Saturday, January 30, 2010

Fantastic 3D SketchUp Astronaut Models by Max Grüter


I don’t know if everyone is aware of Google’s SketchUp software – basically it’s 3D rendering made easy via a simplistic interface and super fast rendering tool – it was created as a pay-for package for prototyping, and they still maintain and sell a “pro” version, but the basic version is provided free via download. The software is very sophisticated in that with a little training you can accomplish some fantastic results – I’ve been working with it a couple of years, but one of the coolest aspects are the models that people upload into the SketchUp Warehouse, that are available free.

In a recent article via the SketchUp Blog, I was made aware of this guy Max Grüter, who does some fantastic figure modeling – and has a particular liking for astronauts – so without further ado: http://sketchup.google.com/3dwarehouse/cldetails?mid=f58cefeca9877ff56f14af769a57786a

You don’t need to download the full software to view the figures in 3D – there’s a free viewer. I think you’ll agree that this guys has some amazing talent. The Bowman figures from 2001 are a particular fave (see image above).

-- John

Monday, January 18, 2010

eBay Roundup 2010.01.18

Here are the interesting auctions from December:

MAJOR MATT MASON SEALED CASE OF 12 ACCESSORY PACKS !!!
MOON SUIT ROCKET LAUNCH SPACE PROBE COUNTER TOP DISPLAY



eBay Auction #120499249432
Ending Bid: No Bids (Opening Bid: $9999)
End Date: Dec 05, 2009 19:00:45 PST

Description:
THIS IS A VINTAGE MATTEL SEALED BOX OF 12 MAJOR MATT MASON ACCESSORY PAKS WITH COUNTER TOP DISPLAY!!!

THE BOX CONTAINS 4 MOON SUIT CARDS , 4 ROCKET LAUNCH CARDS AND 4 SPACE PROBE CARDS

THESE WERE THE FIRST 3 ACCESSORY PAKS MATTEL PUT OUT FOR MAJOR MATT MASON 7 MORE WOULD COME LATER DOWN THE ROAD

THE BOX HAS A "CRUNCHED" END AS SEEN IN PHOTO

THIS IS RARER THAN RARE!!!! I CAN FORWARD AN EMAIL TO ANYONE INTERESTED OF WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE INSIDE OF THE BOX AS THE PERSON I BOUGHT THIS FROM HAD A FEW MORE AND WAS SELLING THE PAKS SEPERATELY

ONCE IN A LIFETIME OPPORTUNITY FOR THE SERIOUS MAJOR MATT MASON COLLECTOR OWN A PIECE OF HISTORY THANKS











My Take:
I reall, really HATE to disparage anyone, and I don't think I would in this case, if the seller hadn't listed this item multiple times. Originally it was listed at $6999, then mysteriously about three days into the auction it the opening bid was changed to this ludicrous $9999 without any bids. Then it gets relisted at $9999 and then once again at $6999 (guess he's figuring the discount will be noticed or something). Besides not understanding the market, overvalueing the item, and generally being a nusance, the seller blasts the word with an ad in ALL CAPS - which translates to anyone web savy as YELLING! Sheesh...

The more interesting phenomenon is the follow-up ads for the same item. Seems the person these cases originated from had several and others are hoping to cash-in on that whopping $10K money-maker...

Mattel Major Matt Mason Space Mission Team Set with Box
Matt Mason Callisto Sgt Storm Doug Davis Complete



eBay Auction #260515525946
Ending Bid: $122.50
End Date: Dec 06, 2009 19:48:46 PST

Description:
Here is a 1960’s vintage Mattel Major Matt Mason complete Space Mission Team set with box. The figures are in good to very good condition as follows:

Major Matt Mason is in good condition (8 out of 10) with very minor paint loss in the typical spot at the helmet collar and does have some ‘dirt-like’ discoloration especially on the back. There are no broken wires. He is standing on his own in the photo.
Callisto is in fair plus condition (7.5 out of 10) with some paint loss on the front chest and a broken wire right at the boot level of his left leg. I could not get him to stand on his own.
Sgt. Storm is in very good minus (8.5 out of 10) condition with zero paint loss and some minor rubbing on the back. He would be rated much higher except there is one broken wire at his left knee. He is standing on his own in the photo.
Doug Davis is in very good (9 out of 10) with very minor paint loss mostly on one side of his helmet collar. There are no broken wires. He is standing on his own in the photo.

