Fisher-Price Alpha Probe

I was four-years-old when the “Summer of Star Wars” hit back in 1977, so it stands to reason that most of the 3 3/4″ figures I owned were Star Wars-related. However, I was never above mixing and matching different playsets together, and one such playset that got assimilated into my collection of Star Wars toys was Fisher-Price’s Alpha Probe.

alpha-probe-01

The Alpha Probe was part of Fisher-Price’s Adventure People series, a couple of which our own Doug shared earlier this year. The Alpha Probe came with two astronauts and an escape pod, which fit conveniently into the Alpha Probe’s docking bay.

Although you can’t see it from this angle, on the right-hand side of the Probe there were several buttons which, when pressed, played electronic sounds and caused red lights on the Probe to flash. The set also came with an “air hose” that connected to the ship and the back of either figure. When connected, it gave the illusion that the astronaut was floating in space. You can see it in the picture below.

alpha-probe-02

Since the action figures were all the same size, it was not uncommon for the two astronauts to kick their boots off and play a round of holographic chess in the rear of the Millennium Falcon while Han and Chewie took the Alpha Probe out for a quick smuggling mission. At least in my bedroom …

Thanks to Babbling Point for the great Alpha Probe pictures!

Rob O'Hara

I'm into old video games, old arcade games, old computer games, writing, photography, computer/network security, and of course, the 1980s!

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17 thoughts on “Fisher-Price Alpha Probe

  1. plaidman76 says:

    My Neighbor had one of these and I always played with it whenI’d go over to his house. He seemed to care less about it. But I loved it. And then as I went from being 8 to being 35, I forgot completely about it. Then about 4 months ago I was watching a homebrew DVD I have filled with 70’s and 80’s toy commercials, and I saw a commercial for this. It was like someone hit me over the head with a 2×4. It was funny to think that a toy I had loved so much had just disappeared in my memory bank, and then I saw the commercials and hours and hours of space battles with my neighbor came rushing back. He always had to have the Star Wars toys, but I was happy to have the FP Alpha Probe on my side.

  2. vinvectrex says:

    I’m with Plaidman on this one. My neighbor had one and I was crazy about it. I thought it was a great toy -from the sound effects to the astronauts themselves. You’ve got to credit Fisher Price – these things were built solidly. I’d still love to get my hands on one. Um..for my daughter. Yeah, that’s it.

  3. Doug says:

    Awesome write up. That white lifeline/tether thing always confused me. I wasn’t sure if it was supposed to be there (a real tether) or was supposed to be imaginary (that you were to use it to make it look like the astronaut was floating and were supposed to act like you couldn’t see it). It also looked painful the way it inserted into the astronauts back. Don’t forget the Alpha Interceptor which had a rotating turret or the alien figures which were translucent blue and rather effective.

    http://imgur.com/z6euW

  4. Doug, I also had the Alpha Star 1 you linked to, complete with that alien guy.

    This is a dumb story, but when I was 10 or so I got an aquarium, like a 10 gallon one, but I didn’t have any cool toys to put in it (I always wanted one of those little treasure chests that opened and closed) so I put this rubber dinosaur I had and the green Fisher-Price alien in there. A week later, all my fish were dead because the paint came off the dinosaur and killed them all. The tank had to be emptied and scrubbed and I’m pretty sure the dinosaur and the green alien went into the trash.

    If you guys liked that post, check out this website: http://www.toyzdollz.com/fisherprice/FPadventurepeople.htm

    Had you asked me two days ago how many Fisher-Price Adventure People sets I owned I would have said at the most one or two. After looking at that page however, I recognize SO many of them! In fact I’d bet that I owned at least half of those sets. In my room, Star Wars guys were always going on camping adventures, driving funny cars, and kayaking.

  5. Atari Adventure Square says:

    Also had a friend who owned the Alpha Probe. I enjoyed pressing those buttons way too much.
    Some good times came rolling back after visiting that site, Flack.

    FP’s Adventure People were so sturdy, they could take the playtime abuse better than most toys.
    Had the TV Action Team, with the wonderful camera and truck.
    Could chuck that truck off a cliff, bury it in the sand and it’d still be ready for action.

  6. Ben says:

    Holy crap. Some kid I knew had this toy. If you hadn’t brought it up, I’d never have thought of it. Sound effects and flashing lights were mandatory on any cool space toy from that era.

  7. After writing this post and checking out that Adventure People website, I had to go back and re-examine the very first picture I posted in a Retroist blog post. Here it is again, for those who missed it.

    On the top shelf, you can see the blue boat (far left, partially in front of the taun-taun), and the green van from the Adventure People Daredevil Sports Van (PIC). In the shelf below that, you can plainly see the Alpha Probe, displayed sideways. And, on the very bottom, right next to/in front of the Falcon on the far right, you can see the blue kayak, also from the Daredevil set.

  8. Kris Knives says:

    THIS IS IT! This is the thing! I was just trying to explain to my wife about this! I can’t wait till I get home tonight and show her this! I never knew what it was called because I traded my cousin for it! Thank you flack!

  9. Kris Knives says:

    I traded a duplicate of He-Man I had gotten for my birthday and some base ball cards for it after about 45 minutes of haggling. It was in good condition (all stickers still there and electronics working) with all the pieces still there. I never regreted the trade and I got a very similar “Moon Rover” set for christmas that year which had close enough figurnes that I could mix their parts and action figures freely.

    I didn’t have any issues with anyone’s parents, I frequently traded baseball cards for toys back then and sometimes swapped my lunch snacks for baseball cards. I think at the time the neighbor hood parents though they were getting a good deal and that someday they would sell those baseball cards on the secondary market. My parents never had a problem with my occasional trades, they considered my stuff my property to do with as I please. I think my parents probably didn’t worry about me getting ripped off since they had seen me haggle as so many garage sales so they knew I usually got the deal I wanted.

  10. Jerry says:

    Man! Many miles and years away, I received this set back in 1979 in a small town in Puerto Rico. It is amazing how much of your experience in the 80’s was the same for me.
    I remember having the Alpha Probe joining many battles with GI Joes and Star Wars. Many times the Probe was converted in a submarine to join the forces of the GI Joe S.H.A.R.C. in deep buckt of water. Oh glorious days! Thanks for the post!

  11. Kris Knives says:

    You know Jerry you remind me, with the comment about the Probe doing double duty as a sub, that the Alpha Probe was a really sturdy toy. The ship from Space 1999 wasn’t nearly as robust. Aside from the glue comming off the stickers I don’t think the ship actually has taken any damage despite virtually all my other toys being destoryed by my younger brother…..He-Man, GI-Joes, Tranformers….none of them stood up even half as well to the abuse as the Alpha Probe!

  12. Dan says:

    This was one of my favorites as well and just like the rest of you I had totally forgotten about it! Considering the toys my kids play with now they really don’t make them like they used to. I could crash alpha probe into anything and it remained in one piece.

  13. Lesley says:

    I still have 2 of these from my sons who are now 33 and 35. I wonder what they are worth. The spaceman and spacewoman and capusule never played with.

  14. Randy says:

    I just picked one up, in box all together, the stickers are all gone tho, but like all the stories above, my friend had one and we used to put starwars dudes in it. I got it for $10 dollars at a toy show in Wayne NJ. I think on ebay they go for 25 – 50 depending on condition. I have seen the Female Astronaut go for $20 alone. Good buy, and a nice piece of my childhood returned to me.

  15. Andrew says:

    My old Alpha Probe is now a favourite of my two little ones when they visit their grandparents. Always pleases me to see them enjoy some of my old toys as much as the latest stuff.

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