368 DINKY ZYGON MARAUDER (1979-1980):
The 368 Dinky Zygon Marauder was released probably just after the factory closure alongside the 363 Zygon Patroller. Both models were re-liveried versions of models that had been created by Dinky for Marks and Spencer the previous Christmas.
The name Zygon was presumably chosen for a range that ran to three vehicles because it sounded suitably ‘alien’ and therefore appealing to youngsters. The Marauder had two missiles fired from launchers that were also used on the 361 Zygon War Chariot.
No pictures were included in the Dinky catalogues although 1980 price lists mentioned the model.
The 368 Zygon Marauder was initially issued as the Cosmic Cruiser for Marks and Spencer in the run up to Christmas 1979. It came in special St Michael packaging and was marked only ‘Made In England’ on the base of the toy. The Cosmic Cruiser was a revamped version of the 367 Space Battle Cruiser.
When the Cosmic Cruiser was reissued as the Zygon Marauder, painted red and white as part of the Dinky Toys range, the name Dinky Toys was added to the base and the labels were changed to reflect the ‘Zygon’ connection.
2145/8901 MARKS AND SPENCER COSMIC CRUISER:
The Marks and Spencer Cosmic Cruiser was on sale in their stores over Xmas 1979 and labelled No.2145/8901. There was no mention of Dinky on the packaging or on the model itself.
PROTOTYPES AND COLOUR VARIATIONS:
There’s a resin prototype Cosmic Cruiser with the colour ways reversed from the commercially released model. The model was marked ‘Battle Cruiser’ on the bottom but this was blanked out for the production model.
The Dinky version was issued in a box which featured a cut-out space station, a nice touch and combined with the inner card on which the model was held with three white plastic pegs.
The inside and back of the box could be used as a Space Station.
The Cosmic Cruiser box was not branded Dinky but labelled as a St Michaels product, a brand of Marks and Spencers.
The Cosmic Cruiser exists in the standard box. The label here reads ‘Dinky For Marks And Spencers’ but it’s not clear if this variation in this box was sold as a Dinky Toy or whether this was an evaluation model for M&S managers.
An unopened box of six Marauders.
A Marauder class Zygon fighter picked up by U.N. Mars Base surveillance