The following patents turned up in a Google patent search. Some interesting points:
Have a look at the images and go out to the links if you want to read the original patent text.
- There are two patents filed for the original Billy drive mechanism
- Only the two unique drive mechanisms seem to be patented - standard Billy and Scuba Scout.
- Page 2 of patent USD214176 mentions: "Playthings, April 1967, p. 129, Kagaku Co. advt., toy vehicle at extreme middle right." Was this the first appearance of Billy Blastoff in print?
- Tomy of Japan and not Eldon of the US created Billy Blastoff.
- Kazuo Tazaki is the inventor of Billy Blastoff!