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Real Differences (or Not?)

Captain Meteoro Photo from eBay

On some occasions, MMM items turn up that appear to be different from usual, and, less often so, actually *are* different from usual. All of the regular MMM variations known to us are described elsewhere on this site, and the real oddballs are elsewhere in this section. But, here is what that mystery MMM item might also turn out to be:
Mattel? Deficient Photography
Nowadays, most items offered on eBay have a picture added to the description, as is the case with some advertisements in other media. Not every seller is an expert photographer, so quite a few pictures end up being fuzzy, overexposed or underexposed.
More confusing however, are the results obtained by certain types of digital camera. Although the picture is sharp and clear, the colours may end up very different from reality.
Affected colours are usually those in the green-blue-purple range, which may lead to Callisto's accessories appearing blue (instead of purple), Callisto's green boots becoming very pale, a midnight blue Dinky army truck (instead of olive green), or a Scorpio that's also featuring some unusual colours.
In cases like this, it is best to contact the seller for more exact details, and (in the case of eBay) maybe ask him/her to add a comment about the unusual colours shown.
Mattel? A Case of Mis-applied Stickers
It's not uncommon to find MMM items with their own stickers in the wrong place, with stickers originally supplied with other MMM items, or even with stickers from other toy lines or decals from model kits. Check out the MMM sticker page of this site to see what actually belongs to what.
Cipsa Logo Cipsa items
Various items from the MMM series were also produced under license by Cipsa of Mexico, and sold under the Capitan Meteoro brand. As is shown in the Mexican section of this site, Capitan Meteoro is basically Sgt Storm in different colours (as in the yellow bodied Meteoro above), Cripton is a Callisto in different colours (including a brown Sensor Probe gun, mount & bellows), while Scorpio has been produced with head and/or feet in various shades of purple and/or pink!
Capitan Meteoro's equipment was mostly identical in shape to the US production items, although some variances in colour shade have been found. Most or all equipment was supplied with stickers that were different in design to those used by Mattel. Capitan Meteoro's Space Station also has a different picture on the control room celluloid, while the beacon has six fins instead of three (similar to that produced by Mattel for a Space: 1999 playset, see below). Please refer to the Mexican section of this site for more details.
Slimey little devils! Sea Devils Equipment
Mattel's Sea Devils were the underwater equivalent to MMM. The figures were the same size as MMM, but wore scuba diving suits. Since Sea Devils equipment may also carry Mattel markings, and looks similar in style, it sometimes gets mistaken for MMM equipment.
Moreover, some of this equipment was also pneumatically powered, using a bellows identical in shape to Callisto's, but coloured blue instead of purple. The yellow tanks of the MMM decontaminator gun were also used as a Sea Devils aqualung component. These same tanks were once again used by Mattel's Big Jim as a firefighter accessory (blue over-the-shoulder straps were added and the belt was lengthened).
Click here to see some Sea Devils examples.
Click to Enlarge Space: 1999 Moon Base Alpha playset
In 1976 Mattel re-utilized the control console from the MMM Space Station in the Moon Base Alpha playset (Stock #9592). The top of the station was modified to fit within the diameter of the console and the beacon was placed underneath to act as a support column (strangely enough, the beacon became white and gained fins (for a total of 6) for stability. This modified beacon was also used with the Mexican Cipsa-produced Estacion Espacial...please refer to the Mexican section of this site.)
Except for the console ring, the celo, upright girders and beacon, the playset is unexceptional and is only included here to help identify the strange (and yet familiar) parts. Here's a scan of the celo. Notice that much of it is the same as the MMM celo. The box reads: "Space: 1999 Moon Base Alpha Control room & Launch monitor center!" and "Starflash Computer really lights up!" There is a variation of this playset that includes figures.
What is this stuff? Other Space Toys
Not every toy seller is an expert on MMM. Hence the odd piece from a different space toy series (even relatively recent Star Wars items) may be offered as being an MMM item, or be included in a lot with MMM pieces.
Finally, should anybody reading this have any similar information, additions or corrections, then we would very much appreciate hearing about them.

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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