Saturday, 30 July 2016

M.A.S.K. 1985-2016 - RIP Final Part

IDW are the Guinea Pigs.

A lot rests on them now - the success or failure of their new M.A.S.K. Comic will have repercussions for years to come.  Brandon Easton, the writer of the new comic, has stated that he hopes his vision of the comic will be the foundations for what has to follow.

Get it right - and it could be.  Get it wrong and Hasbro will need to rethink the re-imagining of M.A.S.K.  And I believe that this is Hasbro's plan.  Get IDW to produce the comic and test the waters before investing in the Movies' and toys.

Reading other posts and listening to various Pod Casts, there is no doubt that there are many M.A.S.K. fans out there - each with their own point of view.  There has been some division recently as some fans aren't happy with the new M.A.S.K. and many are looking forward to it.

There have been a few people who have attacked others for their own point of view.  That is wrong.

Everyone is entitled to their own point of view.  Everyone is entitled to express that point of view without any "Backlash" directed towards them.

Some people are coming out and stating that people can't be "Real Fans" just because they have a differing view and don't want to buy into the new M.A.S.K. coming out.  Some people judge their "Fan Status" by the amount of toys in their collection.

We are all fans.  We are all the same.  Let's just stop the fighting.

But, what I want to explore in this Blog Post is - What is M.A.S.K.?  And why MUST the new M.A.S.K. be different.



You have Albert Penello's M.A.S.K. page which is all about the toys.  Unfortunately, despite being one of the oldest sites and a great reference page for M.A.S.K. fans, there haven't been any updates on this page in years.  Come on Albert, I want to hear from you!

You have Jason and Wyatt's Agents of M.A.S.K. page that reviews the Cartoons.  Initially set up to promote their movie - they do reviews of the Cartoons and have widened up their approach to encompass all aspects of M.A.S.K.

Then you have my M.A.S.K. Comics Blog Post that you are reading now and my M.A.S.K. Comics Facebook Page.  I guess, like Wyatt and Jason, I also needed way of getting my Script to people.

When it comes to M.A.S.K., we have the following components -
  • Toys
  • Cartoons
  • UK Comics
  • US Comics
  • Books
  • Other Merchandise
Much of the emphasis on the internet clearly relates to the first two items in the above - the toys and the Cartoons.  But, for most, it is the culmination of everything that defines M.A.S.K.

The Toys, by Kenner, were the starting blocks; the foundation of M.A.S.K.  From the toys we know what the characters, vehicles and Masks are called and what they look like.  We know what weapons the vehicles have and what abilities the Masks have.

The Cartoons, by DIC, then add the voice, the character, the personalities, the backgrounds and stories that we have come to love about M.A.S.K.  

We all know that Brad is a Musician by day; Buddie is a master mechanic; Bruce designs Toys whilst Dusty makes Pizzas - but, who owns these backgrounds?

If you look on the back packaging of any M.A.S.K. figure, is this information there?

Or, are these the back stories that were created by DIC for the cartoons.  If they are and DIC (or whomever owns them now) are not part of the revival, then can these backgrounds be used.

I would've thought not.

Then you have Duane Kennedy and the P.N.A. (Peaceful Nations Alliance). They played a prominent part in the US DC Comics - who created them?  Was it DC Comics and if so, then they can't appear in the IDW comics.

Although many people are familiar with the backgrounds of our favourite Cartoon Characters, the UK Comics didn't share the same backgrounds.

M.A.S.K. agents were M.A.S.K. agents.  We had no alter-egos.

So, whilst we are being told that we are getting a reinvention of M.A.S.K. for a new generation, M.A.S.K. is having to evolve because everything that was M.A.S.K. can no longer exist.

Which is a shame.  Apart from the DC Comics, that didn't last very long, the rest of M.A.S.K. succeeded very well - especially outside of the USA.

Brandon Easton has eluded a number of times to why M.A.S.K. was successful - you have the characters, you have vehicles and then the masks that give each agent a special power.  He likens these powers to superheroes.

But what does every superhero need?  An Alter-ego - a secret identity.  That is part of what the original M.A.S.K. did well with each M.A.S.K. character have a life and job outside of M.A.S.K.

But then, if the UK Comics didn't need the alter-egos, maybe, just maybe....

Instead of these backgrounds, our M.A.S.K. team are now being referred to as "drivers and pilots" in a "Fast and Furious" style comic!  What does that even mean?  We don't want the return of the Racing Series.

One of my concerns still surrounds the Trademarks and whether Hasbro have enough protection of the property.

We all know that the Trademarks all cancelled Circa 1991.  I have contacted Hasbro on numerous occasions to see if they are interested in my suggestions - no response.

So, where does this leave Hasbro, IDW and Paramount?  Not in a very good position, in my opinion.

If I have come up for a solution to the Trademark problem, I'm sure there are many other people out there who would be able to come up with the same or a similar solution.

What would happen if I or someone else Trademarked all the characters, masks and vehicles?  This is very much a concern. 

Would all the plans that Hasbro have go into meltdown?  Let's not forget, it was a Former Hasbro Employee who set the ball rolling by Trademarking "M.A.S.K. - Mobile Armored Strike Kommand".  Yes, Hasbro have since acquire that Mark, but what about the rest?

