|This small window-boxed version of the 4 Mattel Men in Space appeared at the various Space Centers, particulary in Houston and Florida (Huntsville, Canaveral, etc). No Catalog entry or tear sheet has been found with order details, so the assumption is that Mattel had some type of deal with the Space Center procurement for these figures.
As you can see in the pics, these are the later, black-strapped, simplified versions of our intrepid astronauts. The box is barely larger than the figures themselves, with a two color insert - covered in screen-printed stars. The celo used for the box is the thin type, atypical of the much tougher shrink-wrap usually used during this period. I'd date these around 1969-1970.
The box has the word "Astronaut" printed in white letters across the top, "BENDABLE SPACEMAN with Detachable Helmet" at the bottom, and "contains parts made in Hong Kong" may be added on the bottom or back as a sticker or stamp . 08874 is printed on the bottom. Some have a sticker identifying the toy as a commemorative to the particular Space Center ("NASA Commerative Astronaut" around the edge and the Space Center name in the middle). (images above provided by Steve Salmon.
The Card is full-color, process-printed and is 6" x 2 1/4" x 1 1/4" Copyright is 1969.
See link above
Mattel Catalog Specifications:
This item does not appear in any Mattel Dealer Catalog. It probably appeared on a Mattel order sheet and/or tear-sheet for the Space Center procurement department.
The box will sometimes have "contains parts made in Hong Kong" stamped on the back or bottom, or will have a sticker. The window will sometimes have a "Space Center Commemorative" round gold seal on the front window.
These are pretty tough to find. In all my years of collecting, I've only come across 2: One I found at the FX Toy Expo in Orlando. The second I bought in an eBay auction from a dealer in Great Brittain.
Figures may also be found in:
- 6300 Major MATT MASON Flight Set (MMM)
- 6303 Major MATT MASON with MOON SUIT (MMM)
- 6310 Space Station and Space Crawler Deluxe Action Set (MMM)
- 6311 Space Crawler Action Set (MMM)
- 6314 Major MATT MASON MASTER ASSORTMENT (MMM)
- 6317 SGT. STORM Flight Set (SS)
- 6318 Major MATT MASON (MMM)
- 6319 SGT. STORM (SS)
- 6326 MATTEL'S MEN IN SPACE MASTER ASSORTMENT (MMM, SS)
- 6332 JEFF LONG Space Scientist - Rocketry (JL)
- 6333 DOUG DAVIS Space Scientist - Radiologist (DD)
- A6334 MATTEL'S MEN IN SPACE ASSORTMENT (MMM, SS, DD, JL)
- A6335 MATTEL'S MEN IN SPACE ASSORTMENT (MMM, SS, DD, JL)
- 6336 Major MATT MASON with Space Power Suit Pak (MMM)
- 6337 Space Mission Team (MMM, SS, DD, JL)
- 6341 Firebolt Space Cannon Super Action Set (MMM, SS)
- 6353 Lunar Base Command Set (MMM)
- 6355 Space Discovery Set (DD)
- 6362 Talking Major MATT MASON (MMM)
- 6378 Talking Major MATT MASON with XRG-1 Reentry Glider (MMM)
- 6379 Major MATT MASON Super Power Equipment Set (MMM)
- 6386 Star Seeker Walk in Space Set (MMM)
- 8178 Astro-Trac Gift Set (MMM, SS)
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