Tuesday, 25 April 2017


Characters copyright MATTEL Inc.

Those of a certain age will recall MAJOR MATT MASON,
MATTEL'S MAN IN SPACE, and the ads that appeared in
U.S. comics at the time.  However, it appears that the U.K. had
their own series of ads, which I've never seen reproduced any-
where else before.  Which doesn't necessarily mean they haven't
been, just that I've not seen them.  So, without claiming that the
following ads are comprehensive (there may have been more),
here are the ones which appeared in SMASH! in 1969.  No
doubt they appeared in other U.K. comics as well.

Did you have any Major Matt Mason toys, readers?
Why not reminisce about them to your heart's content in
our scintillating comments section?  And if you want to see
just a few Matt Mason items from my own collection,
you can make yourself jealous by clicking here.

And below are two ads which appeared in U.S. comics...


TC said...

I remember those last two ads (from American comics), and I had all of the action figures and some of the accessories. And the Whitman Big Little Book. I don't even want to think about the money that they would be worth now.

Unfortunately, they were fragile. The paint quickly wore off, and the wire skeleton broke after being played with a few times. They are probably hard to find in really good condition now, which, of course, contributes to making them so expensive.

Originally, the toy line was fairly realistic, and the equipment was based on real designs. Later, they went for more of a science fiction approach, with the aliens, Callisto, Captain Laser, and Scorpio.

Captain Laser (or "Lazer") was about a foot tall, jointed (like GI Joe, Johnny West, and Captain Action), and plastic, unlike the 6" rubber bendy figures. It may have been intended for a separate toy line, and got incorporated into the Matt Mason line when Mattel bought the rights.

Some other toy company brought out a knock-off 6" astronaut figure called Colonel "Hap" Hazard. It was hard plastic, and the head and arms could swivel or pivot, but the legs did not move. It was sort of to Matt Mason as Stony was to GI Joe.

Kid said...

I don't think Captain Lazer was anywhere near as articulated as G.I. Joe (or Action Man), TC, but was more basic. (As was Johnny West.) I had Sgt. Storm and Callisto, and perhaps Doug Davis. I did have a Matt Mason, but it was a second-hand one from a pal, rather than bought new for me. In fact, I've got more Matt Mason stuff now than I had then. Was always fascinated by the spinning 'wheel' in the rocket pack.

Phil S said...

Yes I had a Matt Mason and while he was a really cool toy he broke very easily. After the wire poked out of his arms and began poking you it was time to throw him out. The famous Colorforms Outer Spacemen were his companion toys. They were magnificently designed works of art and I have some of the New reissues. What was most interesting was you were never told who was a villain or friend. You had to decide for yourself.

Kid said...

It's a shame that the planned Major Matt Mason movie starring Tom Hanks never went ahead, PS. Just think of all the toy merchandise that would've followed. Modern technology may even have allowed them to reissue the original figures, but with paint that didn't peel, wire that didn't break, and rubber that didn't crack. If only, eh? I'm sure I've seen those Colourforms Spacemen in a book I've got on '60s action figures.

Phil S said...

Check them out. Beautiful design and colors. Plus those see through bubble helmets! They are little art sculptures. http://www.theouterspacemen.com

Kid said...

Yeah, that's the ones in my book, PS. They look pretty nifty.

Rip Jagger said...

Major Matt Mason was MY toy. This is the one I remember getting for Christmas and I remember playing with it on the rock faces which dotted the Appalachian hills behind my parents' house. The wire inside his leg eventually broke and he limped along for a few adventures after that, but never stopped being top fun in my memory. I still have the Big Little Book around here somewhere.

Rip Off

Kid said...

Manufacturers probably wouldn't be allowed to make a bendable figure like that today, RJ, because of the risk of kids injuring themselves on a protruding wire. If they only could have sorted that problem, Matt Mason might have lasted as long as Action Man/G.I.Joe. There are some figures nowadays with wire, but the rubber is much more durable and the wire far less likely to snap, so they're not exactly like Mattel's figures. Never had the Big Little Book.

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