Home | Major Matt Mason | Shogun Warriors | Zeroids | Moon Suit | Toy Stories | VehiCROSS | Links | Sale/Trade


Major Matt Mason Main Page

Astronauts & Aliens

Mattel Playsets

Other MMM Stuff

MMM in Other Lands

MMM Prototypes Page

MMM Resources Page


 
Astronauts & Aliens

Photo sent to me by BJ West
MMM head Major Matt Mason
The first astronaut of the toy line and initially the only figure, Major Matt Mason was created to be the "typical" astronaut (based on the Mercury astronauts and contemporary 1967's theories of space). The initial release was moulded in white rubber, silver painted cuffs, blue painted straps, large red dots on the arms and legs, and had its "bellows" joints painted black. Mattel soon dropped the silver cuffs in favor of black ones (the silver paint tended to rub off). After complaints that the black paint in the "bellows" joints quickly rubbed off, Mattel began moulding the figure in black rubber, overpainting the white and color areas. These initial figures all had "c 1966 MATTEL, INC." and "U.S. PATENT PENDING" moulded in tiny letters on their backs, and "HONG KONG" moulded on the right calf. Later figures were changed to "c 1966 MATTEL, INC." and "U.S. AND FOREIGN PATENTS PENDING" in larger type. A larger head mould thought to be a late addition was probably around since the introduction of the figure in 1967 (Carded MMM flight cards have been found with the alternate head..I personally believe that Mattel created the different head style to give kids a different face for a "new" astronaut...before creating Sgt. Storm and the others). Later figures went through several changes such as the blue straps changing to black and the loss of the red dots. Variations of both body types with either head exists. The larger head was later moulded in a darker flesh color, this variation is usually found on the black strap version only.Variations. Mike Zettle, an MMM fan with WAY too much time on his hands carved a Matt down to the skeletal wires. Thanks for the X-ray, Mike!
First Storm Head Sgt Storm
"Major Matt Mason's Space Buddy, Sgt Storm...Ready and able to tackle any space job on his cat trac." (from the card back) The second astronaut to be released was Sgt Storm (which is when the line became more science fictional rather than based on fact). This figure initially came with white painted cuffs, black dots painted on the arms, blue straps and possibly red helmets. [On some product and promotional artwork as well as the rear illustration of the Satellite Locker, Sgt Storm is shown wearing a red helmet. All these have most probably been coloured in the artwork itself, since so far there's no evidence to suggest Mattel ever produced coloured helmets. (However, these are currently available as reproduction items). ]. Later figures lost the white cuffs and then the blue straps became black. Also, Mattel began using a darker flesh color for the head mould (as on the Major Matt Mason figure). As a note, Sgt Storm has "Mattel, Inc. / c 1967 / Hong Kong" printed on the back of his neck. Variations. Here's a comparison of two heads (the left one is from a white-cuffed storm while the right one is from a black strapped storm with darker head).
Doug Davis head Doug Davis
"Major Matt Mason's Space Buddy, Doug Davis, Space Scientist-Radiology...Rides his lunar trac- Researches areas of cosmic ray penetration." (from the card back) Doug Davis came in a yellow/orange suit and is usually found with a cat track when carded (he also could be found in the Space Discovery Set and the Space Mission Team set). His suit has black straps with white trim/pockets and no spots. There are a couple of different head paint variations. Here's a photo of a Doug Davis Prototype. Note the silver cuffs and boot zippers. Note also that it's actually a repainted Matt (he has Matt's head!).
Jeff Long Head Jeff Long
"Major Matt Mason's Space Buddy, Jeff Long, Space Scientist-Rocketry...Rides his lunar trac- Searches for rocket launch sites." (from the card back) Jeff came in a blue suit which had black straps and an absence of spots. He was probably introduced to appeal to african-american kids who had been "left out in the cold of space," so to speak, as until Jeff's appearance there were no african-americans represented. Jeff came carded with a white lunar trac or could sometimes? be found in the Space Mission Team set. Here's a photo of a Jeff Long Prototype. Note the silver cuffs and boot zippers.
Callisto's head The alien Callisto
Callisto was Major Matt Mason's friend from Jupiter. He was the mysterious alien with advanced mental powers (represented by his transparent, veined green head). He was armed with a Power Pak which attached to the top of his shoulders (where a helmet would mount). Connected to the Power Pak was the Space Sensor which "...flicks out Sensor Line to collect and gather in planet samples for analysis" But we all knew it was a cool gun! There were at least 3 variations of the figure. The earliest had taller boots and a white painted spot on the chest. The spot was dropped almost immediately, followed by shorter boot-tops [possibly to shorten the figure, which towered over the other astronauts, or more likely to make the figure closer to the prototype. The prototype shows up in various promotional literature. It is most easily distinguished by the chest emblem, which has a number of white knobs on it. These were not included in the production Callisto mould, but do appear in the illustrations for the card back instructions (and Cripton's instruction sheet)]. . Three Variations. Here's a comparison of the short and tall-boot Callistos.
Captain Lazer's head Captain Lazer
Probably created for another or possibly his own toy line, Captain Lazer was a battery operated 12" figure which came with various gun attachments which lit up (as did his eyes and chest "reactor"). He was advertised as "Major Matt Mason's Friend From Outer Space...YOU activate his superhuman Lazer powers: Lazer Sound! Lazer Beams! Flashing Eye Beams! Blazing Solar Reactor! Cosmic Coder! Radiation Shield! Lazer Wand! Cosmic Beacon! Movable Arms! Bendable Legs!" Here's a photo of a Captain Lazer Prototype...note the open right hand (this photo came from a 68 Sears Catalog. Also, the 68 Mattel Dealer Catalog shows Captain Lazer with a strange "prototype" helmet. This helmet is different from the production model (it looks to be air-brushed onto the photo) and is very similar to what was illustrated on the box art.
Scorpio's Head The alien Scorpio
The "villain" from the toy line was the alien Scorpio "...whose large eyes and mouth flash with the light of another intelligence!" Scorpio was released late in the toy line in a colorful box and got limited distribution. He came boxed with a chest mounted "vest protector" from which flew "search globes" for "exploration." These search globes were small styrofoam balls that came in a small plastic bag in the box and were frequently missing on new toys. The figure's chest pack was moulded in a "callisto" green and had odd angular shaped straps. Scorpio came with no stickers (though there are obvious places on the chest pack that could take some)...this was probably to reduce production cost rather than a casual omission. Scorpio took an AA battery (in his chest cavity) which powered a G.E. 401 flashing bulb (the same bulb that's in the Space Station beacon) which made his eyes and mouth flash with yellow light. Although made from the same moulds, the Mexican version of Scorpio is moulded in slightly different colors. (note that the arm and leg shields are normal US release colors but that the body is much different).


All Mattel images and captions are copyright Mattel and used without permission. All other content, including images, and editorial, is Copyright © 1997-2013 John Eaton and/or contributors unless otherwise stated. Some media clips are used without permission but should be covered under fair-use Copyright laws or made available under public domain. If there are any comments or objections, please contact John Eaton via email, by clicking here.

Home | Major Matt Mason | Shogun Warriors | Zeroids | Moon Suit | Toy Stories | VehiCROSS | Links | Sale/Trade