Marx Lane 
An Inventory of Marx Playset Figures and Accessories
Manufactured from 1951 to 1979

 
Appendix S-1 - Space Exploration Figures
Contents of this web site may not be reproduced or duplicated for use on the Internet or for commercial purposes without permission by Eric Johns.

This web site was created in late 2007, providing information about Marx wild west playset figures on a single web page.  It now consists of about 30 web pages, with information on figures, structures, terrain pieces, and small accessories from playsets in many different themes.  It also has indexes for Playset Magazine and PFPC magazine.  
I will continue to update these pages as I obtain more information and photos.  If you have anything to add to these pages or suggestions to make them better, please e-mail me at ericjohns4444@gmail.com.  I will be glad to attribute contributions to you.  And if you have questions or comments, I am always glad to hear from you!



Table of Contents

(click on name to move to section)
Early 45mm Space Figures:
     Tom Corbett Cadets
     Space Patrol Astronauts and Aliens
     Rex Marx Astronauts and Aliens
Cape Canaveral/Kennedy Ground Crew:
     Air Force Figures
     Scientists and Technicians
Moon Base Astronauts
Space Capsule Astronaut
Mystery Space Ship Astronauts and Aliens
Apollo Astronauts
3-Inch Space Astronauts and Aliens
4-Inch Space Astronauts and Aliens
6-Inch Apollo Figures
     
Back to Main Table of Contents

Most figures on this page are shown in approximately proper proportion when compared to other figures.  Larger items and items in photos credited to others may not be.


In the years following World War II, Americans turned their focus from the long and costly war to their back-to-normal lives of chasing the American dream, which largely involved work, school, and summer vacations.   However, they still looked for some excitement in their daily lives, and this they found at least partially in increasing news stories and Hollywood movies of alien sightings, UFOs, and travel through space and time.  

In 1950, two fantasy-based television programs featuring space exploration were introduced:  Space Patrol and Tom Corbett, Space Cadet.
 
Taking advantage of this space craze, Louis Marx obtained licensing rights with both shows and in 1952 expanded his new playset line with sets modeled on both of them.  The company also created sets with its own space title, Rex Mars.  The space sets quickly became best sellers, and Marx continued to create new space playsets right up to its end, 27 years later.

Marx space playset production can be summarized as follows:

Early sets:  Tom Corbett, Space Patrol, Rex Mars, and Captain Space 1952 to 1957
Project Mercury Missile Base 1958 to 1959
Cape Canaveral/Cape Kennedy 1958 to 1968
Operation Moon Base 1962
Mystery Space Ship 1962
Giant Martin Landing 1972
Galaxy Command 1979

I was lucky enough to have a Tom Corbett Training Academy Playset when I was in the fourth grade.  With the rockets and flying saucers and Tom Corbett himself, I had a great time with it.  Sorry to say that I am not one of those who held onto his playsets into adulthood, but I do have the 8mm movie that my parents took the Christmas that I got it.  Marx space sets were -- and still are -- just lots of fun!

As with other pages on this web site, I must attribute much of the information presented here to the former Plastic Figure and Playset Collector magazine (PFPC), the current Playset Magazine, Geppert's Guide to to Non-Metallic Toy Soldiers of the U.S., and various other similar publications.  For the space area, however, I must point out one other source, the book Blast Off: Rockets, Robots, Ray Guns, and Rarities from the Golden Age of Space Toys!.  Written by Mark Young, Steve Duin, and Mark Richardson, it is 
undoubtedly the best publication on toy space figures.  The book's chapter on Tom Corbett and other space heroes of the 1950s includes a treasure trove of photos of Marx space figures and playsets. 

Early 45mm Space Figures

Marx created three approximately 45mm figure groups for its early space playsets.  Based on terminology that collectors use today, these were a Tom Corbett group, a Space Patrol group, and a Rex Mars group.  While character figures were created for the two television program sets, sets commonly had figures from more than one of the three groups, sometimes all three.  These early sets also included near identical accessories:  a tin litho headquarters building, tin litho compound gate and fencing, space rockets, flying saucers, and a variety of small accessories.  The primary difference among the sets was simply the name on the playset's box and on the miniature space compound's gate and headquarters building.


Probably due to licensing fees, Tom Corbett sets were produced only in 1952 and 1953, and Space Patrol was done only in 1952.  The generic Rex Mars sets were produced through 1955, including Rex Mars Planet Patrol and Rex Mars Space Port.  The company produced another generic playset, Captain Space Solar Port, in 1953 and 1954, but contents again were similar to other sets.

