Space: 1979 – Remembering Diener’s Space Raiders and Space Creatures


Space Creatures Pencil Erasers

In the late 1970s, Diener Industries created two memorable lines of characters (and spaceships) that also doubled as…erasers.

The first was a line called “Space Raiders,” which premiered in 1979 and was a kind of (delightful) Star Wars (1977) knock-off.  The Space Raiders could be found in stores, but also — delightfully — were sold in McDonalds Happy Meals.

The Space Raiders were actually four unique robotic individuals.

Diener Industries

Space Raiders erasers

First there was Zama, who looked like an offspring of R2-D2 and the Lost in Space (1965-1968) robot.

Then there was Dard, who seemed part-Darth Vader, part-Shogun Warrior.

The other two robots were Horta (think Star Trek’s “The Devil in the Dark”) and Brak (think: This Island Earth [1951], replete with giant forehead).

The Space Raiders were also sold with spaceships earasers, including a flying saucer (the Lyra 4), a rocket ship (the Altair 2), and two other vessels, the Ceti 3, and the Kyrgo 5.


I vividly recall, in the summer of 1979 – while on a cross-country trip – absolutely begging my parents to take me and my sister to McDonalds’ so we could collect more of these Space Raiders, who came in a variety of colors (pink, brown, blue, green and yellow, if memory serves).

I definitely recall having a Green Zama, a brown Dard, a pink Horta and a green Lyra 4.

Diener Industries

In 1980, Diener went a (slightly) different way and marketed “Space Creatures.” These small erasers were marketed as “Space Aliens” in McDonalds’ Happy Meals, and looked quite familiar if one happened to be a fan of classic science fiction movies.

One space alien resembled the Ray Harryhausen-created Ymir from 20 Million Miles to Earth (1957), while another looked like the bug-eye alien from Invasion of the Saucer Men (1957).

Other monsters in the series included a dead ringer for the invader in I Married a Monster from Outer Space (1958), while the alien in The Outer Limits (1962-1963) episode “Keeper of the Purple Twilight” seemed to be the design basis for another eraser monster.

Diener Industries

Space Creatures pencil erasers

I never collected the Space Creatures, als, but to this day, Zama, Brak, Dard and Horta — the Space Raiders — are displayed in a place of honor in my home office, along with their spaceships.

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