One of my favorite toys that I had as I was
growing up was a rag-tag collection of Major Matt Mason figures.
Probably the biggest problem with this line of toys were the ultra
thin wires which ran through the figures. When a wire broke the good
Major would no longer stay they way you wanted him. Evidently this
series of toys was only produced for four years, however I think they
hung around the stores for quite a bit longer. This picture was the
toy I idealy wanted as a child.
I never got the
unitread and space bubble however. I eventualy begged my parents
enough and they bought me the Uni-Tred vehicle on a trip to
Sacramento where Wolworths second floor toy shop had an entire iasle
filled with Major Matt Mason toys. The side of the box read "Powerful Uni-Tred lunar
transport geared to go anywhere with planetronic shift! Automaticly
shifts gears as it climbs. Bites into slipery surfaces with hindres
of space teeth." The Unitread was powered by two "D" sized "power
cells". It had a large rubber tread which covered the eniter bottom
surface of the toy. It had excelent traction and shag carpet was not
even a challange for this toy. However it did have a problem with
turning, in fact it did not turn at all. It did have a multi speed
lever (which I think had a reverse setting as well). On top of the
tread rested an extending platform. You could un-attach these
different layers and re-arrange them to make the vehicle bigger as
shown on the side of this box. The Uni-Tread had three layers. The Bottom was
the tread mechanism. Above that was located this small white platform
which you could drag behind the vehicle. It was useful for
transporting the Majors "stuff" from place to place. The final
section was the body like part of the vehicle. It has a chair which
held one figure (weather or not the figures leg wires were broken)
and sort of a runble seat in the back where one or two more figures
could ride. As I mentioned earlier the toy I really wanted as a child
was the Uni-Tread & Space Bubble. The space bubble is sort of
like a hampster ball with a chair for a figure to ride in. It
attached to the Unitread or to the Space Crawler (more on the space
crawler later) via a tow-yoke. According to the box "Space bubble
holds astronauts. Rolls 360 degrees over planet terrain. Interior
gyro seat control center keeps astronaut upright. Protective tinted
bubble!" This was also sold seprately or in combination with the
Uni-Tread. Oh I eventually bought a Uni-Tread & Space Bubble in a
rather beat up box a few years ago at a flea market.
Some new information put forward by
"OM" sheds some
light on some interesting aspects of the Major Matt Mason series of
was another vehicle called the Space
Lazer or the Firebolt Space Cannon. These
could be actually two toys with one designed for Captain laser to use
or it could be that the toy was just re-issued under another name.
This was actualy a giant motorized cannon, but it had two wide
wheeles and the bubble would also attach to it. The Space Cannon
could hold either four small figures by clipping their feet in foot
slots, or Captain Laser alone, who you would sit spread-eagle with
his legs covering the slots for the Major, Sgt. Storm, etc. The canon
could be tilted up and down and had a colored plastic light stick
down the center. The canon was a series of rings so you could see the
light stick which glowed when the canon was fired. I think the bulb
has under the console which I think had stickers for controls. It may
have made a sound when the canon was fired. Charles sheds some more light on
this toy. The Firebolt Space
Cannon. Besides flashing its barrel, it
made a pulsing wah-wah-wah sound. I don't recall it being
self-propelled, but I think it was power-spun on its wheeled base.
