M.A.S.K. is an animated television series produced by the French-American DIC Enterprises, Inc and Kenner. The series was based on the M.A.S.K. action figures. It was animated in Asia by studios; KK C&D Asia, Studio Juno, Studio World, and Ashi Production.
A total of 75 syndicated episodes of M.A.S.K. were broadcast from 1985 to 1986. One of many cartoons produced during the 1980s as a vehicle for toy merchandising, M.A.S.K. (which is an acronym for the Mobile Armored Strike Kommand), was a hybrid of popular era cartoons G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero and The Transformers.
M.A.S.K. and V.E.N.O.M.Edit
M.A.S.K. (an acronym for Mobile Armored Strike Kommand) is a special task force featuring an array of characters, led by Matt Trakker, with transforming vehicles engaged in an ongoing battle against the criminal organization V.E.N.O.M. (an acronym for Vicious Evil Network of Mayhem), with an emphasis on super-powered masks worn by the characters on the show.
It is never made clear what sort of criminal organization V.E.N.O.M. is, exactly. They were not the typical world-conquering villains and their schemes mostly revolve around profiting from illegal activities and doing mercenary services.
- Main article: List of M.A.S.K. episodes
- Doug Stone - Matt Trakker, Hondo MacLean, Dusty Hayes, Bruce Sato, Nash Gorey, Bruno Shepherd, Boris Bushkin, Maximus Mayhem
- Brendan McKane - Miles Mayhem, Alex Sector, Floyd Malloy, Jacques Lefleur, Nevada Rushmore
- Brennan Thicke - Scott Trakker
- Graeme McKenna - T-Bob, Brad Turner, Calhoun Burns
- Mark Halloran - Sly Rax, Buddie Hawks, Cliff Dagger, Duane Kennedy, Ace Riker
- Sharon Noble - M.A.S.K. Computer, Gloria Baker, Vanessa Warfield
- Brian George - Lester Sludge, Ali Bombay
M.A.S.K. was named the 99th best animated series by IGN. They called it one of the most popular cartoon/toy marketing franchises of the eighties, and that it took many of the strengths of G.I. Joe and Transformers while taking few of their flaws.
Several episodes of the series were released under Karl-Lorimar's "Kideo Video" branding on VHS in the 1980s, with two episodes per tape. The "racing season" of the series would be distributed by Tempest Video. Several episodes were also released under the label M.A.S.K The Movie, and M.A.S.K The Movie II. No true direct-to-video or theatrical M.A.S.K movie was ever made.
M.A.S.K. episodes have been released on DVD in three languages.
- English (U.S.): Shout! Factory and FremantleMedia North America acquired the Region 1 DVD rights to the first season of the original series (65 episodes) of the series in 2011 and released a Complete Series set on August 9, 2011, as well as a separate 2-Disc collection of the first 11 episodes. The second season, which consists of 10 episodes, are owned by Cookie Jar Entertainment and are not part of the acquisition. This also officially marks the first time that a DIC Entertainment/LBS Communications co-production will be owned by LBS Communications succeder FremantleMedia.
- English (UK): Collection 1 was released in the UK in November 2007 by Jetix Films - Maximum Entertainment, containing the same amount of episodes as the Australian set. Collection 1 was re-released on the 31st August 2009, and Collection 2 was finally released on the 28th September 2009. Both sets (The re-issue Collection 1 and Collection 2) are distributed through Lace DVD, replacing Maximum Entertainment, and both sets are in Region 2 PAL format. All 75 episodes were released across both sets.
- English (Australia/New Zealand): Madman Entertainment released the complete series over two DVD collections for the first time in Australia and New Zealand. Collection 1 was released in November 2006 and contains episodes 1 - 38, Collection 2 was released in March 2007 and contains episodes 39 - 75 which includes the season 2 episodes.
Cultural references Edit
- Robot Chicken has done multiple parodies of M.A.S.K. in each of its episodes. In "Gold Dust Gasoline," Matt Trakker is among the characters taking part in the race that is seen in a sketch that parodies The Fast and the Furious movies. The episode "Rabbits on a Roller Coaster" had a sketch in which after grounding his son Scott for holding a wild party at Boulder Hill, Matt Trakker developed an internet relationship with an overweight woman named Darlene. On their wedding day, Matt is shocked to discover that Darlene is actually Miles Mayhem in disguise so he could know all of M.A.S.K.'s secrets and gain legal ownership of half of the M.A.S.K. organization. The sketch ends by honoring the homoerotic undertones in Trakker and Mayhem's relationship. The show also parodies the intro sequence to M.A.S.K.
- The M.A.S.K logo was parodied by wrestling group Chikara as part of their promotional artwork for their first live internet PPV "High Noon"
- Dubstep producer J:Kenzo sampled an audio clip from "The Roteks" episode in his track entitled "The Roteks".
- Hip-Hop producer zerosignal sampled both the theme song and audio from "The Currency Conspiracy" in his track entitled "V.E.N.O.M."
- List of M.A.S.K. episodes
- List of M.A.S.K. toys & characters
- A.T.O.M., an animated series and Hasbro toyline with a similar premise to M.A.S.K., premiered in 2005 on Jetix.
- Vor-Tech, an animated series with a similar premise to M.A.S.K., aired in the mid-1990s.
- M.A.S.K. @ imdb
- M.A.S.K. @ tv.com
- Albert Penello's MASK Page — M.A.S.K. toy information and database
- Matt-Trakker.com — M.A.S.K. info website
- boulder-hill.net — M.A.S.K. toy and merchandise information
- M.A.S.K. at the rWc Virtual Toy Museum
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