ESP - Base Espacial

Stock #: 306 Release year: 1970* Sold in: Spain Sold by: Nacoral Manufactured in: Spain
* assumed.

Spain's "Base Espacial" (Space Base) manufactured by Nacoral is sure to drive purist collectors batty. Multiple color variations seemingly mixed and matched across sets sold in the same box make for a mind-boggling number of set variations. In an attempt to decode these variations I went on a photo hunt for all of Base Espacial sets I could find and came up with 15 examples to compare.

Complicating matters it wasn't always clear if a set was missing a part because it wasn't included, not visible in the picture or just lost over time. And, there are several examples that make me believe that these sets came with more than the "10 piezas!" mentioned on the box. In one early case a set seemed to include a first generation Billy which made me wonder if Nacoral had done the same thing in Spain that Eldon did in the US by starting with the first generation Billy then changing to the second generation walking Billy but, none of the 14 other sets I found had the earlier Billy which leads me to believe this set was just joined together after the fact from what would have been Spain's Space Scout set which I have just a bit of evidence of. It seems that all of these Base Espacial sets came with a walking Billy.

I actually thought I was done with 11 sets then came across another three, one of which (#12) introduced two new vehicles not present in any other set. Then, a while after all of this settled down, set #15 shows up with never before seen to me vacuum formed moon surface that I'm calling "Lunar Surface". So, if you happen to see any other variations please let me know and I'll be glad to include them. I suspect there may not be an end to this.

Based on the existing sample sets, both complete and incomplete, I see somewhat of a pattern in the colloring of the accessories. Which leads me to fill in the color for missing accessories marked with "**assumed**" or with "**color unknown**" if the color can't be determined. The rules/patterns I see are:

  1. TV Camera, Walkie Talkie, Rock Sample Taker and Tow Bar colors always match. Except for set #10...
  2. Radar Scope, Lunar Probe Camera and Flying Device vary in color
  3. I don't beleive the sets varied in the number of accessories included.
The tow system is a little different with the Spanish toys. Instead of the tow bar having a hole on each end it has a hole on one and a peg on the other. This means the vehicles are also different. The Grabber has a peg but the Space Capsule has a hole unlike tthe American version which has a peg. Also, I have no evidence of anything but a gen 1 Flying Device being included in any of these sets although all had a gen 2 Billy. And, no door hanger as well. So, it doesn't appear that the Spanish kids of the 70's were doing much flying with Billy. Billy and most of the vehicles include the Spanish and American flag although Billy was invented in Japan... The box was so handy it seemed nobody threw them away since all but one set includes the box.

I have seen five different color variations of the Space Capsule.

Three different variations of the Grabber.

Two different variations of the Space Saucer with two different colors of antenna.

Two different variations of the Observation Tower.

4 different Radar Scopes.

All of the accessories have green and orange versions. I have not seen the metal hanger that goes with the Flying Device so I don't believe one was ever included.

One set includes this vacuum formed lunar surface. This is a little baffling. Since I've only seen it once it kind of seems like it doesn't go with the set but it fits so perfectly in the box that I think it did come in the set! With all the wacky variations going on in Spain it sure is possible.

Set Comparison Table

I made this table to see if there was any consistency at all to these sets and it seems that out of 15 sets every one is unique. Some points:

  • I reviewed all of the pictures for each listing of these sets - not just the complete package image included on the set page.
  • Where the color of a missing item can be assumed by other pieces seen, that case is marked with a "*".
  • If the color of a part cannot be determined, no mark is made.
  • Sets marked with bold text (2,6,10,12 and 14) are complete not considering instructions.
  • Only one set (14) has all parts and the instructions sheet. But, that set does not have the insert although the insert may not have been included in all sets.
Part Image 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Space Capsule (white/orange) X X X
Space Capsule (white with blue tip) X
Space Capsule (white/blue) X X X X X X X X
Space Capsule (blue/white) X X X X
Space Capsule (orange/white) X
Grabber (blue/white) X X X X X X X X
Grabber (white/blue) X X X X X X X
Grabber (white/orange) X X
Space Saucer (blue/red dish) X X X X
Space Saucer (blue/yellow dish) X X X
Space Saucer (white/red dish) X X X X X
Space Saucer (white/yellow dish) X X X X X
Observation Tower (white/blue) X X X X X X X X X
Observation Tower (blue/white) X X X X X X X X
Radar Scope (white) X X X X X X X X X
Radar Scope (gray) X
Radar Scope (blue) X X X X
Radar Scope (orange) X *
Lunar Probe Camera (green) X X X * X X X
Lunar Probe Camera (orange) X X X X X X
Flying Device (green, gen 1) X X X X X X X * X * X
Flying Device (orange, gen 1) X X X X
TV Camera (green) * X X X X X *
Walkie Talkie (green) X X X X X * X
Rock Sample Taker (green) X X * X X * *
Tow Bar (green) X X * * X X
TV Camera (orange) * X * X X X
Walkie Talkie (orange) X X X X X X
Rock Sample Taker (orange) X X X * X X
Tow Bar (orange) X X X X X X X
Box X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X
Box for Billy X X X X X X X X X X X X X X
Instruction Sheet X X X X X X X
Insert X X