Maybe I should start a Kickstarter campaign to raise the funds so that I can buy all of the Trademarks?  Maybe then, would Hasbro would sit up and take notice?

One thing is for certain, the M.A.S.K. that we knew and loved is truly dead - replaced with "M.A.S.K. - Mobile Armored Strike Kommand".  Even the ideas I have for the knew Trademarks would change the way we look at M.A.S.K. - slightly.

We will never get M.A.S.K. back - it will just live on in our childhood memories; our collections and, more importantly, in our hearts!

#assembleMASK #MASKComics #Hasbro
#MASKCrusade #DIC

Sunday, 26 June 2016

M.A.S.K. 1985-2016 - RIP Part 2

Like all M.A.S.K. fans, when I heard of it's upcoming return, I was excited.  That excitement has wavered as more information has come to light about the new comic.

One piece of information that has come out is that the new M.A.S.K. is going to have a "Fast & Furious Spin" with the writer going on to say that F&F is a highly successful movie franchise.  I'd agree that F&F is successful, yes, but are they the greatest movies ever made and that's why the are successful?  Should we be using this as a template for M.A.S.K.?




There is a car made by Ford called the Focus.  One of the best selling cars in the markets it sells in.  Is it one of the best selling cars because it's the best or cheapest or fastest or most economical or largest, etc. - No.  There are plenty of other cars that beat it on one or more of these categories.

It's one of the best selling cars because it's an Average - an average of what most people look for in a car therefore meeting the demands of many.  F&F is the same - it's by no means the best series of movies in the world (for die hard fans, of course, it will be.  I mean no disrespect) but it is an average of what people expect in a movie - action, adventure, fast cars and a bit of romance (ok - hot, scantily clad women).

For most M.A.S.K. fans, looking at the characters and plot lines in F&F there is very little in the way of a connection that would link F&F with M.A.S.K.  I mean, can the cars in F&F convert into fighting machines?  Do they have cool Masks that gives them abilities?

No.

So why are we putting a F&F spin on M.A.S.K.?  I have a theory.....

....There were these two dudes who found out that M.A.S.K. was making a comeback.  They needed a job and when they were asked; they lied and said they were the biggest M.A.S.K. fans in the whole world - believing they could bluff their way through and learn all about M.A.S.K.

DUDE- 1 - "So, what do you know about M.A.S.K.?
DUDE - 2 -   "Nothing, I thought you knew all about M.A.S.K.!"
DUDE- 1 -  "Nah, I think I watched a couple of episodes when I was a kid...."
DUDE - 2 -   "So, what do we do now?
DUDE- 1 -  "I guess we could watch the old cartoons - get a feel for it?"
DUDE - 2 -   "Cool.  How many episodes are there?"
DUDE- 1 -  "75...  I think...."
DUDE - 2 -   "Hmmm...  How about we just watch the last ten?  Save a bit of time"
DUDE- 1 -  "Sounds good."

Ten Racing episodes later....

DUDE - 2 -  "So....  Basically, it's just about two teams who race each other?  I thought there was more to than that."
DUDE- 1 -  "Yeah.  Me too.  It was just really The Fast and The Furious.  There didn't even seem to be any African-Americans in it - not very diverse."
DUDE - 2 -    "I'm sure we could change the leader - no one will notice!"
DUDE- 1 -  "Anyway...  why did they call it M.A.S.K. - they all wear Helmets?"
DUDE - 2 -   "Who knows!"

Ok, I jest of course.  But going down the whole F&F route, does sound like the comics are being based on the 10 racing series episodes - the least favourite of all M.A.S.K. fans.

It is true that F&F is all about the characters and the vehicles.  M.A.S.K. has great Characters and even better vehicles - because the can convert into fighting machines.  So, there may be some similarities - but surely if you are a F&F fan, wouldn't you rather have an F&F comic?

Surely, F&F should be it's own thing and let M.A.S.K. be M.A.S.K.!  To attempt to merge the two into one comic, seems a bit foolhardy.

I mean, it's bad enough that M.A.S.K. is being shoehorned into the same universe as The Transformers, G.I. Joe, ROM, Octonaughts and Action Man, without having F&F similarities thrown into the mix.

Speaking of G.I. Joe and Action Man.....

I've said in my blog many times now, that in their 12" forms, G.I. Joe and Action Man were the same toy - just made for different markets.  When G.I. Joe was made into the smaller scale toys, my understanding is that Duke was the scaled down G.I. Joe/Action Man.





Why would I say that?  Well, Action Man/Joe was famous for having a trademarked scar on his face and guess which of the Joe's had that same scar?  So surely Duke is Action Man?  How can you have a crossover between the Joe's and Action Man when Action Man is a Joe?  (I'm starting to get a headache just writing this - I hate to thing what you as the reader are thinking about).

Someone who read my script said that the story line was a bit contrived in order to make it work.  I'm thinking that using the word contrived to describe Revolutions is somewhat of an understatement.

