Johnny Apollo (toy)
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Johnny Apollo is an American toy line from Marx Toy Company featuring two action figure astronauts, first released in 1968 in response to the then current interest in outer space and the US/Soviet Space Race. The astronauts were Johnny and Jane Apollo, stood approximately 8" (20.32 cm) in height and came with a variety of space gear, including helmet, backpack and hand tools.
The toys first appeared in the US in 1968 and continued through the early '70s. Johnny Apollo's body was molded in white plastic with hinged joints and "flesh" colored hands and head. His accessories were molded in gold plastic. Jane Apollo was molded in blue plastic with "flesh" colored hands and head. Her accessories were molded in white or blue plastic. Both could be found boxed with accessories or boxed with a Space Crawler and Moon rover vehicle (the former was battery operated: 2 D-Cells, which powered spoke-like wheels). The vehicles were each sold with a Johnny Apollo figure, separately or as part of a deluxe "Lunar Exploration Set", featuring both figures and both vehicles.
Johnny and Jane Apollo were marketed by all the major toy stores and also in department store catalogs like Sears, JCPenney, Montgomery Wards, and Spiegel in their Christmas Catalogs. There are two box variations that were produced: one for Cape Canaveral marked "Astronaut" instead of with the Johnny Apollo label and one for The Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, marked also as "Astronaut" instead of "Johnny Apollo". These were purchased in the Space Center gift stores.
Variations include Mark Apollo, marketed for the kids in the United Kingdom (Mark was molded in white or orange and came with white accessories), several vintage silver-bodied "made in Mexico" knock-offs, and more recent blue-bodied knock-offs. Marx also marketed two bagatelles (hand-held pinball games) and a plastic machine pistol with the Johnny Apollo name. Marx also offered a miniature playset similar to their Cape Canaveral Playset for kids (most often found in a tin "suitcase" that doubled as a playset).
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