Major Matt Mason was an action figure produced by Mattel in 1966, supposedly based on "real" science information and facts published in a number of popular magazines of the time. Including a Life Magazine article from April 1962, that featured a concept and prototype design for a Moon Suit, which Mattel copied for the Major Matt Mason line of accessories. On August 6th 1961 Post-Standard Sunday magazine ran a short piece about an Experimental Engineering class at UCLA that was working on a "moon man's suit" designed by Allyn B. Hazard, an engineer at JPL in Pasadena. It was known as Grumman Moon Suit!
Also known as the Lunar Exploration Suit, Model MK 1, it was heavily tested in the Mojave desert by its inventor. (as pictured on the front cover of Life magazine.) Major Matt Mason and his copy of the Moon Suit were Mattel's biggest selling toy line for years, until they suddenly ceased production in 1971. At the very height of the Apollo missions to the Moon. A year later, Apollo 17 went to the Moon for the last time.
The Major Matt Mason range was a major step-forward in toy manufacturing (Pardon the pun there!) As Mattel employed some of the best designers in the country to make as near accurate as they could equipment and accessories for the Major. Knowing that kids all over America were 100% sold on the idea planted by President Kennedy, that they were going to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade. The space race was one, and every kid wanted a piece of the plastic action.