Wednesday, 22 May 2013

M.A.S.K. Reference on Transformers Prime: Beast Hunters

I was messaged by my good mate Skip a few days ago and now a Facebook post by Altan Cetinkaya regarding a reference to M.A.S.K. on Transformers Prime: Beast Hunters.

To view the video, Click Here!  Within the first few minutes there is a reference to a vehicle having been created by their "M.A.S.K. Division".

So, why are you still reading my blog?  Go watch it and remember to discuss it in the comments and on my Facebook Page!

Saturday, 18 May 2013


As you will know if you collected the UK M.A.S.K. comic or if you have been reading my blog, a regular feature of the comic was MASKart - a section of the comic that would publish pictures sent in by readers.

As previously mentioned on my blog, this page is what encouraged me to start designing my own vehicles, masks and characters.  I chose not to send them into the comic (I regret that now as it would've been great to have had them published in my favourite comic)!  Instead, I chose to send them to Kenner and received a letter back (with my pictures included) suggesting what I needed to do to make it as a toy designer.

As well as my drawings, I had a couple of attempts at writing novels that didn't get much further that about 3 pages long - I'll try and look them out sometime but they are on a 3.5" Floppy Disc somewhere and would need to bring my Commodore Amiga out of the Attic!

I thought it would be a great idea to have my own MASKart section of my blog and I'm looking for anyone with their own M.A.S.K. visions to come forward to share them on my blog - please e-mail me with your pics and some information about yourself for future posts.

Not to shy away from this project, I'm going to put myself on the line here and be the first to post my MASKart.  The following are some of the drawings that I sent to Kenner, I hope you like them.  For any Art Critics out there - please remember I was only about 14 when I drew these pictures.

When coming up with some new ideas, I drew a lot of inspiration from existing vehicles - ok, I more or less copied most of the ideas from existing vehicles.  Part of my creative process came up with the idea of having combat vehicles whose "normal" vehicle was the same as pre existing vehicles - in doing this I felt would add to the "illusion" as opposing teams wouldn't be able to tell one from the other.

Not a very imaginative name, but the blurb above will give you information on the drivers, their Masks and details on the vehicle.

I have Miles Mayhem in this vehicle - as it's like Outlaw - but thought that he'd be best teamed up with Sly Rax as it transforms (in two stages) to a Submarine and a Two Man Sub/Submarine combo.

As you'd expect, in it's Oil Tanker role, Otter is the spitting image of Outlaw.  If M.A.S.K. were to attack, they'd be taken by surprise when it doesn't open up with it's Howling Howitzer but instead turns into a submarine.

The front of the vehicle slides out make her more streamlined in the water with the front wheels turning round and the rear wheels come round 90 degrees to turn into the underwater thrusters. There are plenty of torpedo tubes and water-to-air rockets and water-to-surface missles.

The vehicle then takes one more conversion as the cab splits off into a two man sub leaving the rest of the vehicle as large submarine.

They say that water and oil don't mix, I disagree!

I always felt that Volcano was to M.A.S.K. what Outlaw was to V.E.N.O.M. - with the vehicles coming out at the same time and the respective leaders being the pilots.  So, it is maybe fitting, that my next vehicle was a variant of Volcano.

Unlike Otter, both the Pilot and Co-Pilot of Volcano II are the same as it's predecessor.  The pre-conversion vehicle is also identical...

...well, almost! The observant amongst you will have noticed the lava "II".

Opening up further than Volcano, "II" has a heli-pad that rises out from the main body of the vehicle for Matt Trakker's Helicopter.

So, there you have it.  From the images above to attempted novels to a script.  You'll be pleased to know that neither of these vehicles appear in my script!

I'll share some more images with you soon - in the meantime keep up-to-date on my Facebook Page and e-mail your own MASKart!

Thank you!

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Thunderhawk in a M.A.S.K. Movie

Thunderhawk, for me, is one of the most iconic images from the 80's.  It is as much an icon as Kitt from Knight Rider or the DeLorean Time Machine from Back to the Future.

When I was writing my script, there were a few things that I knew had to be same as the original Toys, Cartoons and Comics such as Rhino and Thunderhawk - two icons that I feel are so great and well designed there is no need to update them.

However, the image above cropped up on Facebook recently and now I'm not so sure.

The styling of this re-imagined Thunderhawk is awe inspiring!  With it's modern, sleek "jet-like" styling and side-pod missile launchers - I'm warming to the idea of a new and improved Thunderhawk when my movie is made.

So, what are your thoughts?  New or Old?

