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Welcome to...

The original Major Matt Mason web page.
Created in 1995
Slightly Updated 7-28-98

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 toys...

  1. Up to the arrival of Sgt. Storm, *all* of Matt's equipment was based directly off of NASA conceptual illustrations that had appeared in Av Leak, Jane's, and Air Force magazine. When Storm arrived with his laser rifle, that moved Matt out of the realm of Science "Fact" into Sci-Fi.
  2. DC Comics - then National Periodical Publications - had an agreement with Mattel to do a tie-in comic. This fell through for still-undisclosed reasons, but led instead to a Hot Wheels tie-in a couple of years later. One theory as to why the MMM comic died stillborn was that DC had gotten into hot water with Ideal over the last couple of issues of their Captain Action tie-in comic and it's really heavy political overtones.
  3. The original concept for Matt was to have him based on then-current US space capabilities. Ergo, there'd be Matt with a Mercury capsule, Matt and his Gemini, and probably Matt with his ignitable Apollo Block 1 capsule, etc, etc. Some marketing goon decided that it would be better to base the line on future concepts instead of the real thing - remember, the GI Joe "Special Gus Grissom Release" Mercury capsule didn't sell all that well :-)
  4. There were adverts going around a couple of years back for an independent press MMM comic called "Men from Space". The ads promised a complete list of the toys, an interview with one of the designers for Mattel who worked on the project, and reprints of some of the conceptual drawings used. Some illustrations (for the new cartoon characters) apear in Toy Collector magazine (Feb 1996)
  5. There's also been talk of some accessories that never saw production. One was reportedly a lunar sampling drill platform, while another was an add-on for the Thingmaker that would allow you to make Astronauts instead of soldiers. Considering that they would have been about half the scale they needed to be to work with MMM, I can see why this never got released
  6. Someone up north was reportedly selling MMMs in blister packs with all the white rubbed off the suit, and claiming they were collector's items. Someone bought one who'd had access to fingerprinting materials, and was able to determine this guy had simply rubbed off the white vinyl paint and resealed the blisters with a heat gun and a little extra glue. The good news is that the clod was reportedly barred from most of the major toy & collectables shows up north. The bad news is that he reportedly sold several dozen of these at prices of $100 and up.

There evidently 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. :)
From the 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 follow.


Major Matt and Friends

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.

Charles (whose 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
e-mail me.


A recent issue of Toy Collector magazine (Feb 1996) (Which was mentiond as 1986 for some reason in version 2.0( Thanx Tom Langland 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 base!

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!

Other Links To Major Matt Mason Stuff

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 here .

The Major Matt Mason Hospital!

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 Tom.Langland@quickmail.llnl.gov .

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
thomp64@sky.net or you can visit the center for collecting all sorts of nifty toys at The Big Red Toy Box .

Special thanks to all who have contributed to this page...

(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.
Michael Klein 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.
K. Harms 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 payloads.Check out
http://www.web800.com/jpa/tballoon.html 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 Tom Langland. 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.

Visit Vikki¹s Twilight GalleryEnter The TreehouseCheck out the toys on the toyshelf!

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 miss!

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.

Thanks again!
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!


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