Non-US Major Matt Mason Releases

Japanese Major Matt Mason Ad
There were several non-US releases of the Major Matt Mason toy line, which featured different manufacturers and packaging. Canadian packaging is usually the same as the US but with French translations, either printed on the card/box or applied via label (I've yet to see a Canada-specific Mattel catalog from the era so I'm unclear on what was offered there). Mexico and South America saw the remnants of the toy line manufactured by CIPSA (who often used different, cheaper materials and often simplified contents) under the Capitรกn Meteoro line. British releases changed packaging with toys repackaged in Britain under the Rosebud Mattel logo simply as "Major Matt," while German and other European releases were repackaged under the Mattel GmbH Spielzeug logo. Most of the photos,information and translations were provided by Paul Vreede, my foreign correspondent (he's in Belgium!), so these pages are actually his...I'm just the typesetter!

John's Notes

Based on appearance dates, I believe that Mattel expanded into Europe using local distribution companies, Jouets Rationnels in France and Baravelli in Italy, while establishing a more centralized hub in Germany with Mattel GMBH Spielzeug and Rosebud Mattel Toymakers for the market in Great Britain. Once the German packaging facility was set up it's likely that Mattel created Mattel S.A. International to handle any market outside of Germany or the UK by making adjustments to the German packaging. I've yet to see any Italian-specific packaging but from what little has surfaced, it appears to be straight-up US packaging (friend and MMM fan Simone writes that all the packaging he saw as a child was somewhat generic - non-photo - packaging, rather than the packaging we're used to seeing). It's unclear if any MMM items ever made it into the rest of Europe - I'd welcome any examples or anecdotes.

The other point, based on what appears in the international Mattel catalogs, it seems that many of the US-released playsets never made it to Europe - I had always assumed that most playsets in the US were also available outside of the US, but this doesn't seem to be the case.

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.

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