Remember and follow all the chat on my Facebook Page and if you are the creator of this poster - feel free to contact me as I'd like to do a future feature with you for my blog.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

The Great Debate!

My recent blog posts and Facebook posts have started a bit of an interesting conversation.

Unless you have been hibernating for the past few years, you should be aware of the M.A.S.K./G.I. Joe crossover that is "Specialist Trakker".

This is an updated version of Matt Trakker in his Spectrum Fatigues under the G.I. Joe banner.

The Blurb on the back of the card tells us that Matt Trakker, codename "Specialist Trakker", is a Vehicle Designer and that he leads a unit that has designed covert vehicles that look ordinary but convert into advanced combat vehicles.

So, the debate is this - when M.A.S.K. finally makes it's long overdue return - should it be as it was or part of the G.I. Joe universe with V.E.N.O.M. being a unit of Cobra?  

G.I. Joe already has a great following and two Live Action Movies under it's belt to be a platform for M.A.S.K.'s return.

Or, should it be a re-release of the original toys under the Kenner Banner.

Or a re-imagined reboot of the franchise brand new for the new millennium?

I'm opening the floor to you, my readers, to cast your own votes both here in the comments and across on my Facebook Page.

This, should be interesting!

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Kenner Collector - was a M.A.S.K. revival on the cards? Were there more missing vehicles?

Re my previous post, Missing M.A.S.K.Snowmobile, I've gone back to the Kenner Collector website for another look as I was curious about something else that I'd seen - and found another couple of interesting things whilst there.  I thought that I'd share them with you all.

From their website we read -

"Kenner’s Morgue wasn’t the only thing still located at 2950 Robertson Ave. in Cincinnati, Ohio during the final days of Kenner.  In the same warehouse that stored all of the pre-production material I wrote about earlier, was a section that Kenner referred to as the Museum.  This is where Kenner kept final production examples of many of their toy lines.  These saved items went all the way back to the beginning days of Kenner, and in many cases included multiple examples of each.  One ex-employee recalls that one to four cases of each toy were to be kept, but that may have varied based on if the toys came in variety cases like action figures.

The term museum makes it sound like they were being preserved for historical reasons, but the toys were being kept more for practical reasons than for historical or sentimental value.  The toys in the Museum were constantly being used as part of the toy making process.  Kenner employees working on new toys could check items out of the Museum to use on their projects.   There are a lot of reasons they would need to do this, including seeing how certain action features worked on a toy so they could duplicate it, or if they needed to kit-bash the toys to turn them into other items for presentations and proposals."

The guys at Kenner Collector have a 98 page document split into 5 sections - and from part two of five we see the following excerpts -

From this inventory list above, we can see which M.A.S.K. toys were in the "museum", it's Bin Number and Location plus the number of each item in stock (wouldn't this be nice to have in your own private collection?).  Perhaps this list can also answer the great debate amongst M.A.S.K. fans?  "Thunder Hawk" or "Thunderhawk" - looks like it may be the first of the options!

On the left hand side, any that have a date shows when someone last accessed one of these toys - there seemed to be plenty of activity even long after M.A.S.K. was no more.  Perhaps Hasbro intended to do something with these great toys?

The following pieces of information I overlooked on my first visit -

On the list above, there is mention of a M.A.S.K. packaging sample - the "TX" beside denotes the Employee who destroyed this (boo!).  What I didn't notice first time round, is the date of 1994.  

Nor did I notice the M.A.S.K. instructions 1992!  This would suggest to me, re my comments above, that Hasbro had seriously considered re-releasing our favourite toys!

However, this isn't the reason why I went back to this site.

On my original viewing of this document I came across the information regards the M.A.S.K. Snowmobile and I had noticed the following that I've pieced together -

Mentions of - 

  • "Dragster" (Afterburner?); 
  • "Jet Cycle" (Vampire or Barracuda/Jackal?), 
  • "Lamborghini" (Stiletto?), 
  • "Stingray" (Wolf Beast?), 
  • "Volkswagon" (Dentonator?), 
  • "Water Tower" (Thunderball?), 
  • "Corvette" (Raven), 
  • "Helicopter" (Switchblade).

But then, are they?  If the "morgue" is where prototypes were put, then why these vehicles?  Why aren't they named if they are the prototypes of released toys - especially as there is no mention of all of the other vehicles.

And what is "Bob Cat"?  Is this the name of another Missing Toy?  Or simply a description of Vandal in it's Illusion form?

Thank you for reading and maybe I've asked more questions than I've answered.  If you, or someone you know, has the answers to any of these questions, feel free to comment below or e-mail me.

Remember to keep up-to-date on my Facebook Page.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

The M.A.S.K. Comic Polls are in!

