Dec 19, 2011

Toys of Christmas Past - Star Bird

When I sat down to plan out the posts for a trip down Christmas memory lane I was surprised to find MB (Milton Bradley) Electronics was behind a few of the items I wanted to talk about. They were doing something right!

First up is the spaceship Star Bird. 
You'll have to crank the volume for this ad.

Don't forget to turn your volume back down!

This was one of the few spaceship toys that came out after Star Wars that really stood out to me even as someone barely into double digits. So much so that a few years ago I got way too excited and jumped at an online auction for two of them along with an original TIE Fighter that looked like it was recovered from Yavin IV after the Death Star battle. I was more than a little disappointed when I received them because even between the two of them you couldn't put together a complete ship. That and they were nasty dirty! But I did turn them around on eBay for a small profit.

Anyway, this is supposed to be all Christmas and childhood....This thing was pretty cool! In addition to the ascending/descending engine sounds and light up "laser cannons" it had multiple ways to play with it thanks to two detachable main body pieces: the cockpit and the main engine.

The first configuration is the Star Bird itself, which is as it's pictured above. Second is the Star Bird Fighter which consists of the cockpit (you can see where it comes apart just above the 'windows') attached to the main engine. Third is the Star Bird Orbiter which was the main body only with the cockpit section removed.

On top of that, those gray things sticking up off the wings are interceptor fighters that can slide right off the wing to engage an enemy. And there's a laser turret/escape pod. It's that round area in the back of the ship. Although, if I were putting an escape pod in a ship, I'd probably put it closer to the crew area!

There were two more ships and a command base in the Star Bird line. None of which I remember seeing in stores. I absolutely would have been wanting these as much as I loved the original ship.

Star Bird has quite a few detachable and easy to lose pieces which can make it difficult to find a complete one nowadays.


  1. Christmas and electronic toys always remind me of the weirdest toy my sister ever received for Christmas. It was called (believe it or not?) "I Took a Lickin' From a Chicken". Your post motivated me to google it. Found it on YouTube:

    Thanks for inspiring a random and bizarre walk down memory lane, although I apologize for taking things from the sublime to the ridiculous!!

  2. I have a very faint memory from childhood of going to some amusement park/zoo where they had a live chicken setup similar to that game.

  3. Even the relatively obscure toys back then were awesome! What happened?

    1. There was a lot more room for imagination in toys back then. Today, it's mostly about cashing in on licensed properties.

  4. I never had the Starbird, but I do recall seeing a slightly modified version used as a prop in the ABC Weekend Special "The Ghost of Thomas Kempe".