||A Story about Major Matt Mason
by Larry Turoski
Gang: Okay, here's my story...
I'm 41 and got into Matt
a little later in life than most of the group, when a friend gave me a Matt
for my birthday in 1969. My birthday was the day Apollo 11 was launched. My
friend and I were just ga-ga over the space program, just loved it, and our
basic beef about Matt was that none or almost none of his accessories reflected
the contemporary space program.
We needed Apollo gear. We
at first used the GI Joe space capsule as an Apollo command module, then just
started making Apollo hardware out of whatever we could find. We initially
started playing "2001" with the Matts but this quickly evolved into our own
Apollo program. Each figure we aqcuired was named after a real astronaut.
We would plan and fly realistic lunar missions, i.e., put together a crew,
"train" for the mission for months on end, then "fly" the mission as part
of the family vacation to the Sierra or to Death Valley. Our training and
flights were very realistic and followed Apollo closely.
We had about six missions
as I recall, all flown during the same period of the real Apollos 11-17. About
then end of this period a local departments store had a blowout on Space Mission
Team packages, so by the end of the Apollo program my friend and I each had
about 35 figures.
Sadly, when I became an arrogant
teenager who had outgrown anything as childish as the Major, most of them
became targets for my .22. About ten figures survived the next three decades;
then when I got my first internet service in 1996 I typed in "Major Matt Mason"
and discovered Don Thompson's website and this group. I have since rebuilt
I didn't own very many of
Matt's accessories, just a few Space Sleds, Cat Tracs, a Talking Command Console,
an Astro Trac, a Portable Space Shelter, and a Star Seeker. Now I own no accesories,
just figures, and am still making Apollo stuff for them and having the time
of my life. I just rebuilt one of my old LMs, a high fidelity model made from
cardboard which stands about 24 inches high, just about right for Matt.
Long live the Major!
|This is a LM we built for our Matts in 1971:
The ascent stage, in case you are wondering, was a grocery store Kool-Aid
display box, the rocket engines were Minute-Maid orange juice cans, and the
descent stage was an Astro-Trac box.
Larry is a member of the Major Matt Mason e-mail group and
regularly contributes to discussions about toys. He may be e-mailed here.
Find out about joining either of the Major Matt Mason e-mail groups here.
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