This coin-operated “Moon Rocket” ride was first manufactured in 1961 by Kiddielane Mfg. Corp. in the midst of the space race of the mid-20th century, eight years before man landed on the moon. Constructed of fiberglass painted in a patriotic color palette, the spaceship counts down before it “blasts off” and spins 360 degrees, allowing children to imagine what it might be like to be an astronaut on a mission to the moon. Rocket imagery pervaded American culture in the 1950s and 60s, and this toy reflects the collective childlike excitement, hope and aspirations of the space age.
“Kiddie rides,” as they are commonly called, got their start in 1931 when Missouri inventor James Otto Hahs built a mechanical horse as a Christmas present for his children. He went on to create a commercial coin-operated version cast in aluminum called the Hahs Gaited Mechanical Horse, and he teamed up with Exhibit Supply Company to distribute it across America. By 1953, kiddie rides were described as America’s fastest-growing business by Billboard Magazine. Today, vintage children’s rides like this are extremely difficult to find, especially in such excellent working condition, and they are highly coveted by collectors of antique toys and Americana.
27" diameter x 82 1/4" highClick here to view a video of this item.