Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Major Matt Mason and Callisto

Christmas 1969
As a kid, I totally got into the whole U.S. space program.

I remember sitting in Don C.'s lap and watching Neil Armstrong step onto the moon, although I must admit that my memory doesn't provide the detail of whether this was the first showing, or if it was on the news.

I suspect it was on the news. In the central time zone, the news comes on at 10pm (which is something I miss in the Eastern time zone, Central time zone is great for TV watching and still getting to bed at a decent hour), and I think, think, mind you, that I was in my PJs. I have the sense that they had let me stay up long enough to see it on the news.

At this time in my life, I could have TOTALLY lived on Pillsbury Food Sticks and Tang, simply because that's what I heard that the astronauts ate and drank in space. Alas, my parents didn't make enough money for me to eat three meals a day of Food Sticks and Tang, but I still remember liking the chocolate as well as the peanut butter flavored Food Sticks. Tang? We all remember what Tang tastes like.

That Christmas, we received space related toys. Big Brother got a Major Matt Mason, and I got the alien, Callisto, from the same series of toys. Big Brother got the Uni-Tread Space Hauler thingy for the Major, and I got a massively cool XRG-1 Reentry Glider for Callisto.

Big Brother tended to get the "first line" toy, if we got something similar to one another, and I would get the "sidekick" action figure. But like I mentioned in my old post, Only Girls Play With Dolls, I'm the type who would have picked the clear-green-headed alien over the Major anyway. I was a happy camper.

According to the box in the photo above where I'm kneeling, you can see the box for this rocket, an Apollo 11 Battery Operated Space Rocket.
Half the fun of looking at old Christmas photos is the stuff in the background that you forgot about until you took a close look at the photos after all those years.

Our tree looked particularly sad that year, but it was real! (I haven't had a real tree in my adult life.)

You can still buy mint condition, and even still-packaged Major Matt Mason figures on ebay, but the ones still in a blister pack sell for $200-$300 each. A little too pricey for me.

P.S. Oh. Yeah. I assume Big Sis got some stuff that year, but I didn't have any pictures of her scanned.


Hammer said...

It's neat that you have those Pics of your toys, I was looking back at my own and barely remember some of the toys I got.

Never heard of Major Mason or Callisto, must be a few years before my time. I do remember tang they still make that stuff?

scribbit said...

That's funny. Mutt Mason. I'd never heard of them/him. I did drink a lot of Tang however :)

thethinker said...

Great pictures.

Is it just me or is that tree leaning to the right just the slightest bit?

JAM said...

Hammer and Scribbit, Major Matt Mason (and the gang) were made from 1968-1970, or thereabouts. If you ever cruise around on ebay, type it in. The stuff's still out there and it goes for lots of money.

thethinker, yep, definitely listing to the right, and not just a little bit either. The amount of decorations was kinda thin too.

Dane Bramage said...

I had a Captain Action. He was cool and came with a gun and sword. His uniform was reminicent of Superman. I remember tying a hankerchief around him for a cape. He never flew very well, no matter how hard I chucked him across the yard. I was an excellant co-pilot in my pretend spaceship.

hendersonthorne said...

thx ive been looking for this for years however i thought he was maj matt houston

pecos said...

I got Callisto for Christmas and my little brother got Major Matt Mason. Callisto was much cooler due to his see-thru green head (with veins) and his "ray gun" that shot out the yellow string via a burst of air. God that was fun to shoot into an unsuspecting someone's ear!