Sunday, June 28, 2020

[YouTube] M.A.S.K.

When I sat down to write this post I didn't really know what to say because I don't remember too much about M.A.S.K. I did watch the cartoon that ran for two seasons when it aired but I was far more into Hasbro's G.I. Joe and Transformers toys and cartoons. Kenner released the toy line that features rather small action figures and vehicles with transformations in 1985. The acronym stands for Mobile Armored Strike Kommand which is the team of good guys who battle the Vicious Evil Network of Mayhem, or V.E.N.O.M. Every vehicle includes one or two characters with a removable mask (masks have unique abilities in the cartoon) but no weapon accessories as they battle with their transforming cars, trucks, helicopters, and jets. Figures did become available in blister packs with two characters and in Adventure Packs that had a variety of accessories.

My collection contains two good guys from the first series (Condor and Rhino), and a good guy (Raven) and bad guy (Vampire) from series two. I've got a coloring book too as you can see above and I'll post a few scans of that below that can also be found on the Vault 1541 Facebook page in the activities album. It's worth noting that M.A.S.K. had a brief resurgence in 1996 when the cartoon and toy line Vor/Tech appeared. Vor/Tech features similar action figures with masks and re-uses some of the toy designs from M.A.S.K. By the way, I used the retail/collector website TransFormerLand and Albert Penello's The M.A.S.K. Page for reference.

Just minutes before posting this and the video I actually stumbled across a red toy catalog that must be from the second series. All catalog images are photographs as they unfortunately don't fit on the scanner and I didn't have time to piece together multiple scans.

This is the only one for which I have packaging though it was in really bad shape because I believe it shipped this way without an exterior box. I've mentioned before that catalog orders in the '80s would sometimes place a shipping label directly on the item and that is what happened here. I took a photo before I went to work on it with Goo Gone and fortunately the front cleaned up quite well without removing color from the box. Along with the toy, inside the box is a mini black-and-white comic book, toy line catalog/poster, sticker sheet, and instruction sheet. Condor is a motorcycle that manually transforms into a copter and is driven by Brad Turner.

Vampire is another flying motorcycle though rather than a helicopter it becomes a turbo jet. Driven by Floyd Malloy, the Vampire has a button that transforms it into the jet.

Raven is a Corvette driven by Calhoun Burns that can transform into a seaplane. Buttons are used to raise the spoiler, rotate the front end of the car, and launch immobilizer discs (circular saw blades). Surprisingly, this toy actually has seat belts though they can be a bit of a pain to use. There are also tiny pieces that pop up from the rims that the box labels as particle blasters.

Rhino is one of the largest vehicles and comes with two action figures: M.A.S.K. leader Matt Trakker and Bruce Sato. The semi truck acts as a mobile base and the back tire section detaches to become a second vehicle. Inside the base portion is a rocket that launches when users push a button. There are also buttons that trigger the front grill for smashing into the bad guys and a button that ejects the passenger sideways. Although they don't fire anything on the toy, the smokestacks can be rotated forward to act as cannons.

Group Photos & Scale Comparisons

Coloring Book Sample Pages

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