Sunday, 22 February 2015

M.A.S.K. Thunderhawk

I was recently contacted on Twitter (still not sure how to use that media properly - if anyone wants to teach me - get in touch @wscottcrawford) by @GaspareGas.  They are attempting to get Lego to make a M.A.S.K. Thunderhawk toy.

These are great looking images and would work well.  We've all seen the great Lego M.A.S.K. creations from Orion Pax that have garnered a lot of interest with the M.A.S.K. community.

I, for one, would love to see these toys being made and I've already signed up - and you can do the same to at this link for the Lego Projects Idea page.

We know that M.A.S.K. was made by Kenner who are now owned by #Hasbro and there have been no more signs of M.A.S.K. since the 25th Anniversary G.I. Joe Specialist Trakker.  So it's about time for Matt Trakker, Thunderhawk and the rest of the team to make a comeback.

Do I think that this particular project will succeed?  No!

Why?  Hasbro have their own toys called Kre-O that is their version of building block toys that directly competes against Lego. So, I'm not holding out much chance for this to become a reality.

Why did I sign up to support this cause then?  We need to keep up pressure and momentum to bring back M.A.S.K.  Even if this toy isn't made by Lego, the fact that people are supporting it is great.

I'm willing to support any cause that may highlight M.A.S.K. - this has already included supporting my Rivals Wyatt and Jason of Agents of M.A.S.K. with their M.A.S.K. script - even thought I've written my own.

So, I'd ask you all go pop over to the Lego site and show your support for this great idea.

Whilst we are on the subject of Thunderhawk, another concept has been doing the rounds on Facebook just now - 

The quality of artwork and the attention to detail on this project is amazing.  The conversion of the original Thunderhawk was quite a simple affair - this has brought it back up-to-date.

If I'm honest - I would like to see the original Thunderhawk in a a Live Action Movie - maybe with this as a replacement in a sequel?

This version of Matt Trakker in his Spectrum Fatigues if also better, in my opinion, than the 25th Anniversary Specialist Trakker.  Again, I'd prefer something more akin to the original for the first movie.

But I'd like to hear your thoughts on these projects - either in the comments below or over on my Facebook Page.

Thank you,


#assembleMASK #Hasbro #MASKComics

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Wanted - Jean Chalopin - M.A.S.K.'s 30th Anniversary

The growing fandom surrounding M.A.S.K. at the moment is staggering.  From Websites to Facebook Pages to growing speculation of Matt Trakker appearing in the next installment of G.I. Joe.

One fan in particular is working particularly hard on his attempts to Bring Back M.A.S.K. - José Manuel Rosario Rodríguez!

A recent campaign that he has started is his search to find Jean Chalopin -

Chalopin was responsible for setting up DIC - the studio that behind many of my favourite childhood cartoons.  Ulysses 31, Inspector Gadget, Pole Position and Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors to name a few.

These were all great Cartoons - but my heart belongs to M.A.S.K.  I know that the comics were my route into M.A.S.K. but the "As seen on TV" on the covers got me into watching the early morning cartoons also.

Back in the day I used to record them and watch them time and again.  Jean, you are a Legend!  If you are reading this, or if anyone who knows you is reading, please feel free to e-mail me or contact me via my Facebook Page - I'd love to do a piece on my blog!

Retroblasting have also shown an interest in interviewing you and I'm sure that Jason and Wyatt over at Agents of M.A.S.K. would also love a chat!

Thank you for giving us M.A.S.K.

#assembleMASK #Hasbro #MASKComics

Why I`ve been absent for so long

I thought I`d do a little post to let you all know why I`ve not been posting recently.

As I`m sure you all know, I`m a massive M.A.S.K. fan!  I`m lucky enough that growing up, I started collecting the UK M.A.S.K. Comics from the very start and stuck with them.

This was unusual for me as I would normally only find out about great comics after they had been around for a few issues and quite often they wouldn`t quite hold my interest.

After I finished writing my M.A.S.K. script I realised that I may have to promote myself to other M.A.S.K. fans.  I`m too sure why.  It wasn`t anything that I`d ever considered doing before.

Through my blog I`ve come in contact with some really great people who appreciated where I`m coming from with my love of M.A.S.K.  The build up to #MASKday was great and I worked hard with fellow M.A.S.K. fan sites.

