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Out of This World! Space Race Toys

Kids Go Free! Over the holiday period, enjoy a family visit to Petersfield Museum and Art Gallery. On display in the Museum Learning Space, experience a blast from the past […]

Kids Go Free!

Over the holiday period, enjoy a family visit to Petersfield Museum and Art Gallery. On display in the Museum Learning Space, experience a blast from the past with a presentation of over 20 original space-inspired toys, games, books and annuals. Everything from ray guns, space patrol walkie-talkies and Spring-Hell Jacks ‘Moon Shoes’.

The 1950s and 1960s saw intense competition between the USA and the USSR as they vied to master space. On 20 July 1969, Apollo 11 landed the first two humans on the Moon. This progress in – and preoccupation with – space exploration inspired both toy manufacturers and television programme makers.

The new and mysterious frontier of outer space allowed complete freedom of imagination and creativity. Dan Dare, a futuristic space pilot, originally portrayed in the Eagle comic of the 1950s, was one of the first characters in this space toy boom. The commercial potential of producing toys and games linked to programmes such as ‘Doctor Who’ (first broadcast in 1963) and ‘Thunderbirds’ (first aired in 1965) was also quickly realised.

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