Please help me find my favorite toy
October 5, 2006 8:56 AM   Subscribe

This toy was given to me by a friend when I was 10. I have no idea who manufactured it or even if it was wide-release or a dollar-store knock off. I'm 25 and I still play with it.

The knobbly bits on the space ships connect to the back and bottom of each other, where, I suppose, the rocket exhaust would come out. I assume you could make whole space stations/cities by connecting parts, like construx or K'nex.

None of the parts carry any manufacturer's mark (such as Mattel) or even a "Made in China" stamp, although one of the ships has "C-1" in the rear exhaust port.

They have the same strange appeal as Polly Pocket or Mighty Max did, namely that they can be lost effortlessly while exploring a waist-high prairie of shag carpeting.

I still love the little bastard, but my searches for "tiny toy robots" have thus far been in vain, or rather, have returned a glut of unhelpful results. I have scanned ebay off and on, but again, the market is too flooded for me to effectively wade through.

Pictures below link to massive photos for detail.

posted by JeremiahBritt to Grab Bag (28 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
My guess is it was made by Tomy. I had a bunch of excellent, very favourite Tomy space toys - robot mech-y kind of things - very similar except the dudes were solid gold or silver and not articulated.
posted by Flashman at 9:07 AM on October 5, 2006

It also strongly reminds me of Starcom, a Coleco TV series and toy line from the 1980s.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 9:12 AM on October 5, 2006

Response by poster: NotMyselfRightNow: I hadn't even considered that it might be a man in a space suit; I don't know why. I always just thought of him as a robot. Thanks!
posted by JeremiahBritt at 9:20 AM on October 5, 2006

I dunno if these are Starcom, they look too different.

Starcom toys had little magnets in the guy's feet, and magnetic plates on the ships. Oh how I loved those toys. They also had some spring-loaded and somewhat motorized parts, as I remember. I remember the ship's cargo bay slowly sliding open on a little spring loaded rack.

These look strangely familiar, but I can't stretch my brain to remember.
posted by GreenTentacle at 9:27 AM on October 5, 2006

I don't think they're Starcom, unless he has magnets in his feet, as said above.

I think I had something like this. When I saw it, the word 'Connectrix' leaped to mind, but google has been inconclusive.
posted by sohcahtoa at 9:31 AM on October 5, 2006

Response by poster: Yeah I checked out some pictures of Starcom and, unless they released a micro-version as well, this doesn't really look like it.

My memory might be playing tricks on me, but as I recall it he gave me the guy and two ships because they matched color-wise; I think he had a lot more in a pale green or light grey.

I'm afraid it might be a knock-off or dollar-store find, in which case it might be nigh-impossible for me to find any more.
posted by JeremiahBritt at 9:35 AM on October 5, 2006

This toy was given to me by a friend when I was 10.

When would that be? The '70s? '80s? Knowing that might help people narrow it down.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:35 AM on October 5, 2006

Also, try looking around or asking at
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:37 AM on October 5, 2006

They look really familiar to me, I'm betting my sort-of-nephew used to have something from the same line. As an aside the Tomy hint was great for me, I've been looking for Tomy Rascal Robots for my nephew but had no idea what they were called, I just remember I had a couple when I was a kid.
posted by substrate at 9:38 AM on October 5, 2006

Response by poster: When would that be? The '70s? '80s? Knowing that might help people narrow it down.

Early 90's. But I don't know how long he had it before then; I did not receive it new.
posted by JeremiahBritt at 9:39 AM on October 5, 2006

I played with one in the late 80s, and got it new.
posted by sohcahtoa at 9:40 AM on October 5, 2006

This reminds me of when I bought a special giant Kinder egg (I think it might have been an Eastertime special product). The toy inside was a large snap-together space station.

Did your friend have any European relatives who might've given a giant Kinder egg as a gift? Could the toy be from one of those?
posted by cadge at 9:40 AM on October 5, 2006

Response by poster: cadge:

I don't know if he had European relatives, but it's possible.

This was in Rochester Hills and Troy, Michigan, right before the areas got extremely rich.
posted by JeremiahBritt at 9:50 AM on October 5, 2006

I used to have these! They were sold in Poundstretchers, a British bargain shop, in the early nineties, and they assembled into mecha dinosaurs with little pilot guys.