The figures for all three goups
were first manufactured in the soft, rubber-like vinyl that Marx used in its early playsets.  They were eventually produced in the soft plastic that Marx adopted as its figure material in the mid-1950s.    While commonly called 45mm scale, they are actually slightly bigger.  Some collectors refer to them as 50mm.  Figures were made initially without bases, but bases were later added to some.  Initially made in gray, blue, tan, and a pale orange, they were made in a few other colors later, including yellow and a bright red-orange.

Marx did not name any of the figures as specific characters in the television shows.  However, several of the figures are commonly identified as specific characters by collectors.  As explained below, some very obviously are, and others may well be.  There is also a good deal of instances where figures can be posed to interact, some of it clearly intended by Marx and some not so clear.  Some of these possibilities, again, are noted below.

Besides playsets, the figures were also sold in bagged figure groups and even individually.  According to PFPC, some were also made for use as premiums in food packages.
  Bagged and premium figures were often made in colors not used for figures in playsets.


    Tom Corbett Space Cadets
          PL-468


The Tom Corbett figure group included 17 poses, 15 earthlings and two aliens.  They were initially manufactured for playsets in gray vinyl and later in much more hard to find blue, yellow, and brown orange.  They also came in a gray soft plastic in the company's Captain Space set in 1957.

Although not identified on the figure, Pose 1 below is almost certainly a character figure of Tom Corbett.  I must admit that I am not familiar with the cast of characters in the Tom Corbett television show, but veteran collector Josh Petrie has informed me that the fighting figures (Poses 14 and 15) are probably intended to be Roger Manning and Astro, who were always going at each other on the show.  That could make Pose #10 Tom (if posed as in the interaction photos at the end of this section), because he was the one who always broke up their spats.

Josh also notes that Pose #2 must be Dr. Joan Dale, who was the only female on the program, while Pose #6 is likely intended to be Commander Arkwright and Pose #7  Captain Strong.  

The two aliens included in this group are also included in one or both of the other two 45mm groups.  They are two of six aliens Marx included in its 45mm playsets.  This group of six were Marx' only aliens for its space sets, except for its small scale Mystery Space Ship set.  The aliens are shown together in the Rex Marx section later on this page.


If one studies the figure poses carefully, he or she will realize that several of the figures can be posed to interact with other figures or with playset accessories.  Pose 4, for example, fits perfectly into the seat of the set's space car (see space accessories page).  Pose 5 sits at the small accessory control console, and Pose 9 is climbing the accessory ladder.  The two fighting cadets, of course, go together.  

The cadet with his arms in the air (Pose 11) is not meant to be surrendering to the aliens, but rather according to PFPC Issue 29 is intended to be used behind the small telescope accessory piece, perhaps a surverying instrument.  
On the other hand, again, Josh Petrie has pointed out to me other possible interactions for that figure and for others.  For example, he notes that Marx documentation indicates that one of the spacemen is supposed to be wrestlng with an alien from Mercury.  Josh believes that the most logical figure would be that same Pose 11, and the Mercurian -- based on pictures in Tom Corbett comics -- is the Pose #16 alien.  Josh pointed out the large base on Pose 11 to me and believes that it is intended to keep the figure balanced as he holds something overhead.  The positioning with the Mercurian alien shown at the bottom of the photos below seems probable.  The only problem with this, though, is that the alien's foot and hand seem to me clearly positioned for him to be on the ground as shown in the photo of Pose 16.

There is a brief article on figure interaction by Michael Poko in PFPC 29, which includes the Marx document stating "man from Mercury, wrestling."  Michael suggests that the Mercurian might be wrestling the cadet with his left arm extended (Pose 15), but the documentation states that the two cadets are fighting one another, not an alien.  Unfortunately, it does not specify which cadet the alien is wrestling with
.  I would suggest perhaps the alien should be "wrestling" with Pose 13 (again, see poses at the bottom of this section), where he can sit in the stance that is most natural to the position of his bent hand and foot.  These poses obviously go well together, so perhaps the term "wrestling" was used somewhat loosely.
1.  Tom Corbett 2.  Female, hands on hips

