Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Full M.A.S.K. Script

Many Years ago, I started a journey...  a journey that began with writing a script based on M.A.S.K. - Mobile Armored Strike Kommand.  

Along the journey I have met some great people.  When I started out, I'd always said that I wanted my script to be enjoyed, preferably as a movie, but with the recent announcement that Hasbro and Paramount are working with a team of writers to bring out a M.A.S.K. movie, I guess my dream is over.

I had promised some time ago that I would publish my script for everyone to read and hopefully enjoy.  So here it is.

I had hoped to rewrite it as I know that it could be a lot better than it is - the 1st 20 or so pages concentrate too much on a back story to lead into the movie but I've not yet had the time.

Thank you all for reading my blog over the past few years.

#assembleMASK #Hasbro #MASKComics

Sunday, 1 November 2015

M.A.S.K. Comic UK Issue 20

The last two weeks of July 1987 offered up issue 20 of M.A.S.K. UK Comic from the 18th to the 31st.

In spectacular fashion, we see Cliff Dagger literally bursting through the front cover of the comic all guns blazing.  This is another typical example of the great covers we have come to love and expect from M.A.S.K.

Meanwhile, on the back cover, Matt Trakker instructs Julio Lopez to get Airborne in Firefly as V.E.N.O.M. are attacking in force in the "Energy Crisis" story within.

Is there anything I could criticise this cover for?  Only a small point - if the tears in the page had shown us a glimpse of the first page on the other side - that would've been awesome.  Although, this would've been difficult to achieve, so I can understand why they didn't go down this route.

Table of Contents -

  • Front and Back Wraparound Cover
  • Five Pages - "Operation Vandal" Part 4 (B&W with Blue Tint First Cell)
  • Four Pages - "Royal Rescue" Part 4 (Colour)
  • Five Pages - "Inside the Volcano" Part 4 (B&W)
  • Centre Page Spread - Firecracker
  • Five Pages - "Energy Crisis" (B&W with Pink Tint First Cell)
  • Single Page - Advertisement
  • Single Page - Half MASK Art/Half Advertisement
  • Four Pages- Advertisements
  • Four Pages - "The Drowning City" Part 1 (B&W)
  • Single Page - Advertisement
Our opening salvo comes in the form of Part Four of "Operation Vandal".   After V.E.N.O.M.'s threat against one of America's most famous landmarks, Mount Rushmore, M.A.S.K. agents Dusty Hayes and Hondo MacLean in Gator and Brad Turner on Condor are dispatched to protect it.

However, the United States Air Force are a bit trigger happy and don't realise that the M.A.S.K. team are on the same side.  As three "LT A-7 Corsair II" jets attack our team, Alex Sector is on the hotline to the President to get him to call off the attack - leaving our team to sit and wait....

Sierra Nevada and Miles Mayhem has carved his image into a rock formation.  As he is admiring it, Cliff Dagger is the one to bring up the business in hand.  When Mayhem has a go ad Dagger for his impudence, it is up to Floyd Malloy to intervene and bring his boss back to reality.

Revealing that the threat on Mount Rushmore is just a Red Herring, Sly Rax is sent on a different mission....  A sinister mission to destroy the Golden Gate Bridge.  Julio Lopez picks him up on his Radar and Matt instructs him to follow as he, Bruce Sato, Scott and T-Bob are closing in on V.E.N.O.M's not-so-secret base in Rhino.

There are two things here - 1. - why is Matt yet again taking his son into another dangerous situation.  2. - the picture of Rhino - there is no drivers door on it.  Not quite sure what has happened there.  Rhino wasn't part of the action in the previous issue - so no reason why it should be damaged.  In fact, in other cells, it seems to be missing the door.

Moving on from this anomaly, Matt then asks Scott if he can borrow T-Bob.  T-Bob takes umbrage at the fact Matt didn't ask him directly, rather than going through Scott.  Matt heads off astride T-Bob on a secret mission to get closer to the V.E.N.O.M. hideout.

In an unusually cruel comment, Matt Trakker calls T-Bob "Tin Head" as they are riding off.  I don't really get this comment - I wouldn't have thought this is something that Matt would say.

