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Moonsuits - Yonazawa Tin Wind-ups
In the 50's, Japanese toy manufacturor Yonezawa created at least two variations of the Moonsuit as tin wind-up toys. I've included scans of images here for reference, taken from the wonderful, out-of-print book Robots - Tin Toy Dreams published by Chronicle Books. This really superb reference features all-color (and some black and white), pictures on coated-stock and is an excellent reference for the robot or tin-toy collector. The images included here are from page 37.

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X-27 Explorer
This is probably the most accurate representation of the Moonsuit by Yonezawa. This, along with the Astro Scout below, came out in the late 50's. The X-27 is actually a fairly good homage to the actual suit, other than the color-scheme and chest appliance. I like how Yonezawa was able to maximize the design into two different toys. They both still retain an unique appearance, even though they share many of the same toy components.

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X-27 Explorer Box
The X-27 Explorer is "Friction Powered" and the box has a painting of the suit/astronaut walking on a planetary surface with a moon in the blue sky background and a flying saucer. Apparently the chest panel was changed, as the artwork reveals a different panel with colored lights, as apposed to the TV screen and speakers on the figure itself. The box also shows the X-27 with blue arms instead of red, and a red cap on the top instead of the solid blue of the toy. The Yonezawa "Y" wrapped in "Trade Mark" and "Made in Japan" are in one bottom corner, with "Item No. 805" in the other.

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The Astro-Scout has a more accurate "3" from the Space General Corp. suit on its chest panel. The helmet has been changed to resemble more closely a Robbie the Robot dome. The familiar astronaut face still peeks out from the dome's window. The figure's body paint is a lighter, silvery-blue.

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Astro-Scout Box
The box features the Astro-Scout facing left instead of right (see the X-27 above) with the words "Wind-up Friction Powered" across the top. The landscape is similar... I could see these two boxes sitting next to each other on a shelf, creating a single diorama effect. Once again the arms are shown blue on the box, rather than red, and the number "3" on his chest is in a yellow, rather than a blue background found on the actual toy. The Yonezawa "Y" logo is used here, with "Made in Japan" and "A Frankoma Toy" on the opposite, bottom corner. Perhaps this variation was distributed through a different channel.

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X-27 Explorer Reproduction
I spotted this offered on eBay several months ago. It appears that someone is reproducing the X-27 Explorer in pretty much the same box and colors as the original. This would make a welcome addition the the robot-collectors home, as the original is fairly pricey.

All images, captions and content are Copyright © 1997-2018 John Eaton unless otherwise stated. If there are any comments or objections, please contact John Eaton, by clicking here.

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