[Hey, folks. I’m still recovering from the weekend. Indian food and lots of alcohol is not necessarily a good combination. Nonetheless, I didn’t want to miss what’s become M.A.S.K. Monday around here, so I’m checking in with something of a quickie today. -FF]
I’m sure I mentioned in a past entry that either in 1985 or 1986, I got some of the 1st Series MASK toys for my birthday and the rest for Christmas. My parents bought them all at once, and they picked them up about a month before my birthday, so I went crazy knowing that they were all hidden in the house somewhere and that I had a month to wait for some of them and another four months for the rest. I must have managed to be enough of a pain in the ass that they relented and agreed to give me one early, and that one was Condor with Brad Turner. As a result this simplest of MASK vehicles has always had a special place near and dear to my heart. Besides it being the only one I had to play with for a whole month, I just thought the idea of a motorcycle turning into a helicopter was unbelievably cool. Here we are 25 some years later and those blasted scientists still haven’t come up with these yet.
Naturally Brad Turner was my favorite (and only) MASK figure for quite a while. He was a cool character on the show, and I like his bright yellow jumpsuit and bright red (or mauve?) accents. His outfit is as gaudy as they come, but it seems to fit a flashy dude riding a racing bike. Turner is certainly not one of the most detailed MASK figures in the line, but I still love him, right down to his cool shades. As is standard for the line, Brad features seven points of articulation. His head rotates, his arms rotate at the shoulders, his legs rotate at the hips, and his knees are hinged.
Brad Turner’s mask is Hocus Pocus. Its also bright yellow and it really accessorizes well with his whole blinding yellow ensemble. As the name suggests, the mask is designed to project holograms to deceive his enemies. It always seemed appropriate that the MASK guys had more strategic and less violent powers for their masks. You just can’t have good guys shooting people in the face with ball bearings.
And then there’s Condor. Condor is probably the simplest MASK vehicle there is, and yet its still one of my favorites. In its standard street mode, its a green sports motorcycle with some black accents. There aren’t a lot of stickers or even sculpted detail. Nonetheless, it still looks good, although there’s definitely something a little suspicious about this bike, particularly with that black bar wrapping around the back of it. The bike will stand on its own, with just a slight lean and rolls along great.
Condor is one of the few MASK toys that doesn’t rely on complex mechanisms or any automatic conversion. I was actually surprised to see that there’s even a spring in this thing. You simply lift up the black bar on the back, which causes the landing skids to simultaneously fold down. Then you just unclip each of the rotor blades, fold them out, and then swing the back wheel out. The nose gun pokes out of the front just a little bit further, and the skids reveal two more guns sculpted to them. Its simple, but effective. The helicopter mode works really well, so long as Brad doesn’t adjust his seat and pop his head up too high. From a safety standpoint, this thing is a deathtrap, but who wouldn’t want to run a motorcycle speeding off a cliff and have it turn into a helicopter?
With no complex mechanisms and not a lot of stickers, Condor is a pretty easy toy to find in good looking and good working order. About the only issue here is the stress put on the plastic of the rotor blades at the point where they flip up. Flip them up enough times and they will eventually fall off. Apart from that, Condor is a good and inexpensive way to start a new MASK collection or rekindle your lost love for this line.