Meanwhile, Sly Rax takes to Piranha's submarine to enter San Francisco's bay to to attack the Golden Gate Bridge. 

Julio takes to the air in Firefly with a hunch that the bridge is Rax's intended target.  He has to take some drastic action and causes a lorry to jackknife to stop the traffic.  What will his plan be to stop V.E.N.O.M.?

Miles Mayhem revels in the destruction of Tunderhawk at the start of "Royal Rescue" Part 4.  However, the illusion of Thunderhawk being destroyed takes Mayhem by surprise as Brad Turner's Hocus Pocus Mask stops its projection.

Matt Trakker in Thunderhawk is soon on the offensive taking out V.E.N.O.M. agents.  All the time, Buddie Hawks is still tied up and hanging from the exterior of the Castle Tower.

It's at this point, if I were Jason and Wyatt from Agents of M.A.S.K., that if there were a similarity to my script I should point it out!

To the left is a page from my script whereby Buddie Hawks is in peril and hanging from a rope.

Ok, he's not hanging from the outside of a Castle Tower - but is in danger as he is taking a beating from V.E.N.O.M.  thug Cliff Dagger.

This scene is at about the halfway point of the script as we see new M.A.S.K. Agent, Annaliese Ziegler, make her début mission.

It was important that there is something; someone; new in the script.  If we were to stick completely to the original "Cast" of characters, everyone would already know them and there would be no surprises.

I'm quite proud of this scene and I think it works well - the select few people who have read my script thought it was good - one person going as far as saying the hairs stood up on their arms reading this!

Anyway, getting back to our "Royal Rescue", that is now becoming more of a "Buddie Hawks Rescue" - as Matt takes out the V.E.N.O.M. agents, Mayhem uses his Viper Mask to spit corrosive poison at the rope holding Buddie up.  Matt wants to blow the Tower, but he knows his agent is in peril as he plummets towards certain doom.

Matt jumps out of Thunderhawk and uses Spectrum's Freefall abilities to come to Buddie's rescue - leaving Bruce Sato at the helm of Thunderhawk.

As Mayhem makes a run towards Switchblade, Brad Turner again uses Hocus Pocus to disorientate him - creating multiple holograms of the V.E.N.O.M. leaders transport.  Cliff Dagger comes to his aid and uses his Torch Mask to back Brad off.

Once in the air, Mayhem's target is Thunderhawk.....

In stark contrast, Miles Mayhem and Matt Trakker are having to work together in Part 4 of "Inside the Volcano" - as Mayhem pulls Matt Trakker out of a certain doom situation.

There is method to Mayhem's madness - being held by the madman J.J. Kinsale, Trakker and Mayhem need to work together to escape their common captor.  They are soon reunited with their vehicles and continue on their perilous journey.

Meanwhile, Alex Sector, Bruce Sato, Hondo MacLean and Dusty Hayes have come to the conclusion that Matt has been taken hostage by the same persons involved in Scott's capture.  In an unknown disclosed V.E.N.O.M. hideout, Mayhem's henchmen -  Bruno Sheppard, Sly Rax, Cliff Dagger and Floyd Malloy fear a similar fate for their boss.

Thunderhawk and Switchblade come under attack from Missiles - they manage to evade them - only for Kinsale to release his "Total-Jungle Warfare" - as all the plants and trees grow they engulf both Thunderhawk and Switchblade as vines and branches capture and spread through the vehicles....

After a number of issues featuring bio's of agents in the centre spread, it's great to see the welcome return of a vehicle to grace the centre page spread of this issue of M.A.S.K.

Firecracker - what a great vehicle.  Although Hondo MacLean has been a regular the UK M.A.S.K. Comics from the very get go, he'd always been seen as a co-pilot of other vehicles - namely Gator.  I assume this was due to the toy releases in the UK.  Gator wasn't one of the first line up of toys - but Hondo MacLean was feature in one of he figure packs that was available.

