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Tomy Space Mobile 27

I remember coveting this toy because I thought it was a Major Matt Mason accessory when I was a kid. The Space Mobile was on the same page with MMM in the 1968 Sears Christmas Catalog and the figure looked a lot like Mattel's Man in Space. It was natural for a 7 year-old kid to assume that it was indeed a cool Matt Mason accessory instead of a plastic and tin-lithoed battery-operated toy. Upon closer inspection of the actual figure, the driver looks very little like Matt.

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The Original Space Mobile 27
The original ad appeared in both the 1968 and 1969 Sears Christmas Wishbook. In the 1968 Catalog, teh ad appears on the bottom of a page featuring the Sears Exclusive Astro Trac Missile Convoy Set. That set must have been what caught my eye, as I indeed acquired it for Christmas that year. The Space Mobile must have been a close-second as a choice of presents, as I distincly remember it, perhaps more so than the Missile Convoy set itself.

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Wheel Articulation
As you can tell by comparing the image at top to the one at left, the neat thing about this toy was the wheel articulation. The front and rear set of wheels (4 in the front, another 4 in the rear) allow the vehicle to climb over uneven terrain. On the box the vehicle is shown climbing over a stack of books.

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Toy by Tomy
The box has a Tomy logo, and indicates that this was an early attempt at the fledgling Japanese toy company to infiltrate the US market. Tomy produced several toys for the US market under other names, usually as Department Store Catalog sales, including Grippidee Gravity, Billy Blastoff for Eldon, and several space-vehicle playsets for Wolworths Department Stores.

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Smaller-scaled MMM Figure
"The driver, which looks so much like MMM in the Sears Wishbook, is actually about a 4 inch figure made of hard plastic. The basic shape looks to have been reused for Billy Blastoff and this may be considered Billy's "Great Uncle," a worthy space explorer himself!

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