Lot # 50: 1981 MOTU: Man-At-Arms CAS 75+y Test Market (Mattel Archive Sample)

Starting Bid: $750.00

Bids: 15 (Bid History)

Time Left: Auction closed
Lot / Auction Closed

This lot is closed. Bidding is not allowed.

Item was in Auction "2024 Spring Premier Auction",
which ran from 3/8/2024 5:00 PM to
3/24/2024 5:00 PM

Ultra-rare Mattel Archive Sample on first issue Test Market cardback. This piece originated from the Mattel Archives. The leading theory is that this unseen sample (with warranty form and no comic book) was sent to Mattel during the production process, before the mini comics were printed. These carded samples would give Mattel an early look at how the bubble/figure on card would present at retail. The Mattel Archives eventually made pieces available at their employee store as a perk for their employees. Pieces available in the store included stickers “For Mattel Employees Only” along with a blue “Archives” price tag sticker. The price on the sticker is what the employee paid for the item. Over the years, the store prices became much more expensive ($50, $60, $70, etc.). The items tagged with the $10 sticker are thought to be amongst the earliest archival pieces made available at the employee store.


Offered here is an original “Red Dots” Man-At-Arms on highly desirable first-release Test Market card. Front and back of the card are clean with only minor imperfections. The bubble retains perfect form. A light tint is present as seen in photos. No cracks. The Man-At-Arms action figure within is the earliest version showcasing red dots on his helmet and battle armor on his arm and leg (to match the image on the reverse). There is no mini comic present as seen with the retail release. Instead, a warranty form is in its place. One of the rarest and most unique MOTU pieces we have offered. MOTU samples are exceedingly rare, and there is always a buzz amongst veteran collectors when such a piece hits the market. A unique opportunity to grab an early piece of MOTU history.  Encapsulated by CAS (75+y, 75-85-90), #10212483

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