Spacewarp (toy)

Spacewarp is a line of build-it-yourself, marble-run toy "roller coasters" first made in the 1980s by Bandai.[1] Users cut lengths of track to the correct size from a single roll of thick plastic tubing, forming curves and loops held in place by plastic track rail holders which attach to metal rods held vertical in a black plastic base. Steel balls roll around the track and on to a battery-powered screw conveyor that takes them to the top to start all over again.

Usa 1986 spacewarp set 30.jpg

Production of Spacewarp toys ended around 1988. Replacement parts were sold until 1995.[1]

A redesigned Spacewarp toy was re-introduced to the Japanese market in 2005 by Tanomi.[2] Improvements included redesigned parts which were less prone to breakage.[1]

HistoryEdit

The first Spacewarp sets became available in Japan in 1983 and were sold by Bandai. That year, filmmakers were working on a movie called The Family Game which features a plot line about a boy who is fascinated with roller coasters.[3] The filmmakers noticed the Spacewarp toy and decided to incorporate it into the movie in a few scenes.[4] The movie The Family Game was released in Japan in November, 1983 to favorable reviews. Due to the popularity of the movie, Spacewarp sales increased so much that between 1983 and 1984, approximately one million sets were sold.[5]

Due to the product's popularity, Spacewarp applied for and received the Spacewarp trademark in the United States of America in 1986, and started selling a subset of its marble roller coasters there.

SetsEdit

1986-1990s North American Imports:

Set Description Rail (mm) Base Plates Special Feature(s)
10 Beginning Coaster 14,000 3 Elevator, switch unit, curve units
20 Intermediate Coaster 22,000 11 Elevator, switch unit
30 Advanced Coaster 40,000 13 Elevator, switch unit
40 Expert Coaster 43,000 20 Elevator
Black Wolf Ages 8 and up 20,000 8 Elevator, switch unit, staircase, chimes, black plastic tubing

1983-1995 Japanese Market:

Set Release Year Rail (mm) Base Plates Special Feature(s)
10 9 Elevator
15 17,000 8 Elevator, switch unit
20 10? Elevator, switch unit
30 20? Elevator, switch unit
40 43,000 20
Set I[6] 1983 11,000 6 Toothed lift
Set II 22,000 12 Elevator
Set L[7] 7 Elevator, switch unit, electric lights
Action 1[8] 1984 6 Elevator, switch unit, windmill, see saw, escalator, pendulum, mystery box, bell set
Action 2[9] 1984 8 Elevator, switch unit, windmill, see saw, escalator, pendulum, mystery box, bell set (x2), staircase
Blue Wings[10] 1985 28,000 11 Elevator, switch unit, blue plastic tubing
Space Tree 3 Elevator, electric lights, blue supports
Set W[11] 19,260+spare 13 Elevator, switch unit
Black Wolf[12] 1985 8 Elevator, switch unit, staircase, curve units, chimes, escalator

2004–2008 Japanese Market:

Set Release Year Rail (mm) Base Plates Complexity Accessories
3500 2004 9,000 2 2 out of 5 Elevator, see saw drop
5000 2004 16,000 6 3 out of 5 Elevator, rail splitter. Special edition available with black plastic tubing.[13]
10000 2005 32,000 12 5 out of 5 Elevator, rail splitter, see saw drop, pendulum with marble trap
Start 2006[14] 5,000 3 1 out of 5 Elevator, rail splitter, prefab loop, prefab corners
Desktop 2007 N/A N/A N/A Preformed plastic tracks instead of plastic tubing for rails
Spacewarp X: The Family Game[15] 2008 6 N/A Elevator. Limited, numbered edition available.

AccessoriesEdit

Additional accessories include lighting kits, a staircase, bell ringer, escalator and more.

Knock-OffsEdit

As with many popular toys, nearly identical counterfeit editions have emerged under the Chinese "Spacerail" brand.[16] However, Spacerail acquired the Spacewarp trademark, and is continuing their tradition of running marble roller coasters.[17]

Spacerail sets:

Set Number Set Name Base Plates Complexity Notes Accessories
231-1[18] SpaceRail 5,000mm Rail Level 1.1 3 1 of 9 Equivalent to "Spacewarp Start" Elevator, rail splitter, prefab loop, prefab corners
231-2[19] SpaceRail 10,000mm Rail Level 2.1 2 2 of 9 Equivalent to "Spacewarp 3500" Elevator, see saw drop
231-3[20] SpaceRail 16,000mm Rail Level 3.1 6 3 of 9 Equivalent to "Spacewarp 5000" Elevator, rail splitter
231-4[21] SpaceRail 26,000mm Rail Level 4.1 9 4 of 9 Elevator, rail splitter, see saw drop, marble trap
231-5[22] SpaceRail 32,000mm Rail Level 5.1 12 5 of 9 Equivalent to "Spacewarp 10000" Elevator, rail splitter, see saw drop, pendulum with marble trap
231-6[23] SpaceRail 60,000mm Rail Level 6.1 16 6 of 9 Elevator, rail splitter (x2), see saw drop
231-7[24] SpaceRail 32,000mm Rail Level 7.1 15 (2 lifted) 7 of 9 Elevators (x3), lifted base plates (x2)
231-8[25] SpaceRail 40,000mm Rail Level 8.1 12 8 of 9 Triple-height elevator, rail splitter (x2)
231-9[26] SpaceRail 70,000mm Rail Level 9.1 14 (1 lifted) 9 of 9 Elevators (x3, one "descent"), rail splitters (x3), pendulum, lifted base plate
232-1[27] SpaceRail 8,600mm Rail 7 N/A "Research and Development" series Windmill lift, staircase lift, rail splitter
232-2[28] SpaceRail 5,600mm Rail 6 N/A "Research and Development" series Double-windmill lift, rail splitter, see saw drop
232-3[29] SpaceRail 8,100mm Rail 6 N/A "Research and Development" series "Crane-style" elevator, rail splitter
233-1[30] SpaceRail Glow in the Dark 6,500mm Rail Level 1.2 2 N/A A version with white rails exists. It is possible that this is an update to 231-1 without the special preformed pieces[31] Elevator
233-2[32] SpaceRail Glow in the Dark 5,500mm Rail Level 2.2 2 N/A Elevator, see saw drop
233-3[33] SpaceRail Glow in the Dark 13,500mm Rail Level 3.2 3 N/A Elevator, see saw drop
233-4[34] SpaceRail Glow in the Dark 22,000mm Rail Level 4.2 6 N/A Elevator, rail splitter
233-5[35] SpaceRail Glow in the Dark 30,000mm Rail Level 5.2 10 N/A Elevator, rail splitter, see saw drop, marble trap