This would include the platform where you could attach the guys. I
think there was a lever to lock the gun from spinning and two other
settings that would permit it to spin once, or continuously. Even if
I get motivated enough to dig it out, I won't be able to verify the
powered features as all the battery-operated stuff long since
succumbed to the dread orange space-battery sludge. :)
well preserved collection of K. Harms come these pictures of Major
Matt Mason's Star Seaker. This was beyond a doubt the most unusual
and mechanicly complicated of the Major Matt Mason line. It featured
a "Memory guidance system" and probably confounded many parents on
Christmans morning back in 1969. Most striking of all was the
hexagonal box that they toy came shipped in. It must have driven
store owners crazy. Click
here to see a great closeup
of the box artwork. This space ship (one
of only two that I know about) remains upright and holds only one
figure in the clear blue plastic at the top. Below the figure
compartment is a series of orange plastic hoses which plug into a
blue wheel like device with a seires of holes which made it vaguely
look like a bycycle wheel or a pizza with holes. Below that is the
motorized platform. Under that there were three small wheels. The
orange hoses plug into this 'wheel' to program this strange
mechanical computer. You could program the star seeker to preform a
series of complicated movements. For some childeres this was probably
thier fisrt taste of computer programing. You could tell the Star
Seeker to turn, move forward, rotate, etc.. It came with a large
space "map" with lines which you could program the Star Seaker to
There was originaly only the Major Matt
Mason figure but as the series of toys dragged on new characters were
added. Major Matt Mason was the hero and so he was shown in the
sparkeling white space suit. Later he was joined by Sgt. Storm (red),
Doug Davis (yellow scientist/radiologist), and Jeff Long (blue
scientist/rocketry). All the figures had interchangable heads so
occasionaly you find a figure at a flea market with the wrong head
attached. Each of these figures came with a nifty space helmet with a
movable yellow tinted visor which would stick on the plastic ring
around their neck. Later on in the series some of the pigures were
taken ou of their blister packs and sold in nifty vinil carying cases
with tons of little accessories. One of the largest of these was a
one piece lunar scooter. I have a picture of one of the figures
riding one but it is not a very good picture and since the vehicle is
molded all in one color...
When in space you
need to encounter some aliens. Major Matt Mason first encountered
Calisto (circa 1969). "Callisto's transparent skull reveals a highly
developed humanoid brain endowed with superior mental powers."
Calisto was similar in height to Major Matt Mason but his head was
made of green transparent plastic. He aslo came equiped with a rather
menacing looking side arm (Space Sensor)which was as big, if not
bigger, than his arm and his side put together. It has a small air
bellows that would pop out a colored piece of string.
Highly prized among collectors is the Scorpio
figure. Evidently this figure was introduced late (circa 1970) and
not sold with any other figures or toys. He came with a air powered
gun which fired "search globes". His eyes also lit up with an eerie
gold light. It was powered by a single "AA" battery in his chest.
This picture of Scorpio comes from the K. Harms collection.
Captain Laser was a hard plastic figure almost twoce the size of the
rubber ones. He had a back-pack that held the batteries and was
topped with three buttons that you pressed to light up his eyes,
chest plate, or gun. I don't remember wether the buttons each fired a
different one or whether it was different combinations (like eyes
& chest, gun, or all three). The gun could be fitted with one of
three different attachments made from tinted plastic that glowed with
the light. I think the three were a long sword-like stick, a flat
shield, and a stubby barrel. The mold for Captain Lazer,who really
didn't fit well into the Major Matt Mason series of toys anyhow, was
later re-used as the body for the Cylon from the Battlestar Galactica
series of toys.
Your Name Goes Here remembers the Captain Laser toy...
I especially remember Captain Laser-- the three buttons on the
backpack operated as follows:
He also came with plastic snap-on boot attachments
that I pretended allowed him to fly. They had round disks that were
positioned in front of, behind, and lateral to his boots.
Sometime in my youth I aquired a Space
Crawler. This was the most unique of all the Major Matt Mason
vehicles. If I was the major I would have had a word or two to the
designers about the rough ride this vehicle provided. It sure looked
impressive as it crawled across the living room floor! As a child I
assumed that this vehicle belonged to Calisto. It seemed unlike any
of the other Major Matt Mason toys. It was powered by 2 "D" sized
"Power Cells" which sat in the round section in the millde of the
craft. A red lever, sticking out of this section, controled the
craft's motion. The craft could also be fitted with a space yolk to
allow it to pull the Space Bubble. The original toy also had a power
winch to do heavy lifting.
e-mail address I've lost!) send this info...