Action Man was originally made by Palitoy when I was growing up - as were Star Wars Figures (in the UK).
Palitoy became a subsidiary of the same company that owned Kenner Parker - as we know, Kenner was later acquired by Hasbro through their purchase of Tonka.  In the 90's, Hasbro reintroduced the Action Man range of toys - more as an Adventurer.  Eventually he would be given the the name of Alex Mann.

Hasbro have already made a success of the reintroduction of Action Man - despite being completely different from the original - this is mostly due to the fact that 90's and 00's kids wouldn't know any different from the classic age of Action Man.

I fear that the same treatment will happen to M.A.S.K.

Which is a shame.  From what I've seen so far, I'm more interested in Mike Quakenbush's vision of a M.A.S.K. Comic that the one coming from IDW.

Feel free to leave comments below or over at my M.A.S.K. Comics Facebook Page.  Remember to like and share everything and hashtag -


#assembleMASK #MASKComics #DIC #IDW
#MASKCrusade #Hasbro

Monday, 20 June 2016

M.A.S.K. Revolutions - the real Revolution has begun

When IDW decided to call the reboot of their Hasbro Comics “Revolutions”, I wonder if they knew they would have a real Revolution on their hands….



When the initial details came out about IDW’s new M.A.S.K. Comic – the M.A.S.K. Community went into meltdown with excitement. Then the details about Revolutions and the Community started to split. The feelings were mixed about having M.A.S.K. as part of a larger Hasbro Multiverse.

With the last information and images emerging, many of the fans are enraged at the prospect of some the changes – the main one being the change in Race of beloved M.A.S.K. Leader, Matt Trakker.

We don’t know as yet whether the images provided are just concept drawings or whether these are the finished article.  The reason for this uncertainty is due to a difference in uniforms in various pictures.

In the example cover art that has come out, the uniforms are very similar to the M.A.S.K. we all know and love.  In the new images, they are significantly different.

This could be part of the plot line, however, the Revolutions story line is based on a seed from 2005 when IDW started The Transformers comics.  Will part of the story start off in 2005 and then bring us forward in time?  Do we start off with one vision of M.A.S.K. based on the "Real" M.A.S.K. and on on the new vision from IDW?

One thing is for certain, the revelation that Matt Trakker is now an African-American has caused some anger within the M.A.S.K. Community.  Please refer to my Blog Post "M.A.S.K. 1985-2016 - RIP Part 1" for my thoughts on the matter.

One M.A.S.K. fan, Brett Slakoff, has taken things into his own hands and started his own revolution.  He's started a Change.org Campaign to petition IDW to bring back the Matt Trakker we know and love.

So, what are your thoughts on the issue?  Feel free to leave comments below or over on my M.A.S.K. Facebook Page to vent or share your thoughts.

Whilst I'm here - the only chatter I've heard so far is from M.A.S.K. fans.  What do Transformers, G. I. Joe, Action Man, ROM and Micronauts fans think about the whole shared Multiverse and the rebirth of all the comics?


#assembleMASK #MASKComics

 #MASKCrusade #IDW #Transformers #ROM

#Micronauts #actionman #GIJoe



Tuesday, 14 June 2016

M.A.S.K. 1985-2016 - RIP Part 1

On my way to bed last night (I'd already fallen asleep on the couch so was half asleep) I checked my phone to see that I'd been tagged by Jose Manuel Rosario Rodriguez in a Facebook Post regarding IDW's new M.A.S.K. Comic.

It's an interview with the new writer and artist of IDW's re-imagining of M.A.S.K. on the Newsrama Website.  This gives us more information on their vision and some images of the characters to come.

There are a few issues that I have with this article and what is being said - EG they are called "Masks".  Yes, we know they look like helmets and you wear them like a helmet - but the property is called "M.A.S.K." and they wear "Masks" - so please use the correct terminology!  I thought you were both big M.A.S.K. fans?

As much as the characters look great - they look more Slugterra than M.A.S.K.  The artist has taken time to develop them and I think the only one that isn't to my liking is Miles Mayhem; sorry, Manheim.  He doesn't look as well thought out or as polished as the rest of the characters - but we'll discuss him more soon.

Their fatigues certainly have the colour schemes from M.A.S.K. - but, they aren't M.A.S.K.

Ok, it's difficult to make a judgement from a few images, and the new Ghostbusters has lost a lot of interest due to it's crap first trailer.  But, it may yet redeem itself.

However, there is one big problem that I have with this new M.A.S.K. that can't be overlooked - Matt Trakker is now an African-American.

Why is this a problem?

M.A.S.K. has always been very diverse.  We already have the African-American Hondo MacLean and various other diverse characters such as Bruce Sato, Julio Lopez and even, during the cold war of the 80's, Boris Bushkin.

There has been a lot of chatter recently about whether we will see characters such as Ali Bombay or Nevada Rushmore.  Back in the 80's, these characters were introduced to make M.A.S.K. diverse - even before diversity was even a thing.

Looking at these characters now, they could be taken the wrong way.  80's diversity was in its infancy and it was great to see these characters, but their names now may cause some offence.  Of course, this was the naivety of the 80's - no malice intended.

