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Doug Sams 11-12-2010 10:04 AM

Park Plastics, Ye Old Water Rockets
In a thread on TRF, Roy posted about receiving Park Plastics water rockets for Christmas one year (circa 1967).

His description mentions these as having a console and launch tower. That sounds very much like a setup I received a year or so later, also for Christmas. I wanna say mine came from/had been in the Sears Wishbook.

Very similar water rockets were common back then which used a combo hand-held pump/launch pad. But the more elaborate setup I had came with a remote control console (with pump) which was connected to the remote tower/pad with a hose (~8').

I was wondering if anyone else had this setup. I'm also looking for links. I've gotten lots of Google hits on "Park Plastics" but thus far all I've found are the handheld units with the toy-looking, teardrop-shaped rockets.

As I recall, my kit came with two rockets. Both were red, translucent plastic, one taller than the other. Can't recall if one was 2-stage or not. The console was white and greenish blue, and the hose to the tower was yellow. Compared to the handheld stuff I've seen, these rockets were more scale/realistic looking in appearance and lacked the toy rocket looks of the handhelds which tapered aft like bombs.

I want to say these rockets used the same couplings/nozzles as the hand-helds, and that they would work interchangeably with the hand-held launcher.

(I'm working from very fuzzy memories, so some of the details may be way off ;))

I'd love to hear others' recollections and comments on these 1960's/70's toy rockets.



Ltvscout 11-12-2010 10:31 AM

I went through a bunch of the Park Plastics water rockets as a kid. They all used the handheld pump/launcher though. I had the standard teardrop shape rockets, and had a couple of all red 2-stage water rockets.

I loved anything that flew in the air as a kid. Model rockets, water rockets, kites, fireworks, dime-store balsa airplanes, homemade hot air balloons and Cox/Wen-Mac/Testors U-Control airplanes. I never had the patience to build a Guillows-type model plane out of balsa and tissue.

Doug Sams 11-12-2010 10:32 AM

I'm getting smarter in my old age. Thinking these were in the Sears Wishbook, a little Googling turned up a great find: (You can spend hours there, so be careful :) ).

In the heyday of the moon race, there were several water rocket kits sold thru Sears. This one below appears to be the most likely candidate for what I was describing. I don't recall the boat tails and spin fins, but everything else seems to strike a nerve.

Roy, is this what you had?

I want to say my rockets weren't quite the same as these, but it's been 40 years. Anybody else remember these?

Here are a couple of similar kits from that era:



Ltvscout 11-12-2010 10:35 AM

Interesting. I never saw that type of water rocket as a kid.

That page did bring back memories though. I LOVED Zeroids! I had Zobor and the Mighty Zogg.

Royatl 11-12-2010 10:39 AM

I think Park Plastics is no longer with us, but the molds and patents made it somewhere.

I've seen the blimp looking rockets being sold at Fry's Electronics, but I've never seen this
"{Aqua/Prop}{Zone/Shots}"set with one of the "Apollo" style rockets.

I've seen the console set on Ebay every once in a while, but they are exceedingly rare.

Leo 11-12-2010 11:08 AM

I had the Gemini version which I had fun with. This was before I knew about Estes rockets.

I still have the single and 2 stage Plastic Park rockets.

Ltvscout 11-12-2010 11:20 AM

Originally Posted by Leo
I still have the single and 2 stage Plastic Park rockets.

That's the 2-stager I had as well.

Joe Wooten 11-12-2010 11:30 AM

I had one of those too as a 10 yr old kid.

My brothers and I destroyed it a couple of years later using them as BB gun skeet targets.

Leo 11-12-2010 11:38 AM

What's weird about the rockets is that to this day they still have that very strong plastic oder.

SCE to AUX 11-12-2010 01:08 PM

I loved these things as a kid, but have never seen the 2-stage version. How does the staging mechanism work? Does it look for zero pressure in the lower stage tank, or something else?

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