But, there comes a time when you have to take a back seat for a while.  I work long hours and this is a big year for my son as he started school in August.  There are a lot of things going on right now.

I guess there was also the realisation that trying to get my script read by Hasbro was going to be a bigger challenge than I thought it was going to be and I`ve come to the conclusion that the likely hood of my script reaching anyone at Hasbro is very slim.

It pains me to see something so great that has so much potential be a wasted opportunity.

The other issue that I have is that there are now a lot of M.A.S.K. fan sites and Facebook Pages out there and at times we are just duplicating each others work.  When I make a post I know these will be shared by the owners of the other sites - and I`ll do the same for them.

We mutually respect each other.

The problem is, I know that I`ve liked many M.A.S.K. Pages and joined lots of Groups and when the same things are posted on all of the sites it gets a bit repetitive.  I worry sometimes that readers will get fed up of seeing the same thing numerous times on their wall.

So I`m going to try and keep my posts to a minimum and not share them as much.  This is due to not having as much free time and not wanting to "force" my page onto people.

Yes, it would be great to have more likes and page views, but what is important is making sure that those of you whom I reach enjoy what I`m posting.

I also said a while back that if my script isn`t made into a movie that I`d make it available for people to read it online.  I`m going to give it one more go to try and get it noticed and if nothing comes of it, I`ll need to find a way to post it on my blog for people to read.

Having a look through my blog history, I`ve realised that the last comic review I did was in November 2013 - I can`t believe it`s been so long - so I`m hoping to get back on the plan soon.

I do have another project in mind but I need to get into writing mode and make a start on it.  If I manage to write it, I`m hoping to start a Kickstarter campaign to get it off the ground.

#assembleMASK #Hasbro #MASKComics

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Rumour- Matt Trakker of M.A.S.K. to appear in G. I. Joe 3

There are a few rumours doing the rounds about M.A.S.K. on the internet.  Stories about a new toyline about to be announced to the possibility of a movie, etc.

A new rumour has emerged that Matt Trakker will appear in G. I. Joe 3.  Part of me isn't surprised at this rumour, afterall, there was the Specialist Trakker M.A.S.K./G.I. Joe crossover figure.

However, is this a wise move on the part of Hasbro?

As a M.A.S.K. fan, I'd love for it to come back but I don't think that this is the right way to do it.  Let's think about it logically.

From Hasbro's perspective - it makes perfect sense. They have already introduced Matt into the G.I. Joe fold as an action figure.

Although they own the trademark of "M.A.S.K. - Mobile Armored Strike Kommand" - they do not, as far as I'm aware, own the trademark for "V.E.N.O.M. - Vicious Evil Network of Mayhem".  This provides a problem - without V.E.N.O.M. to fight against, there is no M.A.S.K.!

However, if the M.A.S.K. characters merge into G.I. Joe and the V.E.N.O.M. characters merge into Cobra - problem solved!

So, all of these characters and vehicles that will add value to a G.I. Joe movie - especially as they killed off all of the characters from the first Joe's movie.

But, there is more to it than that.  The first movie was a mixed bag for me.  Overall, I thought it was good.

What I didn't like includes the following - 

  •  There was FAR too much CGI.  I'd expected the action to be more real, but the underwater scenes were very much like a cartoon!
  • The character of James McCullen/Destro is meant to be Scottish - yet he's played by an Englishman!!!  Ok, Christopher Eccleston is a great actor, but his Scottish Accent is horrendous!
  • I didn't think the vehicles fitted into the G.I. Joe Universe, but I'm not an expert.  In fact during the Paris Scene, I felt that the Hummer used by Cobra was very much like Ratfang from M.A.S.K.
  • The Accelerator Suits also felt more akin to something from M.A.S.K. than G.I. Joe.
  • The biggest problem for me was the ending of the movie that seemed to rip off the ending of Firefox.  Ripcord has to use the Gaelic word for "Fire" instead of Clint Eastwood's character using the Russian for the word.
The Second movie was a vast improvement, and more what I would've expected from the first movie.  It's a shame that they had to kill off all the characters from the first movie.