Fast forward to 2016 and we have a new Bio for M.A.S.K. leader Matt Trakker - who seems to have had an experiment go wrong that has merged him with Hondo MacLean.  So, as Miles Mayhem has been given the new name of Miles Manheim, shouldn't this Matt/Hondo hybrid be given a new name?  Matt MacLean or Hondo Trakker Perhaps?



When Matt was white - he was rich, well adjusted, a philanthropist and a loving father.

According to this new Bio, Matt MacLean/Hondo Trakker is a "delinquent" who "gets himself into some serious trouble" and is black.



Is this the intention?  Racial Stereotyping?  Hondo Trakker is now a delinquent and troublemaker and therefore black?  I really hope that this is just an unfortunate coincidence and not a deliberate act.

I know that I certainly wouldn't want anything to do with a comic, cartoon or toy series that would do such a thing.

But enough about Matt MacLean, I mentioned earlier I'd discuss Miles Manheim, so I will.



First of all, we have to discuss his name change - Manheim.  Why?

Many of you will know that I wrote a script based on M.A.S.K. that I was hoping to get to Hasbro with the intentions of making it into a movie.  I considered for quite a while about Miles surname of Mayhem.  Should he have another name at the start then change to Mayhem as he turns into the evil character that we know?  Should I consider using his surname as a device during the story line that maybe his name is French (or similar) and he has to explain that it isn't pronounced Mayhem and he has to keep repeating himself?

Instead, I just accepted - that is his name.  Many superheroes alter-egos and other charcters have strange names and it is just accepted, so why not Miles Mayhem?

Based on the name they have chosen to replace Mayhem with, I'm guessing that he is now of German decent.  I'm not sure if this is Hasbro's or IDW's decision.  This is echoed in style of the uniform - especially the trousers (pants).


Clearly, the design of his trousers (pants) is similar to those worn by the Nazi's of World War II.  Is this really the direction that we want our V.E.N.O.M. Leader to be going down?

I have mixed feelings about the new comic and what's to come in future movies and the toys that Hasbro are planning.  I know that it will be popular, maybe for the wrong reasons, but I think the real M.A.S.K. is well and truly dead.

Such a pity.  Such a waste.  You were well loved, RIP.

Monday, 2 May 2016

Confirmed Brandon Easton and Tony Vargas - at helm of new M.A.S.K. Comic

There has been a lot of speculation on the new incarnation of the M.A.S.K. Comic from IDW Publishing.  A recent #MASKcrusade by Mike Quakenbush to reinvent M.A.S.K. was a great insight into how popular M.A.S.K. still is - some 31 years later.

Back on the 7th of April I noticed someone liking my M.A.S.K. Facebook Page who caught my eye - Brandon Easton.  It was due to his job as Freelance Writer for IDW, Marvel and various others.

This piqued my interest.  A writer for IDW Publishing liking a M.A.S.K  Comics Page not long after IDW is earmarked to remake M.A.S.K.?

I had tried, without much success, to contact Brandon to find out more.  My hope was that I'd get the inside scoop once he was able to speak about the project.  Brandon is on Twitter but doesn't have an option to Private Message him and I didn't want to discuss in an open forum on Twitter itself.  I had given him a few nudges in the hope that he would contact me.


Today, is a Bank Holiday and had the day off work.  I was in a shop and thought I check for updates on pages when I see this gem on my Page -



Brandon shared this direct to my page.  After almost a month of not knowing for 100% whether I was right about Brandon writing the next incarnation of M.A.S.K. - and there was the proof - straight from the "Horse's Mouth" as they say!

This is great news.  For too long M.A.S.K. fans have been looking for a return of their favourite characters and vehicles and now have something solid - something to not only look forward to - but to share and enjoy with our children.

To read the full article - please click here.

In short, Brandon is writing the new comic with Tony Vargas working as artist.  UPDATE - from what I've just discovered, Tommy Lee Edwards is working on the covers.  There seems to be some familiarity coming through but on the main, the story and vehicles will be new versions from what we have come to know and love.



From the image above, Thunderhawk and Condor look very much the same.  Hurricane appears to be black with her trademarked fire paint job instead of the original Blue.

If that is Gator to the left middle, she seems to have a roof - is she still a Jeep?

Looking at Matt's Spectrum Mask, the red section round his neck looks like cloth - almost like a scarf.  This would give fluidity and movement.

All-in-all this image is amazing and I can't wait to see more.

I am worried, though.  Will it live up to what M.A.S.K. used to be?  We know it's going to be different, but will this ruin or make it better?

I also worry that it may not be available in the UK except in specialist shops.  May make it hard to find.

Speaking of Specialist, one thing of note in the article is the section that reads "This is a M.A.S.K. for the 21st century with a diverse team of specialists who are chosen for a top-secret program with a painful learning curve".  Notice the word "Specialists"
.



We know that there was an incarnation of Matt Trakker as "Specialist Trakker" for the G.I. Joe toy line.  We also know that the original Trademarks for the M.A.S.K. Characters are all lost.  Are Hasbro getting round this by using the word "Specialist" in each of the characters names?  Just a thought.

And Brandon, if you are reading this, can you please that the Powers that Be know that I know how they can reacquire Trademarks for M.A.S.K.?  Thank you!  Feel free to E-mail me to discuss!

