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This was an illustrated children's science-fiction book I read in the early 1970s, but had a very 1960s feel (thinking back now). There were a couple of astronauts on the moon. Somehow they got into a system of strange, round tunnels. The tunnels turned out to be made by giant worms.

I don't remember anything else about the plot, but I associate the book with some astronaut figure toys I had at the same time - I'm fairly sure the toy astronauts were a tie-in to the book. The figures were about 5-6" tall, in bright orange and white spacesuits, and made of rubber over a wire skeleton, so they were very poseable. They had plastic space helmets.

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That figure sounds like Matt Mason and this link confirms there was a tie-in book with moon worms:

The writing is iffy at best but wildly, and I mean WILDLY imaginative: moon rabbits, moon worms, "nothing" beings--and all the great Major Matt Mason vehicles.

enter image description here

It appears to have been a Whitman Big Little Book, and is listed on a collector's info page like this:

MW28 2022 MAJOR MATT MASON - MOON MISSION 4 8 16

Big Little Book 2000 Series®; 1968. Hard cover. Size: 3 7/8" x 5' x 7/8";

4-color illustrations; 256 pages. Author: George S. Elrick. Artist: Unknown.

COLLECTOR'S NOTE: No price printed on cover.

A text file of the entire book is available at the Internet Archive here.

I had Matt and some of his accessories back in the day, but sadly I didn't have this book. Matt's spacesuit was white, but his colleague Sergeant Storm had an orange suit.

enter image description here

That internal "wire skeleton" broke if you played with them too much :(

  • 1
    That's it, thanks helping me remember a piece of my childhood. :-) – LAK May 16 at 14:59
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    Matt Mason - the MM explains why I had "Mike Mars" stuck in my head, but that's a different set of semi-fictional books dealing with NASA. – LAK May 16 at 15:00
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    I'm sorry I missed reading it back in the day....it's available from resellers, but pricey. – Organic Marble May 16 at 15:00
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    I think I recall eventually breaking off one of my guys' arms. Also the orange/white paint on the black rubber tended to peel after a while. – LAK May 16 at 15:07
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    We had his weird alien friend Captain Lazer too - he was made of hard plastic. – Organic Marble May 16 at 15:09

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