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My Moon Rocket Fleet Is Nearly Complete.


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A new Masuya Moon rocket arrived today. It was the one with the winged atomic symbol shield. With this one my moon rocket fleet is nearly complete. I have the 4 Masuya ones I know of, 5 different Hungarian ones (though some are only different due to the company logo) and one Chinese one.

The only one I'm missing is the OHTA Apollo rocket. I also need to get hold of one of the early Masuya boxes, also one for my recent acquisition and my other atomic symbol Masuya and finally one more Holdraketa box with the Flim Lemez logo.

The latest rocket


The rocket fleet - Hungarian to the front


The rocket fleet - Japanese and Chinese to the front


The rocket fleet from the side


The Apollo rocket I still need to find


The boxes I still need to get


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Holy cow! I had no idea there were so many variations of this rocket. This is REALLY impressive!

If you're feeling really ambitious, how about a rocket-by-rocket breakdown showing all the variations? ;)

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I'm with Doc. Who would have thought there were this many. This is the kind of selective collecting that fills in the missing links on space toys.

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I had no idea there were that many variations !! The sketch on the back wall looks like the style of Jean Leon Gerome .

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Wonderful collection and very informative and great to show so many variations. Wish you luck to get this Apollo too.

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As suggested by Doc I'm going to showcase each of the rockets and highlight anything that is distinctive about them and how each differs from the other versions. In my description I'll be using left and right which will be based on the perspective of the viewer rather than the rocket.

So I'll be starting with the white Masuya moon rocket which I believe to be the oldest one and also the progenitor of the Holdraketa rockets.

The rocket is 39.5cm (15.5inches) in height which appears to be the standard size for these rockets. It weighs 279 grams (8.75 ounces). It has an overall white colouring whereas later versions have a more metallic finish to them.

The writing on it consists of a warning - Danger Hydraulic Stair Way, the patent and trademark details and the words "Moon Rocket" are written top to bottom on the left side of the door and from bottom to top on the right side of the door. Both sets of writing are written sideways so you can read it when the rocket is running horizontally. All of the later versions the words are from top to bottom and written so that they are readable when the rocket is standing upright. Interestingly the Holdraketa versions retained this horizontal version of the writing except for the gold version which went to the vertical writing.

In the transition area where it narrows from the fin section to the main body there is distinctive wrinkling which occurs on all of them. The astronaut figure is early space program/flying suit style and above the door is a viewport. The next two versions used the same figure but it was changed for the last version put out by Masuya.



Dating on this rocket is a little uncertain but the box does hold some clues. The astronauts standing with the rocket are dressed in fifties style spaceman suits and the rockets on the side of the box have a similar styling. This would initially suggest the late fifties as the production date until you notice the drawing of the astronaut in the circle at the side of the box. This is based on a photo of Alan Shepard in his Mercury capsule just before launch. So this would give it a date of April 1961 at the earliest.

post-1110-0-04906500-1311147172.jpg post-1110-0-51148200-1311147125.jpg

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The next two rockets are also from Masuya and are so close in design I decided to detail both of them in the one post.

They are both the same height - 39.5cm (15.5 inches) and the one with the large atomic symbol weighs 250 gms (8.8 ounces) and the winged shield version weighs 255gms (9 ounces). I assume the weight difference is caused by the additional astronaut and spring in the second version.

On both the words "Moon Rocket" are written top to bottom and written so that they are readable when the rocket is standing upright.

The winged shield version and the large atomic symbol version differ little. The only variations are the symbols above the door, a slight difference in the trademarking of the rocket with the winged shield version missing one of the trademarks. Also the winged shield version has a second astronaut located on the folding section of the ladder.


Note the missing trademark on the winged shield version





for the free standing astronuat they used a new design rather than recycling the astronaut in the doorway. It would be interesting to see if they used this astronaut with a Geiger counter on any other toy - might help with the dating.


While I don't have a box for these versions I do have some images of the box for the same rockets owned by others. It is very similar to the last version of the Masuya moon rocket I have. The differences are that this version is more detailled in it's rocket drawing on the front and has no importers name on the side. In addition, it lists the toy's name as "Friction Moon Rocket" while the later version has a title of "Friction Toy Moon Rocket".

Dating on these two is unknown but I'm fairly certain as to the order they were made. The box design shows the large atomic symbol on the rocket above the door which suggests this version was made before the winged shield version. Additionally, the atomic symbol rocket has the same set of trademarks as the original white version but the winged shield rocket is missing one of the trademarks and this is repeated for the last version of this rocket. So I see no problem with saying the large atomic symbol rocket was produced first and then the winged shield version.


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This one is the last of the Masuya moon rockets. It is the same height as the others - 39.5cm (15.5 inches). It is the heaviest of the moon rockets at 268gms (9.45 ounces). I assume the weight difference is caused by the additional astronaut and the change in the design of the nose cone area to give it more of an Gemini capsule look.

As with the previous two rockets the words "Moon Rocket" are written top to bottom and written so that they are readable when the rocket is standing upright.

This version of the rocket has no symbol or design above the door. The overall colour of the rocket is a sort of blue tinged silver and something that is not immediately obvious in the photos is that it is pinstriped - small gaps between panels of colour.

As I said the capsule on the top of the rocket has been made to look like a Gemini capsule and instead of a reclining astronaut it has the head and shoulders of an astronaut looking out of the window. The astronaut in the doorway has also change. Instead of waving he now appears to be preparing to step onto the ladder. On the ladder itself there is another astronaut dressed in the same fashion as the astronaut in the doorway. The ladder design has also changed being more 3D in it's look and also the tab that normally holds the ladder in place when everything is folded up is no longer a folded piece of the bottom ladder section instead it is now a separate piece that is secured in place by tabs.


The trademarks and company logos



The box that came with this rocket has a simplified design for the main rocket picture and interestingly the astronauts depicted are more 1950's style than the 60's when this was likely to have been produced. The box title now calls it "Friction Toy Moon Rocket". Printed on the side is that it was imported by the Victory Merchandise Co Inc of New York.

I've no firm dating on this one but I do believe that because the package design has been simplified from the other box and that the astronauts on the rocket are a complete design departure from those depicted on the other rockets that this version is the last in the series (at least of those I've found).


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Very fine and informativ. I am glad, too, thats I purchase my White Masuya Moon Rocket. It is in pretty good condition, too.



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  • 4 weeks later...

The second week I see a good Masuya Moon Rocket (this silver with 2 Astronauts) at ebay for 149,- $. Wonder me that it stand still, the second time.

Is this to expensive??? This toy is in good condition. How much is it real worth? I am curious.

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Not a bad price. My 2 astronaut version I bought for $227 including postage. Given the postage I normally pay I would have bid around the $190 mark. It did however include the box but would mean the $149 for rocket alone is a good price. I know Main Street toys has one with a damaged box at $395.

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