|With the success of the Sgt Storm release in a similar, "w/cat trac" package, Mattel released this version of Major MATT MASON. Various Mattel retailer catalog images suggest that the Cat Trac was originally designed to be a more complicated, perhaps motorized vehicle. Instead the Cat Trac carded figures were accompanied by this two-piece solid-colored accessory.
MAJOR Matt comes with an orange/red cat trac on a multi-colored moonscape background. This is the second most handsome background of the Cat Trac carded astronauts, in my opinion, after the Sgt Storm Card. The bright yellow embossed lettering shows up brilliantly agains the background.
I believe the gold-lettered variation is the first, followed by the yellow-lettered blister (both with black ink on the back), then blue-back ink card and finally the tall-card . As mentioned above, Matt could also be found on his own Flight Card, and in the window-boxed, Space Center "Astronaut" box (see below). He is also sometimes found on a white-card with Jet Propulsion Pak and Space Sled only, as part of the Space Crawler Super Action Set and Space Station and Space Crawler Super Action Set. There are many paint variations - Please reference the Astronauts and Aliens area for them all.
Back View | Bottom View | Side Views | Top View | CU View
The Card is full-color, process-printed and is 8" x 5" x 2 1/4" Copyright is 1967.
Paper Insert "Cat Trac Included" Variant:
Paper Insert "Lunar Trac Included" Variant:
Suspected - Not confirmed
Mattel Catalog Specifications:
(First appearance: Mattel Toys Fall 1968 "Toy Fair" Catalog Page 13)
Major MATT MASON #6318
SGT. STORM #6319
Debut basic set features either Man in Space plus a molded Cat Trac, hard-working unit for short-run vehicular treks!
Bendable, poseable astronaut wears molded plastic spacesuit and removable helmet and movable visor. Either Major MATT MASON #6318 or SGT. STORM #6319 on punched-hole blister card. 8" x 5".
Std. Pack: 1 Doz.
Wt: 4 ½ Lbs.
Mattel initialy released both a Major MATT MASON cat trac card and a Sgt Storm cat trac card with gold painted lettering and black ink on the back. This changed to yellow paint (it looks like the gold paint had an adhesion problem). At some point, Mattel went to a tall-card variation of Major MATT MASON (and all other cat trac carded figures). I've seen no explanation for the change...perhaps they were updating the look of the line (this can also be seen with the items released late in 69 and in 70, with the 60's/70's Mod color combinations). The figure may be attached via black twisty-tie or pipe cleaner (on German versions - which also may be found facing right-to-left instead of the typical left-to-right).
Other variations are primarly in the paint schemes found:
I like finding and displaying the variations. Of course not everyone is the geek that I am, requiring every combination! The tall cards appear to be the hardest to find. I've yet to see a cat trac card with a white rubber figure... I suspect they only the very earliest of flight cards/white flight cards contain them.
He may also be found in:
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