Saturday, April 6, 2013

Major Matt Mason

Karen: Mattel's man in space -Major Matt Mason! 


Rip Jagger said...

This is my toy! If you ask people what is their favorite Christimas gift, they have lots of answers, but for me there is no doubt. It's Major Matt Mason!

I got the base kit, a carrying case with the Major and a sled, a space suit, and and other equipment. We lived in the country at the base of a hill laden with rock faces,and those landscapes became the Moon for me. I played with that set until I snapped his arms. The toy was rubber with wires which sadly did snap with extended use. I found the case not long ago still stashed at my Mom's house. I don't think Matt is still with us.

I have the Big Little Book still around here, a great flavorful adventure which looks to my eye to be drawn by Dan Spiegle. It's tucked away right now, so I can't check it.

Love Matt Mason, an awesome toy. Suck that G.I.Joe!

Rip Off

Comicsfan said...

Don't look at me that way. Yes, I had the Major, the Space Station, the land crawler, and a lot of the other accessories. The Major was also the first astronaut to be amputated on the moon, since as Rip said, the wiring that allowed his extremities to be flexible would eventually snap after prolonged use. I think I just sat him in the upper deck of the station after that. :(

Anonymous said...

I remember Major Matt Mason, the space station, the jet pack and the sled. They later added more action figure characters: Sgt. Storm, two other astronauts, and some aliens. Callisto and Scorpio were 6" figures with wire skeletons, and Captain Laser was a jointed plastic figure about the size of GI Joe or Captain Action (11-12"). Another toy company brought out a knockoff called Colonel "Hap" Hazard. It was a 6" plastic semi-articulated figure. (IIRC, the arms moved, the legs did not. It was to Mason as Stony was to GI Joe.) AFAIR, none of these toys was as popular as GI Joe had been. By the late 1960s, people were starting to take the space program for granted (especially kids, who had grown up with it). And when Johnny West appeared, Westerns and cowboy heroes were no longer popular with kids. And Captain Action premiered when the super hero fad (largely an offshoot of the Batman TV show) was passing. The toy companies always seemed to be one step behind the times.

david_b said...

Much like Rip, aside from Captain Action, MMM was certainly it...!!

ALWAYS LOVED the cool card/box graphics.. Loved how they photographed that.

Ah, the wire arms/legs.. Yeah that was truely one of the earliest times my parents must have thought, 'Gee what a great marketing scheme.. Make them way too fragile so the parents have to buy replacement figures.. Hmmm..'

I always DREAMED of having the space station. I only had the Firebolt Cannon, which was pretty cool, then CPT Lazer, Mason, Storm, Long, the two aliens, the Star Seeker, finally the Glider. The irritating thing about the last two vehicles mentioned ~ They BOTH seemed to have been way too big for just one figure (my guys did a lot of solo trips..), seemed quite a jip, when you could have had a nice shuttlecraft to carry 3-4 figures at least. It's a shame all interest fell off when Neil Armstrong finally walked the moon, what a great vision MMM makers had of lunar exploration.

The 'computer programming' on the Space Seeker was pretty lost on me.., and that Glider only lasted a few good throws Note to toy makers.. Kids young enough for MMM typically cannot throw a Glider that huge for very far..

Luckily in the '90s, I was finally able to use some military cash and buy up most of the stuff I always pined for. Most of it all got sold again for other pursuits, but it was worth it to have at some point.

Funny story, I once bought a minty 'Davis' figure (the yellow one..) for something like $40.. A few years later, I go to sell it, along with some of my mother-in-law's furniture on eBay. I check my Paypal a week later and found $400 deposited (it wasn't from the furniture...). Yes, it was Davis...

Doesn't happen with me often, but when those bidding wars start up, it becomes a crazy market.

Matt Celis said...

Never seen or heard of this before today. How odd.

J.A. Morris said...

MMM was sadly a little before my time, but I love the "poem" in the ad! Especially the inclusion of the word "swell".

Karen said...

As with GI Joe, my brother had Major Matt first, then passed him on to me, so by the time I got him, his limbs were already a bit weak and some of his color had rubbed off. But brother had the headquarters and the star seeker, which had to be one of the strangest vehicle toys ever. I agree with David, the programming on that thing was nearly incomprehensible for a kid of four or so. But I'd sit there and plug those orange branches in different slots and see what happened.

We were obsessed with the space program and anything space oriented in our house, so Major Matt was a hit.

david_b said...

That commercial is a trip... I have it on my iPod. The narrator almost seems like he's reciting a Dr. Suess book.

Love that line..:

"He lives on the Moon, we may all be there soon..."

Ah, the dreams of the Space Race. Yes, Karen, my household (well, me..) was obsessed with our space program as well. It was the biggest disappointment when the Apollo program came to a premature halt.

I know Tom Hanks is a huge, HUGE MMM fan and he's been trying to get a MMM film off the ground for years.

david_b said...

Ah, sorry, it was the 'Star Seeker' not space seeker.. A few years back there was a LEM type vehicle for sale which was MMM scale.. The insides lit up with a nice blue light, perfect for MMM use. Very impressive

Too many chores to do today to look it up (some 'Explorers' education line...), but it's huge.. You can buy it cheap on eBay, but the shippong'll get'cha. So worth it for you MMM fans.

