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Mattel #6308 Space Station

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Certainly one of the most spectacular and imaginative "play-houses" ever produced, the Space Station was Mattel's Man in Space moon habitat. Comprised of two hexagonal grid-like platforms, joined by orange girders and topped by a unique, lit control center, the Space Station provided hours of entertainment for the aspiring young astronaut. Roughly 26" Tall to the top of the Beacon, the Space Station was and still is an awe inspiring site. Imagine a real astronaut viewing this structure on the Moon's surface upon first arrival or at the finish of a tough "work-day". The designers of this unique structure should be applauded for their vision and ingenuity.

The Space Station could be assembled and reassembled in several configurations. Mattel's idea was to promote the purchase of several Stations that could be built-up together to form a large structure, comprised of several levels and off-shoot platforms. Various space tasks could then be performed atop the platforms, such as staging Satellite or Space Probe Launches. Access through the platforms could be done via the girdering system or center hole-opening.

The top-most platform could be built-up into a Command Center with central console, viewing screens and shelving. The entire Command Center was surrounded by Solar Shields to protect the astronauts from the "elements." These Shields could be lowered via hinged-connectors on their bottoms to swing down for access to the Command Center compartment. The Command Center came complete with communication console including a wired microphone, and a sink for washing off that pesky lunar dust. Each leg of the tripod-like legs of the center was attached to the platform via locking pins (usually missing in most examples found these days).

To further enhance the functionality of the Space Station, the Space Crawler could ingeniously be mounted to the top to act as an electronic-mechanical crane (how the astronauts would get it up there wasn't detailed in the description - appears the benevelent "magic crane" - aka a child's hand - would be used!). With the Space Crawler removed, the Space-Radar Beacon could be stood upright or inserted upside down to light the celo for eerie effect. In all, a wonderful set-up designed for hours of imaginative play.

Space Station Images:
Full View | Side View | Top View | Bottom View | Front View
Beacon View | Command View | Parts | Parts Detail

The box is made of corrugated cardboard printed on all sides (in black, white and blue ink), except two sides which have applied a full-color, process-printed label (top and front). The box measures 16 " by 14 " by 5 ". Copyright is 1966. The box reads: "With Space Control Center - The Astronaut's Headquarters in Space - Complete Defense Center - Convertible Dome! Swing-Down Solar Panels! - High Observation-Launch Platform - Flashing Space-Radar Beacon" and "Battery Operated - One "D" Battery Not Included"

Additional Box Images:
Top | Back | End | Insert Top | Insert Bottom | Insert Detail

Sticker Sheet:
Scan Not Available

Mattel #6308-0922 Space Station Front and Back
Mattel #6308-0922 Space Station Inside Pages

Mattel Catalog Specifications:
(First appearance: Mattel Toys Fall 1967 "Toy Fair" Catalog Page 94 **note that the Station originally had a "four-color wall poster" as an accessory, abandoned in actual production).
New Space Station #6308 Control center with Space Radar Beacon
Build Separate stations
Set up in many ways
Convertible dome with Solar Panels

The spectacular SPACE STATION, center of activity in all outposts of the Universe, is operational astronaut headquarters!

With rugged plastic Space Girders linking space platforms horizontally or vertically, the astronauts use this multi-purpose control center as comfortable living area, observation platform and storage unit. A unique grid design keeps the spacemen and equipment firmly in place when moving about the star-bound residence.

Automatic-flashing Space Radar Beacon (one "D" battery not included) and six solar panels to protect the complex included. Two platforms, six girders, three-piece chair plus control console with panel, upper platform, supporting uprights, vinyl sheet and space labels. Handsome wall poster and catalog too!
Std. Pack: 6/12 Doz.
Wt: 27 Lbs.
Package size: 16 " x 14 " x 5 ".
Major MATT MASON and accessories not included.
Variations: John's Notes:
I still vividly remember the first Major Matt Mason commercial that I saw in black-and-white. It prominently showed the eerie Space Station and I immediately wanted one. Of course I had to wait until I was an adult to actually own one, but did get to experience the Station at a neighbor's house as a kid.

I have several prototype Space Stations in my possession and it is interesting that the platforms were originally designed as six separate panels that would snap together. I believe the original intent was to build the station as a kit, similar to an erector set. I think that the idea was abandoned as the Station would be too unstable assembled in this fashion. More pics coming soon in my Real Prototypes section. Also, you'll note that the box images are quite different from the actual production model. At some point, Mattel chose to brighten up the toy-line by changing the typical silver/gray color to bright orange. There are also several detailing changes (like the legs of the command center) that were changed. I'll have images of these with comparison's to the production model's corresponding parts in my Prototype update.

Some other interesting box tidbits: The pictured Satellite Launcher has a red satellite (not used in production). Some astronauts are wearing belts with holstered guns; there's a "D"-cell flashlight in the command center's shelf. The Space Shields have been replaced by clear panels for the photography. Probably so that the lines of the molded panels would not obscure the details of the interior. Also, these shields are only present on the back panels...front panels are drawn-in lines, evidenced by the lack of reflection.

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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 and/or contributors unless otherwise stated. Some media clips are used without permission but should be covered under fair-use Copyright laws or made available under public domain. If there are any comments or objections, please contact John Eaton via email, by clicking here.

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