M.A.S.K – Lets Discover What’s Underneath

 

Take off the Mask of this cartoon and you end up with hybrid combination of transformers and G.I joe. The only reason this cartoon even existed in the first place was just to sell merchandise and jump on the bandwagon of many many other cartoons that were profiting off children and parents during the 1980’s. The action figure line was created first if that tells you anything by Kenner then they decided to produce a cartoon series with the animation done in Japan based on their own toy line which basically posed as 30-minute commercial for the product line.

M.A.S.K. stood for Mobile Armored Strike Command. It was a special task force who battles V.E.N.O.M. -Vicious Evil Network of Mayhem (sounds a bit James Bond-ish). Matt Trakker was the leader of a team who operated armored vehicles with an emphasis on super powered helmets worn by heroes and villains alike. M.A.S.K always thwarted V.E.N.O.M.’s goal of obtaining money through criminal activities. Since this was a push to sell and profit from toys for Kenner we ended up with tons of vehicles, figures, and playsets. I will try and hit on some of the best. There were four series of releases of action figures and vehicles between 1985 – 1988 along with adventure packs.

M.A.S.K. Members: Matt “Hunter/Cowboy” Trakker, Bruce “Magic” Sato, Alex “Megabyte” Sector, Dusty “Powderkeg” Hayes, Gloria Baker, Brad “Chopper” Turner, Hondo “Striker” MacLean, Buddie “Clutch” Hawks, Calhoun Burnes, Jacques “Trailblazer” LeFleur, Julio “Doc” Lopez, Ace “Falcon” Riker, Boris “The Czar” Bushkin, “Chief” Nevada Rushmore, Ali “Lightning” Bombay.
Vehicles: Thunderhawk, Rhino, Volcano, Jungle Challenge, Coast Patrol, Goliath I, Skybolt, Rescue Mission, Dynamo, the Collector, Gator, Billboard Blast, Afterburner, Shark, Stiletto, Condor, Razorback, Firecracker, Hurricane, Sea Attack, Ramp-up, Wildcat, Raven, Artic Assault, Glider Strike, Detonator, Firefly, Fireforce, Slingshot, Meteor, Bulldog, Goliath II and several more.
MASKS: Spectrum, Ultra-Flash, Lava Shot, Arrow, Dolphin, Shroud, Lifter, Grasshopper, Jackrabbit, Disrupter, Backlash & Vacuum, Collider or Aura, Hocus Pocus, Eclipse, Blaster, Penetrator, Ditcher, Gulliver, Maraj, Streamer, Ricochet, Cruise Control, Comrade, Totem, Vortex just to name a few.

V.E.N.O.M. Members: Miles “Wolf” Mayhem, Sly “Wrecker” Rax, Cliff “Blaster” Dagger, Vanessa Warfield, Bruno “Mad Dog” Sheppard, Nash “Goon” Gorey, Lester “The Lizard” Sludge, Floyd “Birdman” Malloy, Maximus “Maxie” Mayhem Vehicles: Switchblade, Outlaw, Venom’s Revenge, Buzzard, Wolfbeast, Piranha, Pitstop Catapult, Jackhammer, Thunderball, Manta, Stinger, Racing Arena, Iguana, Vampire, Vandal plus a couple of others. MASKS: Viper, Python, Ripper, Flexor, Stiletto, Sawblade, Torch, Whip, Magna-beam, Powerhouse, Mudslinger, Buckshot, Deep Freeze – other variations. Two other notable toys were Boulder Hill – Headquarters for M.A.S.K. and Laser Command playset.

There were 75 episodes released over two season all on DVD the first season was 65 episodes and the 2nd season only consisted of 10 episodes which switched the plot of the story to a racing theme. For the last several years there has been talk of a live action movie in the works as well as using M.A.S.K. in a shared universe – but nothing has come to fruition.

With such a huge release of toys, plenty can be found on-line in used condition. But for the real collector looking to complete their collection with mint unopened items – there are only a few hundred. Mint figures in packaging. Sometimes you can find them starting at about $50 if your patient and want one. The vehicles Mint in Box condition typically range between $200 – $2000.

Keith Drake

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