||A Story about Major Matt Mason
by Tom Wentland
I'm 35 years old and got into
the tail end of Matt Mason in 1970-71. I had a station, the figures, a glider,
Starseeker, and the power paks. I now have just about everything but a glider
Since 1982 I had been looking
for MM but didn't find it until I came across an ad in a toy magazine 4 years
ago. What amazed me were the vehicles. Since Matt was discontinued when I
was just starting to play with him, I had never seen Scorpio, the Astrotrac,
and others. I managed to get alot of the stuff on trade by swapping all of
my Uncles (he's 39) GI Joe toys, which he gave to me.
I also have been working on
MM repairs for those 4 years, after Rich Inthar and Christian told me that
there was a big demand about how to fix broken wires. Christian and Rich were
kind enough to send me almost 2 dozen junk figures and parts I could work
on to master the repair process. Recently my big find was discovering the
original paint that Mattel used on the figures.
Matt was my favorite toy when
I was a kid. I also had Zeroids, a few Colorforms Aliens, and then I got into
GI Joe AT (because Matt was no longer available). My dad loved the entire
space program -my grandmother owened a trailer park a few miles from the Cape
and my father took me to KSC numerous times when we were on vacation.
I count myself fortunate
to have seen 2 Saturn V launches from close up (we got passes from friends
who were engineers) Once, in 1975, I was in FL on vacation and found at the
toy store in Merritt Square Mall a Space Power Suit for .99 cents. Someone
had discovered it in the back stockroom.
I'm not a purist when it comes
to Matt- all of my figures are rewired but with original paint. Most of my
vehicles are broken, I like repairing and customizing the items with original
NASA stickers, etc. I have a few original boxes. I also don't like clutter
and only have a Matt on sled and DD in talking pack sitting on my desk next
to the computer. When we have more room maybe I'll put out a crawler. My boss
at my part time job has a crawler and Matt on his shelf that I got for him.
The best part of the collecting
has been just finding my first item, and the friends I've made. My wife really
likes this stuff. I also found last week a GI Joe Masterpiece Astronaut. I've
been able to spend a minimum, as I've sold repair videos, and got in when
the Matt craze was just starting, and cheap.
For me Matt is everything
that this country could be if we had the foresight and committment. When I
was 10 the world wasn't flat. Sadly, it seems that it is for most of the kids
I know now.
Tom is one of the charter members of the MMM e-mail list.
His insights on MMM collecting, and his knowledge developed in learing how
to re-wire/re-paint figures has benifited us all. He may be e-mailed here.
Find out about joining either of the Major Matt Mason e-mail groups here.
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