|Mattel's Major Matt Mason Man in Space Wallet was the typical cheap vinyl wallet I remember carrying in grade school. The vinyl is printed on both sides with the same Major Matt Mason grapic (a variation was also used in the Man in Space Ringbinder, showing Matt doing a space walk outside the hull of a spaceship, while other astronauts look on or follow. Both sides are printed with "Mattel's Man in Space - Major Matt Mason." The wallets also included picture pockets, a coin holder, pockets with snaps (for small items) and a separate billfold compartment. The neatest thing about these wallets was the majik slate insert that allowed you to write brief messages to your other astronaut buddies, then lift the film to clear the message.
The blue wallet is screen-printed with green, black and white and is 11 4 1/2" x 3 1/2" x 1/2" Copyright is 1966. The wallets may have included some type of insert or registration card, as Mattel often tried to upsell other products and get names and addresses of their consumers. They were displayed loose in an assortment (see the Assortment listing for more information) or simply boxed in a standard pack of a dozen.
Mattel Catalog Specifications:
(First appearance: Mattel Toys Fall 1967 Catalog Page 37)
Man-in-Space Major MATT MASON Wallet #5055
Rugged vinyl illustrated with boyhood heroes!
Features include mystic slate and stylus, picture pockets, coin holder, snap flap pockets and billfold compartment.
Wallet size: 4 ½" x 3 ½".
Each in Std. Pack: 1 Doz.
Wt: 4 Lbs
None Known. The artwork from the 1967 Mattel Catalog is different from the actual production artwork used. Mattel probably decided to re-use the artwork from the Ringbinder: Mattel #5046 Man-in-Space, Major MATT MASON Ringbinder. View the Boys Wallet Assortment #5053 for close-up scans from the 1967 Mattel Catalog images.
I had only heard about the wallet until one appeared on eBay a little over a year ago. Since then, several have appeared so these do not seem to be as rare as originally thought. At one time, several "toy experts" held the opinion that the wallet did not actually go into production. It was believed that they were salesman samples only and unavailabe in any catalogs. This was discounted when the catalog image above surfaced in the 1967 Mattel Catalog.
There is a rumor that these wallets came with a small insert in the main ID compartment, showing a Matt with a Crawler. This is unconfirmed.
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