Haha, after some googling - they're Zoids, and they are a TOMY product.

Man, what a trip down memory lane!
posted by Happy Dave at 9:50 AM on October 5, 2006

Actually, on closer inspection, I think the specific one you have is the Poundstretcher knock-off of Zoids, that came out around the same time. Ah well, half right.
posted by Happy Dave at 9:52 AM on October 5, 2006

Too big for a Kinder egg, I think; neither the plastic windscreen nor the spaceship body wouldn't fit inside the capsule.

The little poles with the plus cross-section look suspiciously like things that belong on a Lego-esque building set, though the little dude is clearly not a Lego guy. A number of companies, including Tyco, have put out Lego knockoffs in the past with items that remind me of these ships (though less ornate), and certainly it could be even less directly related (as in a building system that doesn't use Lego-type blocks).
posted by chrominance at 9:53 AM on October 5, 2006

Or perhaps a Robotix knockoff? Looks really similar.
posted by Happy Dave at 10:29 AM on October 5, 2006

Response by poster: It looks similar to both Robotix and Zoids, without actually looking like either.

I have a feeling knock-offs will be harder to find then the official, main line versions. I was hoping it wasn't a knock off, as the detail and quality is quite high.

One thing I didn't mention that may or may not help: the figure has a hard plastic body, but the arms and legs are rubber. Most cheap toys don't have articulation, let alone mixed-material construction.
posted by JeremiahBritt at 10:45 AM on October 5, 2006

Dang, this is really annoying, because I definitely had one of these. If I remember rightly, the cockpit on the left fitted onto a T-rex like robot, while the one on the left fitted onto a more Diplodocus shaped robot. But the beauty was you could swap them about and build big battlestation type dealies. I have a very clear memory of being about maybe eight or nine years old, and going to buy a new one of these each month with my pocket money from Poundstretchers (I think they've gone under or been rebranded now). Poundstretchers didn't really sell branded stuff, so I fear these are a knockoff.

My google-fu is tired now, I'll check back tomorrow and see if anyone has remembered.
posted by Happy Dave at 11:02 AM on October 5, 2006

From what I remember, Zoids always had "all-plastic" pilots/guys/whatever. And they were seldom articulated. and I think the pegs for Zoids were usually solid cylinders - your toy has pegs with a "plus-sign" cross section. This has the look of a knock-off to me.
posted by chr1sb0y at 11:32 AM on October 5, 2006

Question: Since you got them second-hand, do you have any evidence that the capsules and the robot guy are part of the same product?

I distinctly recall the plus-into-cylinder connector from my youth, around the time when I was given a bunch of weird flea-market toys by my weird flea-market uncle, but the robot guy not so much.
posted by trevyn at 11:44 AM on October 5, 2006

Best answer: Hehe - I had a few of those guys when I was a kid - they're called "Legions of Power" - google turns up a few hits, with sufficient pictures to back up my memory. I need to get to digging in my parents' attic and see if those guys are still up there :)
posted by RobotMonkey at 11:54 AM on October 5, 2006

Response by poster: RobotMonkey for the win.

If you scroll to the bottom of this link you can see the ones I own; apparently they came free in Nestle Quik.

Thank you. Now to amass a miniature army.
posted by JeremiahBritt at 12:07 PM on October 5, 2006

No problem, and thank you for reminding me of this stuff - and now, off to eBay!
posted by RobotMonkey at 12:27 PM on October 5, 2006

Oh, you legend! That's them alright!
posted by Happy Dave at 1:15 PM on October 5, 2006


Here's the original advert.

"Legions of Pooooooower - Build for Baaaaaattle"
posted by Happy Dave at 1:17 PM on October 5, 2006

And here's a complete 1986 starter pack with 100+ parts on eBay. £3 and 21 hours to go, get bidding!
posted by Happy Dave at 1:21 PM on October 5, 2006

And a nice collection of box artwork. Okay, I'll stop now.
posted by Happy Dave at 1:30 PM on October 5, 2006

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