Keith Meyers, The Space Station!


Toy store display, Mattel Circa 1969. Photograph by Mike
Blanchard. From the collection of Mike Blanchard.

M Mattel made heavy use of "point of purchase" advertising, in the form of stand up displays and counter top displays to sell Major Matt Mason. Some of these colorful displays survive today in the hands of collectors. Mike Blanchard was kind enough to share photographs of his store displays with all of us here.

In addition to the displays shown, we are aware of at least one other; a collector in the Southeast has a store display that we do not have photographs of. It is a 50" by 50" 2D Space Station with spacescape. It features large white lettering in an arc across the top that reads, "An exciting universe of space toys!". The artwork also features the Firebolt space cannon with Captain Lazer, Reconjets and the Astro-Trac!

Other types of “POP” advertising for Matt Mason were sometimes seen too. Mattel packaged their accessory cards in cardboard boxes that doubled as store displays. These boxes could be opened by a store manager and then placed directly on the counter top ready to sell. These too came in many variations.

It is quite possible that many other variations of these displays exist. Mattel even custom made cardboard displays for large department stores such as FAO-Schwartz in major U.S. cities. At least two of these are known to have survived, and are in the hands of private collectors. A large display from the 1969 Toy Fair in New York City is also rumored to have been sold in the last few years. Click below to see additional photographs:

• Standup Display #2
• Standup Display #3
• Box Display #1


Copyright 1997 Keith Meyer. All rights reserved.
Revised: February 25, 2006.