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Mattel #5157 Talking Command Console

Click to Enlarge

Once again incorporating some cheap vinyl-covered-cardboard (such as used to construct the Satellite Locker and Rocket Ship Case), but this time taking it to the next level with electronics and a voice mechanism, Mattel really went overboard with this accessory. At first glance just another vinyl case with a plastic handle, the Talking Command Console opens to reveal two vacuform seats, battery-powered light-up view screens, a spaceship facade, and a pull-string that spits out 10 different phrases.

Back View | Side View | Inside Detail 1 | Inside Detail 2 | Inside Detail 3
Battery Compartment

Where Mattel came up with these phrases is a mystery, perhaps taking their cue from Mercury and Gemini flights that were televised. Even though the catalog lists "10 exciting flight maneuvers in all, along with real space sounds!" I've only ever heard 9. Here is a list with sound files and approximate file sizes:

Sound Files:
Click to Listen 1.) "Ready for blast-off! 3 - 2 - 1 Barroommm!!" 204 KB
Click to Listen 2.) "beeps... Batteries recharged Major! " 188 KB
Click to Listen 3.) "Taking immediate action to evade meteor storm.
      Hold on Sgt!"
211 KB
Click to Listen 4.) "Fuel supply almost exhausted Major.
      Switch to reserve."
216 KB
Click to Listen 5.) "Moon station on scanners Major.
      Shall we make contact?"
196 KB
Click to Listen 6.) "Recalibrate instruments for rendezvous
      and docking maneuvers."
199 KB
Click to Listen 7.) "Orbit achieved Sgt,
      unfasten belts and switch on scanners."
215 KB
Click to Listen 8.) "Close helmet visor Sgt,
      instruments show we're loosing oxygen."
218 KB
Click to Listen 9.) "Scanners indicate meteor storm directly ahead.
      See it Major?"
219 KB

The Case either came in the typical Mattel corrugated box with full color litho, or Loose with a very-hard-to-find hang-tag. The case is 12 3/8" x 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" and the box is slightly larger, with flaps on the ends, the litho covering two sides. Copyright is 1966. .

Back View | Side1 View | Side2 View | End View

Mattel Catalog Specifications:
(First appearance: Mattel Toys Fall 1969 Spring Catalog Page 69)
New Talking Command Console #5157
Mattel's First Talking Space Toy!
Hear astronaut conversation! "Ready for Blast-off - 3 2 1!"
10 exciting flight maneuvers in all, along with real space sounds! Interior radar screens light with flashing colored signals while astronauts (not included) monitor from swivel-tilt console seats. 2-way vista window and simulated interior. Vinyl, battery operated.

Std. Pack: Doz.
Wt: 10 Lbs.


As mentioned elsewhere, this is one of several items as a result of Mattel's attempt to incorporate the Standard Plastics Company - a vinyl notebook & lunchbox company that was acquired by Mattel in 1965. The story goes that Mattel expanded to include a small lunchbox company who's product lines were all vinyl-covered cardboard. 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.

The Command Console usually suffers from a variety of maladies including melts in the seats and corroded battery compartments. The most common problem, and one that may be fixed, is the dead voice-box. The pull-string will still pull, but slips in too fast to produce sound. There is a detailed guide for voice-box restoration in the Restoration archive in the Resources area of Wildtoys.

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