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L'Homme de L'Espace Mattel Station Spatiale

This oddity (reported by Paul Vreede) has a US box, with an english colour label and a french translation label & JR sticker. The box came with two sets of instructions:

- an English one (printed in England and changed to British spelling) without Mattel or Rosebud-Mattel trademarks, and

- a French one, printed in dark blue and featuring the JR trademark.

French translations by Paul Vreede:
US box by Mattel Inc, Toymakers - standard cyan & black printing, regular stock nr.

English colour label by Rosebud Mattel Toymakers - features:
  • Major Matt logo & Rosebud Mattel trademark

  • "Major Matt not included" white text on black box in lower left corner of command centre picture.
*features on lower half of colour label on box side, not shown on photograph:
  • " 1965 Mattel, Inc, Hawthorne, Calif. Printed in England"

  • Texts containing the word 'center' have been reset to british spelling 'centre' and also lack the customary exclamation marks. (Unchanged US texts *do* contain exclamation marks.)

    This happens in the main block of product features (and probably also in the text underneath the french sticker), and in one of the smaller pictures, which has a (barely visible) black box with "Operations Control Centre" in white.

French sticker states (no accents again):
L'homme de l'espace mattel - Mattel's man in space


Centre de controle de l'espace - Space control centre

Quartier general des astronautes dans le cosmos - Headquarters of the astronauts in space

Base de defence - Defence base

Dome convertible ! Panneaux solaires mobiles ! - Convertible dome! Movable solar panels!

Plate-forme d'observation et de depart - Observation and 'departure' platform

Radar avec faisceau clignotant - Radar with blinking beacon
Fonctionne sur piles de 1,5 volt (non incluses)- Functions on 1.5 volt batteries (not included)

The french usually used russian terminology: cosmonaute instead of astronaut, and cosmos as an equivalent alternative to "espace".

The french "l'homme de l'espace mattel" turns out to be good for a laugh. I *thought* it was kind of a strange translation, and checked with our translators.

It does indeed literally mean "the man of mattel-space" instead of "the mattel space-man". Okay, most people won't have been too perturbed, but to be accurate, it should have read "l'homme de mattel dans l'espace", but would probably be taken to represent "Mattel's spaceman". The "space control centre" text works in the same way: literally it could mean "centre for controlling space", but would be correctly interpreted by any frenchman...

Since this box had a british label & instructions before getting the french sticker & extra instructions (making it an entirely european conversion), I would take this as conclusive evidence that Jouets Rationnels is the french importer, & not some canadian outfit.

All Mattel images and captions are copyright Mattel and used without permission. All other content, including images and editorial, is Copyright © 1997-2018 John Eaton, Paul Vreede and/or contributors unless otherwise stated. If there are any comments or objections, please contact John Eaton, by clicking here or Paul Vreede by clicking here.

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