Anyway, I hope that Brandon will get back to me and that my next post will hopefully be a Q&A session so that we can find out more!

Please remember to like, follow, share and discuss as much as you can.  Let's show these folks at IDW that we are keen for this new M.A.S.K. comic to come out and wish it all the success and best of future!


#assembleMASK #MASKComics #IDW
#DIC #MASKcrusade

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

MASKart - Rob Addison

I was going through Facebook the other day when something caught my eye...


An ardent M.A.S.K. fan, Rob Addison, shared some of his drawings.  Not all were of M.A.S.K., some featured Transformers, He-Man and Scooby Doo to name but a small few.

The Picture above was the first one that I saw and I was impressed.  Many people may not remember Matt Trakker's "Jungle Challenge" Adventure Pack - it came with his Arrow Mask, crossbow, grappling hooks and various other accessories.

Although not featured in either the cartoons or the US DC Comics - this was released after their demise - this pack did feature in the UK Comics.  The figure was a repaint of Matt Trakker's Thunderhawk/Spectrum Flight Suit.

The Adventure Packs were amazing.  Rob has truly managed to capture the essence of this figure in the image above complimented by his great work on Matt Trakker wearing his Spectrum Fatigues and Buddie Hawks.

In Rob's next image - 


We realise that the first picture is part of something larger as we now see Brad Turner on Condor and Jaques La Fleur manning Volcano's cannon.

His depiction of Volcano is amazing - on par with many of the images in the UK Comics.  Once I saw these images, I wanted to see more....


I'm guessing that this picture is also part of something larger as we see various vehicles in action mode with a couple of Masks thrown in for good measure.

I would like to say there is a particular part of this image that I like the best - but the whole thing is great.  I would love to see Rob Addison do a storyboard for my script - what do you think, Rob?

And the last image that I'm going to share....


There are no prizes - but I'm going to throw it out there, can you guess all of the characters/vehicles/movies/etc.???

Rob Addison, you are a LegEnd!!!

#assembleMASK #DIC #MASKComics
#MASKday #MASKcrusade

Monday, 28 March 2016

✰ M.A.S.K - L E G A C Y ✰



✰ INSIDE BUZZ : Latest news on the  semi-live action and animated fan-film teaser project by indy director David Guivant . The title for this new adventure is called ✰ M▫Ѧ▫S▫K Legacy ✰




✰ CAST : Comic artist Joe Del Beato makes a cameo appearance as Admiral Dash Davis and actress Jasmine Wright (The Librarians Tv series) will be playing lieutenant Skye Masters from the P.N.A crew.



✰ LATEST RUMORS : The lovely Cardiology Cosplay  from the UK will be Gloria Baker and French redhead Illustrator Delphine Delente  will be portraying our favorite femme fatale : Vanessa Warfield.
 




CONTRIBUTORS : Remember this is all done with the heart by devoted fans and no-financial profit is being made from it. Thanks to God, a few selected M▫A▫S▫K agents from around the world are also helping out and now ✧Malaysia✧ also joined forces with David on this fun project, acting as consultants making sure that his new designs, concept arts and technological enhancements in this sequel, remain true to the spirit of the classic cartoon and DC comic book that we all love and treasure.




MASK COMICS feels very lucky to part of the few hand picked agents to get an exclusive look at David's work as he updates us on a shot by shot basis. So stay tuned, in few months time we will reveal the ✧Thunderhawk ✧ and ✧Matt Trakker✧ behind his M▫Ѧ▫S▫K.

---(✪✪✪

Sunday, 27 March 2016

The Return of M.A.S.K. Comics - IDW - Mike Quackenbush

A week past Friday was an interesting day for me.  I was on my way into work and had new ideas for my script.  I was excited.

As you know, I recently posted my Script on my Blog for everyone to read; this was the first draft and with no real hope in sight of if being made, I wanted others to enjoy it.  Although there is little chance of it being made into a movie, it doesn't stop me thinking about it.

By the time I reached work, my mind was full of ideas for improving the script and taking it in a different direction.  A similar thing happened with the first script I wrote - based around Students on their first day arriving at university, I rewrote it a couple of years after the first draft and made it so much better.

That Friday then got more interesting.  Far MORE interesting.

I logged onto Agents of M.A.S.K. - I'd made a comment on their blog a few days earlier, and was looking to see if they had replied.  Surprisingly, they had a new MASKast - so quickly after their last. 

Very Unexpected.

I'd already heard the rumours that IDW Comics had the rights to make a M.A.S.K. Comic - good news for me and my blog!

Jason and Wyatt were speaking with former Pro Wrestler, Mike Quackenbush.  Mike, like many of us, is a lifelong M.A.S.K. fan.  So much so, that he called one of his Wrestling Tournaments "Chikara - High Noon" - a reference to the M.A.S.K.  2nd season episode - High Noon.

Mike was explaining that he'd started a #MASKcrusade to catch the attention of IDW Publishing to pitch his idea for a M.A.S.K. comic. He has a story for a three issue comic - set 30 years after the last of the M.A.S.K. stories that we have come to know and love.

