The Western Lines

July 16, 2007

Where Have You Gone, Major Matt Mason?

Filed under: Alex Michael Bonnici,Major Matt Mason — ralphbuttigieg @ 11:46 pm

If your were a child in the late 60s in the great heyday of the Space Race, chances are you spent most of your time playing with Space toys. Lots of space related toys started popping up all over the place in the late 60s. And, leading the pack and my all time favourite was Major Matt Mason an action figure created by Mattel. He was the quintessential hero of the space age, an astronaut who lived and worked on the moon.

I have been a fan of both the Major Matt Mason toy line and of the space program for over 40 years. It was a major surprise to find so many web sites and discussion groups devoted to Major Matt Mason when I performed my initial search on Yahoo and Google.

Conti Films even has a motion picture in development devoted to the intrepid Major. Major Matt Mason: The Birth of a New World, a Sci Fi Action Adventure which sets a story reminiscent of the American Revolution on the moon.

The Major has reportedly accompanied several US Space Shuttle flights as an “unofficial crewman”, and it has been confirmed that the figure did fly on John Glenn’s Shuttle flight in 1998.

One famous film star of great note, Tom Hanks is also a long time fan.

“Major Matt Mason. He was a great astronaut: a full-on, lifelike astronaut, made with rubber and wire, kind of like Gumby. He was bendable and poseable, and I went through a few of them because after a while the wires get all twisted.”
-Tom Hanks, when asked “What was your favorite toy as a kid?” by Disney Adventures magazine

It is a great trill to find so many people who are such devoted fans of this action figure. Major Matt Mason is a symbol of those wonderful memories of the golden years of my childhood and the heroic period of Space Exploration known as the Apollo Era.

Where have you gone, Major Matt Mason? With all this talk about returning to the Moon, establishing a Lunar Base, Asteroid Missions, and pressing on to Mars, isn’t it about time the good Major made a comeback?


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