Monday, August 13, 2007

eBay Store Dispaly Sale

Another significant week for Major Matt Mason sales with several OSS (Old Store Stock) examples of figures and accessories offered, plus a couple of boxed items. I scored an OSS Unitred (first version box) for about $77 plus the contents of a Space Cannon (unused cannon, instructions and sticker sheet) for $15.50 (plan to place contents in one of my extra boxes). The highlight was the sale of an unused Funny Face promo store display for $6100 (purchased by a collector of both Vintage Barbie and MMM):

1966 Barbie Doll & Major Matt Mason store promo set
eBay Auction #150148508432
Ending Bid: $6,100.57
End Date: Aug-11-07 17:13:13 PDT

Hello folks, up for auction is something that I was shocked to see exist....and even more shocked that we purchased it today at an estate sale.....simply unbelievable....I believe it to be nearly a museum piece and you will not find another one like this. This is a promotional contest item that was made to hang in stores. It features the New "Funny Face" Contest from Mattel in 1966. It says: 2,500 boys will win Mattel's new Major Matt Mason Deluxe Space Action Set and 2,500 girls will win Mattel's new Twist 'N Turn Barbie-her own house-and an evening costume. Both of these prizes are still attached to the promotional contest MINT unopened condition....simply amazing. The box of the Barbie is marked: New Barbie, Teen-Age Fashion Model/with stand...stock No.1190. The packaging of the Major Matt Mason is marked: Mattel's Man In Space, Major Matt Mason, Authentic Space Equipment Adapted From Official Space Program, Flexible Space Suit Bends At All Joints, Astronaut Flies on Space Sled or with Jet Propulsion Pack, Space Helmet face shield opens and closes, Jet Propulsion Pak mounts on space astronaut's back, Space Sled flies astronaut in space travels on moon surface, Sled Control Handle. On the back of this board, it has instructions on how to hang this item and where to display it....the holes for hanging this board have not even been punched out....was not even displayed in the store. When we found this very rare item, the top and bottom flaps were folded(this has not effected the toys in any way). This "CENTERPIECE" to any collection measures: 25" x 13 1/4". Please view image(s) to see exactly what you are bidding on. (STATED S&H FEE INCLUDES INSURANCE OF UP TO $100...required) Winning bidder pays $10.95 for secure, safe, and prompt S&H. Additional insurance is available at $1.25 per $100 increment. Please send payment within 7-10 days of auction's ending. We only accept, postal money orders, bank cashier's checks, or personal checks (personal checks are subject to a 10 day holding period for clearing purposes). Also, please feel free to view our feedbacks as we STRIVE FOR COMPLETE CUSTOMER SATISFACTION. Thank you very much for your consideration and good luck bidding.

My Comments:
The story behind this is that Mattel worked with Funny Face to supply kids with contest winnings related to a Funny Face promotion (Mattel also worked with Hi-C a couple of years later on a Wiz-z-zer promotion and Quaker Oats on a MMM Cat Trak Card promotion in the US, and with Shippman's Chipped Beef and Nabisco Wheat cereal boxes in promotions in the UK). For Funny Face, ads ran in local newspapers as a huge full page color ad in the funny pages. Ads also appeared in the August 1967 issue of Jack and Jill Magazine. The store display was designed for supermarkets where an end-cap could contain shelves of Funny Face packets with the display sold in this auction suspended from the top. Attached to the display were an early MMM Flight Card (note that it's a WRM) and a Twist-and-Turn barbie exposed in a stock box. There was also a pad of entry forms that could be attached either to the display or offered at the counter.

What was interesting was that even though a Flight Card was displayed on the display, the winners actually got a Space Station Space Crawler Deluxe Action Set (Girls got the Barbie with a World of Barbie house). There were 5000 winners (2500 of each sex). The winner of the SSSCDAS would also receive a congratulatory letter and a complete list of all winners with addresses (something you don't see these days) - these sets typically also contained a WRM.

I first heard of the display from one offered several years ago by a Drink Mix collector - in conversations with him, his display was one of two found in a warehouse from some local grocery store chain - both had been used and sold to dealers and ultimately collectors. He offered his on eBay but it never met reserve (rumored to be $10k) and was sold privately to a dealer or collector. By far this most recent sale is in better condition. I also know of a WRM in possession of Rick Porter that has the back ripped from it as it was probably originally attached to a similar display (it was sold on eBay and the seller also had a Twist-and-Turn barbie that also had the back ripped from the box). As with any store display from the 60's or earlier, these are rare as hen's teeth.

Here's an image of the entry form from the Wildtoys site:

-- John


Mark Goins said...

Great information, John, and much appreciated by guys (like me) who still enjoy the Major. Stuff like this seems like new found treasure when it surfaces. Its still a shame that this whole line has to stay a thing of the past.

Anonymous said...

I am the proud owner of that display and couldn't be happier to have it... only two left in the nation and i have both!

Robert A Vollrath said...

I remember this contest.

I just started collecting a few MMM pieces for a large mission to Mars scale space ship I'm building.

Great blog I'm going to add it to my blog list.

Anonymous said...

Who the Hell ever said there were only two of these in the nation? I happen to know of at least one other...and I'm looking at it right now. If anyone has a white rubber Matt on the store card, please contact me at

dahusker said...

In the mid sixties I entered a contest to win a Major Matt Mason Space Station. To win I had to color in the Funny Face cartoon characters I found in the Sunday comic section. My older sister did the same to win a Barbie playhouse. Months later I was coming home from school for my lunch and I saw a big box sitting on my home's front step. I brought it into my house and showed it to my mom. We had no idea what was in the box. As we opened the box I saw what it was and I yelled out "I won, I won". My mom had no idea what I was talking about. I had won the Major Matt Mason Space Station. The the next few years I added many items to the station. I had all of these space toys until I let my son sale them all on E-Bay only a few years ago.