It is a simple, yet brilliant design - even if Hypno-Headlights and Ice Cannons are strange weapons.  In the cartoon of M.A.S.K., they made a big deal of completely destroying Firecracker to introduce a "replacement" vehicle of Hurricane for Hondo.  This seemed a strange move - in the comics, vehicles are destroyed fairly regularly but they keep coming back.

We then enter a bit of an "Energy Crisis" as V.E.N.O.M. vehicles Switchblade, Vampire and Jackhammer are seen attacking the Mansion of a wealthy art collector.  Firefly, Tunderhawk, Condor and Rhino are soon on the scene and V.E.N.O.M. flee for cover...

However, all is not as it seems.  Sly Rax takes the opportunity to chain himself to the underside of Rhino to sneak a ride back to Boulder Hill.  Once there, he tampers with the Energiser Room to prevent M.A.S.K.'s Masks from being charged.

And so, V.E.N.O.M. attack a Gold Bullion Convoy to draw out M.A.S.K..  As our opponents face off - our M.A.S.K. team try to use their Masks but, as expected by V.E.N.O.M., they don't work.

As the M.A.S.K. team flee with no means to defend themselves, Mayhem and his team chase afterwards until they back them into a corner.  Mayhem, believing he has the upper-hand, is taken by surprise when it turns out M.A.S.K. have been stringing them along and reveal that their Masks are fully charged.

Explaining that, a computer scan revealed Rax hanging from Rhino and their cover was blown.  If not for Floyd Malloy on Vampire, V.E.N.O.M. would've been defeated, however, they managed to escape.

Matt makes a comment that someone should've taken a picture of Mayhem - luckily, the artist of the comic managed to do just that...

"The Drowning City" Part 1 sees the wettest English Summer in 70 years.  As coastal villages are engulfed by unusually high tides, an Oil Tanker in the English Channel comes under threat as it smashes into rocks.

Several M.A.S.K. vehicles are making their way to London after attending a P.N.A. European Military Training Convention.  They get a distress call from the Oil Tanker and Matt Trakker and Bruce Sato fly out in Thunderhawk to offer assistance.  As they arrive, an Air Sea Rescue Helicopter is already at the scene airlifting some of the crew as the rest flee in a lifeboat.

Believing they are not required, Matt is about to set back to land when suddenly a thirty metre high wave is about the engulf the lifeboat.  Using his Lifter Mask, Bruce Sato lifts the boat out of the water and they take them to safety.

Bruce fears that the tidal water heading up the Thames estuary will be enough to flood London - but Matt is confident that the Thames Flood Barriers will prevent that from happening.

Not knowing that at the same time, Sly Rax is being dispatched by Miles Mayhem to blow up said Barrier....

Another fine example of the UK M.A.S.K. Comic.

#assembleMASK #Hasbro #MASKComics
#DIC #MASKyear

Sunday, 25 October 2015

◒--- M▫A▫S▫K RETURNS ---◒

INSIDE BUZZ : Our favorite cartoon returns, thanks to independent director David Guivant who chose to bring it back in a form of a semi-live action and animated fan-film.

A very ambitious and non-profit project indeed, this adventure is a cross between GIJOE meets FAST & FURIOUS

Some other insight on the storyline which will take place many years after the first season of M.A.S.K and Scott Trakker is going through college, fans can expect some updated vehicles as well as a new and more compact T-BOB.

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Transformers Rescue Bots vs M.A.S.K. Police Task Force

My 5 year old son has started watching Transformers Rescue Bots.

I don't really get the premise of it myself - you have a handful of Autobots who have come to Earth and are disguised as various rescue vehicles.  They work in co-operation with some humans on the fictional island of Griffin Rock where they all live.

There don't seem to be any Decipticons, there is no war and barely seems worthy of the name "Transformers".

However, The Transformers series of movies are aimed at the older generation - having a 12 certificate.  So, having this cartoon series aimed at younger kids opens up the Transformers Universe.  Start them off young and I guess they will then move onto the "Real" Transformers as they get older.

As my script is aimed at the same age group as The Transformers movies, I too came up with ideas from a more "child-friendly" version of M.A.S.K.  This would allow cartoons, comics and toys to be marketed in a similar way.

Watching it, there seems something a little too familiar about it....