Another cool ride the Major had was the Astro Trac. This was a
regular rover kinda vehicle, back tires larger than the front. The
back tires were driven (only *1* D cell for once) and had a foam
tread. Much faster than the Crawler. Seating for on, amidships. Front
axle steered thru some click-stops, so it could be set for straight
or circles. It had a trailer hitch, which as far as I know was *not*
compatible with the yoke/bubble. I never heard of that before I saw
your page. What it *did* hook up with was a flatbed trailer.
The trailer was molded to look like the hull of a tank, less the
turret. The fixed tracks were for decoration only. It actually rolled
on 4 hidden, narrow little wheels. So while the Trac was master of
carpeting, the trailer would bog down, even in less-than-shag
conditions. Grumble. Still, its was a neat way for Matt to haul his
stuff. The trailer had a female hitch at one end, male at the other,
so you could make up a pretty good train of the things. I believe
they were sold seperate from the Trac, maybe 3 to a pack? I had 3 in
3 different colors.
If you have any other information about this series of toys, please
A recent issue of Toy Collector magazine (Feb 1996) (Which was
mentiond as 1986 for some reason in version 2.0( Thanx
for that correction)) featured Major Matt Mason on the cover and had
a 5-6 page article with several pictures and lots of great
information. Although some of it was a bit unusual as some of the
toys were put together wrong. Look at the big picture on page 6, that
the Gamma Ray Gard is actually sitting with its nose of the cannon
sticking into its base, instead of the ball joint sitting on the
Tom goes on to mention another (very similar) article about MMM in
"Collecting Toys", the December 1994 issue.
An issue of Tomart's Action Figure
Digest (#31 June July 1996 $5.95) evidently has an article with
pictures of many of the Major's toys on cards and in boxes. Still in
stores if you hurry! Special thanks to
Vince Chinn for this information!
Currently I have found only one other page that
has good Major Matt Mason intormation and this is at Hype.com in
their nostalga section. Click here to link to that resource.
Another nifty page filled with "spawn" and other recent action
figures can be found by clicking
As you can probably
tell, I (Tom Langland) am a fanatic collector, and buy and sell MMM
stuff all the time. Also I run sort of a Major Matt Mason Hospital. I
can fix broken wires, severed arms/head, minor/major re-painting,
etc. for the figures, and repair most of the vehicles (I can just
about take apart a Space Crawler and put it back together again
BLINDFOLDED now!). For more information emial me at
I have lots of MMM figures that are missing paint here and there that
I would be willing to trade if anyone is just starting or into
customizing. Also a Castilo that is only partially green. For more
information emial me, Don Thompson, at
firstname.lastname@example.org or you can visit the
center for collecting all sorts of nifty toys at
The Big Red Toy Box .
(Matthew Pak was helpful recently by sending an
excelent picture of the instruction manual for the Firebolt Cannon
(shown on the MMM catalog page. Mark DeCew
was most helpfull with quite a bit of
information in the 'glider' and the 'space station' as well as varous
other small details.
remembers having a carrying case shaped like a rocket ship that would
open like a book when it was standing up on its thrusters. It was
three levels and had seats and I think a dining table, and had a
carrying handle on the outside.
provided access to his collection for several of the pictures that
appear on this page including the Star Seeker and Scorpio.
Vrchitect has this interesting
pointer for you..
"You might be interested to know that ol' Matt still has an active
flight career as a test pilot. Find out all about his most recent
conquest of space! These pages describe a project to build small
rockets which are launched from a balloons to carry scientific
for details! Tom Langland had this to report about the site... So far he the first
MMM to fly over Mach 1 and at an altitude of over 10,000 feet. The
weekend of June 8-9 he'll be going to 100,000 feet and in August he
will be the only MMM to actually be in space.
http://www.steveconley.com/pages/ad40.htm Steve Conley has a collection of marketing ads from old
comic books. This page shows an ad from a 1967 comic book inviting
you to "Get Mattel's Major Matt Mason And All This Neat Equipment".