A continuation of where the cartoons and comics left off.  I'm not sure if he is referring only to the US comics or is including the UK comics in - as they already continued LONG after the cartoons and US Comics had ended.

As someone already in the public eye, Mike Quackenbush already has an established following of people to help support him in his endeavours.  With respect of my script, and Wyatt and Jason's, we've had to build our support up from the ground up.

Part of his process has involved getting one of his friends to create images to support his quest in getting his comic noticed.  He recently sent some of these images to Agents of M.A.S.K. who have been sharing these great images.

Firstly we have a sketch in blue pen -


Three people - we assume at this point are M.A.S.K. Agents - are caught in Switchblade's downdraft with guns pointing right at them.

From here we have a black ink image with more detail - 



We can now easily make out Matt Trakker and Brad Turner.  We're also guessing that the other agent is Hondo MacLean.  This is an extremely striking image.

The third and final image gets the full colour treatment.



The finished Image is truly inspiring.  Over the years I've seen a lot of M.A.S.K. Art on the internet in one form or another.  To know that someone is pitching this as part of a comic - makes it all the more special.

There are a few discussion points, though.  Switchblade is shown with a Gatling Gun on its nose that she's never had before.  Hondo's Jacket is in Buddie's Colour.  I would loved to have seen Miles Mayhem through the cockpit glass to make even more special.

I far prefer this art to anything I've seen in the US DC Comics version of M.A.S.K. from the 80's.  This feels more "real" than comic like.

The images have created such a hype on the internet that we even have a photo of toys mimicking this image.


Even if Mike doesn't succeed in his venture, he has at least brought more M.A.S.K. fans closer together.

During his conversation with Wyatt and Jason, he mentioned that he is friends with Stan Bush - many of whom will know from the soundtrack from the 1986 "The Transformers: The Movie".  "Dare" and "The Touch" were by far the best tracks from that movie - no disrespect to all of the other great tracks and artists.

A few years later, I'd pick up a cassette (yes, a cassette.  Do yo remember those bad boys?) of a soundtrack to a movie called "The Wraith".

I think it was the image on the cover more than anything that struck me first about it.

Did the image perhaps remind me in some way of M.A.S.K.?  The blacked out figure with a cool helmet?

When I read the track listing and saw "Stan Bush - Heart Vs Head" i knew that I had to buy it.  Another great song by Stan Bush - and a brilliant Soundtrack in General.

A few years later I'd buy the DVD of the movie - a good movie featuring a great looking car - a Dodge MS4 Turbo Concept Pace Car for the Indy Series.

I found out that Stan Bush had released an album entitled "Stan Bush & Barrage" but it wasn't released in the UK.

This meant I'd have to get it as an import.  It would be a good few years before I happened upon a copy of this Album in HMV in Glasgow.

It was double the price of a normal CD of that that time - but it had to be paid.

It is the most expensive CD I've purchased to-date - well worth every penny.

These days with EBay, it is so much simpler to find and purchase normally hard to find CD's and I've managed to purchase a few more of Stan's CD's.


As mentioned before, Mike Quakenbush called one of his Wrestling Tournaments "Chikara - High Noon" in honour of M.A.S.K.

I wrote a piece on my blog about two years ago entitled "Chikara High Noon" in which I discussed a piece of music I'd heard by Stan Bush.  When I heard Mike mention his relationship with Stan Bush, it all clicked together and made so much sense how this all came about.

Stan Bush's "Chikara High Noon" plays homage to M.A.S.K. - his friend's favourite cartoon, comic and toy line - I wish I had friends like Stan Bush!!!  What a Legend!!! 

Anyway, M.A.S.K. Comics Blog and M.A.S.K. Comics Facebook Page are supporting Mike's hopes to bring back M.A.S.K. Comics.  And if either Mike Quakenbush or Stan Bush are up for an interview???.....

#assembleMASK #Hasbro #MASKComics
#DIC #MASKcrusade

M.A.S.K. Toys Catalogue - Real or Dream?

So, this morning was surreal.  I woke up in the middle of the morning and couldn't get back to sleep.  This is a common occurrence these days!

So, as I knew I wouldn't be able to get back to sleep, I decided to look through some Catalogues.  To my surprise, there, in full colour, were images of M.A.S.K. toys.  They were in the coming soon section and available for pre-order.

Many of them were toys that I'd never seen before - not only were M.A.S.K. Toys coming back out - but there was a whole new range.  I was all set to write my blog post, thinking that I'd manage the scoop of a lifetime (at least in M.A.S.K. terms).



Then it happened....  I woke up...  It had all been a dream.

I can't explain to you just how disappointed I was.

#assembleMASK #Hasbro #MASKComics
#DIC #MASKcrusade

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Hasbro/Paramount Multi-Universe - M.A.S.K., G.I. Joe, Rom, Micronauts and Visionaries

There has been  a lot of Rumour and Speculation on the internet since it was announced that Hasbro's Allspark Productions are working with Paramount on a Multi-Universe (Multiverse) to incorporate M.A.S.K., G.I. Joe, Rom, Micronauts and Visionaries.

