Johnny Apollo by Marx


Marx Johnny Apollo Johnny Apollo was a line of action figures and accessories from Marx that featured three astronauts, first released in 1968 in response to the then-current interest in outer space and the US-Soviet space race. The astronauts were Johnny Apollo, wife Jane Apollo, and a more generic Astronaut sold at both the Kennedy and Johnson Space Centers with appropriately labeled boxes (see illustration). The figures stood approximately 8 inches tall and came with a variety of space gear, including helmet, backpack and hand tools. The figure was configured roughly the same as the company's Johnny West dolls, but was 2/3 the size.

The toys first appeared in the US in 1968 and continued through the early 70's. Johnny Apollo's body was molded in white plastic with hinged joints and flesh colored hands and head. His accessories were molded in gold plastic. Jane Apollo was molded in blue plastic with flesh colored hands and head. Her accessories were molded in blue plastic. Both could be found boxed with accessories or boxed with a Space Crawler or Moon Rover vehicle (the former was battery operated: 2 D-Cells, which powered spoke-like wheels). The vehicles were each sold with a Johnny Apollo figure, separately or as part of a deluxe Lunar Exploration Set, featuring both figures and both vehicles.

Johnny and Jane Apollo were marketed by all the major toy stores and also in department store catalogs like Sears, JCPenney, Montgomery Wards, and Spiegel in their Christmas Catalogs. There are box variations that were produced for Cape Canaveral and Johnson Space Center marked Astronaut instead of with the Johnny Apollo label; these were probably purchased in the US Space Center gift stores.

Variations include Mark Apollo, marketed in the UK and Canada, whose body was molded in orange instead of white. There also exist several silver- and white-bodied counterfeits produced in Mexico, as well as more recent blue-bodied counterfeits. Marx also marketed two bagatelles (hand-held pinball games) and a plastic machine pistol with the Johnny Apollo name, as well as a miniature playset similar to their Cape Canaveral playset.