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January 05, 2009

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Pat Curley

Now, that's a major award.

And I'd suspect it's made of that favored material of comic book advertisers of the 1960s: 200-lb fiberboard.

Mark Engblom

I dunno, Pat...that photo looks pretty authentic. I realize what you see isn't necessarily what you get when it comes to advertising, but I don't think this one was cardboard. I may be wrong, though....but that's why I'd love to find out what happened, who won, what it looked like, etc.

Ian B

Well, they're saying it's worthy of donation to a museum, so either they are waaaaaaaay overhyping a shoddy fibreboard replica, or they had one of NASA's engineering prototypes- which would certainly be a remarkable prize!

Maybe the best way to get an answer would be to email Revell themselves- http://www.revell.com/. I daresay somebody in their customer service department wouldn't mind spending a short while finding out what it was and what happened.

A 19 foot fibreboard kit would be a challenge in itself to design and construct for a single competition winner so I'm actually holding out a little hope that the world really was such a remarkable place in 1967 that kids could really win genuine NASA hardware :) If the thing was real, it presumably would have been some kind of astronaut training mock-up?

Mark Engblom

An excellent suggestion, Ian! I will send something off to Revell and hopefully I'll get a reply. I'll do an update post if I get some information.

greyman24

Just searched around and found some chatter on a model site, here, that said a youth in Oregon received the "life-sized model" and donated it to the local museum of science and industry (OMSI). Checking out OMSI's site, it doesn't say anything about it, but some travel mags do say they have a full-sized model of the Gemini Capsule (not mentioning how they got it).

Mark Engblom

Wow, thanks, grayman! At least we appear to know where it went...but I'm still holding out for a photo of the thing being delivered to the winner. I sent an email to Revell (per Ian's suggestion), so we'll see what comes of that.

By the way, grayman...how did you dig that up? I swear I used every possible word combination to find info on the Gemini Sweepstakes. Good work!

Hube

I'm still holding out for my life-size Avengers Mansion prize ... ;-)

greyman24

Thanks! Used some boolean soft shoe.

The string was:
revell "gemini capsule" contest -model

Just another example of how goofing off on Google instead of actually doing anything of value can help you do...nothing really of value...

Pat Curley

Looks like you were right, Mark. With Greyman24's info I was able to locate some photos of the capsule, which is indeed impressive:

http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM2R3J

John Nowak

That is awesome.

They build a lot of boilerplate full-sized reproductions of spacecraft so they can test things like "Can the pilot throw all the switches while wearing a space suit?" and other ergonomic questions. I'm amazed that they were actually able to give one away.

Of course, the subtleties of the wording makes me suspect that the winner didn't get title to the hardware; he just got to choose which museum or park got to display it.

Steve

Yes, the full scale model of the Gemini capsule went to Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, Portland, OR. This according to http://www.live555.com/misc/CapsuleLocations.html. But OMSI apparently redesigned its website recently and the page where they discussed this is missing. I've emailed the webmaster there asking about it.

But it wasn't one of those cardboard cutout capsules. I had one of those. This was the real thing -- and if I had one, the darned thing was going straight into my back yard. I couldn't figure out why Revell's ads said "imagine how proud you'll be donating it to your local science museum." I was thinking "science museum? are they outta their minds?"

Sonic_Nurse

I didn't even know Revell was still in business! Wow.

johnginpbg

I won second prize in this contest. The guitar sucked, but I did receive about 10 model kits, too. I was 12.

Spaceflightengineer

Uh, no it wasn't a "cardboard cutout" but real thing? Yuh-no. Hardly.
If indeed that somewhat half-assed thing at the Oregon Museum is the Revell giveaway Gemini, then it too certainly isn't the 3-section Gemini replica represented in the contest ads. Is what's at the museum better than nothing? If one likes low fidelity representations, sure. Nowdays if Revell showed up with what's at that museum on someone's doorstep versus what's in the ad, there'd be legal action taken, hands down.

BP

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