All the sites have been reporting on it - from The Hollywood Reporter through to the Self-Proclaimed "A-Team of M.A.S.K. knowledge".  Giving their own insight and hopes for what may come.

Much of this, is just to promote their sites to increase page views with rumours based on limited information.  I'm going to try and and give you my thoughts using facts to give you my understanding of what may happen.

There is a lot to cover, so I'll start with the movies first.  If all of the Movies are going to be linked, then the assumption is that the first two G.I. Joe movies will already hold the foundations for what is to come.

In the first Joe movie - after their Mini "The Man in the Iron Mask" rip-off, we are told that the movie is set in the "near future".  If that is the case, then all of the movies, if they are tied together, must also be set in the future.

This might be were Rom comes in -

In the UK, Rom was sold by Palitoy, rather than sister company Parker Brothers and included as part of their Action Man Range.



Action Man was, of course, our version of G.I. Joe and Rom was slotted into the Space Ranger series of toys.  Therefore, if G.I. Joe were to follow Action Man's Adventures into space, then there is a good chance that they may cross paths with him.

However, Rom wasn't originally a Hasbro product.  This is where things get messy and complicated.  The toy, itself, was apparently pretty rubbish - I've never owned one but it didn't last very long.  Instead, Rom's popularity comes from the Marvel comics that outlasted the toy.

When Hasbro acquired Tonka and it's subsidiary, Kenner Parker, this is when they would've taken ownership of Rom.  As Marvel's Universe of movie's has grown and expanded, there will be many fans of Marvel who would want to see Rom in their Universe of Movies.

In fact, James Gunn, the man behind Guardians of the Galaxy, is a fan of Rom and wants Rom: Spaceknights in Guardians of the Galaxy 2.  However, if Hasbro are taking Rom into their own fold and creating a movie with Paramount, this will be problematic - for both Hasbro and Marvel.

Rom will appear in Hasbro's Movies and the rest of the Spaceknights, and Rom's back story, will appear in Marvel's Universe movies.  Seems like one big messy divorce - why can't companies just work together for the best interest of the continuum of the story and for the fans.

If I'm honest I don't know much about Rom, but I certainly think he would be best placed in the Marvel Universe rather than G.I. Joe or even worse mucking up M.A.S.K.!!!

There is one other option, if you refer back to my post "Is M.A.S.K. making a comeback?" - Action Man.  Rom has previously been part of the Action Man world of toys - could we see Action Man and Rom appear in a movie?

Again, if set in the "future", perhaps there is room for the Visionaries - Knights of the Magical Light.  The premise of Visionaries was a good one and made for an interesting cartoon series and toys.

However, the cartoon only lasted 13 episodes - so clearly wasn't popular.  So, should Hasbro make the effort to bring it back?  Especially into the same Universe as M.A.S.K.?

Especially when you consider how different it is to G.I. Joe and M.A.S.K.  Hasbro and Paramount may see the similarities between M.A.S.K. and Visionaries, however.  In M.A.S.K., each character has a Mask with a special power and Visionaries have their staffs and chest totems.

That's about the only similarity - and that's quite a stretch of anyone's imagination to make that fit to combine them into one universe.

Micronauts is a strange one for me.  At first I thought I'd never heard of them - doing some research online, I came across this image - 



And a sudden realisation of familiarity.  Then I saw this image, and my mind went back to my childhood, and I'm positive that I owned some of these toys as a kid.



I'd probably have to check through all the stuff in the loft to confirm if I do have any of these or not - and that's not likely to happen any time soon!!  I can't really say much more about Micronauts, however, on the movie front....

... It is reported that Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick are working on a screenplay in conjunction with Paramount and Bad Robot.  A reported quote from Wernick is -

 “We've written a couple of drafts of Micronauts and it's in the Paramount system now. We developed it with Bad Robot, and it’s probably not what you might imagine a Micronauts movie to be. It departs from the comic wildly, so if you hope it's loyal to the comic you’ll be disappointed in that particular sense. However, it's very, very different and very, very cool.”

Based on the above statement, it sounds like Micronauts has evolved, been adapted - perhaps to fit into the joint Multiverse going forward?

Who knows - until the movie/s hit the big screen, I'm not sure that we will know.

Then we have our beloved M.A.S.K.  Many of us have been wanting M.A.SK. to hit the big screens for years, and we couldn't understand why it hasn't already.  As reported on my blog and on other many other sites, there have been some underlying issues with 
Trademarks - whether or not Hasbro have sorted these out, is another question.  I don't think they have.

We know that Hasbro have been "toying" with us over the last few years, with a bit of name dropping in comics and cartoons to a fully fledged figure in the G.I. Joe line.  So, M.A.S.K. being linked to G.I. Joe in the same universe has come as no surprise to any of us.

But, are they following the formula set out by Marvel's successful movies?  Whereby you have individual movies for each product and then a movie when they all appear together?

I would hope that this happens rather than just throwing everything into one movie and hoping for the best.  Certainly seems like Micronauts are getting their own movie.

However, the fact that Hasbro have already linked M.A.S.K. to G.I. Joe in a toy - I'm not getting my hopes up.  The problems are that M.A.S.K., Micronauts and Rom weren't Hasbro's properties when they were first out.  So, in my mind, Hasbro owe nothing to the fans to bring them back as they were.

