What is collected goes in patterns and cycles. The age and time period a collector remembers as the "good ole' days" will drive the market. In the early 70's, when many Space Opera fans were in their 30 - something years, there was a lower demand for items from the 50's and the prices were much lower than they are now (supply and demand). Now, twenty years later, with career's and family responsibilities completed many of the 50's space cadets are looking at retirement and have more "expendable" income to put into their hobby. In fact, many specialty collector shops are now looking for the fabulous "60's" collectibles! Whatever your desire, the toys of our childhood are costing us more today and a well informed collector can better determine how to invest in those childhood memories.
The advent of ebay and other auction type websites is a two edged sword that has expanded the market of collectibles and introduced items from collections and attics that would have been difficult to find on an individual search. The other side of the two edged internet sword is misinformation and confusion that enters the auction descriptions. Either an honest mistake or a "shaded" truth about an item may mislead someone into thinking they have found a treasure only to be disappointed when the item arrives and its a reproduction (repro). Repro's and items that are still easy to find are being offered on the internet as "old" or "rare" either by design or ignorance of the facts. The following pages will provide resources and research to aid fellow cadets in their search of those special space collectibles of the 1950's.
The Space Collectibles page will contain information on Old as well as New collectibles. Thanks to Bill Otto, Chuck Lassen, Jack McKirgan, Elliott Swanson, Allen Harris, Joe Sarno, Geoffrey Tolle, Paul Greene, Allen Harris, Rory Coker and many others who have supplied the Academy with material that will soon be on the site.
The older collectibles will be featured in both checklists as well as individual pages highlighting a particular item such as the Tom Corbett Membership package. There were at least two different membership offers from different sponsors with slightly different items in each package. Giveaways from the Cereal companies will be featured as well as items sold in Sears, Macy's and other fine stores of the 1950's.
The new collectibles page will list items that are available now. Within this section some notable repro's will be featured as well as where to find the "new" space collectibles of the present. It is hoped this section will help keep fellow cadets from bidding or buying an item listed as "rare and old" only to find it is a reproduction.
With the introduction out of the way... let's start that trip down memory lane.