The Space Transport with Electronic Circuitry
Milton Bradley was cranking out the electronic toys in the 70s and sci-fi was red hot. They released the Star Bird in 1978 as a way of trying to capture some of the Star Wars madness. My brother and I really had a blast with this thing! It had a number of electronic sounds and made a different "climbing" noise when tilted upwards and downwards. I remember running through our house tilting this thing as I went. A cool touch was you could remove the "cockpit" portion of the ship and it would dock with the main body. Clearly they had a hit with the original version, so Milton Bradley released the Space Avenger, Space Intruder and Star Bird Command Base.
The original Star Bird. The gray square button fired the electronics and also was used to detach the front portion.
Looks familiar doesn't it? Oh but check out those stickers...clearly a different ship now! This version came with a Borg-like alien target that is almost always missing from boxed sets. It also sold fairly well and can be found without too much effort.
Alas, the hardest to find Star Bird vehicle - the Space Intruder. This one came out in early 1980 and is of a totally different design (other than the front portion). This bad boy is pretty rare.
Developed along with the Star Bird, the Star Bird Command Base was a huge cardboard and paper playset to dock your spaceship at. It came with tiny plastic men and vehicles and had some neat prop pieces, but nothing terribly exciting. I would have loved this as a kid, but unfortunately Santa thought it was too big.
Ever wonder why they changed the name of the second-generation vehicles? To distinguish their line from Star Wars. Lawsuits were flying as toy companies flocked to copy Star Wars toys and Milton Bradley wanted none of that action. So, they changed from "Star" to "Space" just in case the line kept growing.
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