This week’s Vintage Vault contains more of Kenner’s MASK goodness. Last week we looked at one of the good guys, this time we’ll flip over to the baddies and take a look at one of VENOM’s vehicles and drivers. Here’s another Series 2 toy, hence one that I never owned as a kid. Its the Vampire with biker gang-member and expert forger, Floyd Malloy and his mask, Buckshot. Vampire is one of the smallest of the MASK toy assortments, but that doesn’t make it any less cool. Let’s start with the figure…
As usual, these MASK figures are only about half the size of your average 3 3/4″ figure (you do the math, I’ve been drinking!), but they still have a respectable amount of sculpted detail and articulation. Malloy has the usual lack of paintwork on the head, with just the fleshtone and the yellow tuft of hair, but if you look close enough, you see a lot of personality in that f’ugly mug. Yes, Floyd Malloy is not only a bad guy, but he looks like he has some deeper genetic issues. Holy hell! It may be hard to tell because of the lack of paint apps on the head, but Malloy has a face that would scare werewolves.
Malloy’s outfit makes him one of my favorite VENOM figures. The black, red, and silver deco looks outstanding and the design has a definite Mad Max meets posh quality that works well for a biker terrorist. I can’t get over how much sculpted detail Kenner worked into this little guy, but suffice it to say its pretty amazing. I have no idea what that little thing jutting up on his right shoulder is, but I’m betting its some kind of weapon.
Buckshot is a somewhat unique as it doesn’t cover the figure’s whole head, but rather has a hole int he top for his tuft of yellow hair to stick out. A lot of the masks used by MASK and VENOM have some pretty sophisticated weapons and devices. Malloy’s on the other hand is basically just a shotgun. Once again, its a remarkably detailed sculpt and the deco matches the same color scheme as Malloy’s outfit.
Malloy’s vehicle, the Vampire, is a red sports motorcycle. It doesn’t look like the kind of bike a dirtbag like this guy would be caught dead on, but than again it ain’t your average motorcycle. The sculpt is relatively simple, and the toy relies on stickers, particularly on the saddlebags, and some nice vac metal on the engine, exhaust and wheels to spruce it up. Unlike most vehicles in this toyline, Vampire isn’t quite as good at hiding its alt form. You can definitely tell there’s something going on under those saddlebags, but it is a small toy, so I’m willing to give it a pass. It can be tricky to get Malloy to sit correctly on the bike, but with a little patience, he can do it.
Vampire converts into a cool little one-man attack jet. Remember that whole concept versus execution thing I talked about last week? Well, Vampire hits both points dead on. The conversion is easy enough, as all you have to do is push the button on the back and then fold down the two wings. The button moves the sheels backwards, drops the front of the bike down to reveal a rotating gun, the stabilizer wings spring up in the back and the engine-slash-missile launchers are revealed in the back. The result is a very cool little jet with a pair of missile launchers. Malloy does have to be repositioned a bit when the bike converts, so it isn’t as fluid as most of the other MASK and VENOM vehicles, but the concept still works well.
One of the really cool things about the MASK line is that the smaller toys can be just as fun as the bigger ones, and Vampire here is a perfect example of that. I love the idea of having a motorcycle that turns into a jet and the transformation is both simple and cool. Toss in the fact that the Malloy figure is one of my favorites and you’ve got a great little set here. I was lucky enough to pick up this little guy, complete, but no box, for just under $20. Sure, its a bit steep for a little toy, but it was well worth it for such a nice example of this cool toy.