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Mattel Italian Introduction Advertisement - Baravelli
This very attractive 2-page ad appeared in 3 consecutive issues of
Topolino
, the Italian Mickey Mouse magazine.

Translation:
Baravelli - Il Giocattolo del mese! - Baravelli - the toy of the month!
MAJOR MATT MASON

Attenzione, attenzione...qui Major Matt Mason chiama terra... allunaggio O.K... Inizio esplorazione Mare Nebbie... - Attention, attention... Here Major Matt Mason calling Earth... Moonlanding OK... Beginning exploration Mare Vaporum...

...con Rotoragno... - ... with the Crawler ...

Avvisto strana nube verde...indosso scafandro...fortissime radiazione... - Seeing strange green fog... Donning moonsuit... Very strong radiation...

Sorvolo zona con slitta...Misteriose interferenze nei comandi...Rientro Base 1... Attendo ordini... passo e chiudo. - Flying over zone with sled... Mysterious interference with controls... returning Base 1... Awaiting orders... Over and out.

Ragazzi, Major Matt Mason vi attende nello spazio con il suo fantastico equipaggiamento realizzato su prototipi NASA. - Boys, Major Matt Mason awaits you in space with his fantastic equipment based on NASA prototypes.

Assoluta novitá - Nei migliori negozi - Absolutely New - In the best shops

Paul's Notes:
The ad has been co-signed by Mattel International S.A. and the Italian importer EG. EG stands for Editrice Giochi (Games Editors), of which I'm told that this was a company producing board games as well as importing toys.

Because Mattel International is indicated here, it's safe to assume that Mattel SpA Gioccatoli didn't yet exist.

So far it remains a mystery who Baravelli may have been. There's no Baravelli company connected with toys in the italian Yellow Pages... I have ads for Bonanza toy guns, GI Joe and other non-space stuff - Patrick Storto has on his site has some plastic soldiers repackaged by them. They were in all kinds of toy themes, from dirt cheap to relatively expensive items like Matt and Joe.

Because of the layout, colour logos and the fact that all texts are in four print separations (or reversed out of same), I think this particular ad was specifically created for Italy. Had translations been desired, then all text would have been in black for easy (and cheap) adaptation (see Mattel International Catalogue as example).
  • Mare Vaporum is called Mare Nebbie (nebulous sea) in Italian
  • The Italian word for "spider" is "aragna." The Space Crawler is called "Rotoragna" which makes it a "rotary spider!"

John's Notes:
I was contacted by a collector living in Brasil, who grew up as a child in Italy. Nicola wrote that Baravelli imported many toys to Italy from the US:

"In one of your pages MMM Italy you mention Baravelli. Well, Baravelli was an importer/repacker of American toys. Almost all the toys that Baravelli sold were space-science oriented. Beside Major Matt Mason, they sold all kinds of rubber band propelled rockets (Mach X, Thor and a lot I forgot the name of and lost to the roof of the buildings of my city)...glide plane (Sirius and others that fly far away, too far...). If one day you decide to visit Brasil, let me know, I have a spare room in my space station, ooops, house."




All Mattel images and captions are copyright Mattel and used without permission. All other content, including images and editorial, is Copyright © 1997-2017 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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