The Space Sled is in fair plus condition (7.5 of 10) with some scratches and the handle stanchion does not fit tightly into the bottom. The Astro Trac is in good (8 of 10) condition with a slightly loose, but solidly in place, control panel. Callisto’s ‘Space Sensor’ is in good plus (8.5 of 10) condition with some minor color fading and works perfectly. All three helmets are in very good (9 of 10) condition.

The box, as you can see, while intact, is in poor (5 out of 10) condition with multiple creases, tears, and crushed sides. Despite the yellowing (we’re talking 40 years old folks) the color is good.

Shipping will be by US Postal Service Parcel Post. International shipping will be by US Postal Service First Class Mail International (please check the price with the shipping calculator before bidding). All our auctions start at 99 cents with NO RESERVE. Thanks for looking!























My Take:
This one really took me off guard - I simply wasn't watching it too closely. Someone got a steal - basically getting four nice figures for the price of two, with good helmets and accessories to boot!

VINTAGE MAJOR MATT MASON WITH MOON SUIT 6303 NEW SEALED
1966 MATTEL JET PROPULSION PACK SPACE SLED DECALS MORE

eBay Auction #230399585584
Ending Bid: $999.99
End Date: Dec 06, 2009 20:02:01 PST

Description:
RARE AND VINTAGE 1966 MATTEL'S MAIN IN SPACE "MAJOR MATT MASON" WITH MOON SUIT TOY SET #6303 BRAND NEW SEALED IN ORIGINAL OLD STORE STOCK PACKAGING.

RARE AND VINTAGE 1966 MATTEL'S MAIN IN SPACE "MAJOR MATT MASON" WITH MOON SUIT TOY SET #6303 BRAND NEW SEALED IN ORIGINAL OLD STORE STOCK PACKAGING.



eBay Auction Description:
This super-deluxe figure set included the contents of both the 6300 Major MATT MASON (Flight Set) and 6301 Moon Suit Pak. Along with the Major and helmet, the package held a Jet Propulsion Pak, Space Sled with Control Console and Sticker set. The Moon Suit was accompanied by its bellows and hose, plus the Radiation Detector, a hammer, screwdriver and wrench (and sticker).

This giant blister is one of the most beautiful when displayed. As with the Moon Suit Pak, the arms of the Moon Suit are rarely intact. Also, due to the size of the card, they are often found with the blister lifting from the edge. This is certainly one of the most difficult figure sets to find in any condition.

THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST DIFFICULT PIECES TO OBTAIN ON THE CARD AND IN THE COLLECTORS MARKET TODAY. THIS ITEM WAS ONLY PRODUCED THE FIRST YEAR OF TWO ONLY!

Packaging:
The Card is full-color, process-printed and is 13" x 13" x 14" Copyright is 1966.

Mattel Catalog Specifications:
(First appearance: Mattel Toys Fall 1967 "Toy Fair" Catalog Page 93)
New Major MATT MASON with MOON SUIT #6303
Remote control flexible arms with grasping hands
Protection from hostile environment
Adapted from official space program

Wary of solar radiation, meteor bombardment and violent temperature extremes, Major MATT MASON (included) don this special environmental suit for all exploratory missions!

Plastic MOON SUIT snaps over the astronaut and features an attachable air pump for remote control arm movement. Additional accessories are two-piece radiation detector, wrench, screw driver, rock hammer and space labels.

Package Size, 13" x 13" x 14".
Std. Pack: 6/12 Doz.
Wt: 5 Lbs.

