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Major Matt Mason "Micro Machines"

What I'm calling "micro machines" are actually toys produced in the 70's called "Nasa Astronauts." The deluxe playset detailed below was called the "Miniature Apollo Exploration Set." This cheap playset included astronauts in various poses along with alien robots. Most of the poses were ripped-off from existing toy lines (like MPC and Marxs). The vehicles were ripped off from Triang/Golden Astronauts, MMM and others. The 6 that I have pictured were the obvious Major Matt Mason copies. These vehicles were said to be available separately or in this large playset. I believe that the playset is actually a ripoff of miniatures that ripped off existing toys! (Who's ripping off whom? Who knows!)

micro matt on space crawler
Micro Crawler
micro matt on reconojet
Micro Reconojet
micro matt on space sled
Micro Space Sled
micro firebolt space canon
Micro Firebolt Space Cannon
micro astro trac
Micro Astro Trac
The box has "Made in Hong Kong" and 48-24392 as a stock number. On the front and sides: "Featuring: *Astronauts...*Monsters of Outer Space...*Rocket with Friction Drive...*Space Tank with Friction Drive...*Space Vehicles with Rolling Wheels...*Craters...*Accessories."
Inside there's a 20" x 28" paper playmat with the moon, earth and space between in blues, greys and yellows.
A 13" long, orange Saturn V (modified with extra wings and friction driven wheels) with "Apollo" embossed on it and an American flag sticker is the dominate toy. It has "Hippo Toys" and "Made in Hong Kong" embossed on the bottom. Here's a rundown of the vehicles and figures present other than the 8 MMM "homages:"

  • White spaceship w/orange rockets, silver wheels and antennae
  • Red spaceship w/blue dome and clear engines
  • Purple space copter w/blue dome and chromed props (GA ripoff)
  • Red & white decent rocket
  • Red Gemini capsule w/red engines
  • Yello friction tank w/blue dome and antennae
  • Pink, 6 chrome-wheeled truck of some type
  • An orange and green satellite station
  • Green and red saucer
  • Chrome satellite viewer
  • Chrome LEM w/huge dish
  • Chrome and orange apollo command capsule w/blue stand
  • Red radio looking satellite dished center
  • 2 packs of multi-colored craters/terrain
  • 1 pack of chrome astronauts (MPC rip)
  • 1 pack silver astronauts w/painted features (as above)
  • 2 chrome astronauts (Marx rip)
  • 1 pack chrome alien robots
  • 1 pack silver alien robots w/painted features
Everything fits into a 12x8x2" box and came seperately bagged (grouped as above).

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