When I wrote my Open Letter to Hasbro back on the 16th of September 2014, I made reference to the M.A.S.K. Story that made it's way into and IDW comic book for a Comic Convention.

M.A.S.K. had become some sort of Police Task Force - a far cry from the M.A.S.K. that we know and love.  Aimed at an older audience, there do appear to be some similarities to the bastardisation of Transformers mentioned above.

There is close symbiotic relationship between man and machine.  Moreover, Transformers is becoming  as much about the human characters as it is about the vehicles.

This is also true of the Movies.  How else can you have a "live action" movie if you don't have any live action in it!  In fact, maybe too much of the story is given over to the human characters.

Transformers is evermore like M.A.S.K. everyday.  The vehicles are just tools used by the humans.

It is surely time that M.A.S.K. made it's return. 

#assembleMASK #Hasbro #MASKComics

Sunday, 26 July 2015

M.A.S.K. Day

A year ago tomorrow (27th of July) I contacted several other M.A.S.K. Fan sites with an idea....  To join forces; to create a day whereby we could all celebrate #MASKday.

My idea was an instant hit with my fellow site owners and we chatted at length on Facebook and then followed up with numerous e-mails back and forth.  This was a way for us to bring everyone together who has a love of M.A.S.K.

One year on and you'll notice that I've not done much blogging over the past year since the last M.A.S.K. Day.  I had to take some time out - my son started school in August last year and my time when I normally blogged (Sunday Nights) were no longer available to me.

It was also about the same time that I came up with an idea for another script and I'd hoped that I'd be able to throw myself into it - but my brain just can't engage gear to let me sit down and work on this either.

We are coming up on the 1st Anniversary or #MASKday and we are in  the 30th Anniversary year of M.A.S.K.  As of yet, I'm sure what I'm going to do for you this year.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

It's also been a while since I mentioned anything about Bring Back M.A.S.K. - the campaign I started a while back.  We know that there has been a lot of recent Rumour and Speculation about a return of M.A.S.K. - but nothing is concrete yet.

So, please, click on the link above and show your support - we all want M.A.S.K. to make its long overdue return.  We especially need a movie!!

The M.A.S.K. Comics Facebook Page is still alive and kicking.  I'm hoping to get more stuff on there soon.  There is also the M.A.S.K. Comics, Movie, Toys, Etc. Group is also growing daily - feel free to join in with like minded individuals.
Thank you.

 #assembleMASK #Hasbro #MASKComics

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Is M.A.S.K. making a comeback?

There has been a lot of chatter on Facebook and blogs over the past couple of days about the possible return of M.A.S.K.

I first became aware of the furore yesterday via a Facebook message from José Manuel Rosario Rodríguez - a great fan of M.A.S.K. and admin for the M.A.S.K. Peaceful Nations Alliance (P.N.A.) Facebook Group.

Suddenly, the M.A.S.K. Community was ablaze over one small image that ignited imaginations, rumours and speculation!  If you are a M.A.S.K. fan, you will almost have certainly seen this image.

The image above is taken from a slide show presentation - Hasbro's Overview June 2015.  You have to go halfway in to slide 12 before you come across the slide above.

Although not a Hasbro site, this is a hosting site for businesses to share presentations.  The person who shared it is Alexia Leventis Taxiarchos - Director of Global Communications at Hasbro.

So, we know that this is a genuine Hasbro Presentation that features the M.A.S.K. logo as part of the "New Brands" Section.

This goes hand-in-hand with the Q2 2015 Hasbro Inc Earnings Conference Call from what other sites are saying.  However, I can't for certain confirm that as the transcript is corrupt.

In order to dissect the image above, I'm going to start with Action Man.

Everyone is familiar with G.I. Joe - he started of life as a 12" Action Figure, before reducing in size to 3 3/4" in the 80's as part of a larger organisation.  In the UK, G.I. Joe started life differently.

Made by Palitoy; Action Man was our version of G.I. Joe in the 12" guise.  Palitoy also produced our Star Wars toys that were based on the Kenner Moulds used for the U.S. toys.

During this period, the logo in the image above was used.

