Mattel #6340 Firebolt Space Cannon

#6340 Firebolt Space Cannon Box Front

One of my favorite vehicles, the Firebolt Space Cannon was supposed to fire Blazing Firebolt beams and ward our stalwart astronaut heroes from attack. The Firebolt resembles a large cannon mounted on two wide pulling-wheels, with a trailing wheel for balance. 

MMM Firebolt Space Cannon

Packaging:

The box is made of corrugated cardboard printed on all sides (in black, white and blue ink), except two sides which have an applied full-color, process-printed label (top and front). The box measures 16" by 11 1/2" by 8 1/2". Copyright is 1967. The box reads: "Barrel Blazes Firebolt Beams! - Rotating Radar Antenna Scans Solar System! Turret Rotates Astronauts 360° - Radar Screen Lights Up! - Mysterious Pulsating Solar Sound! - Advances over Solar Terrain! - Barrel Elevates fro Long Range Firing!" and "Space Engineered for all Mattel Astronauts - Powered by Two "D" Batteries (Not Included) - Astronauts Not Included."

#6340 Firebolt Space Cannon Box Top
#6340 Firebolt Space Cannon Box Ends
#6340 Firebolt Space Cannon Box Bottom
#6340 Firebolt Space Cannon Box Back
#6340 Firebolt Space Cannon Insert 1
#6340 Firebolt Space Cannon Insert 2

Sticker Sheet:

Instructions:

Mattel #6340-0920 Firebolt Space Cannon: Front | Back

Mattel Catalog Specifications:

(First appearance: Mattel Toys 1968 "Toy Fair" Catalog Page 15)

NEW! FIREBOLT™ SPACE CANNON #6340
Battery-powered transport lets Major MATT MASON, SGT. STORM and CAPT. LAZER ride together or individually. Massive unit releases beams while its radar antenna scans the solar system! Interior radar screen fills with flashing light too! Pull the firing lever. FIREBOLT Space Cannon emits eerie solar sound. Mighty vehicle even rotates its turret a full 360' when stationary! Manually elevated barrel, space labels and instructions.
Package: 16" x 11 ½" x 8 ½". Astronauts not included.
Std. Pack: 6/12 Doz.
Wt: 16 Lbs.
(Mattel Toys 1969 Spring Catalog Page 55)
FIREBOLT™ SPACE LAZER #6340
Whirling barrel transmits lazer energy and solar sound! Control screen blazes with light each time lazer is released! Rolls on 3 wheels, while rotating turret and radar scanner seek solar targets. Travels with CAPT. LAZER or stand-up MATT MASON and other astronauts. Instructions, space insignia.
Package Size: 16" x 11 ½" x 8 ½"
Std. Pack: ½ Doz.
Wt: 16 Lbs.

Variations:

  • The box art features a Firebolt with silver instead of red/orange plastic parts, probably from a prototype example. Also, the stickers are different... it appears that Mattel made running changes prior to the release of the vehicle. The speculation is that the original "silver" parts were changed to something brighter that would appeal to kids more for actual production (much like the girders on the Space Station).
  • The Firebolt is alternatively referred to by Mattel as either a "Space Cannon" or "Space Lazer" or "Space Laser" - the latter for foreign markets). Most later Mattel Catalog listings refer to it as "Space Lazer" (see excerpt from the 69 Spring Catalog above). 
  • Some boxes have been found with the box label misapplied so the top of the sticker is on the front, with the front of the sticker folded over the side (it's basically upside down). This is very common and it's unlikely an accident.
  • Mexican CaƱon Espacial - Cipsa released the cannon with silver plastic instead of the red so it more closely resembles the US box images. You'll sometimes see sellers trying to sell the Cipsa version as a prototype. 
  • Rosebud Mattel (UK) Firebolt Space Laser - note the name change and spelling

John's Notes:

I've always liked the Firebolt. Finally, Matt has some real firepower to blow up his enemies with! I think this is pretty much a staple in any MMM collection. I especially like that Capt. Lazer has something to ride when he joins Matt and the gang! In the 1968 TV commercial the Firebolt fires "Cosmic Rays" that "seeks out and blasts valuable minerals from mountains of metal on the moon" which may align with the "Lazer" label rather than the more aggressive "Cannon" label.

Vehicle may also be found in:

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