Trakker’s gonna lead the mission, Spectrum’s got the SUPER VISION, Ma-Ma-Ma-M.A.S.K.!

By Shawn Robare

Though I don’t think I’ve mentioned it here on the site all that much, I’m sort of going through a period of being utterly obsessed with buying toys again.  I wish I could say they were vintage, but I haven’t quite gotten over that hump yet (of owning other kids once cherished action figures and vehicles.)  No I’ve been totally sucked into the hysteria that is the 25th Anniversary line of G.I. Joe figures that Hasbro has been releasing.  It started about a year ago around this time when the first waves of figures were hitting toy shelves around the country.

Now for the most part I’ve managed to suppress the itch to buy a ton of action figures in general because I’d both go broke and run out of room in the living domicile (not to mention putting a strain on my marriage most likely), and when the news first hit about these new G.I. Joe figures I thought I’d end up looking but not buying.  At first I was only aware of a couple of 5-pack sets that were being released (one Cobra, on Joe team members), and though the sculpts on the figures looked really cool, I didn’t really like the packaging and thus felt I’d be able to fight the urge to buy.  Then the single carded figures started to hit stores, and the packaging design was like a sledgehammer to the gut.  Hasbro decided to go with a very similar look to their original card layout and art designs, close enough that I couldn’t fight the nostalgic feelings welling up inside and I bought in.  The next thing I knew it was a year later and I’ve picked up almost every figure in the line so far.  I have them neatly arranged in rows on the wall by my computer desk sort of recreating the look of the back of the packages (with the pictures of the available figures in rows.)

Anyway, to get to the meat of why I’m posting about this, Hasbro recently announced the remainder of the line-up of figures expected to hit stores this year and toward the end of the list was a curious entry, a figure named Specialist Trakker.  Now this wasn’t a Joe or Cobra figure, at least not from what I remember of the figures available in the original line, and the spelling on Trakker seemed to point to a character from another toy line in the 80s.  The fan community was mildly abuzz about who it might be, and people like me were keeping their fingers crossed that it might just be a 3.75" version of Matt Trakker from the cartoon and toy line M.A.S.K.  It did sort of seem crazy though, I mean why would Hasbro intermix 20 odd year-old toy lines even if they did own the rights to both?  We never saw G.I. Joe vs. Transformers toys (though there was a comic book series.)  Well, I received an e-mail from my friend HooveR this morning with some links to the site with some pictures of the Hasbro booth from the San Diego Comic Con, and finally I have pictorial confirmation that there indeed will be at least one new M.A.S.K. figure coming to toy shelves this year…

To say that I’m excited about this upcoming 2 ounces of plastic bliss is a bit of an understatement.  Not only does the figure look awesome, but Hasbro has done a great job once again of throwing the fans a bone by including a small M.A.S.K. logo on the packaging, and not just forcing the character into the G.I. Joe line.  The idiotic demon-nerd inside of me kind of wishes the overall card art reflected the feel of the M.A.S.K. packaging from the 80s, but honestly, I’m not enough of a stickler really care all that much.  My hope now is that we get a chance to see a few more characters from M.A.S.K. show up in future G.I. Joe lines, in particular Bad Turner and Miles Mayhem (who were my favorites.)

Many thanks go out to for getting out the scoop on the new Joe figures introduced at the SDCC…