Palitoy was bought over by Kenner and the 3 3/4" Action Force Figures were born to replace the Action Man Figures.  Eventually, Action Force would be replaced by G.I. Joe.

After Hasbro's takeover of Tonka - and with it Kenner - the Action Man Name would see the light of day again - a refreshed character with Allies and Enemies - and a new logo!

Why then, is Action Man under "New Brands" and why does it have the old logo - dating back decades ago? Are Hasbro going back to Action Man's roots?  G.I. Joe has had a couple of movies recently with a strong revival (or has failed miserably - depending on the way you look at it) so is Action Man going to run alongside G.I. Joe?  Or is he going to replace it?

Remember, Action Man (original G.I. Joe) had a Trademark scar on his face - so does Duke from G.I. Joe who was killed off in the 2nd instalment.  My understanding is that Channing Tatum had a 3 movie deal - will he be resurrected?

Why mention this?  The M.A.S.K. Logo used is also the original Logo - not the new one that Hasbro have Trademarked.

Two old logos under the "New Brands" section?  This doesn't make sense.  Are they real or just thrown in there to throw competitors off the scent of what Hasbro are really pushing forward.

If you listen to the call, there's no mention of any of these brands.

Then you have the mystery of Stretch Armstrong in this section.  I heard rumours years ago that Hasbro were making a movie of Stretch Armstrong, however, all plans for this have fallen by the wayside.  Why then is he in the "New Brands" Section?

What if it's real, however?  I have mixed emotions about it.  Of course I want to see a return of M.A.S.K. - but will the reality meet or even exceed my expectations?  Or, will I be disappointed?

At the moment, this is just a glimpse of the M.A.S.K. logo on a Presentation.  Nothing more.  Until there are actually details and concrete evidence.....

Remember and leave your comments below and over at the M.A.S.K. Comics Facebook Page and also the M.A.S.K. Comics, Movie, Toys, Etc. Facebook Group.

#assembleMASK #Hasbro #DIC

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Transformer's Tracks versus M.A.S.K.'s Wolfbeast - battle of the Corvette Stingray's

After my little blog post last month about Nissan's/Datsun's in Transformers and M.A.S.K., I thought I cover the Corvette Stingray.

Living in the UK, the Corvette Stingray is something you only see on TV and in movies.  There was an iconic 1978 movie named after this vehicle called, funnily enough, Stingray!

This is a great movie - can't remember much about it now, but back in the day I watched this movie tons of times!  With it being such an iconic looking car, it's no wonder it made its way not only onto the big screen, but onto the toy shelves as well!

I guess this will be quite a short blog post, the reason being that I know very little about Tracks and Wolfbeast.

Although I was a fan of Transformers, I can't remember very much about Tracks.

He does look awesome in Blue with his Flaming Red Hot Bonnet (Hood).  In Robot mode, I'd say that he looks better than some of his fellow Autobots.

He also came in a variety of styles including red and black and newer releases.

Now, to add a twist, in Car Mode, Tracks can deploy wings and fly.  Sound familiar?  It's almost like Hasbro wanted Transformers to join forces with M.A.S.K. even back in 1985/6!

The "Real" Wolfbeast looks amazing -

Ok, so someone has taken a picture of a real Corvette and photoshopped it - but it does look damn fine!

In Car mode, Wolfbeast is every inch an American Muscle Car - but on steroids!!

Like my previous post discussing the various Datsuns/Nissans made into Transformers and M.A.S.K. toys, Wolfbeasts Car Mode does like like an older model of the Stingray.  It does, however, come in blue with flames on the bonnet, like Tracks.

Wolfbeast was one of the Split Seconds series of M.A.S.K. toys.  Unfortunately, the UK M.A.S.K. Comics had finished their run before they had a chance to run any stories featuring this range of toys.

As such, I hate to admit this as I class myself as being a M.A.S.K. fan, I have to refer to Albert Penello's M.A.S.K. Site for reference on this toy.

Wolfbeast is driven by V.E.N.O.M. leader Miles Mayhem.  It splits into two with Miles taking charge of one section and his "holographic clone" taking charge of the other section.

