As I hinted at in this weekend’s update, the MASK editions of Vintage Vault are headed into the home stretch. I planned this as a limited series, and while I will eventually come back to it, we’re down to the last three installments of the initial planned run. In the last installment, we looked at Thunderhawk, today we’re going to look at one of the other flying sportscars in the series, and one which I think is overall a much better toy. Let’s check out The Raven and its driver, Calhoun Burns. And as always, we’ll start with the figure.
Calhoun’s outfit is a bit like a traditional flight suit, but the colors are totally off the wall. The bulk of his jumpsuit is dark blue with some lighter blue detailing and neon orange pads. The coloring here reminds me more of a 90’s GI JOE than a mid-80’s MASK figure. The sculpt is pretty good for a figure of this size, especially his head sculpt. Some of the MASK figures have some pretty soft face sculpts, but Calhoun’s is clear and well defined. As usual, the only paint apps on the figure’s head is the hair. His mask is called Gulliver and has the questionable power to make things appear really big or small. Ummmm… ok. Gulliver is bright orange with a blue visor and some black paint apps on the gizmos on the back. Its a cool looking mask, but it sits a bit awkwardly high on the figure’s head.
Like all the MASK figures, Calhoun features seven points of articulation. His head turns 360-degrees, his arms and legs rotate at the shoulders and hips. His legs have hinged knees.
In its civilian mode, Raven is a black Chevy Corvette. This time, there are no actual trademarks or insignias on the car, but its pretty clear from the mold that its a Corvette. The car’s body is molded entirely in black plastic with tampo’ed red, yellow, and white scrollwork on the hood, sides and spoiler. The wheels feature real rubber tires with the Good Year trademarks on them. The windshield is clear plastic, but the rear window and the side windows are all opaque black plastic.
Like Thunderhawk, Raven’s doors open as part of the car’s transformation gimmick. In this case they’re sort of reverse gull-wing doors that open down and allow you to put the Calhoun figure inside. The door design is obviously not accurate to the car model, but it works. The interior of the doors have stickers with the MASK logo and various instruments. Raven’s interior is orange with a nicely detailed cockpit and dashboard. The vehicle seats two figures, and have seatbelts to keep the figure’s in place during those rough battles.
Raven’s combat mode is a flying boat, which gives it some serious versatility over air, sea and land. The conversion is in three parts. Push the button just in front of the passenger side door and the front of the car flips upside down. You can then flip the tires up, revealing a total of four guns on the front. Next, you flip the doors down to make the wings. Lastly, you press in the rear license plate, which causes the chromed out rear engines to spring up, and then you fold in the back wheels. The result is a really cool looking jet that works a lot better for me than Matt Trakker’s Thunderhawk. There’s even a disc launcher as a hidden gimmick in the front bumper.
In case you haven’t guessed, I absolutely love this vehicle. It even has an unofficial hovercraft mode where you can fold the wheels up under it like the DeLorean’s hover-mode in Back to the Future. Raven looks great in its car mode, its fun to convert, and the attack mode really looks cool. If I were Matt Trakker, I’d give up Thunderhawk in a second and adopt Raven as my vehicle of choice.
Raven is a pretty well constructed toy and is surprisingly easy to find in good condition. Apart from scratches to the plastic, Raven doesn’t usually show a lot of wear. The tampo designs stay in place and apart from the interior doors, there aren’t a lot of exposed stickers to wear out and deface the toy. While Raven does use springs as part of its conversion, they tend to hold pretty well. I was able to pick up a complete and nice example of Raven for about $25 and while its probably one of the more unsung cars in MASK’s arsenal, I highly recommend it for any MASK collection. I’d even suggest picking it up over Thunderhawk. It may not be as iconic, but it is a much cooler toy.