Recently, I ran a poll on my Facebook Page to find out which version of M.A.S.K. Comics is the best -

  • UK 
  • US
  • Other

The results are in - with 100% of the vote going to the UK version!
Ok, there was only one vote - and that was mine!  So, seriously, which version is the best?  Feel free to pop over to my Facebook Page and vote - it's not too late.

While you are there, why not like my page and have some chat with like-minded individuals!

Thank you.


Wednesday, 8 May 2013

M.A.S.K. Comic Issue 11

After last issue's V.E.N.O.M. cover takeover, we continue on that theme as we go from the "Shifty, Sneaky and Dangerous" Floyd Malloy to the V.E.N.O.M. leader Miles Mayhem on issue 11 of M.A.S.K. dated 14th-27th of March 1987.

Holding commuters on the world famous San Fransisco Landmark of the Golden Bridge to ransom, Mayhem is looking for the princely sum of $10 Million to free the hostages.

Table of Contents -

  • Front and Back Wraparound Cover
  • Five Pages - "Project Dinosaur" Part 4 (B&W with Pink Tint First Cell)
  • Four Pages - "Stop The Falls!" Part 2 (Colour)
  • Five Pages - "Operation Golden Gate" (B&W)
  • Centre Page Spread - Stinger
  • Single Page - Advertisement
  • Four Pages - "Maelstrom Mayhem" Part 1 (B&W)
  • Single Page - Letters Page
  • Single Page - MASK Art
  • Single Page - Advertisement
  • Four Pages - "UFO Over Africa" Part  (B&W)
  • Single Page - Advertisement
Matt Trakker in Thunderhawk is battling Miles Mayhem in Switchblade in the Russian skies at the start of "Project Dinosaur".  On the ground below, Gator is about to come under fire from Russian Tanks on Manoeuvres!

At Boulder Hill, Buddie Hawks is still disguised as a Russian General and attempts to contact the tanks to advise them not to engage Gator.  However, Scott and T-Bob get in his way and T-Bob stumbles pulling the plug literally out of the plan.

Instead, Dusty Hayes has to use his Backlash Mask to disable the Russian tanks allowing them to go after Sly Rax on Piranha and Cliff Dagger in Jackhammer.  In a scene reminiscent of the Cartoon, Rax manages to get thrown off of his stead and the dimwitted Dagger heads down a narrow ravine.

Mayhem has to urge Dagger to turn his turret backwards to fire upon Gator - but it's already too late - Hondo uses his Blaster Mask to bring down ice and rock on top of the fleeing Jackhammer!

Mayhem lands Switchblade to discover that the Eggs have been "cooked" during the battle.  Matt gives the order to his team to rendezvous back in Finland so that they can give the Russians back control and allow V.E.N.O.M. to deal with them instead.

However, the sneaky Miles Mayhem has fooled M.A.S.K. into thinking that all of the Eggs are destroyed - but one has survived....

Our colour strip this issue, "Stop the Falls!", starts off where last issue left off - with Miles Mayhem gloating about his plan to stop the world famous Victoria Falls and hold her to ransom.  Suddenly, a flock of birds is disturbed and fearing there are "snoopers" around, Dagger is ordered to use Torch to deal with them.  In the Forest are M.A.S.K. leader Matt Trakker and Bruce "Magic" Sato.

During Daggers attack, Bruce is knocked out code as is their Walkie-Talkie - so no way to call for reinforcements.  (I'm confused - Bruce has his Lifter Mask and Matt has Spectrum - I thought they had Comms built-in to them??).

Matt has to leave the stricken Bruce to race for help.  At the "Jungle Headquarters" he meets up with Scott and T-Bob who summon over the rest of the M.A.S.K. team.  As Mayhem's team make their start on building a dam to stop the river flow, Brad Turner on Condor, Dusty Hayes and Hondo MacLean in Gator and Matt in Rhino make their attack.

Our cliffhanger this issue sees Matt falling into the water - but who will finish him off - the Waterfalls or the Crocodiles?

In our cover story, "Operation Golden Gate, the morning commute is about to be disrupted as Miles Mayhem in Switchblade attacks.  Dropping a bomb from Switchblade onto the centre of the bridge as Sly Rax at one end of the bridge and Cliff Dagger at the other with some henchmen to prevent the commuters from fleeing the scene.

Held to to ransom, Mayhem demands $10 Million to free the hostages and relinquish the bridge.