It appears that it turns into a Tank and a Flying Shuttle???

Ok, so if we're honest, by the time Kenner came up with the Split Seconds range of toys, I think they had lost their way somewhat - a bit like the Racing Series of the Cartoon.  It started to feel less and less like M.A.S.K.

Don't get me wrong, the Racing Series toys were ace, and the UK Comics did them proud.  However, the cartoon....?

Please feel free to make your own comments and observations below and across at the M.A.S.K. Comics Facebook Page.

Thank you,


#assembleMASK #Hasbro #MASKComics

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Are you a fan of DIC Cartoons? Les séries de notre enfance - interview with Nordine Zemrak

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by Nordine Zemrak who, along with Maroin Eluasti, wrote the book Les séries de notre enfance (The series of our childhood).  Their book is all about DIC Entertainment; creators of so many great TV Series - including many of my childhood favourites – Ulysses 31, Inspector Gadget, Pole Position and, of course, M.A.S.K. to name but a small few.

Les séries de notre enfance Cover
After a few messages back and forth, Nordine has agreed to do a Q&A session for your reading pleasure!

M.A.S.K. Comics (MC) – Thank you for taking the time to have a chat.  Can you start off with telling us a little bit about yourself?

Nordine Zemrak (NZ) – I'm 40, I live in Lille in Northern France. I am a professor of commerce and likewise and I mix progressive music for webradio and of course I am a fan of animation, retro games and Japan.

(MC) – When did you first become a fan of cartoons from the DIC Stable?

(NZ) – I became addicted to DIC series very quickly. This is going crescendo, Ulysses (31) took me in very distant lands but The Mysterious Cities of Gold completely overwhelmed me. I noted the names at the end of the credits and I soon realised that the name DIC was present on both series. Inspector Gadget, Here Come The Littles, M.A.S.K. and Jayce (and the Wheeled Warriors) confirmed this love for the series DIC. Nothing surprised me when I saw after the logo at the end of a generic.

(MC) – What was it about their cartoons that you liked?

(NZ) – I loved the adventure side.  These animations allowed us to escape, to travel while staying at home and also teach us values!

(MC) – I remember growing up watching many great DIC programmes from Pole Position to Inspector Gadget.  All great, but I think M.A.S.K. has to be my favourite.  Is there any particular series that you would call your favourite?

(NZ) – Without hesitation, I would say The Mysterious Cities of Gold brought me a dream every Wednesday (French broadcast).  I collected all the goodies about this anime  and I still continue.

The Mysterious Cities of Gold
(MC) – What is about that particular cartoon that you love?

(NZ) – The dream, adventure.

(MC) – One of the things that stays in mind after all of these years are the incredible Theme Tunes each cartoon had.  Do you thing these added to the success and longevity of DIC's cartoons?

(NZ) – The music has positively contributed to the success of each series. S. Levy and H. Saban had the power to make magic on each series - worthy of Hollywood movie.

(MC) – Do you have a particular favourite Theme Tune?

(NZ) – Very difficult for my heart - balance between the Mysterious Cities of Gold, Jayce and M.A.S.K.

(MC) – As you may already know from my blog, I'm a big fan of the UK M.A.S.K. Comics.  Did you ever collect any merchandise?

(NZ) – I collected the Panini album which includes the stickers, a few toys and comics.

(MC) – Do you still have your collection?

(NZ) – Unfortunately I did not keep everything on this series. I have the Panini Sticker Album, a promotional brochure and an audio tape, but I keep in touch with big collectors.

(MC) – You wrote Les séries de notre enfance with Maroin Eluasti how and when did the two of you meet?

(NZ) – We met through ebay (lol) there 8 years.

(MC) – When did you come up with the idea of writing a book chronicling DIC?

(NZ) –  When I was a kid, I had a book which incorporated information on DIC and its seriesIt was after a meeting with a friend, who had a fanzine, that the idea of a series and later a book that has materialised with Maroin.

MC) – Can you tell us about your book?

(NZ) – Our book traces the genesis of the DIC Studio and the adventure that lead Jean Chalopin to offer us all these exciting series. It presents the beginnings of DIC, the Development Studio and each series through the scenes.

