Collection Item Summary:
This wooden Space Shuttle toy made by Plan Toys, USA greatly simplified the familiar reusable space vehicle in order to make it more playable for young hands. The black cockpit and white vertical stabilizer as well as delta wings with United States flags depicted on them reflect the original vehicle's distinctive coloring. Most of the vehicle is natural wood, however, including the movable payload bay doors. The two astronaut figures that are included are scaled for grasping and play, not realism.
The play set also included a yellow wooden rover and a United States flag on a flagpole, unrealistic accessories for an orbiting (not landing) spacecraft.
Toys like this set represent the many ways that children could learn about the Space Shuttle Program through play. Whether or not the toy represented all aspects of the appearance and capabilities of an orbiter accurately, children could learn to name and identify winged and wheeled spacecraft as Space Shuttle orbiters.
Valerie Neal donated the toy to the Museum in 2008.