UK Model

A different version of Johnny Astro became available at least in the UK likely after the original version was introduced in North America.  The manufacturers'  name was Triang Toys of England.  It appears that Triang Toys was licensed to produce their own version of Johnny Astro.  


 A Triang Toys catalog.

Triangs' version was beefed up with more accessories and the use of vivid colors was everywhere. The packaging and artwork for this toy were outstanding.  The space vehicles were now called moon probes and because of their more spherical shape, Triang claimed they would fly better.

The Moon Probe set came with a square moon landing base and a fancy balloon template.  Another piece of hardware was a hook that attached to the bottom of the space vehicle.  With the hook you could pick things up and drop them off.

 
The moon landing base.


This Moon Probe version sold in the UK.


Dramatic colors and a fold out box.  This version was loaded with accessories.


The enhanced balloon template and launching pad.


Australian Model

This striking Australian model was manufactured as early as 1967 by Moldex ltd of Fairfield, Vic.  Possibly the rarest model, there were significant differences in the design of the control center and with the addition of at least one accessory.

The control center was shaped such that the 4 D-cells were housed in the section leading to the fan assembly, unlike the North American version which had the batteries under the joystick and gauges.  Also different was the control center graphics depicting the various gauges.  In this version the graphics were not protected by a translucent green plastic shield.  An interesting accessory was a 12 volt power adapter.  Normally, this toy requires 4 D-cell batteries to operate however the power adapter allowed you to power the toy from a 12 volt source, commonly used for slot cars, toy trains and other toys.  

The instructions used slightly different terminology for the fan head referring to it as the  "Jet Beam Unit". 

Click on the thumbnails below for a closer look.
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The box had vivid graphics.


The control center.

Adding to the success of the original Johnny Astro, Topper introduced a portable model called Explorer.  Now you could fly your space vehicle anywhere!

Just like Triang Toys' Moon Probe version of Johnny Astro, a hook could be attached to the space vehicle so that you could pick up things.  The retro design has turned this toy into a sought after collectible by space toy enthusiasts.

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Johnny Astro Explorer 

Moon Ship is an interesting novelty toy likely manufactured in the 70's.  We are unsure of the manufacturer other than we know it was not built by Topper.  There was nothing to control with this toy.  It simply moved about randomly and floated a balloon above.  It appears to have been influenced by Johnny Astro in many ways.  The space ship itself is a ducted fan unit, the balloon is a space vehicle and a space capsule or an astronaut could be attached to the balloon to act as ballast to stabilize the balloon as it flew.

 

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Moon Ship

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