Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century. The United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies led to the American Revolutionary War lasting between 1775 and 1783, leading to independence. The United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native Americans, and gradually admitting new states until spanning the continent by 1848.
During the second half of the 19th century, the American Civil War led to the abolition of slavery in the United States. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country’s status as a global military power.
The toy line included four astronaut action figure characters sharing a common body molded of a rubber-like material called “Plastizol” (which was also used in the Mattel “Thing Maker” toy line and “Mister Twister” line of fishing bait). The body was molded over a wire armature, with a separately attached head and a removable space helmet based on early NASA helmets. The wire frame often suffered from metal fatigue, breaking at the elbow, knee, and hip joints, giving the toy a limited life span as a result. The space suit paint adhered poorly to the body molding and often peeled off to reveal the black molding beneath. Each character body was painted in a different color and had a separately modeled head. Matt Mason had a dark brown crew cut and a white space suit, Sgt. Storm had blond hair and a red suit; civilian astronaut Doug Davis had a yellow suit and brown hair; Lt. Jeff Long was African-American, with a blue suit (almost two decades before Guion Bluford became the first American black man to orbit the Earth). Mason figures produced in 1966 are identified by blue straps on the space-suit. These straps were painted black in subsequent production years.