Who could have believed that a toy robot made in Japan from scrap tin would one day fetch nearly $70,000 at a Sotheby's auction? Blast Off! chronicles the golden era of space toys, an age of imagination unbound by the more mundane realities of space travel ushered in by Sputnik and the Space Age. Containing hundreds of striking color photos of some of the most beautiful and ofttimes bizarre toys ever created — many never before seen in print — Blast Off! unearths the nearly lost histories of these space treasures and the companies that created them. Not limited to the presentation of these unique and fascinating playthings of the past, Blast Off! includes one-of-a-kind prototypes, original packaging and instructions, glimpses into ultra-rare Japanese robot catalogs, long-lost advertisements, vintage comic-strip and pulp-magazine art, and items of every description from every corner of the globe. Blast Off! covers extensively some of the most profound toy and space phenomena of the era, from Buck Rogers to Flash Gordon to the Space Opera programs of the infancy of television to a blow-by-blow account of the greatest Tin Robot auction in history. Blast Off! is an essential resource not only for the collector, but for anyone with an appreciation of pop culture — or just plain fun!* Introduction by award-wining author, futurist, and cultural commentator Harlan Ellison.
Author Biography: Mark Young has been collecting Golden Age space toys and researching their origins and societal impact for many years. He is particularly interested in how space toys and science fiction have influenced popular culture and actual scientific progress in space. Mark holds a joint appointment as the KPMG Foundation Professor of Accounting and as Professor of Management at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.