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c Spacewarp Toys
  2. ^ "Bandai SpaceWarp Rereleased in Japan". Slashdot. December 16, 2004.
  3. ^ McDonald, Keiko I. (June 7, 2020). Reading a Japanese Film: Cinema in Context. ISBN 9780824829391. Retrieved June 7, 2020.
  4. ^ "Blog review of "The Family Game" which shows Spacewarp pictures in the movie". June 7, 2020. Retrieved June 7, 2020.
  5. ^ "Spacewarp X: The Family Game 25th Anniversary Edition for Sale". June 6, 2020. Retrieved June 6, 2020.
  6. ^ "Spacewarp Set I (1983)". YouTube. January 3, 2015. Archived from the original on December 19, 2021. Retrieved June 7, 2020.
  7. ^ "Spacewarp Set L". YouTube. November 3, 2009. Archived from the original on December 19, 2021. Retrieved June 7, 2020.
  8. ^ "Spacewarp Action 1 (1984)". YouTube. September 13, 2015. Archived from the original on December 19, 2021. Retrieved June 7, 2020.
  9. ^ "Spacewarp Action 2 (1984)". YouTube. January 26, 2016. Archived from the original on December 19, 2021. Retrieved June 7, 2020.
  10. ^ "Spacewarp Blue Wings Version (1985)". YouTube. December 1, 2014. Archived from the original on December 19, 2021. Retrieved June 7, 2020.
  11. ^ "Spacewarp Set W Auction with Box". October 14, 2014. Retrieved June 7, 2020.
  12. ^ "Spacewarp Black Wolf Version (1985)". YouTube. November 24, 2012. Archived from the original on December 19, 2021. Retrieved June 7, 2020.
  13. ^ "Spacewarp 5000 limited edition amazon.com page". Amazon. June 7, 2020. Retrieved June 7, 2020.
  14. ^ "Spacewarp Start Postcard with Release Date". June 6, 2020. Retrieved June 6, 2020.
  15. ^ "Spacewarp X: The Family Game youtube video". YouTube. June 7, 2020. Archived from the original on December 19, 2021. Retrieved June 7, 2020.
  16. ^ Kelly, Brian (July 11, 2005). "Bandai Spacewarp 5000". Archived from the original on October 7, 2011. Retrieved December 13, 2008.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  17. ^ "SpaceRails: About Us". June 7, 2020. Retrieved June 7, 2020.
  18. ^ "Spacerail 231-1 instructions" (PDF). June 7, 2020. Retrieved June 7, 2020.
  19. ^ "Spacerail 231-2 instructions" (PDF). June 7, 2020. Retrieved June 7, 2020.
  20. ^ "Spacerail 231-3 instructions" (PDF). June 7, 2020. Retrieved June 7, 2020.
  21. ^ "Spacerail 231-4 instructions" (PDF). June 7, 2020. Retrieved June 7, 2020.
  22. ^ "Spacerail 231-5 instructions" (PDF). June 7, 2020. Retrieved June 7, 2020.
  23. ^ "Spacerail 231-6 instructions" (PDF). June 7, 2020. Retrieved June 7, 2020.
  24. ^ "Spacerail 231-7 instructions" (PDF). June 7, 2020. Retrieved June 7, 2020.
  25. ^ "Spacerail 231-8 instructions" (PDF). June 7, 2020. Retrieved June 7, 2020.
  26. ^ "Spacerail 231-9 instructions" (PDF). June 7, 2020. Retrieved June 7, 2020.
  27. ^ "Spacerail 232-1 youtube video". YouTube. June 7, 2020. Archived from the original on December 19, 2021. Retrieved June 7, 2020.
  28. ^ "Spacerail 232-2 youtube video". YouTube. June 7, 2020. Archived from the original on December 19, 2021. Retrieved June 7, 2020.
  29. ^ "Spacerail 232-3 youtube video". YouTube. June 7, 2020. Archived from the original on December 19, 2021. Retrieved June 7, 2020.
  30. ^ "Spacerail 233-1 instructions" (PDF). June 7, 2020. Retrieved June 7, 2020.
  31. ^ "Amazon link for Spacerail 233-1 white-rail version". Amazon. June 7, 2020. Retrieved June 7, 2020.
  32. ^ "Spacerail 233-2 instructions" (PDF). June 7, 2020. Retrieved June 7, 2020.
  33. ^ "Spacerail 233-3 instructions" (PDF). June 7, 2020. Retrieved June 7, 2020.
  34. ^ "Spacerail 233-4 instructions" (PDF). June 7, 2020. Retrieved June 7, 2020.
  35. ^ "Spacerail 233-5 instructions" (PDF). June 7, 2020. Retrieved June 7, 2020.

External linksEdit