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View Full Version : Need help on K31 Star Blazer


gerryfortin
05-23-2009, 04:55 AM
Currently writing the kit description page but I'm finding contradicting information.

Estes catalog: 1970-1971 as Astron Star Blazer but no mention of Astron on facecard

Semroc site: Production years 1968-1973?

I own a no hangtag kit and yellow pre-Damon era hangtag kit.

What is up here? No Hangtag typically through 1967 and yellow pre-Damon through 1969 but in catalog in 1970-1971?

Does anyone own a Star Blazer with countdown hangtag?

Here is the current link to the kit description: http://www.seateddimevarieties.com/BAR/kitpages/k31_nohangtag.htm

Thanks much.....

mojo1986
05-23-2009, 07:16 AM
Gerry, the K-31 Star Blazer was phased out after the 1971 production. In 1972 a new kit with the same name was introduced...............the TK-31 Star Blazer (a new design). Perhaps this is contributing to the confusion?

Joe

gerryfortin
05-23-2009, 08:04 AM
Joe...what has me perplexed is the fact that no hangtag Star Blazer exists and the printed facecard is the instruction sheet. This is more typical of mid 1960s packaging, not 1970. It would be interesting to contact Semroc (I don't know the gent yet) to learn why he has 1968 listed as the first year of production.

One idea that comes to mind is the possibility that K31 was initially a "free kit" to stimulate sales of Estes Short Engines. The kit may have been produced earlier than 1970 but was finally upgrade to full kit status in 1970 only to disappear in 1972 when Estes moved from the short 18mm engine to the 13mm powered mini brutes. We know that K53 Stinger never appeared in a catalog and was only a bonus kit, so Estes may have treat Star Blazer as a promotion for short engines?

Does anyone have a K31 kit with a Free Kit sticker?

mojo1986
05-23-2009, 08:45 AM
Gerry, the K-31 Star Blazer kit exists in pre-hangtag, yellow pre-Damon hangtag and countdown hangtag varieties (all pre-Damon), as well as in post-Damon yellow 'double oval' hangtag form. My records show the K-31 kit as being offered from 1967 to 1971, but the first appearance of the kit in a catalog was in 1970. It may be that, if the kit was indeed offered from 1967-1971, it was a free kit only during the years 1967 to 1969. Perhaps someone on this forum remembers the situation and can shed some light on this.

Joe

SEL
05-23-2009, 11:20 AM
Gerry, the K-31 Star Blazer kit exists in pre-hangtag, yellow pre-Damon hangtag and countdown hangtag varieties (all pre-Damon), as well as in post-Damon yellow 'double oval' hangtag form. My records show the K-31 kit as being offered from 1967 to 1971, but the first appearance of the kit in a catalog was in 1970. It may be that, if the kit was indeed offered from 1967-1971, it was a free kit only during the years 1967 to 1969. Perhaps someone on this forum remembers the situation and can shed some light on this.

Joe

I believe my first K-31 was as a free kit in 1968 - no hangtag.

S.

jdbectec
05-23-2009, 11:47 AM
I believe my first K-31 was as a free kit in 1968 - no hangtag.

S.


I am 99% certain it was offered as a free kit before it was added to the catalog. I remember my older brother getting one free with one of his earliest orders. If IIRC the Gyroc, Starblazer, Birdie, Midget, and Goblin were all free kits before they were added to the catalog.

Chas Russell
05-23-2009, 04:00 PM
I received one as a "free" gift. Purchase enough other stuff through the mail (kind of quaint now, ain't it) and Estes graciously sent you the item. I had a Starblazer that I built and flew. Same with the "Free" Spev. Really wish I had latched on to a couple of the Thor-Agena B's before they went "spev". Is that a verb now? Loved the T-A B and would like to have another kit in my collection. I have the original balsa parts.

Chas

Carl@Semroc
05-23-2009, 07:58 PM
The mailing cover for MRN Volume 8, Number 1 (August 1968) listed the Stargazer, Sprite, Falcon, Spaceman, and Gyroc as the free kit choices. That is the earliest I have been able to find for the Starblazer. Richard Jungclas lists the first year as 1970, probably because that is the first year a catalog (701) carried it.

Kit 31 falls in the 1967-1968 time frame. Why it was only offered as a free kit long before it was offered for sale is a mystery. Most of the other free kits were offered first as production kits, then later as free kits.

Bob H
05-23-2009, 10:39 PM
I received mine as a free kit also. I don't recall if it had a hangtag or not.

I also received a Midget and Beta as free kits and they both used the short engines so the theory that Estes was trying to boost the sales of short engines seems reasonable.

gerryfortin
05-24-2009, 04:44 AM
Gentlemen,

Thank you for the Star Blazer feedback. There is consensus on the Star Blazer being offered as a free kit in 1968-1969 and the kit description will be updated accordingly. It is obvious that I need to build a MRN library to support the writing of the kit descriptions.

Carl, it is a pleasure to meet you. Your Semroc site contains excellent information.

G

dwmzmm
05-24-2009, 09:28 AM
I received one as a "free" gift. Purchase enough other stuff through the mail (kind of quaint now, ain't it) and Estes graciously sent you the item. I had a Starblazer that I built and flew. Same with the "Free" Spev. Really wish I had latched on to a couple of the Thor-Agena B's before they went "spev". Is that a verb now? Loved the T-A B and would like to have another kit in my collection. I have the original balsa parts.

Chas

Chas, if you have the balsa parts for a Thor - Agena B, what's keeping you? I built a model
last year using SEMROC parts. It's a beautiful model!