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Mattel Canada #6310 Deluxe Action Set


Click to Enlarge
Many thanks to Canadian collector Gary Cambridge for sending us pictures of his Deluxe Action Set in Canadian box, which is an excellent sample to show the differences between Canadian and US packaging artwork.

Packaging:
What we have here is a Canadian-produced cardboard box (in the familiar cyan and black colours on white cardboard) combined with the regular full-colour label that was printed in the USA. The box sports a number of "Mattel Canada Ltd" trademarks, while the colour label bears regular "Mattel Inc" trademarks.

The most obvious difference to the Canadian box is of course that it has three sides in French so the Quebecois are equally catered for. The second general difference is that the box has white edges combined with a black frame around each panel, as opposed to the black edges found on US-made boxes. Side-by-side comparison with the US box does however reveal even more.
Box Rear
This is one of three sides in French, and the one with the most copious descriptions on it. Although similar to the US version at first glance, the entire artwork has been changed, including the illustration which is somewhat smaller and actually consists of separate images for the Space Station and Space Crawler. The small frame reading "Mattel's Man in Space" from the US version has merely been replaced with one of two "Mattel Canada Ltd" trademarks.

The text reads as follows: (less accent marks):
White panel at left (see detail picture)

La station spatiale et le vehicule lunaire de l'astronaute de Mattel
The space station and the lunar vehicle of Mattel's astronaut.

Un jeu anime deluxe
A deluxe animated game

--

Station spatiale avec centre de controle
Space station with control centre

Le quartier general des astronautes dans l'espace
The headquarters of the astronauts in space

Comprend 2 plate-formes spatiales
Includes 2 space platforms

6 poutres
6 girders

6 panneaux solaires basculants
6 tilting solar panels

Phare de radar astral clignotant
Blinking astral radar beacon

Fonctionne sur pile*
Functions on battery*

--

Vehicule lunaire
Lunar vehical

Rien ne l'arrete
Nothing stops it

Voyage sur n'importe quelle surface de n'importe quelle planete
Travels on whatever (any) surface of whatever (any) planet

Treuil puissant pour travaux durs
Powerful winch for heavy work

Repose sur le station spatiale
Rests on the space station

Fonctionne sur pile*
Functions on battery* --

Major Matt Mason dans un costume flexible qui se plie a n'importe quelle position
Major Matt Mason in a flexible suit that bends to whatever (any) position

Casque spatiale... le viseur s'ouvre et se referme
Space helmet... the visor opens and closes again

Matt vole au dessus de la surface lunaire avec l'ensemble propulseur et le traineau spatial
Matt flies above the lunar surface with the propelling unit and the space sled

--

Equipement spatial derive du programme spatial officiel
Space equipment derived from (based on) the official space programme

Instructions completes incluses dans la boite
Complete instructions included in the box

*3 piles non comprises
*3 batteries not included

Equipement d'exploration et lanceur de fusees non compris
Exploration equipment and rocket launcher not included

(c) 1966 Mattel Inc. Hawthorne, Calif./U.S. & design patent pending/Contains articles made in Hong Kong & Japan as designated thereon/Printed in Canada
White 'label' at right (see detail picture)

Complet! Avec le Major Matt Mason
dans un costume spatial flexible avec casque,
le traineau spatial, et l'ensemble propulseur.

Complete! With Major Matt Mason
in a flexible space suit with helmet,
the space sled, and the propelling unit.
Box Front and Opening End
The box front is covered with the standard US colour label, so is at first glance identical to a US-made box. Only the white edges of the cardboard box itself distinguish the Canadian box when seen from this side.

Although the opening end is in english, it is also completely different in detail to the US version. Particularly the illustration, which is again replaced by two separate and smaller illustrations for the Space Station and Space Crawler.
Box Top
This panel is set in french, and repeats texts above describing the actual contents of the box (eg Station components, Crawler, Mason, Sled and Jet pack). The large illustration of the US version has again been replaced by two separate and noticeably smaller illustrations for the Space Station and Space Crawler.
Box Bottom
The box bottom is also covered with the standard US colour label folded over from the box front. At first glance it also appears identical to a US box, with only the white edges of the cardboard box making a difference.
Non-Opening End
This panel is also set in french, allowing the box to be stacked with either language showing. The text includes just the set name and what is in the white "label". Because of the way the box itself is assembled, the layout for this end is different again from the opening end in English.
John's Notes:
Because there is no difference in the toys contained in this set, please see #6310 in the Playset listing for a complete description and pictures of the regular US version. The Canadian box will have had an instruction sheet in two languages, or possibly one sheet each in English and French, as well as a 6-page folder with French translation leaflet. Sadly the paperwork from Gary's box is no longer available.

Paul's Notes:
  • In the side-by-side comparison pictures, please disregard any differences of shade in the blue printing. This is due to the difference in lighting when the photographs were taken, and I haven't managed to completely rectify it in PhotoShop.
  • Apologies to any Francophones (and Francophiles!) reading this - I've again left the translation a bit literal to show the difference in wording.
  • Since my Space Crawler for the French market (see French section) is also called a "Lunar Vehicle", it would seem that somebody somewhere made an official decision on that name. Or if, as John suggests, both France and Canada used the same stickers to 'translate' a US box, then it might follow that these were applied at some central packing location, possibly even in Hong Kong.
  • The small text on the back panel mentions US & Design patents pending. This tallies with the dates on some of the patent documents we've found (see Patents section) although so far we haven't found any patent related to the Space Station. Maybe we simply haven't found it yet for some reason, or maybe the text on this box conveniently makes use of the fact that -some- of the toys inside are covered by patents to intentionally imply that -all- of the toys would be patented.
  • The most surprising thing to me is the statement that this box "contains articles made in Hong Kong & Japan as designated thereon." Gary was kind enough to doublecheck his toys, but didn't see anything marked as made in Japan. So what this statement might actually refer to is a mystery, at least for now. Scope for some research here, should anybody be so inclined! ;)




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