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Tin Toy, Space Tank


Display Status:

This object is on display in the James S. McDonnell Space Hangar room at Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.

Collection Item Summary:

This battery-operated space-themed toy tank is a tin toy that was manufactured in China, most likely in the 1960s, for export. This toy illustrates how toy makers tapped into the contemporary fascination for space exploration by added a space theme to a toy even if the basic form of the toy was not space-related. Except for the label "Space Tank" and a few small rockets lithographed onto the sides of the metal toy, there is nothing inherently space-y about this toy tank. This toy would have been created to compete in a tin toy marketplace that by the late 1950s had come to be dominated by creatively-designed, complex Japanese tin toys with moving parts and/lights.

The Museum accessioned this toy into its collection in 2001.

Collection Item Long Description:

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum


Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum

Credit Line

Found in collection. Donor unknown at this time. Found on NASM premises.


Overall, aluminum; tires, rubber


3-D: 25.4 x 14 x 12.7cm (10 x 5 1/2 x 5 in.)

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National Air and Space Museum Collection

Country of Origin



MEMORABILIA-Popular Culture

Inventory Number