3.  Sitting, reading book 4.  Sitting, hand to ear 5.  Seated, arms forward

6.  Instructor standing with book 7.  Talking with microphone 8.  Standing with sextant

9.  Climbing ladder 10.  Holding or pushing something 11.  Walking, arms up

12.  Running 13.  On one knee, ray gun in right hand

14.  Fighting, right hand up 15.Fighting, right hand down

Image not available - we could use yours!
16.  Crawling  with ray gun 17.  Big eared alien with one hand up

Intended and Unintended Figure Interactions
Poses 11 and 16, from above
 
Pose 4 above, who I believe is really supposed to fit into the space car.  Personally, I like this pose better!
Poses 10, 14, and 15 from above
 
Pose 13 from Space Patrol Group shown below.  Generally accepted intent is working on robot, as shown at left.  However, he e sits perfectly, however, to be looking at screen on radar equipment. Was Tom Corbett Pose 13 (at left) the figure intended to be "wrestling" with the Pose 16 Mercurian alien (at right)?





     Space Patrol Astronauts and Aliens
           PL-490

The Space Patrol figure group included 12 figures, made initially in a brown orange and later in blue, yellow, gray, and a light tan.  Because the Space Patrol playset was produced only one year, these figures are harder to find and more expensive than the other two groups of 45mm space figures, especially the character figures.

 Again, although Marx did not specify any of the figures to be characters from the television show, several are easily identified as such.  Based on an article in Playset Magazine Issue 26, Pose #1 below is Commander Buzz Corry, Pose #2 is Major Robbie Robertson, Pose #3 is Carol Carlisle, Pose #4 is Assistant Security Officer Tonga, and Pose #5 is Cadet Happy.  After receiving information from veteran collector Josh Petrie, I believe that the magazine has Corry and Robertson confused.  
Pose #2, Josh says, is probably Commander Corry, since he appears to be giving orders.  Pose #1 would then be Major Robertson, which makes sense, according to Josh, because Robbie always carried the biggest ray gun!  I would add that Robbie also was the one who had a moustache (see photo above), and Pose #1 is the one with a moustache.

Josh also believes that some figures represent a second pose of these characters.  He notes that 1) Pose #7 looks suspiciously like Happy and 2)
based on insignias on the figures' uniforms, Pose #6 appears to be Commander Corry and #8 Major Robertson again.    

The space suits in this group -- which to me appear to resemble clown costumes -- have a collar ring around their neck, used to attach separate clear plastic space helmets.  Having owned a set myself in the 1950s, I think these tiny helmets were one of the neatest accessories Marx made.  I presently own none, but they are shown in a photo from collector Terry Royer in the following section on Rex Mars figures.  I'm sure that these were one of the most easily lost pieces in any playset.  Fortunately, identical helmets have been re-issued and are often seen on Ebay, though even the re-issues are not cheap.  

The alien with big ears, waving pose is also in the Tom Corbett and Rex Mars figure groups, and the frogman alien is in the Rex Mars group.

And I must add that the ray gun held by Major Robertson in Pose 1 is one humungous gun.  Wyatt Earp would have loved it!

1.  Major Robertson, standing with gun in right hand 2.  Commander Corry, giving orders 3.  Carol, standing
Photo courtesy of Dennis Swing
4.  Tonga, climbing

5.  Cadet Happy, crouching with ray gun
Examples of figure with and without base
Photo on left courtesy of David Schafer
6.  Driver
Photo courtesy of David Schafer
7.  Arms raised with hoop signal equipment 8.  At attention

9.  Walking with ray gun in right hand 10.  Punching with right hand 11.  Alien frogman 12.  Big eared alien with hand up


 
 
     Rex Mars Astronauts and Aliens
           PL-479


The Rex Mars (sometimes called generic) figure group includes 19 figures.  They were initially issued in medium blue and yellow, but later made in gray and orange, as well as a soft plastic cream.  
The aliens were also produced in a translucent green in Moon Base playsets from the early 1960s. Veteran collector Josh Petrie tells me that some Rex Mars spacemen also populated the first Cape Canaveral playset in a soft plastic cream and metallic blue; apparently the molds for Cape Canaveral personnel (see below) were a late arrival.  Rex Marx figures also came in a gray soft plastic in the final Captain Space set in 1957.   (Ross believes that four Marx construction figures were also included in that first set).

The group includes no character figures, but is the only one of the three 45mm group that has all six of the company's 45mm alien figures.  

