Sunday, February 15, 2009

Trakker Jumps Joe

[Matt Trakker: it's not Photoshop]
Written by GL

Believe it or not, because I didn't when I first saw it, but the awesome leader of the M.A.S.K. team of do-gooders has been moved and absorbed into the 25th Anniversary G.I. Joe line !

The 25th Anniversary collection was the best overall toyline of 2007, with excellent sculpts, awesome articulation, and cool accessories.

Specialist Trakker leads a secret unit which develops ordinary-looking vehicles that convert into advanced combat vehicles. Joining forces with the G.I. Joe team, the Mobile Armored Strike Kommand (M.A.S.K.) team battles V.E.N.O.M. (Vicious Evil Network of Mayhem). The new spin on things is that V.E.N.O.M. was a unit formed by Cobra to construct its own converting vehicles. Specialist Trakker uses his next-gen technological devices to preserve peace throughout the world and stop the corrupt forces that are using the same technology to control the world.

Created by Kenner, M.A.S.K. was basically (some-say) a rip-off of competitor Hasbro's G.I. Joe and Transformers (read: figures and changing vehicles).

Obviously the original story had no connection to either G.I. Joe or Cobra, but otherwise the stuff on his filecard is still retro accurate: single father Matt Trakker was the multi-millionaire philanthropist whose money and technology kept the M.A.S.K. team going. Miles Mayhem really did steal half the M.A.S.K. masks, and used them to perform mercenary work, leading Trakker to assemble a team to counter him.

[Matt & Matt: you make the comparison]

Matt never had a codename (no one in M.A.S.K. did), which is why this figure is identified only as Specialist Trakker. Of course, they could have named him Thunderhawk (after his flying Camaro) or Spectrum (after his mask). Just calling him 'specialist' shows that this new Trakker's work is as an independant support role.

The figure's suit has been painted to look alot like the old M.A.S.K. figure: the gray of his flight suit, the flight harness, etc. It doesn't quite match the old toy, but it is fairly similar to the animation model.

[The new Spectrum: the Hasbro remix]

Matt also wears a helmet and it shares some stylistic elements with the original Spectrum mask, however, there has been no word on whether it can still fire a sonic blast or allow the wearer to see different visual spectrums.

He comes with a nice plain machine gun and a five-piece helicopter backpack that seems like Inspector Gadget run through a car compactor. In all honesty, with the green painting (seen in the photo), it looks darn close to Condor.

[Matt In Flight: so much for stealth coloring]

General consensus over the figure shows that there are some fans out there who think putting Matt Trakker in the G.I. Joe line is a show; some feel is a con to real Joe fans. Either way, the fact of the matter is Hasbro acquired a lot of licenses and original properties when it bought Kenner, and it's good to see they're willing to give all retro characters a chance.