Mattel #5157 Talking Command Console

#5157 Talking Command Console Box Front

Once again incorporating some cheap vinyl-covered cardboard (such as used to construct the Satellite Locker and Rocket Ship Case), but this time taking it to the next level with electronics and a voice mechanism, Mattel really went overboard with this accessory. At first glance just another vinyl case with a plastic handle, the Talking Command Console opens to reveal two Vacuform seats, battery-powered light-up view screens, a spaceship facade, and a pull-string that spits out 10 different phrases.

MMM Talking Command Console


The Case either came in the typical Mattel corrugated box with full color litho, or loose with an elusively hard-to-find hang-tag. The case is 12 3/8" x 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" and the box is slightly larger, with flaps on the ends, the litho covering two sides. Copyright is 1966. .

Updated 2024.01.27: Added Tag Images (see below)

#5157 Talking Command Console Box Back
#5157 Talking Command Console Box Bottom
#5157 Talking Command Console Box Top
#5157 Talking Command Console Box Ends
#5157 Talking Command Console Tag Side 1
#5157 Talking Command Console Tag Side 2


Mattel #5157-0920 Talking Command Console

Mattel Catalog Specifications:

(First appearance: Mattel Toys 1969 Spring Catalog Page 69)

Mattel's First Talking Space Toy!
Hear astronaut conversation! "Ready for Blast-off - 3 … 2 … 1!"

10 exciting flight maneuvers in all, along with real space sounds! Interior radar screens light with flashing colored signals while astronauts (not included) monitor from swivel-tilt console seats. 2-way vista window and simulated interior. Vinyl, battery operated.

Std. Pack: ½ Doz.
Wt: 10 Lbs.


John's Notes:

As mentioned elsewhere, this is one of several items as a result of Mattel's attempt to incorporate the Standard Plastics Company - a vinyl notebook & lunchbox company that was acquired by Mattel in
1965. The story goes that Mattel expanded to include a small lunchbox company whose product lines were all vinyl-covered cardboard. Casting about for uses other than lunchboxes, Mattel also went into business manufacturing notebooks, doll cases, purses, medical bags, and ultimately the Wallet, Lunchbox, Talking Command Console, Rocketship Case and Satellite Locker for Major Matt Mason. 

The JC Penney 1968 Christmas Catalog lists this as a exclusive "Talking Command Station" a year earlier than it was made available to other retailers. Years ago when I first started collecting MMM I was shown "proof" that there was a talking Space Station during an FX show (I think it as in 1999) - someone showed me a catalog and see "see here" - I only glanced at it briefly - I think I conflated the name of the first appearance of the Talking Command Station with the Space Station underneath.

The Command Console usually suffers from a variety of maladies including melts in the seats and corroded battery compartments. The most common problem, and one that may be fixed, is the dead voice-box. The pull-string will still pull, but slips in too fast to produce sound. There is a detailed guide for voice-box restoration in the Restoration archive in the Resources area. Also as mentioned above, it's very common for the box to have a misapplied label (it's upside down) so the primary image is split along the edge of the box.

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