Strato Spaceship Bank

Submitted by Douglas Wood October 22nd, 2010
Certifikitsch Winner

I found this vintage mechanical “Strato Bank” about 10 years ago at a yard sale and was told it was used as a prop in the Diane Keaton-directed film, UNSTRUNG HEROES (which I’ve never seen. Apparently, the bank appears in the boy’s bedroom.) You pull the red spring-loaded piece back, then place a coin in front of it. Press a button and it shoots the coin into the slot of the planet (about 60% of the time.) I guess for the 1950’s this was pretty high-tech.

22 Responses to “Strato Spaceship Bank”

  1. Allee Willis

    I totally used to have this bank! I didn’t even remember about it until I looked at your photos. I can’t tell you how many nights I shot those pennies into the slot. This was absolutely my favorite toy for so long!! is

    I love metal toys that have this aqua sheen to the finish. I just remember thinking that the toy was so modern and it reminded me of all the rocketship looking cars around me in Detroit.

    It looks like the spring still works and the penny still launches. This is an excellent 50’s artifact!!

    • MacDaddyRico

      This artifact is actuall broken in two places: The upper tail of the spacecraft itself, as well as the tail section of the little red airplane (coin launcher) are both snapped off and missing.

      Still a way cool toy from the Space Race!

  2. Douglas Wood

    I swear, as I was submitting this, I had a strong feeling that you were going to tell me you owned one. Actually, if my memory serves me, I’m pretty sure this was made in Detroit, so maybe that’s why.

  3. MacDaddyRico

    These intriguing toy banks are actually historically significant American artifacts made in Detroit, USA during the early years of the Space Race.

    More images and details can be found in the About Us link of my website, MacDaddyBanks dot com, which is the result of several years of extensive research.

    Believe it or not, when I’d brought these to the attention of various museum curators here in the USA, most of them had never before seen them!

    Thanks to my efforts, a complete set of these great mechanical banks now reside in four prominant American museums, though they are more than likely not being exhibited. But if you were to go to the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum’s website and click on their Social & Cultural Collections link, you’ll see images and details of these great American treasures!

        • Allee Willis

          That’s so funny, actually pathetic. I had the exact same experience with the Detroit Historical Society. I’m from Detroit and have one of the world’s largest collections of everything 50s, 60s and 70s vintage not to mention every single paper I ever scribbled a song on from a career that’s seen over 60 million records sold and the meeting itself was so boring, uninspired and uninformed that there’s not a prayer I would leave anything there. Not that they encouraged that at all. So sad that of all cities Detroit is saddled with such idiotic museum directors and curators.