All 13 astronauts in this group are wearing space suits and have molded collar rings around their neck to attach separate clear plastic space helmets, the same helmets as used for some of the Space Patrol figures (see photo below).  Having owned a set myself in the 1950s, I think these tiny helmets were one of the neatest accessories Marx made.  However, I also am sure that these were one of the most easily lost pieces in any playset.  Fortunately, identical helmets have been re-issued and are often seen on Ebay, though of course even the re-issues are not cheap.
Space helmets used for Space Patrol and Rex Mars figures
Photo courtesy of collector Terry Royer


Josh Petrie has put forth an interesting theory on this group that, after doing a little research on the Internet, I fully agree with.  It is very probable that the Rex Mars figures were initially designed to represent the Tom Corbett television cast in their space suits.  Their suits are identical to those in the Tom Corbett show, newspaper comic strip, and comic books.  Note especially the suspenders!  Josh wrote, "'Rex Mars' has become the hobby's accepted title for this group, but the Rex Mars sets did not have any unique figures, just the recycled figures from the two licensed sets (Tom Corbett and Space Patrol).  Both 'Rex Mars' and 'Captain Space' were inventions of the Marx team that enabled them to sell the same  previously developed product without having to pay any licensing fees to anyone."

As with the Tom Corbett figure group, some of the Rex Mars figures are made to interact with each other or with playset accessories.  Pose #7 seems to have been made to be helping the wounded astronaut in Pose 6.  However, he can also be posed holding a space helmet.  Pose 8 is intended to be putting on a helmet, but can also be placed behind the small telescope accessory as if he is directing someone in a surveying project.  Though I'm not convinced, many collectors believe that the kneeling astronaut in Pose 13 is supposed to be adjusting a knob on the robot in Pose 14 (see photo at the end of the Tom Corbett Group section above).  That might make sense, except that the robot appears to be walking.  Josh, on the other hand, proposes that the Robot simply broke down just as he was taking a step forward.  Buuuut.....we'll never know for sure!

1.  Floating with flood light 2.  Holding fuel line

3.  Female, walking 4.  Holding ray gun in right hand, knees bent 5.  Holding ray gun in right hand, knees straight

6.  Wounded 7.  Assisting wounded man Poses 6 and 7 together 8.  Putting on helmet


9.  With 3-legged equipment in right hand 10.  With walkie-talkie 11.  With geiger counter

12.  Looking through scope 13.  Kneeling, perhaps adjusting robot 14.  Robot
(in blue and green)

15.  Alien, walking with translator 16.  Big eared alien with hand up 17.  Alien with ray gun and pointed ears

18.  Alien standing, arms folded 19.  Alien frogman





Cape Canaveral Ground Crew

In October 1957, the U.S.S.R. became the first to successfully launch a satellite into orbit around the Earth.  American concern about being second best spurred new interest in the country's space progam.  In 1960, a youthful John F. Kennedy was elected president and, in his inauguration speech, predicted that the U.S. would have a man on the moon within the decade.

With the space race captivating the attention of the American public, Marx revised its space playsets in 1958 to include much more realistic figures and accessories, based on the U.S.'s space facility at Cape Canaveral.  According to PFPC Issue 46, the series of Cape Canaveral sets continued until 1968, when the Carry-All version  was released.  A few sets carried the name Cape Kennedy when the name of the facility was changed after President Kennedy died in 1963.  As described below, about half of the Cape Canaveral figures were previously used as Air Force troops and the other half were created for and used exclusively in the Canaveral sets.  With added realism, gone are the aliens and clownish space suits.

     Air Force Figures
           PL-


These figures are identical to the company's 1954 Air Force figures included in some military playsets.  Marx simply omitted two obviously military-related poses, the airman holding up a rocket and the airman holding a machine gun ammunition belt.  The others fit well in space exploration sets, usually paired with the scientists and engineers group shown in the next secion.  And, according to PFPC Issue 46, even those military-related poses were included in at least one Cape Canaveral Set (#4562).

As noted on Kent Sprecher's web site, these figures are about 50mm tall and, in military playsets,  had a flat base with the normal two push pin marks.  In an attempt to make them more compatable with the 54mm scale used for the scientists and engineers group, Marx gave those in space sets a base about 4mm high.  This thicker base is concave with a lip running around its bottom (see photo at left).

Of course, the decision to add the larger base was obviously one made by upper management, because in reality it does nothing to make the smaller figures more compatible with the larger figures.  It just makes them look like short guys with big bases.