William Preston said...

Wow. I have ZERO knowledge of this.

I'm glad he now has a buddy. A man needs a companion when living on the cold rock. Oh! And another giant male friend . . . who grew up on the moon . . . and so evidently appointed himself "Captain." I sense conflict in their future.

Graham said...

I got Major Matt, Sgt. Storm, the jet pack and the sled, and a couple of other items I can't remember for Christmas. I think maybe the next Christmas, I got the astronaut in the orange suit (Doug Collins??) and Capt. Laser soon after that, maybe for a birthday. I got Scorpio later on. I LOVED everything about the space program and was really excited when these were under the tree. I still have the Major Matt and Sgt. Storm figures, still in decent shape, and my kids played with them when they were younger. I still have the Big Little Book around here somewhere, too.

Fantastic Four Fan 4ever said...

I remember Major Matt Mason well, I had the space crawler, the space station, Major Lazer, The Lazer Cannon and many more of the line too numerous to mention here. I remember the space aliens line and they spooked the heck out of me as a 3 year old kid. My grandmother and mother purchased the toys for me that Christmas. My father, who was never home, never purchased anything for me. It was my grandmother, grandfather and my mother who made that Christmas for me very special. It was my first interest in the space program. They must have had competition from G.I. Joe. At that time there was a G.I. Joe space capsule and I still have it. I still have bits and pieces of the Major Matt Mason toys. I must have played with that toy for hours because I was always staging battles with the space aliens. I had my own space theater of war and made lots of epic battles in my little imagination.

It’s too bad that there is no interest in space travel anymore. You don’t hear about traveling to Mars often or even to other planets. When we went to the moon, I thought Mars was next on the list, and sadly, it fell by the wayside. However I can see that traveling to other planets to find another place to call home will be earths number one priority one day. I don’t think we’ll be here to see the push to explore other worlds as a place to live in our lifetime.

Edo Bosnar said...

I initially wasn't going to participate in this discussion, because frankly I'd never heard of Major Mason, but I just watched that commercial - hilarious. I agree with david_b, whoever wrote the copy was probably trying to channel Dr. Seuss.
Otherwise, I was only born in 1968, so by the time I started to become aware of things like this in the early '70s, the initial excitement over lunar exploration had already begun to fade. Even so, I still remember certain products using some tie to the Apollo program for marketing purposes; case in point, I remember jars of Tang used to come with these lunar buggy toys (I had at least one of those).

Kid said...

I well remember Major Matt Mason - in fact, I own three of him today, along with three Callistos and one each of Doug Davis and Sgt Storm. (I've also got a smattering of equipment. Anyone know where I can get replacement arms for the Moonsuit?)

When MM was first released, his head was smaller, but he was later given a slightly larger one to match DD and SS. Also, Callisto's legs were shortened in later releases, just above where his plastic boots started.

If anyone wouild like to see Matt and some pals, jump over to my blog at and type in Matt Mason in my blog's search box.

david_b said...

MMM fanatics still keep MMM alive on youtube..:

Not an exciting one, but there's others..

The Yahoo MMM group can assist in replacement arms.. Don't have the sites off hand, but I've been around great sites with LOADS of background info, rare pics, great suggestions and repair tips.

Some google searches'll help.

vancouver mark said...

It was my favorite toy set, I was the perfect age for it and a space nut. First at six years I was given MMM, the space crawler, and the vinyl rocketship carrying case. Over the next year or so I also got Sgt Storm, the rocket launcher, and other little stuff. For my eighth birthday I got the space station and the first alien, Callistro. Then that Christmas I got the uni-tred vehicle and space bubble, with the two new astronauts, Doug and Jeff (I think). I also had Scorpio, who was very cool-looking.
I also had two of the Zeroids robot toys, so they teamed up with Scorpio and Callistro and my one GI Joe who I'd disfigured with felt pens as my alien enemies.

Also a neighbouring boy had some Billy Blastoff toys. He always wanted to join foces with my MMM team, but my guys called his the munchkin aliens and would only fight them.
Sorry, neighbour. I wasn't exactly tolerant of your differences.

Mike Conrad said...

One of the 1970s DC SF anthology titles published a repurposed Matt Mason comic story - they had intended to use it for a Matt Mason comic in the 1960s, the deal fell through, so they retitled the characters but they were Matt Mason, Sgt. Storm, and Captain Laser.

WardHill Terry said...

I never had any MMM toys, but my older cousins did. They were crazy for them. Their youngest brother, five years younger than I, benefited from their great collection and he was just as enthralled. One summer our family brought them to a vacation house in Maine owned by friends of my parents. The girls traveled in one car, the boys in another. (There were at least six of us crammed into the station wagon, along with the bags of clothes and such.) My cousins lived in a pretty dense city. My little cousin had never been so far out in the country. This vacation house was on a dirt road, far from streetlights. We can all recall distinctly this little frightened kid staring up at the moon through the windshield and saying out loud, "Mason save us!" Ever since, this has been a catch-phrase in our family.

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