|Mattel's Man-In-Space, Major Matt Mason's Space Diner Lunchbox was an example of the typical, cheap-vinyl lunchboxes some of your friends used to carry in grade school. The vinyl is printed on both sides with the same unusual Major Matt Mason graphic. The graphic is unusual in that it features an alien "waiter" serving the Major a meal from a tray, inside a glass-walled bubble that's supposed to be a "diner" type restaurant. Since the lunchbox has a 1966 copyright date, this box is atypical of the Major Matt Mason line released during the first year, as it shows an alien (this is contrary to the belief that the line started as a pretty accurate portrayal of life in space based on existing NASA technology). The theme is fun as well as very sci-fi.
The lunchbox included some type of exclusive "eating tray" inside it's white interior. It is unknown if a thermos was included as one has not turned up. Since there is no mention of a thermos in the Mattel Catalog listing, it probably did not come with one.
Back View |
Side 1 View |
Side 2 View | Top View | Bottom View
Inside 1 |
Inside 2 |
The blue lunchbox is four-color screen-printed with green, red, black and white as its primary colors. It is 8 3/4" x 7" x 4" with a hard plastic handle attached with metal rivets. Copyright is 1966. This lunchbox may have included some type of paper insert or registration card, as Mattel often tried to upsell other products and get names and addresses of their consumers. It may also have had some type of tag along the lines of the Rocketship Case and Satellite Locker.
Mattel Catalog Specifications:
(First appearance: Mattel Toys Fall 1967 "Toy Fair" Catalog Page 38)
#5064 Man-In-Space, Major Matt Mason's Space Diner
1 doz. ea. Wt: 11 lbs
- Roomy Lunch boxes with unique plastic eating tray
- Long lasting vinyl construction
- Four-color illustrations
This was also offered as part of Mattel #5060 Mattel Eateries Assortment.
Unknown. However, the catalog illustration is different from the actual production item, so variations may exist.
As mentioned previously, this is an extremely rare item and was part of Mattel's attempt to incorporate a vinyl lunchbox company (The Standard Plastics Company) that was an early 60's acquisition. Casting about for uses other than lunchboxes, Mattel also went into business manufacturing notebooks, doll cases, purses, medical bags, and ultimately the Wallet, Lunchbox, Talking Command Console, Rocketship Case and Satellite Locker for Major Matt Mason.
This is probably hands-down the rarest Major Matt Mason tie-in item. Two appeared for sale in Toy Shop over the course of a couple of years. Both sold for a rather exceptional amount. The one pictured on this page was bought by me on eBay, the only one so far to ever appear there.
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