Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Bruder "Astro Minis": West German Snap-Together Space Plastic, with Flying Saucer

Fell in love with these instantly. First two were obtained as "Vintage Gumball Machine Toys" but closer inspection told me they were something special, and if so downright remarkable.

Snap together plastic space toys. All marked "West Germany" so pre-1990. Though sadly there is almost no information about them online including from the Bruder website. If anyone knows more or can link me to something regarding the history of Bruder's space toys I will be mighty grateful.

My favorite of the lot, the Moon Grabber. I have a "Thing" about grabber vehicles dating back to The Six Million Dollar Man fending off the Death Probe. It always knew to go right after that Bionic Arm too, and had a rudimentary sense of humor. Its spirit lives on in every space vehicle with a Grabber Arm.

Second favorite: Fold-down gull wings and bubble dome = Winning.

Wings up.

3rd favorite: Multi-stage Mother Ship vehicle, with pivoting Command Module shown here in launch configuration.

And cruise.

Lunar Lander with awesome antenna array.

All have a pilot / astronaut / robot or two in their cockpits.

More simplified Lunar Lander. Or its antennae got busted off; One of the first examples of the range I was able to score and has figured in several diorama-based artworks.

Moon Car with adjustable axles, here shown with the cabin flipped above the wheels for rough terrain.

And flipped down for cruise mode on flat or paved surfaces. Thing rules.

One of the first of these I was able to obtain, and unfortunately missing its bubble top antenna array.

Moon Grabber in application with hard plastic "Captain Video" rocket by Lido.

Since the above pix were taken I have had the very good fortune to land this exceptionally hard to find flying saucer form. Due to its increased size + complexity I highly doubt it was a gumball machine prize, more likely a boxed toy.

Klaatu ramp extended.

Now with the capsule facing the ray gun at front. Thing is badass, tempted to try taking it apart just for a look at how it's put together.


  1. I’m looking for specific pieces in the space set. Would you be willing to sell a few items in the collection?

  2. This is NUTS, I was just looking for these and found but a few. To have all of them is amazing. SELL THEM TO ME. lol

    Enjoy! :)

  3. I had many of these. Probably long gone. I had the saucer in the blue/silver/white scheme that matched the rest of the set. It didn't come boxed, I think they where sold loose at toy stores around the turn of the millennium. Bruder also made a line of brightly colored trucks, boats, and planes at about the same size but without the little molded crew members. Sadly these are hard to find now, probably because they where the type of thing you'd hand out as a party favor and would end up left on the table at the pizza shop you had your party at.