Hey guys welcome back to a new installment of Fitz’s Toy Chest. Over the last 16 entries in this series we’ve taken a look at items from the 3 of the 4 biggest toy lines of the 80s (sorry MoTU fans, I never got into those figures).
Recently I’ve been remodeling and reorganizing my basement and in the process I unearthed some more obscure toys that I absolutely loved as a kid.
This week we’re going to be taking a look at one of those toy lines which naturally had its own afternoon animated series as well. Produced by Kenner, this line of toys was really all about the vehicles, with the small scale figures as accessories.
Of course I’m talking about M.A.S.K. And today we’re featuring my first purchase in this line.
Condor w/ Brad Turner
Acquisition Year: 1985
Acquired via: Purchase (Venture)
Years In Possession: 35
M.A.S.K. stands for Mobile Armored Strike Kommand, basically a team of agents and their Bruce Wayne/Tony Stark-ish leader Matt Trakker. Together they worked to fight crime and a terrorist group known as V.E.N.OM.
Trakker, much like Tony Stark uses his vast wealth and techno smarts to equip his team with super cool transforming vehicles as well as unique masks for each member that have specialized powers.
Naturally, the leader of V.E.N.O.M. was partners with Trakker at one point and betrayed him taking a bunch of tech with him, so of course his band of criminals all have the same kind of masks and transforming vehicles as the M.A.S.K. team.
Trust me, it’s as hokey as it sounds, but the show was pretty well animated, the designs were DOPE and most importantly the toys were so cool!
Unlike the Star Wars line where vehicles were always “figures sold seperately”, M.A.S.K. figures came with their designated vehicles (later they introduced battle packs of figure repaints that came 2 figures per card).
And that isn’t the only difference. Another unique feature that set these toys apart was how small the figures were. The standard size of figures back then was 3 3/4″. Star Wars, G.I. Joe, Indiana Jones, Tron, you name it they were all 3 3/4″ tall. He-Man broke that mold by going larger, while M.A.S.K. went the other direction. Each figure in the line was roughly the size of a jawa from the Kenner Star Wars collection.
The figures were relatively simple in their sculpt and paint jobs, most of the focus was put on crafting the masks, but the real focal point were the highly detailed and transformable vehicles.
As I said, Brad Turner was the first M.A.S.K. toy I bought for two reasons. 1, being one of the smallest vehicles it was also one of the cheapest, and 2, who doesn’t think a motorcycle that converts into a mini-copter is a badass concept?
Brad Turner’s mask (like all the others) was my favorite part of these toys. While the vehicles were obviously intended to be the main attraction, I loved the characters and was way more into the figures. Which I guess is true of all the toys I collected. For me the figures have always been the point of collecting.
All the vehicles and masks had their own names. For Brad Turner, his vehicle was codenamed “Condor”, which is a pretty apt name. Likewise his mask has a similar on-the-nose name. Its ability was that it could project holographic images to confuse and fool the enemy, so naturally it was codenamed “Hocus-Pocus”.
One thing that always looked bizarre, and is indicative of how little emphasis they put on painting these figures, is his goggles are all black. Lenses and all. Just a blob of black paint. To further the weirdness, his eyebrows (for some reason) were sculpted above the goggles and also painted black. The problem is, the head of the figure is so small there’s no room for seperation between the goggles and eyebrows, so it just makes for a bigger black blob.
Couple the dark goggles that look like sunglasses with the dark hair and this figure always reminded me of Roy Orbison (interestingly the figure’s head is considerably off model from the very NON-Roy Orbison design on the cartoon).
Anyway gang I’ve rambled enough. Look for more M.A.S.K. figures in the coming months as well as toys from other properties that will be making their debut!
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