Although a couple of the figures below are metallic blue, space playset figures were most often gray and sometimes cream.   Military sets usually had the group in metallic blue.
Photo not available - we could use yours!
1.  Pilot walking in high altitude suit 2.  Pilot standing, reading paper 3.  Pilot walking, hand at chest 4.  Pilot walking, swinging arms

5.  Pilot crouching with paper 6.  Standing with air hose 7.  Bending with wrench down

9.  Standing with signal light
(old base left, new base right)

These three Air Force figures were not included in most Cape Canaveral sets, but at least one set did include them (#4526)




     Scientists and Technicians
          PL-982

Marx created this group of 54mm figures as a ground crew for Cape Canaveral.  The group came in a variety of colors, including metallic blue, light blue, tan, cream, and flesh.  This group generally was paired with the Air Force figure group shown in the previous section.

The group originally consistedof 10 poses.  In 1961, Marx added the pointing astronaut pose (Pose 1 below) to the mold.  Playset Magazine Issue 37 suggests that this cream-colored figure is intended to be a character figure of U. S. astronaut Alan Sheperd.  The magazine notes that when news reporters bombarded Sheperd with questions as he stepped onto the Cape Canaveral launch pad, Sheperd -- unable to speak due to his cumbersome space suit -- "simply raised his silvery gloved finger and aimed at the stars. " Hmmm, works for me...   Note that the same figure was included in and fits much better in the Operation Moon Base group in the next section, where it came in silver.

 
1.  Astronaut standing, pointing
(Not included in original mold, added two years later)
2.  Officer standing at ease in brim hat 3.  Crouching with wrench 4.  In hard hat, pointing up

5.  In hard hat with geiger counter 6.  In hard hat waving gloves 7.  In hard hat, right hand up, calling 8.  Fireman in Haz Mat suit with fire extinguisher

9.  Fireman running with hose 10.  Fireman with CO2 cylinder 11.  Fireman with fuel hose





Moon Base Astronauts
 PL-1120

Although the U.S. did not have men walking on the moon until 1969, Marx jumped the gun in 1962 with a 54mm Moon Base figure group in a series of four or five Operation Moon Base playsets.  Today, collecters generally identify this group as the "silver astronauts."  

Seven of the nine figures had molded on helmets; two have no helmets, but are used with seperate spacesuits.  
Except for the two figures with seperate spacesuits, they are realistically posed and well detailed.  While the removable space suits may have added some play value to the set, they look more like evil torture devices from the Middle Ages than space suits.  PFPC Issue 35 states that they are reproductions of actual proposed space gear, but they look more like costumes from a 1930s space movie to me.  The 2-piece suits fit snugly onto the figures, with small pegs in one half fitting into holes in the other half.  

Although everyone realized by 1962 that there was no life on the moon, Marx and its Moon Base sets reverted to its standard population of  the six 45mm aliens that were first made 10 years earlier.  For Moon Base sets, PFPC reports they came in a waxy dark green.  The little guys had been omitted from Cape Canaveral sets a year earlier.   Perhaps Marx was influenced by a flurry of mail from kids who demanded aliens in their space  playsets!  After all, what fun are space guys if there's no one to blast with your ray gun?

As mentioned in the previous section, some collectors believe that Pose 3 below was intended to be a character figure of Alan Sheperd.

1.  Climbing rocks 2.  On rocks, one foot up
3.  Standing, pointing

4.  Walking, right hand on visor
5.  Floating in space with wrench
6.  Floating in space with camera

7.  Arms out with separate space suit accessory
8.  Arms out with tool in right hand with separate space suit

Pose 7 without suit
"Republic" Suit for Pose 7

Pose 8 without suit
"Standford" Suit for Pose 8
                                                                          




Space Capsule Astronaut
  PL-

The company's Moon Base sets -- as well as its Mystery Space Ship sets (see later on this page) -- included a seated astronaut, posed to fit into the set's space capsule.  The figure and capsule were found is several other later Marx space sets.  Found in both a red flourescent red and silver soft plastic, the capsule parts were made in the same mold as the figure.  The capsule was a good representation of the U.S.'s initial one-man capsules, but Marx never produced a rocket large enough for the capsule to fit onto.
Space capsule figure - translucent red and silver
                                                                        




Mystery Space Ship Astronauts and Aliens

The unusual Mystery Space Ship Playset of 1962 (see Space Accessories page for more information)  included a group of tiny 35mm figures.  Astronauts were downsized versions of eight of the Moon Base figures described above, including the seated capsule figure.  The two figures with removable space suits were included, but not their suits.  In addition, Marx created six new alien poses, also 35mm scale.

