Long before Star Wars, Dan Dare fans rushed to buy merchandise based on their favourite space hero from Eagle comic – even Dan Dare tooth powder and hair brushes. Here are five of the most memorable items…
Dan Dare Space Men set
A set of these six 90mm tall plastic figures of Dan Dare characters from Mettoy sold for £2280 at Chrsities, over nine times their pre-sale estimate. Another set of Dare figures made by the Cresent Toy Company sold for £1560.
Dan Dare Pocket Watch
The only genuine Dan Dare pocket watch was made by Ingersoll and the British Museum has the prototype.
Collectors should be wary of other “Dan Dare” related watches offered for sale. Carl Halkier notes for example that “Mekon” pocket watches offered for sale online are fakes. “There’s a cottage industry of fakers making these ‘character’ watches with photoshopped dials, pasted onto cheap £5 Smith’s watches,” he cautions.
Dan Dare Computer Games
Primitive by today’s standards, the three Dan Dare computer games produced by Virgin Games from 1986 to 1990 for the Commodore, ZX Spectrum, Atari and Amstrad still produce as much as a nostalgia buzz for the 80s computer generation as the 50s Dan Dare toys do for the former schoolboys of that decade.
Corgi Dan Dare Car
A rare one this – very rare indeed, because it was never released! This Dan Dare toy car, promoted in the 1981 Corgi Toy Catalogue was planned to co-incide with the release of the ATV TV show but, like the programme itself, it failed to materialiase. You can sometimes pick up the Corgi catologue which featured a photo of the car, from ebay and specialist dealers.
Dan Dare Planet Gun
There was so much fun Dan Dare merchandise released in the 1950s, but the Dan Dare Planet Gun, now georgeously retro, must surely rank as one of the best. It fired spinning missiles, well spinning bits of plastic anyway, and the illustration on the box was so iconic it wa released as a postcard a few years back.