Tuesday, June 19, 2007

A Spark Of Thunder

[M.A.S.K.: the unforgettable logo]
Written by GL

Very few people I've asked have ever said that they didn't enjoy watching M.A.S.K. I suppose it must have been one of the premier cartoons of the era and my whole love of motor vehicles probably sprung from this particular cartoon. But this entry isn't about the cartoon itself - this entry is about the vehicles.

M.A.S.K. was one of the many cartoons produced during the 1980s as a mode for toy merchandising. M.A.S.K. (standing for the Mobile Armored Strike Kommand, if you haven't heard by now), was a hybrid of popular era cartoons G.I. Joe and The Transformers. But despite this claim, it was the gadgets (as always) that made the show. One of the coolest vehicles was driven by Matt Trakker, the leader of M.A.S.K.

[Matt Trakker: possibly cooler than even you]

That vehicle was called the Thunderhawk. Thunderhawk, produced by Kenner toys came out in the USA in 1985, and in Europe in 1987 as part of the very first wave of M.A.S.K. vehicles and action figures. Thunderhawk is Matt Trakker's private car and is modeled after a Camaro Z28 from 1983. There are 2 different version of this toy; one version with bombs (USA edition) and a Europe edition that came without them.

[The Thunderhawk: even packaging was nice back in the day]

The Thunderhawk packaging possesses a style that is generic throughout all Kenner produced M.A.S.K. stuff. And, as many of you may remember, each vehicle also came with it's own figure to enjoy; in the case of the Thunderhawk, you get the very blonde, very cool Matt Trakker, with his trusty helmet Spectrum.

[Man & Machine: I miss this awesome set so much]

But, what many may not remember is that in the package, you also get a sticker set with which to decorate your vehicle just as they appear in the cartoons, as well as an instruction booklet, that many of us (as kids) would refuse to read and claim ignorance at.

[Thunderhawk Instructions: who needs it]

Watch this space in future for more of your favorite vehicles from an all-time favorite cartoon. And remember, illusion is the ultimate...something...something.