Includes colorful drawings of the Space Crawler, Moon Suit, Space
Sled and the Space Station. Alos information courtsey of
This page alos have some nice G.I. Joe advertisements and some
wonderful Sea Monkeys advertisements (mostly the older ones).
This page in no way intends to infringe on the rights of whoever
currently holds the copyrights to the Major Matt Mason namd and/or
series of toys.
Letters and Such...
Charles Campbell writes in with this question...
I was wondering if you have information on another spaceman figurine
called "Billy Blastoff". He had a robot companion called "Robert the
robot". They were powered by 2 AA batteries inserted in their oxygen
back pack. All their vehicles and accessories would be light or
powered by a plug on the side of their back packs and a rotating gear
under it. I had Robert, his space cart and Billy's spacecraft which
was rotating on a tripod. I still have the spacecraft and I think the
robot is still somewhere in my parents basement. If you can help
e-mail Charles Campbell at here .
Gotta share this with you...you would appreciate it. Last night, at a
friend of mine's engagement party, he motioned be to his car. After
withdrawing a box, he looked at me and said, "It's here!"
Opening the lid, I saw a Major Matt doll.
My eyes darn near swelled shut with tears. Perfect condition (arm
wires broken of course)...along with that jalopy he drove (black
tread and a working winch).
Your page is certainly cool...maybe even a national treasure.
I just wish I wouldn't have chewed on the head of my Calisto
doll...or blew up my Red Major Matt with cherry bombs.
Ah, the folly of youth.
Thanks for the memories.
I can't believe this!! I'm 39 years old, and absolutely loved MMM as
a kid. Obviously, a lot of things have happened since the late 60's,
and I had forgotten about most of the accessories that were for the
Major. I am not a toy collector (and know nothing about it), but my
Matt Mason stuff is the only toy from my childhood that I truly
I got my first Major, the space station, and the crawler for my
birthday in October 1969, after it came out. I think I was in 8th
grade. Anyway, the Big Day came and our school bus was involved in a
traffic accident going home that day. The accident was only a fender
bender, and no one was hurt, but I'll never forget having to wait,
and wait, and wait while they had to call the police and make the
report, etc. The extra hour that this took, felt like forever!!! When
I finally got home, I had the greatest birthday of my life.
Your pictures brought back a lot of memories to me. When I saw some
of the pictures, I got goosebumps. I had forgotten most of the
accessories (like the sled, the bubble, and Calisto). I went on to
get most of the collection, including Capt Laser. I believe that I
went through 3 Matt Masons, due to broken appendages. Eventually,
most of the plastic broke and my mother pitched it. For the past 25+
years, all I've had are my memories. I had long since given up any
hope of seeing anything related to MMM, but tonight, I was just
thinking about it & tried a lycos search and landed here.
I'm sure that I couldn't afford any of it, since it's so rare, but I
would like to learn about finding any of this stuff. Even if I never
get around to collecting any of it, I'd like to thank you for helping
me remember a piece of my childhood that I truly loved.
Randy R. Havener
Ken S. Sayz...
...Just to add onto the realistic NASA beginnings-
my Dad worked at Aerojet while the develpoed the Saturn 5 booster,
saw night test firings out on Douglas Blvd pulled off on the
shoulder. I was interested in space program- had a plastic model that
I built myself of the Gemini capsule. I think it was made by Revell.
It was very realistic- it had all the internal oxy. tanks andd
controls etc. The best thing was- Matt fit inside perfectly! The
hatches would open, and there was room for 2 (I only had one) I
remember thinking no way, new about scale from model building, and he
looked too big. Now that I've seen all the cable channel shows about
space, they probably had that little room!