I guess, therefore, by bringing in M.A.S.K. Characters to the next G.I. Joe movie would help fill in the gaps left by all of the Joe's that have been killed off.  But is there any need?  I believe that there are plenty of Joe's left in that universe that could take up the mantle!

So, why introduce M.A.S.K. Characters?  Is it because Hasbro have realised the mistakes made in the first two and they are hoping to correct it by propping it up with M.A.S.K.?  Or, are they looking to use this as a first step to reintroduce M.A.S.K. and follow it up with it's own standalone movie?

I might be biased but I believe that M.A.S.K. is as current today as it was 30 years ago and if brought out as a standalone movie would far exceed any expectations.

Lets hope that whatever Hasbro do, M.A.S.K. will prevail!

#assembleMASK #Hasbro #MASKComics

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

A Blast from the Past - M.A.S.K. The Beginning!

So, I was going through my e-mails yesterday and put "M.A.S.K." in the search bar as I was looking for a specific e-mail that I sent.  The first e-mail in my Hotmail account was one that I'd e-mailed myself with a basic outline for my script.

Crazy thing is, I didn't start writing my script until Sept 2009, but this e-mail was dated 

the 7th of February 2006.

If I'm honest, I completely forgot all about this and it's hard to imagine I was working on ideas three and half years before I started writing my script.

To the left is the list of characters I was going to include in my script.

Working through it, you'll notice a "Joe Trakker".  Those of you familiar with M.A.S.K. will know that Matt's brother was called Andy.  However, in the UK Comics he was called Joe - at this point I was using my knowledge of the Comics as my guide to aid me in writing my script.

In the end, I decided to use the name "Adam" instead.  

You'll also notice "Miles (Surname)".  My thought process was that the name "Mayhem" would be a bit strange and I was going to give him a pseudonym until he betrays Matt Trakker then his real name would be used!  Another idea that crossed my mind was to maybe have his name as being say French or something and not pronounced as Mayhem.

In the end, he goes by his real name throughout my script!

In the UK Comics "The Beginning" story was published firstly in the Preview Comic, then again in Issue 1 - with the addition of some colour to some of the pages.

As you will see from the screenshot on the left taken from my 2006 e-mail, much of my story line was based on "The Beginning" story.

The Cartoons never had a beginning - they started with "The Deathstone" episode and both M.A.S.K. and V.E.N.O.M. were already established.  Although the cover for the DVD does give some insight into a back story and mentions Matt's little brother - no mention of his name, though.

"While investigating the mysterious death of his brother, MATT TRAKKER uncovers an international organization known as VENOM"

I've redacted one line so as not to give you a spoiler to my script and I've highlighted a blooper on my part - I wrote "Dagger" Mask instead of "Torch".

When I came to writing my script, I decided to go down a different route.  There were a few reasons for this.

1. I didn't know who owned the rights to the story line in the comic - if making a movie using that as a basis, we would need their permission to use their ideas.  Seemed simpler to write a new story.

2. The Terms Peaceful Nations Alliance and Contraworld - again, who owns these names?  Instead, I created the Anti Terrorist Alliance and the V.E.N.O.M. agents work in cahoots with a well known terrorist organisation!

3. Part of the story involves Matt Trakker making a Landsurfer out of spare parts to rescue himself.  After watching the great movie "Sahara" with Matthew McConaughey, I realised that this has already been seen in a movie - again I didn't want a conflict of interests!

You'll notice in my e-mail that I mention that Joe Trakker's Body isn't recovered.  Part of my story was that in the next installment of M.A.S.K., we would find out that Joe wasn't killed and was found with amnesia by some Nomads - however one of his arms was amputated due to being too damaged.

I had an idea for a Mask called "Armament" that Joe would then use that would replace his missing arm with various different weapons!  "Man-At-Arms" was one of my favourite He-Man Characters - and to have a character who could change his arms and truly become a "Man-At-Arms" (or perhaps "Man-OF-Arms" might be a better description) seemed neat to me.

I decided against this idea!

Looking at it now, there are still some similarities between my finished script and the notes in my e-mail.

I hope that you enjoyed this little insight I hope that you will leave your comments below and over on my M.A.S.K. Comics Facebook Page!

#assembleMASK #Hasbro #MASKComics