Eager Beavers and Savior Saints

Over time, a lot of MMM items have become playworn and incomplete. Thanks to the praiseworthy efforts of several devoted collectors, some of the missing parts can now be replaced with reproduction items. (Note that in most cases I've seen actual samples of these items or have known the sellers for many years so they are quite reputable, but as with anything, buy at your own risk.) These include:
 

Astro Trac Foam Tires

Since most of the originals have crumbled to dust, available from Bill Ystrom (who had a die created to cut the tires to match the original, down to an exact match of the "black" color of the foam). I'm not sure if they are still available directly through Bill, but there's a seller on eBay who has what appears to be the equivalent (eBay: scificrochet207)

Captain Lazer Attachments

Available from Graeme Walker at the Big Red Toy Box aka ToyReplicas.com Includes each of the three attachments in 3 different colors

Scorpio Replacement Arm and Leg Shields

Available from Graeme Walker at the Big Red Toy Box aka ToyReplicas.com (Graeme took over from Don Thompson). He has many reproduction parts available.

Various Handheld Gear

Available from Graeme Walker at the Big Red Toy Box aka ToyReplicas.com Currently includes the Wrench, Screwdriver, Rock Hammer, Knife and Sheath, Flare Gun, Binoculars, Roto-Jet Gun, Walkie-Talkie, Laser Pistol and Space Camera

Various Handheld Gear

Long-time MMM collector in Canada, Christian De Grandpr√© sells a variety of items including replicas of most handheld items (including replacement string for the Jet Propulsion Pak) and some new products such as a velcro belt and Laser Pistol holders approximating those on the Space Station Box. He also produces a radiation detector and variations of the Roto-Jet gun converted to a pistol and the bust in the image. (email: frenchboomer@hotmail.com or eBay ID: frenchboomer)

Helmets and Visors

Available from Graeme Walker at the Big Red Toy Box aka ToyReplicas.com (Graeme took over from Don Thompson). He has many reproduction parts available.

Moon Suit Arms

Excellent Replacement Moon Suit Arms - as I recall these are nearly an exact replica (Joe added on additional lobe to prevent them from being mistaken for original) that functions the same as issued by Mattel - Joe Sikora sells these on eBay (eBay ID: joey-s). Also sold by Canadian Christian De Grandpre as a kit that includes replacement wire (email: frenchboomer@hotmail.com or eBay ID: frenchboomer)

Space Crawler Parts

Available from Graeme Walker at the Big Red Toy Box aka ToyReplicas.com Currently has the Tow Hook and Rear Roller

Space Station Parts

Available from Graeme Walker at the Big Red Toy Box aka ToyReplicas.com Includes the 3-piece chair, Locking Pins, Beacon Dome, Helmet Shelf, Console Insert, Microphone and Faucet

Space Station GE 401 Blinking Bulbs

Replacement and original 401 (G.E. 401) bulbs for Scorpio, the Space Station Beacon and the Talking Command Console used to be very difficult to find but are available from Mark Grabenbauer (I'm not sure if they're still available from him). Most recently a seller on eBay has been offering 2 for about $7.50 on eBay. eBay ID: hockeyhead21

Other Space Vehicle and Accessory Pak Parts

Available from Graeme Walker at the Big Red Toy Box aka ToyReplicas.com Currently offering Space Probes, the Firebolt Antenna and the XRG-1 Canopy

Stickers and other Printed items

Available from Graeme Walker at the Big Red Toy Box aka ToyReplicas.com Currently has the Flight Card Sticker, the Space Probe Sticker, the XRG-1 Sheet and the 6-panel color brochure.

Randall's Custom Stickers

Randall Wall offers up this custom sticker sheet that includes redrawn MMM stickers with variations in numbering. With these you output to your color printer on sticker paper. These are FREE to download and print (715x540px at 96dpi)! Note that you will need to cut them out of the sheet for use so a bit more work than buying the premade stickers for sale above. You can reach Randal Wall on Facebook.

Most of these reproduction parts can be distinguished by a trained eye, and most collectors honestly mention them if fitted to, or supplied with, an item they are selling. However, reproduction items may yet appear that are virtually identical to the originals, or (re-)sold by unwitting or less scrupulous persons. Any collector that disapproves of reproductions should therefore ensure knowing what the genuine article looks like.

MMM Replacement Upgrades

Fellow members of our MMM internet discussion group also are (or have been) attempting to reproduce a variety of other items including (accurate) Moon Suit arms, more sticker sheets, and a complete XRG-1 glider, as well as making new accessories such as storage containers, other stickers, embroidered badges, a modern-day lunchbox and an attempt at a LEM lunar lander


Moon Suit Arms

While Joe Sikora has managed to reproduce fairly accurate replacement moon suit arms, there have been a number of attempts to substitute other materials to get a similar effect. These are made from various forms of rubber tubing, (pic is from Larry Chinn, method by Patrick Storto) or use the arms of a Lego figure or even a Buzz Lightyear doll.

For those of you who just can't seem to live without a working Moon Suit, reproduction replacement arms (these are the best I've seen...they approximate the originals 99%) may be ordered from Joe on eBay (link above).

Figure Re-Wire/Re-Paint

Several group members also rewire (and/or repaint) broken MMM figures. Rewiring may result in the figure's body having been cut open, but does produce a sturdy posable figure that will survive a couple more decades of rugged space exploration! At left is an example from Tom Wentland for repaints/rewires (his is some of the best work available - he uses a unique "v" shaped cut on the back to remove the center of the armature). There are other methods, such as cutting along the mold lines under the arms - see Dennis Widner's work. There are also several YouTube videos for rewiring figures - here's one by Jim Hampton).

Quite a few collectors retouch or completely repaint their playworn MMM figures, sometimes in different colors. Other figures have been turned into female astronauts, by using a head (with Barbie-like hair) from a Princess of Power doll, also made by Mattel around 1985 (the head fits on a similar plug so it's a direct and easy swap - what to do with the hair though?).

Frank May Recreates Famous MMM Prototypes

Collector Frank May has put a lot of hard work into the recreation of the two most exotic MMM pieces that were never put into production by Mattel.

His first was Or & the Orbitor, which he built from scratch based on the only known catalogue picture of this craft. Since there's no separate picture of Or himself, Frank has mostly had to rely on his imagination, as well as some (Lego) parts he felt would work. 

For his next trick, Frank "Frankensteined" an old AstroTrac, which he turned into the "Space Rover" shown in one early Mattel publicity photograph.  When comparing Frank's recreation to the Mattel original, we cannot fail to be impressed by the quality of his work and his attention to detail.

Most recently, Frank has created the famous "Space Mobile 27" from the Sears catalog in 1/12th (MMM) scale.  The details are on their own page here.

You can congratulate Frank on these items on Facebook, but please note that he built these items for his personal collection, and doesn't intend to offer any for sale.

Latest Trend in 3D Printing

Lately several 3D Printing enthusiasts have provided files so replacement parts can be printed by individuals, either free or for a very small fee. There are also some new products being offered like figure stands. Here's a list (and as usual for the purchased items, buy at your own risk):

Should anybody reading this have any similar information, additions or corrections, then we would very much appreciate hearing about them.

All Mattel images and captions are copyright Mattel and used without permission. All other content, including images and editorial, is Copyright © 1997-2023 John Eaton and/or contributors unless otherwise stated. If there are any comments or objections, please contact John Eaton or Paul Vreede.

No comments: