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Mattel International Printing Plate for Newspaper Advertising

Paul's Notes:
This 5-inch high plate (above left) was found in a Belgian toy store amongst a lot of similar items for other toy series. It is made of hard plastic (almost seems like bakelite, even), and intended for use in single colour newspaper advertising.

The toy store would supply one of these plates with some text, which would have to be (hand-)set by the printers to make up each complete advertisement. The image from this plate can therefore appear in any number of different advertisements.

Since it was found in a store, and there are only the MMM and Mattel names, plates of this type could conceivably have been supplied in great numbers across many markets. The tiny Mattel International SA logo would suggest that this one was made for use outside the USA, and probably no later than 1968 (as I've mentioned elsewhere, by 1968-9 Mattel was setting up local branches in quite a few European countries).

To show what the printed image looks like, I've tried making a print with this plate using an improvised inkpad. This of course didn't work very well, so I will have another go with some proper printing ink soon. For the time being, here's a print simulated with PhotoShop (above middle image).

John's Notes:
I would love to have one of these, as I believe that they are extrememly rare. Of course, I would go stamp-happy and put the image on everything. Paul later sent the third image above, manipulated in photoshop to simulate the green, neon-glow effect.

All Mattel images and captions are copyright Mattel and used without permission. All other content, including images and editorial, is Copyright © 1997-2018 John Eaton, Paul Vreede and/or contributors unless otherwise stated. If there are any comments or objections, please contact John Eaton, by clicking here or Paul Vreede by clicking here.

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