I recieved this amazing news from blog reader Arto today:
"One of the first Project SWORD knock-offs I bought years back is this green Space Glider (pictured below), which on closer scrutiny seems to be much more interesting than its worn looks: a hybrid between three separate brands that have all been connected with SWORD. Bearing N.A.S.A. stickers both on its nose (rectangular) and wings (swordesque arrow-shaped ones), it actually is a Durham toy with a "D globe" logo embossed underneath. The accompanying text says DURHAM INDUSTRIES INC NEW YORK N.Y. 10010 MADE IN HONG KONG No 5934.
However, the item number 5934 is to be found on a box of a wholly different avatar of the Space Glider - the Tarheel one. This grey version (pictured below) differs in many respects from its Durham cousin, which does not come with a nose antenna. The two holes on the nose are covered with coloured plastic polyhedrons (which would suggest that this is of a later design, designed to cover up the initial holes). The green / bright orange colour scheme of the Durham Glider is very striking in comparison with the Tarheel grey.
To complicate matters further, the Tarheel glider does NOT have the normal Tarheel series number 5934 nor the Tarheel logo on the toy but says instead "350 MADE IN HONG KONG". This number in turn would fit into the "T in a circle" series, even though the "T" logo is not present and also the Century 21 series itself, which is the most likely scenario. Note also that in the Tarheel box illustration, the Space Glider has the same kind of stickers as the Durham one - yet the Tarheel toy has none! Since this toy was bought boxed complete with inserts and an instruction sheet (pictured below), there is no reason to doubt that it would not be a Tarheel "original". Go figure!
Fabulous stuff Arto, thanks for sharing. I've often wondered if Durham did any SWORD like Tarheel. You've solved that little mystery! We know that they had links as previously discussed on the blog. The double diamond nose lights are the same as my own NASA Glider, which we first saw an example of last May boxed and new to the blog as well. No sign of the Durham logo on it though. Where O where is the Durham box for your green glider Arto? North American readers please have a look at your Glider boxes for the Durham D and Globe logo! And whilst we're at it can anyone else confirm if they have a #5934 Tarheel Space Glider or a #350 Tarheel/C21 one (they must be in Tarheel boxes for this). That all make sense?