Department Store Catalogs

Montgomery Wards Christmas 1967 Page 276
I think most of use grew up in areas where the local department store provided access to toys during the 60's and 70's. In my home town the mall (there was only one back then) had a Sears Roebuck anchor store - the toy area was truly a magical place. Most of the year it would shrink down to an aisle or two, but around Christmas it would expand into this Santa's playland that was really spectacular.

Eaton's Catalogs

At one time Eaton's was the largest department store in Canada with locations in all major cities and catalog centers elsewhere. For some reason these catalogs are a bit elusive and rather expensive to acquire in the aftermarket.

Gamble-Aldens Catalogs

Gamble-Aldens (also includes Gambles and Aldens as separate companies) was a mostly mail-order retailer from the Midwest.

JC Penneys Catalogs

JC Penneys had some of the most comprehensive offerings through their catalogs. Nearly every vehicle, figure and playset was available by mail-order. JC Penneys catalogs remain rather elusive with their smaller national footprint.

Montgomery Ward Catalogs

Not to be outdone by Sears, Montgomery Ward also offered a large array of Major Matt Mason items, often at slightly discounted prices.

Sears Roebuck Catalogs

Every year Sears offered an abundance of Major Matt Mason playsets and exclusives such as the Astro Trac Missile Convoy and Star Seeker Walk In Space sets. Sears also published separate "Toys" catalogs for each year that featured the toys sections of the Wishbook sans everything else.

Simpsons-Sears Catalogs

In Canada Simpsons-Sears pretty much ruled the retail market with ideally placed stores and robust catalog sales. Like Sears Roebuck in the US, they also offered exclusives.

Spiegel Catalogs

I'm constantly surprised by the Major Matt Mason ads in Spiegel catalogs. They often offered combination sets at discounted prices (some quite unusual).

Other Department Store Catalogs

I've placed all the smaller companies under this heading. Some catalog companies will get their own heading as my collection or reader contribution expands. These are some of the most unusual ads, often in catalogs that wouldn't seem very toy-friendly.


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