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MPC "Mercury" Astronauts

For years, spacemen were pure science fiction.  Speculation on future spacemen provided the figures such as those by Ajax and Archer, as well as characters like Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers.  In 1962, speculation was capped by the Mercury space flights.  We had real astronauts in genuine space suits.  They became the pattern for toy astronauts.  In 1962, we believed that our new astronaut suit would be the outfit of choice for exploration of the Moon and the Planets. Several companies made new toy astronauts.  The ones which had gotten around most were the MPC astronauts.

MPC's spacemen combined exploration and combat poses.  After all, children imaged that there might be nasty aliens out there.  Two of MPC's men carried weapons.  The rest had equipment for exploring.  The MPC figures reigned supreme until the Apollo missions, when a new space suit was available for actual exploration on the Lunar surface.

The Mercury space suit was also used on the Gemini missions.  It had a slight resemblance to the G suits used by jet pilots.  The helmet was similar in shape to the jet pilot's high altitude headgear.  

Astronaut with movie camera.  The camera resembled the common "home movie" cameras sold in the early 1960s.

The left astronaut has a 'space rifle'.  Others have wrenches, surveying tools, a sextant and cable,. and a geiger counter.

Beside the rifleman is a man with a 'space pistol' and box.  The seated figure could be placed on vehicles.  The set also included a movie cameraman.

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