Major Matt Mason

Major Matt Mason

Long before Buzz Lightyear was blasting off into space, kids have held an affinity for space-related toys – perhaps never more so than during the space race of the 1960s. As man reached for the stars, kids reached for the ultimate astronaut hero of the toy world – a well-equipped action hero known as Major Matt Mason.

Mattel Toys really outdid themselves with the Maj. Matt Mason collection, offering numerous pals and accessories to ensure that youngsters dreaming of their own first space walk had more than a few ways to exercise their imaginations through the adventures of this toy astronaut.

Alongside Maj. Mason stood a fine team of cohorts including Doug Davis, Sgt. Storm and Jeff Long, not to mention humanoid Captain Lazer, and, direct from the Planet Jupiter, the impressive Callisto – complete with a transparent green head to show off his mental prowess. Together, this team of astronauts waged battle with their nemesis, Scorpio. With his ability to fire small spherical projectiles from his chest cavity and his eerily illuminated eyes and mouth, he proved to be a worthy adversary to these heroic space adventurers in their galactic war of good versus evil.

These molded and highly pose-able action figures weren’t limited to interacting with each other, however; there was an impressive arsenal of gadgets and scenarios to ensure that the planetary playtime possibilities were endless. Small accessories like a Jet Propulsion pack, which lifted up the space team, thanks to a string that passed through their backpacks, a water-firing Decontamination Gun, and a firing Satellite Launcher were just the tip of the asteroid. There were also a number of more elaborate accessories available including Moon Suits, and XRG-1 Space Glider (that really glided!) and a pair of robotic appendages called Supernaut Power Limbs (similar to those seen in the 1986 film, Aliens.) Of course, no Maj. Matt Mason collection was complete without the grand daddy of accessories, the lofty three-story Space Station. Kids lucky enough to score this little baby were the envy of the neighborhood.

All of these great additions to the Maj. Matt Mason line of toys would serve to win the hearts of future astronauts everywhere, thanks to their attention to detail, coupled with some serious functionality. They sold quite well until the 70s, when space race fever began to diminish among the kiddies. Today, the entire assortment of Maj. Matt Mason toys is coveted by many a collector – who are seemingly willing to pay any price for a chance to assemble a complete collection. They are truly some of the finest space toys to ever emerge from this galaxy.

Did you have a few Major Matt Mason items in your own toybox? We’d love to hear your recollections of “Mattel’s Man in Space” in our comments section, as we tip our hats to a true American hero.

2 Responses to “Major Matt Mason”

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  1. DCNorton says:

    The Major was a friend of mine for a number of years … I had the Space Crawler (with the Bubble trailer), the Space Glider, the Moon suits and the alien buddies. The Glider turned out to be one of the cooler accessories, mostly because it flew amazingly well, but we got a lot of mileage out of the Crawler too, which also worked really well.

    The Major and his cohorts were basically Gumby in an astronaut outfit, but they were well thought out toys and offered a lot of possibilities to imaginative kids, and I enjoyed the heck of these toys.

  2. Rob W says:

    Oh yeah, I had a Spaceman Mason figure in 1973 (I was 5) and loved it. Problem was, my friend Russel did also. So I buried Spaceman Mason in the playground – that way Russel wouldn’t get him – problem was, then I could never find him again. I remember the fireball cannon too, that shot little coiled-up aluminum foil tubes. I remember those little things being pretty accurate.

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