The G.I. Joe movies didn't have the success that everyone thought they should have.  I blame too much CGI in the first one.  The second movie was FAR better - but they killed everyone off....

I get the impression that Hasbro are going to use these other characters to prop up a failing G.I. Joe movie series - whilst trying to cash in on Marvel's success at the Box Office.  Especially outside of the US where the likes of M.A.S.K. ran longer, had more toys and the comics lasted for years instead of a handful of issues.

The original Joe Movie set the scene in the "near future" - is that future set far enough ahead for Rom, Micronauts and Visionaries to live in the same realm?  More importantly, how is this going to affect M.A.S.K.?

M.A.S.K. is of the 80's.  It was set in that time period.  In my script, I brought it up-to-date, however, many of the vehicles will still be based on the 80's design - such as Thunderhawk and Rhino (could you imagine the outcry if they were changed?).  My plan was to introduce them as we know them in the first movie, then have updated versions in future movies.

Then we have the Masks.  I think that Hasbro will go down the route of the Accelerator Suits from the Joe Movie - whereby there won't be a physical Mask, the Mask will form around the face in some holographic or Stargate "Jaffa" fashion.

This is why I have posted my script on my blog - click here to read it - as I can't see that my vision of M.A.S.K. will fit in with Hasbro's/Paramount's vision of a multiverse.  Nor can I imagine any of other the other scripts out there will fit this new "world of illusion" that I believe is being created.

I've not read Wyatt and Jason's script but, from the hints they have given us, their script is very much a throwback to the 80's - honouring the M.A.S.K. from our youth - but the new movies will look to the future.

So far, the only thing that I've seen that might resemble Hasbro's possible vision is Dave Guivant's Fan-Made movie that is currently in production.  His vision is set in the future and the images of Condor that I've seen would be more akin to the new swathe of movies soon to come out.

One thing that I've not seen chat about on the internet is the toys themselves.  After all, it is ALL about the toys.

Rom, like the original Joe toys, were 12" figures.  The new Joe Figures and the Micronauts are 3.75" toys.  So, it's likely that 3.75" will be the standard for all of these toys when the movies come out.

This is going to prove problematic for M.A.S.K. fans.  M.A.S.K. figures are considerably smaller than Joe toys - at about 2.5" tall.  That means that any new toys will not be compatible with the original toys.

This may ruin M.A.S.K. before it even starts.  One of the things that M.A.S.K. had going for it was its scale.  The vehicles and figures were to scale and were easy to play with.  If we take Star Wars toys as an example, the Millennium Falcon is about 21" long - but it's nowhere near to the correct scale.  As an example, you can only fit 2 figures in the cockpit and that's it full.

Once M.A.S.K. Scales up to 3.75", how is this going to effect the vehicles?  Will they still be in proportion?  The smaller vehicles, perhaps.  Rhino, Outlaw, Switchblade?  I doubt it very much.

Instead of setting up these new lines to succeed, it's almost like someone at Hasbro is setting them up to fail.

When I was growing up, Hasbro wasn't really a player in the UK Toy Market.  We had Palitoy who gave us our Star Wars and Action Man toy lines.  My 6 year old son is growing up in a world of Hasbro toys and, if I'm honest, I'm not yet impressed.

To give you some examples -

He received a 12" Ant Man figure from Santa Claus.  The detail on it looks pretty - but, the quality of the plastic, lack of joints, the hollowness of the figure, make it feel very cheap (and it certainly wasn't cheap for Santa to buy it!!).  Far from the quality of Action Man and G.I. Joe 12" Figures we grew up with.

He also received some Star Wars toys for his Christmas.  Again, more detail in them, however, many of the toys he received weren't even in the movie.  I realise that part of this was due to footage being cut from the movie - he received a "First Order Snowspeeder" that you just about see as the camera cuts away.  From what I've read on the internet, there was a whole chase scene cut out where these vehicles were meant to be featured.  Maybe we'll see them in the Blu Ray!

He was also given an "Assault Walker", "Elite Speeder Bike" and a "Desert Landspeeder".  I was going to complain to Hasbro for misrepresentation as NONE of these seem to appear in the movie (I may have missed them in all the action of course).  However, it turns out that Hasbro have been very clever/sneaky in their marketing.

Although all the boxes have an image of Kylo Ren so people automatically associate the toys with Star Wars and more specifically, The Force Awakens - only the Snowspeeder mentions the phrase "The Force Awakens".  The other toys only state "Star Wars".

I guess the lack of merchantable material in the movie meant that Hasbro had to create their own range of toys to fill the hole in the market.  By making people believe that it was associated with the movie, but not actually stating that, would help their sales of these toys.

As you can tell, I'm not impressed and I don't think that Hasbro will live up to expectations for any new M.A.S.K. toys.

Feel free to head over to my M.A.S.K. Comics Facebook Page for more chat and feel free to share, like and comment below and over at my page.

Thank you,

Scott.


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#jamesgunn #Marvel #ROM #Micronauts #Visionaries