Figures were made in soft plastic in either what PFPC Issue 56 calls a "medium grass green" or "dull orange."  In each set, the aliens were generally made in one color and the astronauts in the other.  As you can see, with the figures being so small and in such odd colors, my camera has difficulty taking their pictures!

1.  Space walking with wrench 2.  Walking on moon, one foot on ground
3.  Walking, hand on visor

4.  Standing, pointing
5.  Walking on moon, both feet on ground 6.  Holding both arms out, not wearing space suit
 
Photo is not available at this time.
7.  Sitting, arms out
Photo courtesy of Scott Lawson, Ebay ID guitarscot4

8.  Sitting, arms in?

Photo is not available at this time. Photo is not available at this time. Photo is not available at this time.
9.  Alien with four arms 10.  Alien with pistol in left hand 11.  Alien with right arm up, pointed ears

Photo is not available at this time. Photo is not available at this time. Photo is not available at this time.
12.  Alien with pointed face, right arm up 13.  Alien with helmet, left arm up 14.  Alien with pistol in right hand




Apollo Astronauts
PL-1503

I am uncertain when the Apollo Astronaut figures were first released.  An article in PFPC Issue 49 states that in 1972 the new figures were included in Marx' Giant Martian Landing Playset.  That would suggest that Marx -- who sold his toy empire in 1972 -- had a heavy hand in the new group of figures.  However, the Master Playset List in PFPC's Special Collectors' Edition reports that set was released about 1977.   I do not know which is correct.  I will point out that the figures came in almost neon colors, which I question whether Louis Marx would ever have used.

Whichever year it was, the company introduced twelve new 54mm Apollo astronauts in its Giant Martian Landing Playset.  These astronaut figures are very realistic, but each pose seems to represent virtually a clone of every other figure.  It's as if the same astronaut posed for each of the 12 figures.

Six of the 12 were downsized duplicates from the company's 6-inch figures (see later on this page).  The mold included two of the figure with a ring hand (Pose 11 below); they carried a rectangular box, which was made in the same mold as the figures.  The Martian Landing set included the figures in a
waxy soft white plastic; in 1979, the Galaxy Command Playset -- one of the company's final sets - used the same astronaut figures, this time in both waxy white and waxy orange.

The Martian Landing set included the same six 45mm aliens that dated all the way back to the Tom Corbett sets, cast in a eye-catching translucent green soft plastic.  Mercifully, the subsequent Galaxy Command set finally dropped the sextet of aliens.
 
1.  Astronaut, space walking 2.  Walking, dragging bag 3.  Digging with shovel

4.  With flag
Photo courtesy of Denis Rylev
5.  Walking, arms at sides 6.  With hammer

Photo not available - we could use yours!
7.  With metal detector
Photo courtesy of Denis Rylev
8.  With round scoop and bag
Photo courtesy of Denis Rylev
9.  Walking with case
10.  With camera at chest 11.  Ringhand for separate box accessory 12.  With square-ended scoop
13.  Separate box accessory
Box is about 2 inches long
Box carried by ring hand figures
Photo courtesy of Denis Rylev





3-Inch Figures (70mm)

This unusual set of Marx figures is featured in an article in Playset Magazine Issue 17, which was written by Mark Young.  Mark is co-author of the book "Blast Off", mentioned in the opening section of this page.  As noted in that article, though only slightly larger than the company's common 54mm and 60mm figures, these 70mm figures were never included in any playset.  Apparently they were sold only individually or perhaps packaged as a group.

The article includes a photo of the only known store display of them (which is now in the Marx Toy Museum in West Virginia), which  identifies them as "Official Rex Mars Planet Patrol" figures.  Again, however, they were never included in any of the company's several Rex Mars playsets.  The store display also states, "...just as you see them in the famous comic strip."  Nothing is known of any such comic strip.

Veteran collector Josh Petrie tells me that their space suits are identical to those worn by Tom Corbett and his crew and "
the illustrations on the store display are all taken from Dell's copyrighted series of Tom Corbett comic books."  Apparently, 
they were initially produced by Marx as that group, but the licensing agreement must have expired before the figures were marketed.  So they were sold under the company generic "Rex Mars" label.

