the 70's, a lot of toy companies were incorporating
electronics into their toys. While I still maintain
that Rom the Space Knight is the coolest of the electronic
70's toys, the Starbird and it's variations are pretty
close. All the Starbird toys have a few things in
common; press a button and their front lasers light
up and fire, tilt the ship up or down and it makes
engine sounds that raise or lower in pitch, removable
front assemblies, wing fighters and engine parts.
These ships are often missing parts, most commonly
a little gun that sits in the ball turret at the back.
There are two main modesl of Starbird,
the Electronic Starbird and the Star Bird Space Avenger
which was also boxed as the StarBird Avenger. Depending
on the model, there are diferent sticker sets. The
lasers on the Avenger's nose are set closer together,
the canopy plastic is much darker. The Avenger was
a second release of the Starbird and included updated
electronics that could both send and receive infrared
signals. The Avenger model comes with a "target"
to shoot at to test your skill with the infrared lasers.
third vessel, the Starbird Intruder, was also made
but is much harder to find. It is basically the front
assembly of a Starbird with wings done up in black.
It makes the same laser and engine sounds and includes
the advanced infrared electronics as the Avenger.
In fact, the Avenger and Intruder can have battles,
knocking out the opponents ship with infrared beams
like lasertag. A disabled ship's engine will knock
out briefly when hit.
Milton Bradley made a playset to go
along with the Starbird line, the Command Base. It
is a large cardboard station with plastic accessories
like radar dishes, laser guns, a working crane, little
vehicles and space men.