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6357 Star Seeker


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The Star Seeker is one of those interesting toys that at first glance, doesn't seem to fit a toy-line such as Major Matt Mason. It appears to be Mattel's answer to the early 70's trend of toy manufacturor's incorporation of computer chips, and the idea of programming toys, into an existing line. The Star Seeker vaguely resembles a space capsule or truncated cone, with a flip-up clear blue dome/hatch from which the figure could be removed or fitted. Bright orange plugs could be fit into holes, the pattern determining the direction, turn angle and distance of each movement, accomplished by wheels from the bottom (it took 2 "D" batteries - not included!). Cardboard planets, moon and sun could be positioned on the floor... with the idea of programming the Seeker to avoid hitting them. Complex diagrams were included as part of the instructions, as well as "space labels".

The Star Seeker could easily be grouped with other programable toys from the era, such as Amazamatic cars and the Big Traxx. It was also offered as a "Walk in Space" Sears exclusive, and intended to be grouped with the mysterious Or/Orbiter set as the "Voyage to Galaxy III" playset.

Additional Vehicle Images:
Full | Front | Top | Seat | Back | Bottom

Packaging:
The box is hexagonal and made of corrugated cardboard printed on all sides (in black, white and blue ink), except the front sides to left and right, which have applied a full-color, process-printed label. The package measures 11" by 9 1/2" by 12 5/8". Copyright is 1969. The box reading counter-clockwise (side 1 is the front):
  • Side 1: "Star Seeker™ with Memory Guidance System"
  • Side 2: "Plot a Course! Plug it In! STAR SEEKER follows your commands!"
  • Side 3: "Major Matt Mason sits at controls, helmet rests on module's control panel. Any astronaut can be seated behind lift-up tinted bubble dome." and "Space Decals included too!"
  • Side 4: "Route Star Seeker through solar system! Full-color, stand-up set includes: Mercury, Earth, Pluto, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune Venus, Sun and Moon.
  • Side 5: "The Star Seeker's Memory Guidance System has eleven memory pegs, three control positions each. Rotating memory guidance system turns Star Seeker at your command. Or plug the memory pegs at random and predict where it will go. 2D batteries required, not included" and a sticker: "Major MATT MASON© doll not included."
  • Side 6: "Send Major MATT MASON© on more than 100,000 different cosmic journeys!"
This package qualifies as having the most text of any MMM box playset!

Additional Packaging Images:
Box Bottom | Box Top | Box Insert | Box Open

Sticker Sheets:


Instructions:
Mattel #6357-0920 Star Seeker 2 variations:
Style "A" (B&W version): Front | Back
Style "B"(color version): Cover & 8 | 2 & 7 | 3 & 6 | 4 & 5

Planets:
Loose | Unused Sheet A | Unused Sheet B

Mattel Catalog Specifications:
(First appearance: Mattel Toys 1970 Fall Catalog page 28)
New Star Seeker #6357
You send any Mattel astronaut on more than 100,000 different inter-stellar routes! You set STAR SEEKER's course with control pegs - any direction you choose. STAR SEEKER remembers your commands.
The STAR SEEKER glides forward on a path predicted by the 11 control pegs on the revolving Memory Guidance System. Each peg fits in one of three positions, right, left or straight, in an endless number of combinations!
Any Mattel astronaut rides safely in the Upper Control Deck, protected by a movable tinted shield. 11" tall, the STAR SEEKER turns off its battery power automatically, signaling the end of its mission.
Create a circuit around our Solar System (the Sun and planets are included). It can be programmed to return to the starting point or run at random.
Tuck-end package with 4-color label, 11" x 9 " x 12".
Astronauts and batteries not included.
Std. Pack: 1/2 Doz.
Wt: 15 Lbs.
Variations:
  • Two different instruction sheets as described above
  • Rare Catalog version:
    Bought from eBay, this is a rare plain-boxed JC Penny's version of the Star Seeker. Note the plain brown box with simple stamping of the Mattel Item numbers, and the JC Penny's tag.
    Box Front | Box Side | JC Penny's Tag | Box Inside
John's Notes:
I never really cared for this toy, until several years later when I had the opportunity to run one and try to get it to program and avoid obsticles. It's actually quite entertaining to watch and try to make work correctly. I find it interesting that there are so many oddities in the accessory: the unusual box, the cardboard cut-outs, the excessive marketing verbiage on the package, the extensive instructions, even the planned Voyage to Galaxy III playset. All very unusual and unique to this playset.

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