The line of Major Matt Mason action figures, made by Mattell in 1967, rate right at the top among the most valued treasure of the Mystery Island Toy Collection.

Major Matt Mason, his fellow astronauts, and the alien Callisto (shown above) were bendable toys made of rubber and articulated with internal wires (a trend their cousin Gumby created). Major Matt was approximately the same size as Gumby, too, about 6 inches tall.

One of the fascinating features of a toy-line like this is its short lifespan. The "space program" was really popular in that innocent time before the reality of NASA ended up making the whole thing seem anti-climatic in 1969. By 1971, the "race for space" had lost its cosmic glow and people moved on to other things.

Major Matt was cancelled like a great but poorly watched television show ...

But, for a short time, we had terrific toys that sparked the imagination of enough kids back then to make the Major Matt figures one of the most sought after collections.

The toys were so cool and fun to play with that they actually inspired the Colorforms company to produce a line of alien knockoff characters, same size and wire/bendable design, but even more aesthetically pleasing than Major Matt and Callisto -- if that's even possible.

The Colorforms aliens or the "Men from Outer Space" are also some of the most sought after and loved nostalgia from childhood.

For me, these toys take me all the way back to being four-years-old, and that in itself is pretty darn magical. I rate Major Matt Mason (and the Colorforms aliens) toys right up there with Hot Wheels and G.I. Joe and that's no slight recommendation, baby!

What's your favorite toy from childhood? Let us know and maybe we'll feature it on Mystery Island.

"The Major Matt Mason Article" by Bradley Mason Hamlin
© 9.30.06 Mystery Island Publications. All rights reserved.