Collectibles from Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea

Dive.  Prepare to dive. We are about to take a voyage to the bottom of sea.  In 1961, Irwin Allen produced a big screen spectacular about  the crew of the futuristic nuclear sub Seaview.

The film had Allen’s usual all star cast, Walter Pigeon, Peter Lorre, Frank Avalon and Barbara Eden, just to name a few.  The plot revolved around a mission to extinguish the burning Van Allen radiation belt that was barbecuing the earth.  Not only did our heroes win in the end, but Twentieth Century Fox won at the box office.   It was the start of a whole new career for Irwin Allen, as the leading producer of Science Fiction on television.

The new Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea series, starred Veteran dramatic actor Richard Basehart as Admiral Harriman Nelson. David Hedison, who had made a name for himself as the scientist turned insect in The Fly was cast as Captain Lee Crane.

Irwin’s voyage began as a black and white spy thriller loaded with political intrigue and shades of James Bond.  By the end of the third season Voyage had changed into living color and with the color came a kaleidoscope of creatures.  There was the Fossil Man, The Plant Man, and The Shadowman, The Mummy, The Mermaid and The Man-Beast. Vincent Price makes a ‘priceless’ appearance as a puppeteer who’s puppets want to take over the Seaview for a maniacal purpose of their own.  Watch for the Admiral Nelson puppet which was crafted to an amazing likeness of Richard Basehart.  If any body finds one of those toys on the market today it’s worth all the gold in Davey Jones’ Locker.

VOYAGE  TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA TOYS

When it comes to collectibles, the best ones are the action/adventure boy-toys that were created to accompany the series. Remco gets first prize with their companion playsets designed for the Sears Christmas rush of 1965.  The packages were created to look like underwater diorama’s. The front of the box was cut out and covered in plastic so shoppers could easily view the toy inside.  The Seascout set came with a yellow plastic mini sled and a yellow sea crawler.  The Seaview set came with an 18 inch plastic Seaview that was powered by rubber band.  The set also included several figures and an octopus to create your own underwater havoc.  With the box, these playsets generally run for 700 to 1,000 dollars, with the Seaview set going for a bit more.  Without the box, these toys would be hard to distinguish from generic toys of the era but would probably sell for 30 to 40 dollars a piece.   Another excellent find is the Remco 4 WAY SUB GUN  which sells for more than 1,000 dollars.  Taken from Remco’s shelf of generic toys, this gun was designed to snap together to make four different weapons, a bazooka, a submarine gun, a Tommy gun, and a torpedo gun.  “Converts Rapidly for Fun-Action” claims the box. The gun itself was a spacey looking thing with a logo sticker on the handle.  It was packaged with an extension and two rubber tipped torpedoes.

GAMES

On the more mundane side are two games issued by Milton Bradley.  The Voyage board game features artwork of a helicopter swooping down on Admiral Nelsons car ( based on a scene from the pilot episode).  It is odd to note that the Seaview is fairly hidden in the lower left hand corner of the box.  Again, the game is indicative of Voyage’s early season where political intrigue was hot. Expect to pay 75 to 100.

For a little less money  you can buy the Milton Bradley Card game. “During their long undersea voyages, the crew of the SEAVIEW relaxes by playing card games.  This is one of their favorites”  So sayeth the instructions for this game. One of a series of oversized card games, this one is basically a subbed up version of Old Maid.

MODELS

In the model category, Aurora had two winners with the series that actually sold longer than the series ran. The Flying Sub model was released in 1968, then again in 1975.   This was one of Aurora’s more detailed kits.  The interior of the sub was highly detailed with tiny control panels and Lee Crane in the pilots seat.  It was molded in yellow and the small interior was a painter’s nightmare. Original cost, $1.50, current cost, 300 dollars.  This model was reissued in 1975 under the Monogram Models label.  It is identical to it’s big brother but the box art is a bit more sophisticated with digital lettering as a sign of the times.

Aurora also made a model of the Seaview in 1966 and again in 1975. This classic Aurora kit was an easy build.  The model itself is nothing special, but Aurora Art collectors will pay top dollar for the empty box. The box art depicts the Seaview in motion underwater moving toward the right.  Pricing is similar to the Flying Sub kit. When Aurora reissued the kit is 1975, Voyage was off the air.  The company changed the wording on the box to “Nuclear Submarine Seaview” in big letters with the shows name in small print underneath.  The reissue box has the sub moving toward the left and it is done in much lighter colors.  As always, buying beware.  There are many reissues and bootleg versions of these kits around.  Know what you’re paying for.

If you’re interesting in buying the model to build and not for the collectible value, check out the line of replicas from Moebius.

Other Voyage Collectibles

(Last number is estimated value)

COLORING BOOK                 Whitman          1964                40

COMICS                                  Dell                  61-70               12

Set of 16 comic books, 15 and 16 are reprints.  Artwork covers are fairly similar, giant octopus attacking the sub sort of thing.

GAME, BOARD          Milton Bradley             1964                75

GUM CARDS              Donruss           1964                150

Black and white set of 66 cards depicts mostly scenes from the series

LUNCH BOX              Aladdin                        1967                125

PUZZLES, FLOOR                  Whitman          1964               50

Whitman released several different puzzles as part of their  Jr. Jigsaw series. These were 100 piece floor puzzles with coloring book style pictures.

PUZZLES, TRAY                    Milton Bradley 1964                50

VIEWMASTER/TRU-VIEW    GAF                 66/68               75

4 Responses

  1. Scott
    Scott July 26, 2012 at 9:15 am | | Reply

    “Watch for the Admiral Nelson puppet which was crafted to an amazing likeness of Richard Basehart. If any body finds one of those toys on the market today it’s worth all the gold in Davey Jones’ Locker.”

    Yes it would be – if someone made a toy of out it, which sadly, they didn’t. I’d buy one. Too bad. Really too bad.

    Good article, thanks.

  2. Mr. T.
    Mr. T. December 27, 2013 at 12:46 pm | | Reply

    Damn, I had that Remco Yellow Seaview set when o was a kid, for my 10th birthday. Always regretted throwing it out when I was older (mom on a toy give away and cleaning rampage no doubt!). For sentimental reasons and not money, I wish I still had that toy today as a trophy from childhood.

  3. P. E. Arizmendiz
    P. E. Arizmendiz January 24, 2015 at 11:51 pm | | Reply

    How much is this collectable toy, the voyage to the bottom of the sea?.
    This was the fisrt toy my father bought me when we came to America back in 1965. My brother and I had one each.
    I loved playing with it and shooting the torpedos.

    P. Arizmendiz
    01/24/2015

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