1.  He was an astronaut action figure (or “doll,” as it was known then) from Mattel, first appearing in 1966.

2.  Mason was the leader of a crew of astronauts who, initially at least, were based on the moon.  (I had the Major and his friends when I was a kid.)

3.  Mason sported a brown crew cut and a white space suit.  (Like most of the crew, he was Caucasian.)  (He was also a natural born leader.  The TV commercials promoting the toy clearly demonstrated that.)

4.  Other members of his crew included Sgt. Storm (blond hair, red space suit), Doug Davis (brown hair, yellow space suit) and Lt. Jeff Long (black hair, blue space suit; Lt. Long was also African-American.)

5.  Some time after Mason was introduced,  he encountered several alien beings, some of whom were friendly, some not.  (Of course, each  kid ultimately decided upon the role these aliens would play in his personal dramas.)  Among these were the giant Captain Lazer, the green Callisto from Jupiter and the insect-like Scorpio. (But, for some reason, aliens weren’t villainous enough for me.  I regularly put the Major and his friends through scenarios involving drug addiction and withdrawal.)

6.  Mason often traveled by Space Crawler, which had power-pads that enabled it to go over any kind of surface.  (Could come in very handy in L.A. on heavy traffic days, I imagine.)

7.  Mason’s space station was his living quarters and contained complete operations equipment for any length of time spent on a planet. The station converted into a one or two story center or into separate moon bases with two space platforms, six space girders and the control center.  (Fortunately, property values on the moon are so low that you can AFFORD such a living spac.e)

8.  Mason was made available in several foreign editions, such as those for the French, German and Mexican markets.

9.  A comic book called Men From Earth featured adventures of Mason’s son.  (His son? Hey, where did Mrs. Mason come from?)

10.  A live action movie, utilizing a screenplay co-written by Tom Hanks, is reportedly in the development stages.  (Of course, MANY things get reported as being in development.  We’ll see…)

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