(MC) – I assume that you had a lot of inside help from DIC – perhaps from Jean Chalopin himself?

(NZ) – Jean Chalopin and a lot of the French, Japanese and American DIC team brought us a lot of elements to build our articles. I mention Bruno Bianchi who greatly helped us and unfortunately left us before the release of the book.

Nordine Zemrak, Jean Chalopin and Maroin Eluasti

(MC) – Was it a childhood dream getting the inside scoop?

(NZ) – Absolutely, the dream has come true to be able to meet all these people who have made us our dreams.

(MC) – With the back catalogue that DIC owns, was it a huge challenge to write this book?  Is there scope for a sequel?

(NZ) – It was a very very big challenge that took us 10 years.  We will not make a sequel.

(MC) – Unfortunately, I don't speak French.  Are there any plans to translate your book into other languages?  I'm sure there would be a big market for an English version?

(NZ) – It is with great pleasure that we would like to adapt the book to the English market.  We did not have the means. We must remember that when published our book we didn't even have a French publisher interested in our project. We appealed to the participation of users via Ulule platform to support our project. But we are very interested for the English edition.

(MC) – I was a fan of Inspector Gadget when I was younger.  When the movies came out, they were a must see for me.  How do you think the live action movies compared to the cartoons?

(NZ) – Inevitably the cartoon keeps a most beautiful place in our heart.

Inspector Gadget

(MC) – Would you like to see more DIC cartoons turned into Live Action Movies?  If so, which ones?

(NZ) – Cinema adaptation of Ulysses, The Mysterious Cities of Gold, Jayce and M.A.S.K.

(MC) – As you may know from my blog, I started my journey just over five years ago when I started writing a M.A.S.K. script.  Do you think M.A.S.K. should receive the Live Action treatment?

(NZ) – M.A.S.K. would not be out of place in a live action. This is a fantasy that has its place in the current series or films. You write the script for our friend Dave?

Les séries de notre enfance - M.A.S.K.

(MC) – No.  I'm not sure who wrote Dave Guivant's script – I think maybe he wrote it himself. 

If M.A.S.K. were made into a movie, what characters and vehicles would you like to see?

(NZ) – Matt Trakker and Miles Mayhem, of course. Then there are other characters but I'm not sure that the names are the same as in the Anglophone release.

(MC) – What does the future hold for you?  Are you currently working on any more projects?

(NZ) – We have many projects. My friend Maroin pulled a trailer called Asterion a collaboration between France and Japan as at the time of the DIC.

(MC) - Thank you very much for taking the time to answer these questions.

So, there you have it.  If you are a Fan of DIC, then Les séries de notre enfance is the Ultimate Book for you.  It is currently available from Amazon!

Click here to be taken to a great commercial for this fantastic book that has some clips from our favourite DIC TV series - including M.A.S.K.

You can also keep up-to-date on the Les séries de notre enfance Facebook Page.

Bernard Deyries (Director) and Jean Chalopin
Keep up-to-date over at the M.A.S.K. Comics Facebook Page also.

I'd like to thank José Manuel Rosario Rodríguez - without his great wanted poster, I wouldn't have had the chance to chat with Nordine.  Who knows, perhaps my next interview might be with Jean Chalopin himself?

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#DIC #DICEntertainment

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Transformers Prowl, Smokescreen & Bluestreak Vs M.A.S.K.'s Manta - Datsun 280zx Vs Nissan 300zx

When I was growing up in the 70's and 80's, my Father was a mechanic.  He worked in the local garage which had a Saab Franchise.  Saab always had a reputation of being quality cars - it's a shame they are now defunct.

During the same period, a family friend of my parents also worked as a Mechanic - however, he worked on the Datsun brand.  There was some friendly rivalry between my older brothers and his kids - I guess both having Fathers in the same trade made us quite similar.

My brothers used to joke that their Father worked on "Crapsun Datsun's"!  They were somewhat different to what we were used to.  Someone in the village had a Triple S coloured like Starsky's Ford Gran Torino.

