While many playsets issued by Louis Marx & Co depicted actual war scenes like the Civil War and Medieval Castles, occasionally they would foray into other areas, such as with the Tom Corbett Space Cadet Playset. This playset featured the space fantasy world from the Tom Corbett — Space Cadet television show that was broadcast from 1950 through 1955.
The Tom Corbett — Space Cadet show was a forerunner of Star Trek and other modern Sci-Fi shows that feature a futuristic, near Utopian, space travel culture. It did a little better than average in actually depicting the environment of outer space rather than becoming more like space fantasy like Lost in Space. Since the show dated from the early days of television and had trouble finding network home it isn't as well known but its influence has been present in shows from Star Trek to Babylon 5 to Firefly.
In addition to the Marx Tom Corbett Space Cadet Playset other tie-in toys were made such as View-Master reels, toy ray guns, costumes and, yes, the standard of the day, a lunch box. By the way, if you're reading this on a site other than vintagetoysoldiers dot blogspot dot com this means that you're not seeing the original article but an illegal copy.
The Marx Tom Corbett Space Cadet Playset was available roughly from 1952 through 1954 from what I've been able to determine. The set consisted of several plastic figures, some with space helmets. I'm not sure of the exact count from my research, perhaps this varied, but it's somewhere around 50 plastic toy soldiers/space cadets.
The Tom Corbett Playset also had a space cannon and rocket launcher with actual projectiles. There was also a flying saucer launcher that would propel the toy flying saucers into the air. Another vehicle in the set was a blue space car with a bubble roof. Finally, there were props like fuel tanks, desks and chairs and even a firing console.
The tin litho enclosure for this space playset was quite generous. It featured walls and a classroom building, complete with a space code transmitter (a Morse code clicker). Finding a set with all of the enclosure intact as well as most of the parts is a rare.
The Marx Tom Corbett Space Cadet Playset remains a popular collectible Marx playset due to its TV show tie-in and that it brings back the early 1950's feel for adventure toys.