Japanese robot catalogs, long-lost advertisements, vintage comic-strip and pulp-magazine art, and items of every description from every corner of the globe. Blast Off! covers extensively some of the most profound toy and space phenomena of the era, from Buck Rogers to Flash Gordon to the Space Opera programs of the infancy of television to a blow-by-blow account of the greatest Tin Robot auction in history. Blast Off! is an essential resource not only for the collector, but for anyone with an appreciation of pop culture — or just plain fun!* Introduction by award-wining author, futurist, and cultural commentator Harlan Ellison.

Author Biography: Mark Young has been collecting Golden Age space toys and researching their origins and societal impact for many years. He is particularly interested in how space toys and science fiction have influenced popular culture and actual scientific progress in space. Mark holds a joint appointment as the KPMG Foundation Professor of Accounting and as Professor of Management at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781569715765
  • Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
  • Publication date: 11/7/2001
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 8.86 (w) x 11.30 (h) x 0.85 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2005

    First Class Fifties Memories

    This book has a much higherstandard of photograpy than similar retro titles. all fotos and graphics are on register.A P

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2001

    All The Space You Ever Wanted!

    'Blast Off!' is a richly photographed journey through 30 years of Space related toys, premiums, advertising and memorabilia. Using examples from some of the world's best collections, the rarest Space items have been gathered, categorized and pictured in an informative and entertaining manner. While the bulk of the information is provided through beautiful color photographs, there is also a wealth of new written material in every chapter. The personal recollections of individuals who were involved in the design and production of these toys give today's collectors new and insightful information into what was previously just speculation. Messrs. Young, Duin and Richardson have given us the definitive book on 'The Golden Age of Space Toys.' It is a thoughtful, elegantly executed look back to a time when space travel happened only in the imagination. Whether you collect Space toys, Science Fiction or memorabilia, the countdown has ended; it's time for you to 'Blast Off!'

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2001

    Space Fantasy at it's Best

    BLAST OFF is an excellent resource for the science fiction space toys of a by gone day, written by fans, for fans. These toys are not collected because they are the spawn of a big budget Hollywood movie, but are collected because they are remembered from the active play found in the imagination of a child's mind. BLAST OFF contains many professional quality pictures and excellent layouts of rare space toys that many of us have only heard about but not seen. BLAST OFF is not a price guide or a complete encyclopedia of the genera. It IS a personal remembrance of fans that have loved, remembered and kept many of these toys alive in their minds and collections. BLAST OFF is assembled in an interesting and informative format from Harlson Ellison preface, to the dawn of early science fiction television. BLAST OFF even includes a chapter on the invasion of the toy robots of Japan. It is all here, the early space hero prototypes of Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon, old friends of the small screen, Tom Corbett Space Cadet, Space Patrol, Rocky Jones and generic spaceman found in toy and department stores. Chapters about the early manufacturers of space toys are included with information about the major players of the era; Archer plastics, Marx Playsets and the plastic Pyro Spaceships. All laid out in an exciting format that had me turning back and forth between chapters reading bits of information in each one. I tried not to read it 'all up at one time', but was unable to stop myself from burrowing into the book finding new information about old friends of my childhood. However, the core of BLAST OFF is the interviews with collectors and their memories of why they collect the space toys of their childhood. It is not how much the toys are worth, it is the memories that are attached to them that make the toys a valuable treasure to remember, keep and pass on to another generation. I hope BLAST OFF stays in print for a long time with additional volumes of other rare and wonderful space toys. It is a book that needed to be written and it has been written well. Future generations need to know about the history of toys that sparked the children's imagination from the 30's to the 50's. Thank you Mark, Steve and Mike for nailing down a piece of our history that needs to be remembered. This book could not have been made possible without the support and work of fans like you.

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