Space Race Toys

11th July 2020  11:00 AM  – 2nd September 2020  04:00 PM 

An exhibition for the child in you! 

The 1950s and 1960s saw intense competition between the USA and the USSR as they vied to master space. This 'Space Race' effectively ended when Apollo 11 landed the first two humans on the Moon on 20 July 1969.


This preoccupation with space exploration inspired both toy manufacturers and television makers. Dan Dare, a futuristic space pilot created in the 1950s, was one of the first characters in this space toy boom. The commercial potential of producing toys linked to programmes such as 'Doctor Who' and 'Thunderbirds' was quickly realised during the 1960s.

These toys explored the fantasy of space travel and of living on other planets. Everything from ray guns and space patrol walkie talkies to moon shoes and flying saucers were produced. Examples of these original childhood favourites are included in this exhibition.

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