Important Information About This Item:
This item is brand new sealed in it's original blister pack. Please note that about 30% of the edges where the plastic meets the cardboard, is slightly separated. Also, there's some general minor wear along the edges of the cardboard. The Belt and Radiation Detector have moved from their original areas within the set, to within Major Matt Mason's area. I will certainly take care in boxing this item up for shipping.
End

Please email me, should you have any questions about this item.
The item comes from a non smoking and non pet environment.
Serious bidders only please.

My Take:
I remember when this card would fetch $2000 in similar shape - I'm guessing most of the collectors who care have already got one of these - nice card and free shipping to boot!

Rare Vintage Major Matt Mason Moon Mat Snap On Craters



eBay Auction #260515555427
Ending Bid: $136.49
End Date: Dec 06, 2009 21:30:58 PST

Description:
Here is a 1968 vintage Mattel Major Matt Mason moon mat with three snap-on moon craters in good minus condition (7.5 out of 10) with fold creases from storage, some very minor holes only visible from the back, and some discoloration from being 41 years old. I don’t like to throw the term ‘rare’ around like many folks do on ebay, but I haven’t seen one of these in a long while. This was mine from childhood (I was born in 1962). This mat was part of the Astro Trac Missile Convoy play set (although I don’t remember having the whole set). The printing in the lower right hand corner reads: ‘© 1968 Mattel, Inc. Printed in U.S.A., 6327 205’

6327 was the stock number of the Missile Convoy play set. I will ship the item folded, as it was stored. I imagine it will smooth out nicely if displayed flat.

Shipping will be by US Postal Service Parcel Post. International shipping will be by US Postal Service First Class Mail International (please check the price with the shipping calculator before bidding). All our auctions start at 99 cents with NO RESERVE. Thanks for looking!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
On Dec-04-09 at 00:07:15 PST, seller added the following information:
The moon mat measures just under 24 inches wide and is 39 inches long.



My Take:
Another item that formerly sold in the $200-300 range - the mat and craters are from a Sears exclusive, Astro Trac Missle Convoy set - fairly tough and scarce. I almost bid myself just to have a spare...

Vintage Talking Major Matt Mason Mint in Box No Reserve



eBay Auction #230409142627
Ending Bid: $281.00
End Date: Dec 13, 2009 17:30:01 PST

Description:
Offered here is a vintage Mattel Talking Major Matt Mason figure still in it's original box. The figure and talking back-pack are clean and bright and still strapped in to the box with there original double wire orange twist ties. The figure looks flawless with zero factory defects. The box, on the other hand, has a few miles on it if you know what I mean. It has a chunk of it's litho missing from where I assume it's price sticker was removed sometime in the past. It is still sealed, but on one side, its only sealed about 25% and seems like the seal is brittle and will sooner or later break open the rest of the way. There is also a little bit of a crush near the center, but the windows have not split in any way. All in all, the box is probably only a 7 to 7 1/2 on a scale of 1 to 10. I might be making it sound worse than it really is, but I don't want my buyers to be disappointed. I am fairly confident that you won't be disappointed in the figure and back-pack.This figure is right out of my 25+ year Major Matt Mason collection and really is a fairly decent example of a hard to find piece and I'm sure it will look as nice in your collection as it has in mine. It is one of a small group of quality Major Matt Mason toys I'll be reluctantly selling from my own collection over the next few weeks, all at no reserve. Due to current Ebay rules, I accept Paypal only and due to my own choice, I only ship to the USA, so no foreign bids will be accepted. Shipping is $10.00 and includes insurance and delivery confirmation. All shipping is done via USPS Priority Mail and all items are carefully packed to insure they arrive safe and in the same condition they were in when I mailed them. My auctions always end on Sunday nights and if you send your Paypal payment before noon (EDT) the next day (Monday), at least for now, I can mail your package the same day. In all cases, I would like to receive your payment within three days from closing and for my part, I always try to have everything mailed by the end of the week. Please feel free to e-mail me with any questions and don't forget to check out my other listings for other cool stuff, as I will always combine your winnings from my other listings to save you on shipping. Thanks in advance and happy bidding!!!

