MMM Sunworthy Wallpaper

Wallpaper from Sunworthy Sample Book

This is one of those items that was more rumor than anything else, until some time in the early 2000s when Keith Meyer acquired a few rolls and decided to cut one into pieces and sell (Keith's sale pieces are on a white background and have a curved cut-line, something he did to avoid cutting through images on the repeat - see below). His roll had the same screen-printed images of two Space Stations, a couple of MMM figures driving crawlers, MMM figures "flying" on Space Sleds and a foreground image of an MMM figure in a Moon Suit. There's a bit of terrain to indicate the moon's surface "floating" beneath the space stations and the station in the distance has a Crawler mounted on top used as a crane to lift the Space Station Beacon.

I believe most of the imagery comes from Mattel packaging photos redone for printing, here licensed for a wallpaper print. From a Sunworthy Wallpaper book owned by Ray Kolasa there appears to have only been the two background colors produced, one with a white background (Keith's roll) and another with a blue background (four rolls appeared for sale on eBay at some point about 10 years later - I managed to snag one).

Ray's wallpaper book appeared on eBay with the following images and text:

Sunworthy Wallpaper Sample Book

The wallpaper book is 20-inch by 20-inch in yellow vinyl titled "Tots N Teens by SUNWORTHY" It contains 53 pages of various designs. 

Here's the original eBay listing text:

This 20"x 20" vinyl covered wall paper book is from the Martin Wallpaper Co. Boston. It features wall fashions for the "Young & Fanciful" Tots N Teens by SUNWORTHY. I could not find a date anywhere but the paper designs suggest the early 60"s. There are 53 pages of designs including trains, football, Jungle Book, musical animals, bears + kittens, zoo, clowns, fantasyland Walt Disney characters, Alice in Wonderland, fairy princess, teen girl fun, teensville, watersports, team spirit, hootenanny, skiing, Major Matt mason (space), Indian, antique ships and cars, the Mountie, cowboys and Space Age and more... One page has a big rip and there are a few rips to the edges and some pages have old tape on them. A good chronicle of the past in interior design for young people of the time. I am a member of the New Hampshire Antique Dealers Association and the Granite State Antique Dealers and Appraisers Association. Please check out and bookmark my other auctions I have currently running on eBay. New items added daily. Please email me with questions. Item held 10 days (from receipt of check) for check to clear. Money order preferred with item shipped ASAP. Buyer pays s/h/i costs. Payment to arrive within 7 days of auction close. Mass. residents pay 5% sales tax or send copy of valid resale number. Thanks for bidding.

There are two Teen girl wallpaper designs- teen fun and teensville. There are 2 teensville but with different color schemes. One has a big tear in it and an old tape repair on the back. The other is okay. Teen fun has 2 color pages as well and one has a 2" tape mend on the back. All looks ok on the front. The Major Matt Mason wallpaper page is a full sized page 20"x 20". There is a 6" curved tear to it which had a tape repair long ago but now has come unglued. There is another masking tape repair to another tear along the bottom edge about 2" long. However all that appears on the back. The front side when looking at the print appears fine. Up in the top corned there is a 1" scrape like a fingernail or something similar scraped the blue of the sky. Matt is scooting around on something like a ski-do and something else that looks like a giant toy jacks. The colors are primarily blue. There is a second page with colors primarily white with only one small tape repair on the back. I want to state again that this is wallpaper and easily torn. The pages in this book do have some damage; either tears in from the edge from turning the pages, and up from the bottom; and many of them have been taped with old masking tape or scotch tape that has lost its sticky. I also noticed that one page is missing as it was torn out. Many pages are just fine, but I want everyone to know that there is this kind of damage. And to keep that in mind while bidding. If you are a design student or collect this kind of cultural history, you probably look at the designs in terms of their content rather than condition. All the pages in this book are 20"x 20" same as the cover.

John's Notes:

  1. Keith Meyer originally offered the wallpaper for around $150 per sliced repeat (I need to check - I think I still have a print-out of the original pdf "ad" he circulated). He also offered a slice mounted in a glass frame (at some point I ended up with one, either through trade or purchase from someone's collection) - I think these were $300? I don't recall.
    Keith Meyer Cut of White MMM Wallpaper (framed)

  2. Thus far only a couple of MMM fans have come forth with the memory of having this wallpaper in a room - recently Marty McCray provided images of the wallpaper from an old photo of his brother using a radial-arm saw (seems his room was later converted into a workshop by his father or brother?)

Marty McCray's old bedroom with original blue wallpaper

All Mattel images and captions are copyright Mattel and used without permission. All other content, including images and editorial, is Copyright © 1997-2024 John Eaton and/or contributors unless otherwise stated. If there are any comments or objections, please contact John Eaton.

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