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1950s Plastic Space Model Kits:
Buyer Beware
1950s space books
Glencoe Reissues
Lindberg Spaceship kits
Monogram / Willy Ley kits
Revell model kits
Strombecker / Disney kits


Find at eBay:


Related reading:

Monogram Models
(Schiffer Book for Collectors)


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Classic Plastic
Model Kits:

& Value Guide

by Rick Polizzi




Nasa and Space Exploration

Feature Article
Strange New Worlds  Issue 14 - June/July 1994

Vintage Spaceship model kits and popular publications of the 1950s
by Elliott Swanson

Classic Monogram Spaceship Model Kits

The four Willy Ley "signature" kits are an interesting issue. Each has a reproduction of Willy’s signature on the side of the box. All include a booklet describing the features of the spacecraft. There was a warehouse find of kits PS44 "TV Orbiter" and PS45 "Space Taxi" circa 1990, so the price is temporarily down on these items. A gift set, MGP-14, was issued that included all four kits, and is extremely rare. All have box art by R. Price. Text describing the kits is derived from a Monogram promotional brochure.

Monogram TV Orbiter Model Kit

(pictured right) PS44-129. 1/96 scale. Designed by Willy Ley. Issued 1959. This three stage rocket was designed to place a television camera into orbit, and includes a launch gantry. Current value: $75-$100.

Monogram Space Taxi Model Kit

(pictured above left) PS45-129. 1/48 scale. Designed by Willy Ley. Issued 1959. Designed to transport cargo from one point to another in outer space, as from a cargo rocket to a space station in orbit. Includes an unusual world-globe display stand.
Current value of PS45: $75-$100.

Reissued as PS-194 "Space Buggy." 
Current value of PS-194 is $75.

[Editor's note: Also, reissued 1996, pictured below]

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Monogram Orbital Rocket Model Kit

PS46-149. 1/192 scale. Designed by Willy Ley. Issued 1959. A research 3-stage manned rocket for controlled orbital flight. Model includes droppable fuel tanks, retractable landing gear, and a launch pad. Of all the kits issued, this and PS47 "Passenger Rocket" bear the closest resemblance to the US Space Shuttle currently flying. Current value: $250-$300.

Monogram Passenger Rocket Model Kit

PS47-149. 1/192. Designed by Willy Ley. Issued 1959. Trans-Oceanic passenger ship designed to be vertically launched for travel through outer space. Includes two-stage rocket and launching pad. Current value: $250:$300.

Article continues...

bulletGlencoe Reissued Models (made from original vintage molds)
bulletHawk Model Co. Vintage Kits
bulletLindberg Vintage Space Model Kits
bulletMonogram Vintage Space Model Kits
bulletRevell Vintage Space Model Kits
bulletStrombecker Vintage Model Kits

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In Association with

Also in this issue:
1950s Spaceship Model Kits
Possession Obsession
Are You a Packrat?
Deep Space 9 Model Kit
Space Stations and Star Trek
Academia and SF Fandom
Sci-Fi Girl Toys
Science Fiction Book Reviews
Letters to the Publisher


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