Wednesday, August 15, 2007

eBay Sale - Sea Devils Kretor

Not really a Major Matt Mason item, I've included this one because many MMM collectors also collect the Major's cousins, Commander Carter, Rick Riley, (Kretor and Sark) - basically Deep Sea instead of Deep Space and made in a similar fashion (wire-articulated "rubber" poseable figures) in the same 1/12" scale. Kretor is undoubtedly the most difficult of the figures to find, with Sark, his shark-like vehicle a close second. This sale is unusual for the good eBay ad, photos and minimum reserve of $500 - it also comes on the heels of the Store Display sold in the previous post and probably had some of the same bidders.

KRETOR - Sea Devil Major Matt Mason
Yes - Kretor has surfaced

eBay Auction #300140015253
Ending Bid: $516.00
End Date: Aug-13-07 17:02:30 PDT


The mythical creature from the deep has surfaced! As a Sea Devil Collector, you KNOW how rare these figures are. Is this the first one you have seen this year? Maybe.

This fine specimen is in excellent shape with all wires intact and fully poseable. I will give you as much detail as I can. For those of you who have won items from me in the past, you know I am provide as fair as description as possible, and usually over state any challenges. Please see pictures for more detail.

Figure is clean and well cared for. Color is sharp and shiny. Nice paint- no chips on face, belt or suit.

ALL joints are fine except his left elbow is weak.

There is a small cut on his left shoulder, in back. It appears to be a crack from age, but wires are not visible. Cut is not visible from front.

Wire pokes on his left ankle, right forearm, and right & left bicep.
Comes with this custom stand, and an acrylic display case.

Shipping in US & CANADA - please add $10.00 (due to base, case, and packing materials).
UK & Europe add $16.00; Asia, Japan and elsewhere - please add $20.00
Contact me with any questions.

Don't miss out on this opportunity to own an excellent, rare specimen.
ALL Bidders MUST pay with PayPal. IMMEDIATE Payment required within 48 hours of close of auction!!!!!

Condition: Excellent

My Comments:
The Sea Devils appeared right on the tail of the Major Matt Mason toyline (about 1971), and feature the three figures plus Sark and two vehicles: the Sea Jet - which could be placed on the figures arms and would pull the figure through water; and the Aqualander, which a figure would "drive" by being seated - this used the same sealed motor/propeller gizmo that drove the Sea Jet. Sark (Killer Whale or Shark in black plastic) was also "motorized" and had a flexible tail - Kretor could be attached to clips on his belly and be propelled through the water. There were a variety of sets - the basic sets contained a figure and both vehicles, Kretor came with Sark and there were some deluxe sets that contained combinations of two figures. Since the scale is similar to MMM and Colorform Aliens, many collectors tend to collect all three toylines. I like the display case and custom base this figure came with - as mentioned in the ad, it's very difficult to find an example that doesn't have the splits in the shoulders (the one in my collection is mint and was unplayed-with - it was part of a collection of prototype toys I purchased in 2002).

-- John

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