It was early 1970s, and I was a nerdy young man that was hooked on Star Trek reruns. Much to my pleasure you could find Star Trek Models in the stores at nearby towns, and I took advantage of that when I could. In chasing down these gems of the imagination I found one that got my attention. It was like the Star Trek models of the time, same size box overall, and in the same area. But it was not Trek – it was a starship of independent design. I was intrigued.
Now, given the date a few of you who know their history may guess that I had found the less prized glow in the dark version of this classic starship model, and you would be right. But for me it was a breath of fresh air. The box said "Interplanetary U.F.O", and the design was slick. It had an opening shuttle bay, with a small scout ship that would fit in there nicely. The starship itself looked expansive and swept back, more self contained than other models of the time. Having predated the web (and given my physical location) it would be a few years before I completely understood the connection this model had to Trek. But it immediately became a star in my budding Starship collection.
I still have the Leif Ericson/Interplanetary UFO model, and it looks as intriguing to me today as it did those many years ago. This is truly a testament to two things, a great design that stood up to the test of time and the effect that putting such a tool of the imagination into the hands of a curious boy from Eastern Kentucky can have. This wonderful effect of boosting the imagination is probably the greatest gift that Sci-Fi can hope to give us, and this one, at least for me, hit the mark.
Aloha from the beach,