Question & Answer Answered On

Q: Hi, Is there any sign of melting? Not sure if you know what that is, but it is where his rubber touches the hard plastic of the back pack. sometimes, it creates a chemical reaction on the rubber of the MMM. it looks like rubber melting. thanks, Ron Dec-12-09
A: Ron, As a long time Matt Mason collecter, I'm quite familer with "melting". It has always seemed to me to be something that was more prevalent on the Space Sled and especially on the Space Station chair. I have never seen it much on the talking back-packs. Now, it doesn't look like anything much is going on with this one, but its hard to tell with it strapped in the box like it is. Steve
Q: Hi there! No interest in shipping to my home in Toronto? If you insist I can always use my inlaws address in Florida. Dec-12-09
A: Thats correct. As I have repeatedly stated in my listings and in response to other requests, I don't do any international shipping.
Q: Would you ship to Canada, and if so what would be the shipping charge? Dec-08-09
A: I'm sorry, but I have no interest in shipping items outside the USA.
Q: Hi, I was just wondering if you would ship to Canada? I always pay on time with Paypal. Cheers, Craig. Dec-08-09
A: I'm sorry, but I have no interest in shipping items outside the USA.









My Take:
This set at one time sold for upwards of $1000 - it came down to about half of that once eBay showed that it wasn't as rare as it was once thought. I do find it rare to find really minty examples - most of these chip boxes just weren't strong enough to withstand being stored, so the boxes are often crushed - also just about any toy in a window box from the 70's or earlier usually doesn't survive intact - they're often ripped open (as opposed to boxed sets where there's an obvious flap to open, these boxes were glued together so they are generally trashed). These have come down a bit to a more reasonable level - about the equivalent of a carded figure.

GULF OIL MAJOR MATT MASON MATTEL STOCK 6325 NIB SEALED
FACE SHIELD JET PROPULSION PACK NEW IN FACTORY PACKAGE



eBay Auction #110465426758
Ending Bid: $7,322.00
End Date: Dec 13, 2009 18:51:15 PST

Description:
I have for auction one mattel major matt mason stock no. 6325. This is the promotional gulf oil doll in the original package with the gulf tag still attached! This is in great condition for being almost 50 years old!!!! Please ask any questions! Shipping includes insurance.

Question & Answer Answered On

Q: Don't let this go cheap...it's worth 3 to 5 thousand dollars. Merry Christmas Dec-04-09
A: thanks
Q: You'd be shrewd to let this one ride - the only reason these cheapskate yahoos are asking for a Buy It Now price is that they're trying to get it for much less than it would bring at auction's end...I'd really like to see what this thing brings. Like the other guy said, there hasn't been one on eBay in years. Dec-04-09
A: thanks
Q: You have a rare or at least very scarce MMM item packaged this way. I havnt seen one on ebay in years. Dec-04-09
A: thanks
Q: Hi girlsloveglitter, would you have a buy-it-now price in mind for the figure? thanks. Dec-03-09
A: i will consider any offers
Q: Do you have a buy it now price for this figure. I am very interested. Dec-03-09
A: i will consider any offers...











My Take:
This you might consider one of the "Holy Grials" of Major Matt Mason collection - offered as a premium in some regional Gulf service stations in the 60s, this is indeed a very rare packaged item. I know of only three of these - one is in the hand's of premium MMM collector Alec Peters - the second was sold on eBay on an opened card. This would be the third, and the sale price more than doubles the ending bid price for the second one. It's funny and obvious that the seller had no clue regarding the value (it was listed at an opening bid of $9.99).

VINTAGE MATT MASON MOON MAT SNAP ON CRATERS RARE FIND



eBay Auction #180443353564
Ending Bid: $140.50
End Date: Dec 15, 2009 17:20:09 PST

Description:
You are bidding on a 1968 vintage Mattel Major Matt Mason Moon Mat with three snap-on moon craters. The mat is in fair to good condition. There are some folds and creases from storage, and some very minor holes mainly visible when held up to the light.

This mat was part of the Astro Trac Missile Convoy play set. The printing in the lower right hand corner reads: ‘© 1968 Mattel, Inc. Printed in U.S.A., 6327 205’.