The P.N.A (Peaceful Nations Alliance) call in M.A.S.K. to resolve the situation.  Matt Trakker and Bruce Sato approach in a small boat but are spied by Miles Mayhem who drops a Torpedo Bomb on their boat.  Our heroes are left stranded in the water; their boat blown to smithereens as Mayhem strafes the water with his guns mounted on Switchblade.

Luckily, Brad Turner comes to their rescue on Condor but is soon under threat from Rocket Launchers in the hands of the V.E.N.O.M. henchmen.  Fortunately for Brad, he is quicker than them and easily takes care of them and manages to pick up the bomb as he does a fly past.

Rax pushes the detonator button - too late; Brad has already dropped the bomb into the water below.  This gives the commuters the encouragement to over through their captors as Matt Trakker and Bruce Sato come to their aide.  Rax and Dagger cling onto Switchblade's landing gear as they flee leaving behind their henchmen.

The theme of our V.E.N.O.M. cover is continued to the Centre Page Spread -

Bruno Sheppard's GTO that converts into an armoured tank - Stinger (Scorpion in some regions I believe).  Stinger was always one of my favourite vehicles - can't really put my finger on why, but she is definitely a beast and a force to be reckoned with!

Miles Mayhem, Sly Rax and Floyd Malloy are ready to create a "Maelstrom Mayhem" as they attack a Top Secret Alternative Energy Plant hidden within a Welsh Hillside.

Of all the images I remember of M.A.S.K. from my youth, the one to left is foremost in my mind.

The detail of the Masks and Uniforms with the rain running down the visors is such an iconic image.

In my previous post - David Pugh Fan Page on Facebook - you will see the original piece of Art from the Artist David Pugh.

Floyd Malloy takes care of the scientists with is Buckshot Mask.

Once the Station is under control, undercover V.E.N.O.M. Agent Sir Joshua Snyde explains to Mayhem that the station harnesses and controls wind to increase the efficiency of Wind Generators.

Mayhem has other plans in mind as he unleashes the full power of the station causing Storms powerful enough to destroy the Severn Bridge.

As Matt Trakker and Bruce Sato arrive in Thunderhawk in it's Jet Mode - they get caught in a spin by the wind.

They manage to land safely just as the wind dissipates - almost as if it had been turned off.  A local WPC advises our team that some Innocent's are trapped under the bridge.

Cliff Dagger comes under attack at the beginning of "UFO over Africa" as Floyd Malloy plays a practical joke on him - firing Buckshot at his butt on low power.  Sly Rax and Bruno Sheppard are also present as Miles Mayhem runs through the plan.

He is using a "Fake UFO" to keep the local Military out of the way so that the rest of the team can attack Robertsville - a diamond mine with £200 Million in uncut diamonds.

As the V.E.N.O.M. team puts Mayhem's plan into action, Matt Trakker and Bruce Sato encounter the UFO and realise it's just Switchblade in disguise.  Mayhem escapes and Matt comes to the conclusion that this was a decoy for a bigger job - he is right and soon the M.A.S.K. team are on the right trail and make their way to the diamond mine.

This is another great issue.  Now that we are seeing more of the new vehicles, characters and masks in action - the excitement of the comic is building issue on issue.

Yes, most of the comic is in Black and White - but who needs colour when you have some of the best artists ever creating this great comic.

Remember to follow more chat and comments on my Facebook Page and feel free to E-mail me also!

Thank you.

Missing M.A.S.K. Snowmobile?

As you will know, M.A.S.K. toys were made under the Kenner banner.  Kenner was sold off from it's parent company, General Mills, to Tonka who were then taken over by Hasbro.

There is a great website with a wealth of information relating to Kenner Products, including M.A.S.K. at - that I would recommend to you if you are a fan of this great company's range of products.

One of the exciting finds on this website is the "Kenner Morgue Inventory List".  This is a list of products, prototypes, test packaging, etc. that Kenner had accumulated over the years.  When Hasbro shut down the Kenner Operation, decisions where made as to what to keep and what to destroy - unfortunately, much of this material was destroyed.

The list above is a small excerpt from this list and anything highlighted in green was saved and sent to Hasbro.

You'll notice one item of particular interest on here - "MASK SNOWMOBILE".  We've all seen the images of some other prototype toys such as Thunderball and heard about the fabled Shark toy - but somewhere locked away at Hasbro HQ is an unreleased M.A.S.K. toy that may never see the light of day.

So, I'm looking for some help?  Did you, or did someone you know, work for Kenner and have some insight into this toy?  What did it do?  Who was it's driver and which Mask did they wear?

If you do - please feel free to e-mail me.

Perhaps there is something similar in script?  Who knows!

Remember to keep up-to-date with all the chat on my Facebook Page.

Thank you.