Many times M.A.S.K. is compared to Transformers.  Like M.A.S.K., quite often Transformers toys were based on real vehicles.  Coming from Japan, it's no wonder that the Datsun 280zx featured as part of the Transformers line-up.

The 280zx is very much a car styled in the 70's (a bit like myself)!  It is very sleek (unlike me) and shares many design cues from European Sports Car of the same era.

Transformers took this style, painted it black and white and put blue flashing lights on it and called it Prowl.

When I first started buying the Transformers Comic in the UK and watching the TF Cartoon, I wasn't really aware that this was a real car - let alone a Datsun.  Prowl is a great looking toy and was a brilliant character.

The attention to detail of this "scale model" is amazing.

Prowl had a couple of "Brothers" who shared the same Datsun platform.

Bluestreak is one of Prowl's Brothers.  With a change of paint, removal of the blue flashing lights.  Smokescreen does gain with Glass Panels in his T-Top.

In this coulour, it reminds me of James Bond's Aston Martin DB-5.

The third and final brother is Smokescreen.  A racing car in red, white and blue.  The front bumper (fender) has changed and he also has the addition of a rear spoiler.

With his racing pedigree, Smokescreen looks awesome!  Having all three in the image above it's easy to see the differences between the three.  I guess it could've been so easy for Hasbro to have made them completely identical and just paint them in three different colours.

What they have done, is given each of them their own unique identity - which is something that they achieved with a number of other similar Robots.

If I'm honest, I kind of lean towards Prowl as being my favourite.

By the time M.A.S.K. came out, the Nissan brand name had taken over from the Datsun brand.

The 280zx had been replaced with the more modern, 80's styled 300zx.

There are clearly similarities been the 300 and it's predecessor - I guess like the Porsche 911, a classically designed vehicle only needs minor changes through it's life to stay modern and up-to-date - whilst still keep the original's look.

Pop-Up Headlights were the order of the day on 80's Sports Cars.  As a kid, when you saw these, you were in awe.  As an adult, you think "that's going to be expensive when they break!"

If I'm honest, as much as I love the 300zx, I think that the style of the 280zx is nicer!  I know as a M.A.S.K. fan you would think I'd go for the 300 - it is a great car after all - but the 280 has more curves and nuances that set it apart.

Like Transformers, M.A.S.K.'s attention to detail is amazing and the likeness to the real thing is uncanny.  I think Transformers has the edge over the amount of moving parts when they cars transform into robots.

But this is sometimes, I feel, a negative.  I didn't have any Transformers growing up!  Now that my son has a few, I sometimes wonder if they are a toy or a puzzle.

The transformations on them seem overly complicated.  I can appreciate their beauty in both Robot and Alternate modes - but changing them from one to another is a struggle and frankly, I give up.

M.A.S.K. toys on the other hand normally have some ingenious mechanism that, at a touch of a button, quickly converts them from one mode to another.  As a kid, this allows you to learn how to use them quicker and ultimately get to play with them much quicker!

However, like the Pop-Up headlights on the 300zx, if something goes wrong with the mechanism on the M.A.S.K. toys.....

As we all know, Manta converts into a plane - and looks spectacular - especially on the box art.  We also have the charming Vanessa Warfield with her Whip Mask.  Looking back at it now, with the way she is dressed in her skin tight catsuit and her Whip Mask, I'm thinking she is a bit of a dominatrix!

One thing I could never understand with Manta, was the name.  It's a great name, don't get me wrong, but why Manta?

There were two things that stuck in my head when I first came across Manta -

1) Manta is a car.  There is a car called an Opel Manta - so to call it Manta and be a Nissan confused me.
2) Manta is a plane.  I don't see any link between a plane and the word Manta.  Had it been a submarine like M.A.S.K.'s Shark - fair enough, as it would fit in with Manta Ray.

Perhaps there is someone out there with and idea of where the name Manta fits in?

It's difficult to say which of these four great toys is the best.  As a M.A.S.K. fan, I think I have to stick with Manta.

What do you think?

Feel free to leave your comments below or over at the M.A.S.K. Comics Facebook Page.

Thank you,


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