M&M/Mars’ 1980 Star Trek Action Fleet!

Today I’m going to continue the Star Trek theme by going back to the decade before The Next Generation.

In 1979, Paramount Pictures released Star Trek: The Motion Picture to movie theaters.  Quite a lot of Star Trek licensing and cross-promotions followed and one of those marketing partners was the Mars company.  One of the coolest things they released as part of their Star Trek push was a mail-away “Action Fleet” of cardboard fold-up starships.

Consumers would have likely first learned about the promotion from special candy packs featuring it.  I have only ever come across one of these Star Trek Action Fleet packs before.  This is the one for M&M’s Peanut that I have in my collection:

Mars – M&M’s Peanut – Star Trek Action Fleet mail-away offer – candy package – 1980

Here’s a close-up of the offer info:

Action Fleet offer close-up

I can’t recall clearly, but I’m pretty sure I remember seeing these when I was a kid.  I’d love to find some of the other wrappers with this promotion on them, but for now I’m happy to have at least one.

Since we have the pack, I also wanted to share the Action Fleet mail-away contents.  I’ll start with the mailer envelope and then show everything that came with it.

Mars – Star Trek Action Fleet Mail-Away – mailing envelope – 1980

The return address on this is Young America, MN — I mailed away for a number of things as a kid, and Young America was the place that fulfilled quite a lot of the promotions back then.  Here’s what came inside the packet:

Mars – Star Trek Action Fleet Mail-Away – instructions

Mars – Star Trek Action Fleet Mail-Away – Fleet Specification Guide

I felt that this specification guide required some close-ups, so here they are:

Mars – Star Trek Action Fleet Mail-Away – Close-Up 1

If you’re a Star Trek fan like I am — did you notice that they listed a cloaking device as part of the USS Enterprise’s defenses?   That doesn’t sound right.

Mars – Star Trek Action Fleet Mail-Away – Close-Up 2

Mars – Star Trek Action Fleet Mail-Away – Close-Up 3

Next up, I’m going to share the actual punch-out sheets that the fold-up ships came out of.  I wasn’t sure if these would be all that entertaining in flat form, but what the heck – here they are:

Mars – Star Trek Action Fleet Mail-Away – Cross Bars

Mars – Star Trek Action Fleet Mail-Away – Klingon Cruiser Main

Mars – Star Trek Action Fleet Mail-Away – Work Bee

Mars – Star Trek Action Fleet Mail-Away – Vulcan Shuttle

Mars – Star Trek Action Fleet Mail-Away – Enterprise Main

Mars – Star Trek Action Fleet Mail-Away – Enterprise and Klingon Cruiser extras

That’s the full content of the mail-away Star Trek Action Fleet packet.

I do have one other piece of promotion that Mars did with Star Trek: The Motion Picture.  There may have been others, but so far this is all I’ve turned up.  This is a Sunday circular for a mail-away for Mars fun-size packs and Star Trek pajamas.  Star Trek pajamas!

Mars – Star Trek pajamas circular ad and coupon – 1980

And that concludes my weekend of Star Trek coverage.  I hope you enjoyed it and I’ll see you next time!

About Jason Liebig

A New York City based writer, editor and sometimes actor. After spending much of the 1990′s in the comic book business helping tell the stories of Marvel Comics’ X-Men as series editor, he has since split his time between developing his own entertainment properties while still consulting and working on others. Having been described as “the Indiana Jones of lost and forgotten candy”, Jason is one of the country’s premier candy collectors and historians with his discoveries appearing in countless blogs, magazines, newspaper articles, and books. Always happy to share his knowledge and unique perspectives on this colorful part of our popular culture, Jason has consulted with New York’s Museum of Food and Drink and has also been a featured guest on Food Network’s Heavyweights, France’s M6 Capital, and New York’s TheActionRoom.com. My Google Profile+
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2 Responses to M&M/Mars’ 1980 Star Trek Action Fleet!

  1. Mike J. says:

    That looks like a pretty awesome playset :)

  2. The movie was awful, the toys were a let-down… but the premiums were all pretty great! The Happy Meal boxes and prizes were simple, but really well-done. And weren’t there some sort of glow-in-the-dark light switch stickers as well, maybe in cereal? I’ve got this set, though it’s not the one I ordered at the time.

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