c.1958 Structoys Explorer Vanguard Tracking Station In Original Box

c.1958 Structoys Explorer Vanguard Tracking Station In Original Box

Complex and rarely found multi-action tin litho "Battery Operated Explorer & Vanguard Tracking Station". Beautiful toy with EVERY function working! Comes complete in original box with original instruction/assembly sheet.

Manufactured in Japan by a company calling itself "Structoys" this toy was made for the American market to catch the early interest in the U.S. space program. Explorer was the name given to the first U.S. launched rocket. Vanguard was the first U.S. satellite. In fact when you look through the "radar scope" window you can see a model of the Earth lit eerily by green light. Revolving around the Earth is a small silver satellite and a small silver rocket.

As the two objects continue spinning "on the scope", the radar dish antenna on the left also rotates. Red and green lights underneath the radar alternately blink on and off. On the opposite end is the Telegraph tower with red beacon light at the top. At the base of the toy is the "code signal key". A loud buzzing is caused when the key is depressed, while simultaneously the beacon light blink. On a kid-type level the entire toy creatively simulated all of the functions necessary to track and communicate with Vanguard and Explorer. Very neat!!

As mentioned the toy is all tin litho embossed with dummy knobs and gauges. It has its original plastic on/off knob and metal code signal key. Both work! Lithoes on the left side show the perspective from the Earth kid's space controller view. The right litho is the space view perspective. The rear of the unit simulates venting. The underside was lithoed a solid silver color.

The box features a simple illustration of the kid ground base tracking station. The knobs and controls before him are very similar to the actual toy. The instruction sheet was divided into two sections. The upper half are assembly instructions as well as showing insertion of the batteries. Printed on the lower half is a complete set of Morse Code signals with corresponding letters. Of course the buzzing was to simulate the sound of Morse code telegraphy.

Size: 7½" x 10¾" x 5¾" assembled.

Date Sold: Jan. 2011

Price Sold: $ 610


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Subject: c.1958 Structoys Explorer Vanguard Tracking Station In Original Box

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