July 09, 2014

Toys in the Attic - Operation X-500 by Deluxe Reading

The X-500 was one of the most exciting toys ever made. It hit the shelves in the early 1960s during the early years of the space craze/race. This very large, impressive play set was made by Deluxe Reading - which later became Topper Toys.
The X-500 consists of two areas or sections: The Base Defense System of molded red and black plastic with a working control panel of switches, knobs, bells, lights and missiles. It also contained the helicopter landing pad and missile launchers! 

The second section houses your Space Ship Launch area which includes a working elevator to take your astronaut up to the nose cone capsule, a crane to change your nose cones, a moving train to move the nose cones, the control booth, and the ramps and ladders. Figures with the play set included soldiers, astronauts, cameramen, and a dog. 

Operation X-500 was sold in supermarkets and drug stores for the whopping price of $11.88. I distinctly remember seeing it in the Red Owl Grocery store in Duluth which touched off a barrage of ‘I want one’ which nearly drove my mother insane. It took almost a whole week to break her down and she finally put down deposit on one for my birthday. Now we're talkin'! What was that dome-like instrument for, in the center of the control panel? Didn't know - didn't care. It looked so cool! I remember the glee I had in firing those missiles off in all directions, cranking the nose cone up onto the rocket over and over again. Fuel the rocket and 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1…Blast Off! Throw in defending the launch area from the evil commies with the base defense system and you have countless hours of play limited only by your imagination.

Deluxe Reading was a toy manufacturer based in Elizabeth, New Jersey USA which produced toys under several brand names including: Deluxe Topper, Deluxe Toy Creations, Deluxe Reading, Topper Corp., Topper Toy Group, and Topper Toys. The Topper Toys brand was most used in print advertisement and television commercials (children's TV).

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