|#6360 XRG-1 REENTRY
Copyright 1968--first year available 1969
final year for Mattel's Man In Space "Major Matt Mason" brought us one of the
most memorable of all space vehicles. Now the Major and crew could return to Earth in a
glider with a wingspan that stretched out over 17" inches. Sort of a one man space
shuttle, the reentry glider was constructed of two vacuum - formed plastic pieces. The
main body of the craft was "white" with the second part being the removable
Wording on the card told us;
"This glider flies only with a Mattel astronaut. Put astronauts in cockpit! It will
not fly with an empty cockpit!". The card in the upper right hand corner displays
pictures of all four Mattel astronauts. Major Matt Mason, Sgt. Storm, Scientists - Doug
Davis and Jeff Long. Callisto, our green - skinned friend from Jupiter was the fifth
character shown as a qualified pilot. All pilots are grouped together in a green square
with white trim.
Overall the card is a very attractive
display, with the glider attached in full view on it's 18 1/2 inch x 21 1/2 inch surface
making this the largest MMM accessory card. The cards graphics are an artists painting,
mainly shades of blues, black and white showing the craft leaving a planet after circling
around and heading out into open space.
The glider came with several
"orange" and "black" striping decals already applied. A decal sheet
sporting the American flag, control panel and the XRG - 1 designation was placed in the
cockpit under the canopy for safe keeping. Because of this, most reentry gliders that are
found on the card today have these decal sheets missing. So even in store stock versions
it's very difficult to obtain the decals.
Each on a 18 1/2" x 21 5/8" x 4 5/8" card.
DEALER CATALOG SPECS:
In standard packs of 1 doz. Wt: 12 1/4 lbs.
There are several color and two mold versions of the glider, as well as three different
First of all the original gliders had
a longer totally detachable canopy. The canopy would slide into slots in the rear and the
front would snap and form fit into a dimple on the nose. Later the glider was changed to a
smaller canopy that the rear still attached by slits in the craft, but the front would
pivot on a rivet that held it in place. You would simply swing the canopy to either side
and place the astronaut. This eliminated the dimple on the nose and possibly increased the
aerodynamics of this space plane.
I speculate that the change could be
for several reasons; the canopy could be lost in a crash, the canopy could pop off
ejecting the pilot in mid flight. Or perhaps because the front of the canopy was very
prone to being damaged by cracking or splitting after repeatedly slamming into the
backyard fence or the dog house which would weaken it's fastening ability resulting in one
or both of the two previously mentioned reasons.
Now the card of course had the
instructions for installing the pilot and operating procedures located on the backside.
Since there are two versions of the glider, there are two different corresponding
instructions. Only the section discussing how to place the pilot in the cockpit changed.
By either removing the canopy in the earlier version or swinging the canopy to one side
with the second variant.
The third variation was an early card
with the removable canopy instructions being covered up by a large label which had the
pivoting canopy info printed on it. Again this was only positioned over the area that
shows how to place the astronaut in the cockpit. I call this the "transition"
card, this technique was used until the old cards were depleted and newer cards printed.
Though the "white" vacuum - formed body of the glider remained the same color.
The canopy was molded in several transparent colors. I have in my collection, both canopy
designs in four different colors each, purple, blue, smoke and clear.
This is one of my favorite toys simply because it would really fly! Just toss it and it'll
travel several yards. I always make sure there is someone to play catch with though, so as
not to wreck it and to maintain it's collectible value. The pivoting canopy does perform
better than the original version.
ALSO INCLUDED IN:
The reentry glider was also included in these Mattel stock numbers:
Glider with Major Matt Mason - carded
#6378 Talking Major Matt Mason with XRG - 1 Reentry Glider - boxed