January 6th, 2014

LEGO launches Mars Curiosity; Plus! Five toy brick spacecraft awaiting liftoff collectSPACE

NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover has landed in LEGO’s toy catalog and is now available for order.
The fifth in a line of fan-created, LEGO-produced building kits, the six-wheeled science laboratory could be followed by the now Pluto-bound New Horizons spacecraft, Hubble Space Telescope, or other space-themed kits, if the public votes for them online.
The 295-piece “NASA Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover” is now for sale for $29.95 through the Danish toy company’s webshop. Created and suggested by engineer Stephen Pakbaz, who worked on the real Curiosity before its launch to the Red Planet, the model faithfully recreates many of the actual car-size rover’s features, including its “rocker-bogie” suspension.

August 5th, 2013

Mattel’s Astronaut Barbie becomes a Mars Explorer with help from NASA collectSPACE

A new collaboration between NASA and Mattel, the largest toy company in the world, is turning the Red Planet a tad more pink.
“Mars Explorer Barbie,” a new spacesuited version of the iconic fashion doll, officially launched on Monday (Aug. 5), to coincide with the first anniversary of NASA’s Curiosity rover landing on Mars. Mars Explorer Barbie is packaged with a cardboard cutout of the six-wheeled Mars Science Laboratory, decked out in pink.

September 9th, 2011

9/11 tributes reach all the way to space, to Mars and back collectSPACE

Ten years after the September 11 terrorist attacks, tributes to the thousands who lost their lives have extended into space, from Earth’s orbit to the surface of Mars.
Mementos were carried into space for the families of the victims, flags were flown as memorials to the fallen first responders and metal recovered from Ground Zero, the site of the World Trade Center buildings in New York, was incorporated into rovers sent to explore the Red Planet.
American astronauts have also radioed down from space their own tributes, starting the day of the attacks to this week, pausing to remember those who died on the tenth anniversary of their loss.
“It’s gratifying knowing that a piece of the World Trade Center is up there on Mars,” Stephen Gorevan, founder and chairman of Honeybee Robotics that built the rovers’ rock abrasion tools, said. “That shield on Mars, to me, contrasts the destructive nature of the attackers with the ingenuity and hopeful attitude of Americans.”

April 7th, 2004

Walt Disney World Resort Salutes Success of Mars Exploration collectSPACE

With the gleaming curves of Mission: SPACE as a backdrop, Walt Disney World President Al Weiss welcomed NASA Administrator Sean O’Keefe and aspiring astronaut Sofi Collis, 10

January 7th, 2004

Carl’s Jr., Hardee’s offers NASA toys collectSPACE

Kids eating at Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s fast food restaurants will now find collectible space-theme toys when they open their combo meals. The promotion, which begins today and runs through February 24, is part of a collaboration between NASA and the chains’ parent company, CKE Restaurants, Inc. Four different toys will be offered: a pullback Mars rover, a Cassini probe that “orbits” Saturn, a “Cool Comet Mission” flywheel spinner and a Space Shuttle-themed, double-sided puzzle. Each toy also includes a “collector card” that shares facts about planets, NASA’s missions, spacecraft and discoveries.

December 12th, 2003

First Look: Code 3’s Mars Rover collectSPACE

Just about the same time two identical NASA rovers arrive at Mars this January, Code 3 Collectibles will be launching their own “Mission to the Red Planet” as part of their National Air and Space Museum Collection. Code 3 Collectibles’ Mars Exploration Rover is a 1/10th scale reproduction of the twin “Spirit” and “Opportunity” robotic geologists that will explore two different areas on Mars after landing on January 3rd and 24th respectfully.

August 25th, 2003

Mission: SPACE – Choose to go! collectSPACE

Its the year 2036, 75 years after cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin paved the way for humanity into space, and the International Space Training Center now complements NASA by screening the thousands of hopeful candidates to help settle the new Mars base. At least, that is the premise behind Mission: SPACE, the newest attraction to open at Walt Disney World Resorts’ Epcot Center. Billed as the most extreme and technologically advanced ride Disney has ever attempted, Mission: SPACE (M:S) is part flight simulator, part thrill ride, and part educational experience.

August 15th, 2003

Disney launches Mission: SPACE collectSPACE

The excitement, thrill and rush of rocketing into outer space has come to Walt Disney World’s Epcot with the opening today of Mission: SPACE to the public. Visitors who “accept the mission” will engage in an experience that launches them into a simulated space adventure — from liftoff to the sensations of traveling though outer space on a mission to Mars.

December 14th, 1999

Spacecraft missing on Mars, in toy stores collectSPACE

In a case of art imitating life, miniature versions of NASA’s three most recent Mars spacecraft are missing — from the toy shelves. Surrounded by rumors, the “Hot Wheels ‘JPL Returns to Mars!’ Action Pack” may emerge as one of the most difficult to find products this holiday season.

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