The mat measures roughly 39" x 24". Item will be either folded or rolled (as carefully as possible), due to its size.

This is a rare find and a great addition to anyones Major Matt Mason collection.

Please don't hesitate to ask any questions you may have, and . . .

HAPPY BIDDING!!!







My Take:
I thought it was rather ironic that a second Astro Trac Missle Convoy moonscape mat with craters should appear so soon after the one from the 13th - it makes you wonder if the second seller saw the previous ad and a light bulb went off as to the value, or if the second seller did any research on the item at all. It does provide a fairly accurate average price though - I'd say any other than a mint unused moonscape would be valued in the $100-150 range.

MAJOR MATT MASON SEALED CASE OF 12 ACCESSORY PACKS !!!
MOON SUIT ROCKET LAUNCH SPACE PROBE COUNTER TOP DISPLAY

eBay Auction #120503926899
Ending Bid: No Bids (Opening Bid: $9999)
End Date: Dec 18, 2009 19:07:34 PST

Description:
THIS IS A VINTAGE MATTEL SEALED BOX OF 12 MAJOR MATT MASON ACCESSORY PAKS WITH COUNTER TOP DISPLAY!!!

THE BOX CONTAINS 4 MOON SUIT CARDS , 4 ROCKET LAUNCH CARDS AND 4 SPACE PROBE CARDS

THESE WERE THE FIRST 3 ACCESSORY PAKS MATTEL PUT OUT FOR MAJOR MATT MASON 7 MORE WOULD COME LATER DOWN THE ROAD

THE BOX HAS A "CRUNCHED" END AS SEEN IN PHOTO

THIS IS RARER THAN RARE!!!! I CAN FORWARD AN EMAIL TO ANYONE INTERESTED OF WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE INSIDE OF THE BOX AS THE PERSON I BOUGHT THIS FROM HAD A FEW MORE AND WAS SELLING THE PAKS SEPERATELY

ONCE IN A LIFETIME OPPORTUNITY FOR THE SERIOUS MAJOR MATT MASON COLLECTOR OWN A PIECE OF HISTORY THANKS

My Take:
Post number two (see previous comments above) for the same ad (basically a "relist" in eBay terms). You'll see this one again in January....

MAJOR MATT MASON ACCESSORY PAK CASE FROM 1967!!!
Contains Moon Suit, Rocket Launch, Space Probe, & Tray



eBay Auction #180448047645
Ending Bid: No Bids (Opening Bid: $2000 or BIN $3500)
End Date: Dec 27, 2009 10:00:17 PST

Description:
This is an extremely rare, opened case from Mattel of Major Matt Mason Accessory Paks from 1967. This case originally contained 12 items, 4 of each of the following: Moon Suit Pak, Space Probe, and Rocket Launcher Pak. Included in this auction are 1 Moon Suit Pak (Arms have cracked from age inside blister), and 2 of each of the Space Probe and Rocket Launch, for a total of 5 accessory paks. All the blister packs are perfect and obviously never had the hang hole punched out or a price tag affixed. Also included is the cardboard display tray, as orginally used in retail stores (usually discarded by the store and never sold to the public), the Mattel packing list, and the outer case box. The box is marked "Assortment 6315" and is dated October, 1967. There is some slight crushing to one corner of the display tray, and a small hole on the side of the box. Only one other case (sealed) has ever been offered on eBay, and it went unsold with an opening bid of $10,000! This is an opportunity to own one that can be displayed properly since it has already been opened! This will be carefully packed and shipped in a larger box. Shipping costs will refect this.






















My Take:
Now it starts getting interesting...another owner of an accessory card case "tests the waters" to see if he can cash in on the previous listing - this time with an opening bid of $2k and BIN of $3500. Much nicer photos by this seller and probably much closer to the actual value of this set. This one also goes without a bid. Note that I believe enough of the cases went to the more mature collectors to prevent any competitive bidding - if there had only been a single case it would probably have gotten a bid for this much more reasonable price (it does contain a store display, rare as hen's teeth!). You'll see this one again in January.

-- John