Saturday, 24 March 2018

Meet Matt Trakker's Alter Ego, Doug Stone

If you are a fan of M.A.S.K., then you'll no doubt know the name, Doug Stone.  From M.A.S.K. leader, Matt Trakker through to V.E.N.O.M.'s "Yes Man", Nash Gorey, Doug voiced his way through all 75 episodes.

Doug's talents don't stop there, if you head over to IMDB you will see his full list of credits that are FAR too many to mention.  If you are a hardcore gamer, you will be more familiar with Doug's voice talents as Psycho Mantis in the Metal Gear Solid Games.

As a father, my eldest son and I loved his performance as Lawrence in (Thunder and) The House of Magic - we own it on Blu Ray 3D.  This particular role mirrors Doug's personal life as his character, Lawrence, takes care of Thunder, a cat that he takes in off the street - Doug does a lot of charity work at the Kitty Bungalow - Charm School for Wayward Cats.

I woke up this morning to the news that Doug is going to be in attendance at the Ontario Collectors Con.  Doug doesn't normally attend conventions like this, so, this is an opportunity not to be missed by fans.

On the 15th of April 2018, you will find Doug at the Hilton Mississauga/Meadowvale – 6750 Mississauga Road, Mississauga, Ontario.  Unfortunately, Canada is bit far (and expensive) for me to travel from Scotland, but I hope that many M.A.S.K. fans will be able to make it.

Although, I'll not be there in body, I'll be there in spirit.  Hopefully, Doug may share some images that he'll allow me to share with you all.

Good Luck, Doug!

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#assembleMASK #MASKcomics #MASKcrusade #dougstone

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Megaforce - a distant relation to M.A.S.K.?

Back in the day, I recorded a movie off of the TV - Megaforce!  I watched this movie over and over - it was brilliant.

Fast forward  a couple of decades and I decided to see it was available to buy on DVD - and to my surprise and delight - it was.  Ordered from Ebay brand new, still sealed.

Megaforce is a team of International Team of Specialists who are called in to action wherever and whenever to resolve disputes.  They have the most up-to-date weaponry, donated to them by countries all over the world, at their disposal.  Along with Professor "The Egg" Eggstrum's inventions.

The vehicles used on their mission are weaponised Dune Buggies and Motorbikes with a mobile command unit overseeing the mission.  They also have a mission control centre back in America.

Other vehicles are seen when we see a tour of their base.

Overall, it is a great movie, however, there are some bits that I'm not keen on - mainly the love interest between the Megaforce Commander and the female Major - very cheesy and almost ruins the movie.

Made in 1982, it came out before M.A.S.K. but there are some commonalities between the two.

During it's inception, M.A.S.K. was potentially going to be called M.A.S.K. Force -

- As can be seen in the images above.  As much as I like the concept art for M.A.S.K. Force, I'm glad they settled on the shorter name of M.A.S.K.  Both teams are made up of International Specialists.

The Leader of Mega Force is called Ace Hunter - linking him to two of our beloved M.A.S.K. characters - Ace Riker being one.  The less obvious link for some fans is M.A.S.K. Leader, Matt "Hunter" Trakker.

The character of Suki is played by Evan Kim..

... Suki is very much like the character of Bruce Sato...

The character of Zac....

...With his hat, personal stereo and headphones isn't dissimilar to Buddie Hawks...

The Texan of the group, who reminds me of Dusty Hayes, is aptly named Dallas ....

So far, you are possibly thinking that these are very tenuous links - and you might be right.  I'm maybe looking for a link when one may not be there.  Megaforce and M.A.S.K. were two of my childhood favourites - and still are.

The next character seals the deal, though, as possibly the most convincing argument that there may have been a link between the two, or perhaps, the creators of M.A.S.K. were as big fans of Megaforce as I am.

Meet, Lopez....

The similarities in looks are uncanny to Julio Lopez of M.A.S.K. fame....

From the dark hair and moustache, to a similar coloured outfit - Lopez from Megaforce is so much like Julio Lopez.  From IMDB we find that the actor who plays Lopez is called J. Victor Lopez - does the J. stand for Julio....?

His connection to Megaforce doesn't end there.  Julio's Firefly vehicle is fairly similar to Dune Buggy style vehicles featured in Megaforce (NB - Lopez rides a Motorbike, not one of these).

Unfortunately, the vehicles are limited to only changing colour from Black for night time use to the camouflage seen above.  There is only one vehicle that has the ability to convert in a similar way to a M.A.S.K. vehicle - or, should I say, a V.E.N.O.M. vehicle.

 Ace Hunter's motorcycle is a prototype that can turn into a Jet Cycle, not unlike Floyd Malloy's Vampire...

Ok, I'm going to be honest here and say that Vampire is WAY much cooler than the Megaforce Bike but I still think that the idea may have made it's way into M.A.S.K. culture from Megaforce.

One last vehicle is a plain ordinary Ford Bronco....

Cliff Dagger's Jackhammer was also a Ford Bronco.

So, what do you think?  Similar or am I just clutching at straws?

#assembleMASK #MASKcrusade #DIC