1958 Philipp Niedermeier, Space Satellite in Original Box

1958 Philipp Niedermeier, Space Satellite in Original Box

At first glance I thought this was your basic early "Us versus Them" space toy. After a little research I discovered that there's actually a story behind it. 

The Space-Satellite toy was manufactured in Western Germany by Philipp Niedermeier, Nuremberg. This example appears unused and in near mint+ to mint condition. It's complete with its original box. Both toy and box are marked "Made In Western Germany". The manufacturer's "PN" logo is located on Sputnick's surface (side facing away from the center). 

This is a lever action toy which rotates several revolutions before stopping. In the center is a representation of Earth's upper hemisphere made from pressed tinplate. Earth surface transportation is depicted as a large jet and boat. Overhead the two satellites revolve through "space". Pull the lever, the toy spins, and you look at it. No wonder it was never played with. A suction cup under the "Earth" holds it steady.

The two satellites on the other hand are very interesting. Held in place by metal rods the blue and white sphere represents the Russian built Sputnik; the first artificial space satellite. It has all three of it's original spring antenna's and shows a dog sticking out of a porthole. There was no such critter on that flight.

The other cylindrical satelitte however, represents Sputnik 2, which was the second artificial space satellite. Only this time it contained a live passenger. Laika ("barker" in Russian) became the first animal to go into orbit. The American press nicknamed the dog Muttnik. It was a one-way trip for the pooch. The lithography on the toy represents these two early Russian satellites. 

Interestingly the colorful box illustration shows the two satellites in orbit above North and South America. I guess it probably would not have been a good thing to show them over the U.S.S.R. Even the side panels show only North and South America. Endflaps have classic PN logo.

Size: 13" x 5½". 

Sold: Jul. 2006

Price Sold: $ 808


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Subject: 1958 Philipp Niedermeier, Space Satellite in Original Box

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