Toy, Space Ship, Buck Rogers, Patrol Ship

Display Status:

This object is on display in the Moving Beyond Earth exhibition at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.

This Patrol Ship spaceship toy from 1934 was merchandise for Buck Rogers, the popular space-based adventure series. Rogers first appeared in Philip Francis Nowlan's story "Armageddon 2419 A.D." published in the pulp magazine Amazing Stories in August 1928.

When John F. Dille bought the character for a comic strip, National Newspaper Service president he suggested renaming him "Buck" to capitalize on the popularity of Westerns. The Buck Rogers comic strip (written by Nowlan and illustrated by Dick Calkins) debuted in 1929, followed by a color Sunday strip in 1930 and a radio program in 1932. This toy represents the main character's own ship. According to advertisements from 1934, winding this Louis Marx action toy allowed its owner to imagine traveling "through the inter-planetary void in a miniature model of Buck Rogers' famous Rocket Ship."

Collector Michael O'Harro donated this toy to the Museum in 1993.