Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate


New to this forum, so Hi everyone :)

Theres probably a section on the site to answer this or even a previous post but as I'm new I'm having a bit of trouble finding my way around . So apologies in advance.

Ive owned a Mathmos Telstar since around 1998..ish and I love it. Recently Ive aquired 2 Matmos Astro babies from eBay. I bought them with the idea of replacing the bottle in my telstar, as the liquid has faded clear. Also I was gonna pick the best bits and make one good Astro baby up out of the 2 and resell the left over with the clear liquid bottle.

Now I've cleaned them up Ive decided to keep both!

One has a embossed base and a stickerd cap, A black lead and plug with a raised black plastic base.

The Other  has a Printed Base, no sticker on cap (Althought I could have at one time?) a White lead and plug with a raised black plastic base . Also the champher/flat bit at the bottom of the base is slightly smaller than the other Astro baby.

Has anyone any idea of dates for these lamps or a link I can look at?

Cheers Sedated

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Welcome! I have been wondering the same thing about Mathmos lamps. I know how to date Lava Lite lamps, but I don't have a clue about Mathmos.

if you send the sticker information to mathmos UK, they will respond with manufacturing information.  i've done this before and received a reply within a day.

Well I recieved a reply from Mathmos...

"The bottles should have a number on the cap from which we might be able to tell you how old the lamp is."


Well thats fine and dandy if the bottle is the original that came with the lamp! we all know some need replacement bottles at some point!

Anyhow Ive seen this on the bottom so at least I can now date the plastic base's?  October 1999?

Does anyone know for sure which is the earlier Astro Baby?
The one with a embossed base or the printed base?

I think it must be the Embossed version as the base has a  6 . 98 mark  June 1998?

I think that is the date on the base. I checked my embossed astro, and it looks like the base was made may 1998. The mark on my astro was on the plastic too, but inside the base, not on the bottom. I am not sure, but from what I have seen, the embossed version came first.

I like the embossed version better, looks more classy. It also has a printed cap (Not stickered as I previously posted).
Whereas the printed base one I have just has a plain cap.

Also if Im not mistaken the Astro babys produced now are printed bases and plain caps?

I believe so. My astro has an embossed base, and plain cap. It seems like mathmos has changed their labeling quite a bit over the years. I would love to have a timeline of mathmos base/cap variations. I wish I could contribute more to this, but finding anything mathmos in the US is nearly impossible.

Cowmatian, Its hard enough to get info on these lamps in the U,K!

Here are the 2 lamps I found on eBay UK.
From 2 seperate auctions, the lamps have the odd small scratch on the bases, nothing big. No dents/dings.

Like I say was going to sell one on but now....I want more!!!!
I paid a total of £33 (That included the shipping)

This is a very interesting thread. I'm going to start looking into my Mathmos collection for dates and clues!

Those astro babies both look great. I have to say, though, I too prefer the embossed. Sedated,I think your the first to figure out the date of mathmos lamp based. If so, that's a great accomplishment Congrats!

I know this is an old thread, but being quite interested in the changes to lamps/ branding over the years I thought the topic might be worth re-visiting - currently the Astro and baby Astro now have no visible branding on the base, but all bottles now have an etched logo near the top

I am a fan of the etched logos and like how they seem to glow when the lamp is lit, but do sort of miss the logos on the base

Would like to see the return of a subtle embossed logo on the Astro, like on the older versions - models like the Neo/ IO and Telstar still feature an embossed logo although with the Astro base being spun rather than cast aluminium it may be more difficult to manufacture with an embossed logo - although they seemed to manage it in the 90’s.

In terms of dating lamps - curiously the plastic bases on all my Astros are date-stamped 2000, including ones bought new as recently as 2017 - Did they have a huge stockpile of bases from years ago? Does cast a bit of doubt on this is being a reliable method of dating lamps.

Tricky to know really. I do find this fascinating as well. I’ve numerous 90’s Astros and Astro Babys I must look into also. I’m marginally better at ‘estidating’ my lovely Crestworth Astros, Minis and other models from 60’s 70’s and maybe 80’s?

Incidentally I think the dates on the lamps shown at the beginning of the thread are probably fairly accurate, I think the bases with the embossed logo were around mid-late 90s, I have an Astro-baby with the embossed logo which is stamped ’97, I think the switch to the printed logo came in around ’98 -’99 - the product brochures from around this time seem to back this up, think this was also around the time they switched to using white rather than black up-stand bases aswell

Glad I’m not the only oddball interested in this stuff!

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