|One of my favorite vehicles, the Firebolt Space Cannon was supposed to fire Blazing Firebolt beams and ward our stalwart astronaut heroes from attack. This is a real departure from Mattel's earlier stance of creating space toys based on the US Space Program. Debuting in the 1968 Toyfair catalog, the Firebolt Space Cannon was powered by two "D" Cell batteries and provided transportation for either three astronauts or Capt. Lazer. The Space Cannon was truly an interesting and action-filled vehicle. As the Firebolt advanced it would periodically swing around in a circle and fire pulses of light from the barrel, accompanied by space-ray sounds. At the same time, the radar antenna on top would swing around to locate enemies as they approached.
The Firebolt resembles a large cannon mounted on two large pulling-wheels, with a trailing wheel for balance. Behind the cannon is a control console (that would also light-up) that provided a place for an astronaut or seated Capt. Lazer to drive the vehicle. The swing-around action is really a show stopper, and it's amazing that Mattel was able to pull-off creating a vehicle that could work for both the larger-scale Capt. Lazer and the normal sized astronauts. As a bonus, the accessory yoke that came with the Space Bubble could also be mounted on the back of the Cannon so that the Bubble could be pulled behind it as a trailer.
The Space Cannon is relatively common as it was available for most of the toy-line's duration. Often the top of the cannon is broken from the pivoting pin that holds the top portion to the base. Besides that, battery corrosion is usually the culprit of non-working examples. The Cannon was also prominently utilized in ancilary items such as the 125 piece Whitman Puzzle, the Coloring Book, Press-out book and Italian Comic Book. Links to these below.
Firebolt Space Cannon Images:
Side 1 | Side 2 | Top | Bottom | Back | Three-Quarter
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 11 1/2" by 8 1/2". Copyright is 1967. The box reads: "Barrel Blazes Firebolt Beams! - Rotating Radar Antenna Scans Solar System! Turret Rotates Astronauts 360° - Radar Screen Lights Up! - Mysterious Pulsating Solar Sound! - Advances over Solar Terrain! - Barrel Elevates fro Long Range Firing!" and "Space Engineered for all Mattel Astronauts - Powered by Two "D" Batteries (Not Included) - Astronauts Not Included."
Additional Box Images:
Detail | Top | Back | Ends | Bottom | Insert 1 | Insert 2 | Contents
Mattel #6340-0920 Firebolt Space Cannon: Front | Back
Mattel Catalog Specifications:
(First appearance: Mattel Toys Fall 1968 "Toy Fair" Catalog Page 15)
New Firebolt Space Cannon #6340
(Mattel Toys Fall 1969 Spring Catalog Page 55)
Battery-powered transport lets Major MATT MASON, SGT. STORM and CAPT. LAZER ride together or individually.
Massive unit releases beams while its radar antenna scans the solar system! Interior radar screen fills with flashing light too! Pull the firing lever. FIREBOLT Space Cannon emits eerie solar sound. Mighty vehicle even rotates its turret a full 360' when stationary! Manually elevated barrel, space labels and instructions.
Package: 16" x 11 ½" x 8 ½". Astronauts not included.
Std. Pack: 6/12 Doz.
Wt: 16 Lbs.
Firebolt Space Lazer #6340
Whirling barrel transmits lazer energy and solar sound! Control screen blazes with light each time lazer is released! Rolls on 3 wheels, while rotating turret and radar scanner seek solar targets. Travels with CAPT. LAZER or stand-up MATT MASON and other astronauts. Instructions, space insignia.
Package Size: 16" x 11 ½" x 8 ½"
Std. Pack: ½ Doz.
Wt: 16 Lbs.
- The Box Art features a FireBolt with silver instead of red/orange plastic parts. Also, the stickers are different... it appears that Mattel made a last-minute change prior to the release of the vehicle.
- The Firebolt is alternatively referred to by Mattel as either a "Space Cannon" or "Space Lazer." Most later Mattel Catalog listings refer to it as "Space Lazer" (see excerpt from the 69 Spring Catalog above).
- Mexican Cañon Espacial
- British Firebolt Space Lazer
I've always like the Firebolt. Finally, Matt has some real fire power to blow up his enemies with! I think this is pretty much a staple in any MMM collection. I especially like that Capt. Lazer has something to ride when he joins Matt and the gang!
Vehicle may also be found in:
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.