Though not often seen, the figures are listed in "Geppert's Guide to Non-metallic Soldiers of the U.S." as MX 156A to MX156H. They generally came in the metallic colors of silver, blue, and green, but Josh reports that figures from Canada came in a cream color.  Most -- if not all -- of those sold in the U. S. were soft plastic, but those from Canada were vinyl.  As Mark's article points out, they are well detailed and all have very serious expressions on their faces, with the robot looking downright evil.  Except for the robot, each figure came with a helmet that was intended to be held fast by a tab on their collar ring, though reports I have suggest that they do not hold well on soft plastic figures..  

According to the article, the figures were re-issued in Mexico during the 1980s in bright red, orange, and yellow, but without helmets.  The photos of original figures below were provided by Russian collector Denis Rylev.  A photo of the figures is also in Mark's book.  I purchased a set of silver figures (without helmets) over Ebay in mid-October and am certain that they are re-issues.  They are in a semi-hard plastic and well made.

All photos in this section except #3 courtesy of Russian collector Denis Rylev
1.  Robot or alien 2.  Walking, rifle in right hand 3.  Walking, geiger counter in left hand

4.  Standing, pistol pointed forward in right hand 5.  Running 6.  Kneeling, wireless phone in left hand

7.  Standing with air hose 8.  Pistol or signal flare held upward
All photos in this section except #3 courtesy of Russian collector Denis Rylev





4-inch Figures

I can't say much about these figures except that they are listed in "Geppert's Guide for Non-metallic Soldiers of the U.S." as 218A to 218H and that a photo of them is also included in the book "Blast Off" mentioned in the opening section of this page.  I think I've seen them in a PFPC or Playset Magazine some place, but cannot recall where.  The guide states that they came in metallic blue, metallic green, silver, and white and that the astronauts had seperate helmets.  Geppert reports them as 5-inch figures, but the re-issues I have are four inches tall.  I am unsure how they were sold.

Collector Josh Petrie reports that he has seen them only as a part of a "Space Satellite Launching Station" that launched flying saucers from a platform structure.  It is possible that they may also have been included in some other small playsets and sold individually or as a group.  I have never heard of or seen any small accessories for them.

As pictured below, I have seen several complete groups of these figures up for auction on Ebay, all of which I am certain are re-issues made in Mexico.  I believe I also saw some of these re-issues for sale at OTSN.  The re-issues I have are silver, semi-hard plastic and very well made with just a bit of flashing.  Re-issue helmets were included with the purchase.  The helmets have two small slots, which fit over a tab on the front of the figures' collar rings and and their air hoses in the back.

These are not fun-loving space guys.  Some of them look rather vicious, one holding a knife and another preparing to fire a pistol held head high, assassination style.  The "onion head" alien is downright scary-looking with pointy, webbed hands and feet and cylindrical eye balls popping out of his head.  The fellow with the radio is obviously the oldest -- beard and all -- and may have been meant to be the captain of the group.
Figure in helmet
re-issue
Helmet
re-issue

1.  Standing with communication device
re-issue
2.  Standing with knife
re-issue
3.  Standing with signal lights
re-issue

4.  Standing with geiger counter
re-issue
6.  Standing, pistol pointed forward
re-issue
8.  Standing, holding rifle
re-issue

7.  Crouching, pistol pointed left
re-issue
8.  Alien
Geppert's Guide lists him as "onion head"
re-issue





6-inch Figures
PL-1500

Released in the late 1960s, these figures actually stand about 5-1/2 inches tall, slightly shorter than most of the company's 6-inch figures.  I have found them in white and light blue soft plastic.  

They are well-sculpted, but 
each pose seems to represent virtually a clone of every other figure.  It appears that Marx skimped on sculpting costs by using the same body  and head for each figure, simply changing the position of arms and legs and the items being held by each figure.  Not that there is anything wrong with that, but it looks a little weird if you look too close!

To the best of my knowledge, these large figures were never included in a playset, though the poses were downsized to 54mm scale and included in the Apollo Astronaut figure group described earlier on this page.  
1.  Walking with arms at sides 2.  Walking, case in left hand

3.  Standing, camera held at chest
Photo courtesy of Russian collector Denis Rylev
4.  Standing with round scoop and sample bag

5.  Standing with flag 6.  Standing with square scoop
Photo courtesy of Russian collector Denis Rylev



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