Tuesday, September 6, 2011

#58 M.A.S.K. – MANTA with VANESSA WARFIELD/ WHIP (1987)

In the same document I once referred in article #42, it is said that Jim Shooter and Larry Hama suggested at one point to include female figures in the G. I. Joe toy-line, to what Hasbro’s chiefs answered that “female action figures didn’t sell”. Then, Shooter suggested to include female characters with the vehicles, although this might not have been taken very seriously, since the only female driver in the G. I. Joe line ever was Cover Girl.
M.A.S.K., however, seems to have had exactly this marketing guideline. Female figures were not sold in figure packs (Vanessa Warfield was sold in an European exclusive pack, but not in America), but there were two vehicles with female figures: for the M.A.S.K. team, Gloria Baker and the Stiletto, and for the V.E.N.O.M. team, Vanessa Warfield and the Manta.
There is an evidence that in most toy lines that dared to release female figures, these were more difficult to find than their male counterparts. Companies replenished toy stores shelves with the male figures, while the female figures were not produced at all or just in a lower scale. This made them very hard to find, even at the time. I remeber that, when I wanted to buy Teela and Evil-Lyn (from the Masters of the Universe series) as a kid, I had to order them in my local toy shop, because the shop owner also meant that they wouldn’t sell.
Well, back to the M.A.S.K. toy, the vehicle is stealth mode is a purple Nissan 300 ZX, which was a very popular sport car those days. Many details make this car great: the license plate has the name of her pilot: Vanessa; tyres are “Terror 2000”; it includes seat belts and the special features are perfectly well hidden.
The two intakes over the bonnet are two buttons. One of them activates the defense mode of the vehicle, that is an assault plane: two wings come out from the lower part of the car, while at the front, missiles and cannons come out of the headlamps. To complete the transformation, you have to turn the front wheels, ant you have to pull from the rear license plate to free the jet boosters of the plane plus a rear spoiler.


When the wings are expanded, you can launch the co-pilots seat by pushing the second button/intake. The “quick escape seat” will fall down.
Vanessa Warfield comes with her mask, “Whip”. The feature of this mask is that it “pretends to shoot an electronic whip to snap at the enemy”, as read in the box back. The V.E.N.O.M. organisation is the Vicious, Evil Networt of Mayhem (Mayhem is their leader).
In my opinion, this is one of the best vehicles in this toy-line between the ones I have seen. Transformation is great, car looks awesome, and the figure too.

FACTS and FIGURES:
  • Name: MANTA with VANESSA WARFIELD/ WHIP
  • Toy Line: M.A.S.K. (Wave 3)
  • Year: 1987
  • Company: Kenner (U.S.A.)
  • Size of the vehicle: 7,5’’ or 20 cm
  • Size of the figures: 2½’’ or 6,5 cm

5 comments:

  1. I totally agree with you, Manta is one of muy prefered vehicle of this line, maybe the one I prefer.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nunca he tenido un vehículo de MASK en mano pero por las fotos que he podido ver a lo largo de los años no creo equivocarme cuando digo que el modelado de los vehículos es muy bueno, fieles reproducciones de los originales.

    No puedo decir lo mismo de las figuras :s

    ReplyDelete
  3. Estoy de acuerdo contigo, los vehículos de M.A.S.K. (los que conozco, que no son muchos) adquirían una licencia para reproducir el coche, esto puede verse en algunas cajas... por ejemplo en esta que pone claramente "used under permission of Nissan Motor Corp. in USA".

    En cuanto a las figuras, me parece que también están muy bien, algunas tienen el pecho como muy hinchado, otros son más delgaditos... para la escala que tienen me parecen bastante buenas figuras.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wonderful website and great post! I have never understood why toy companies would shy away from female characters. It has always boggled my mind. I feel like that attitude is shifting, but it still happens and it drives me nuts. I love Vanessa Warfield. Thanks for commenting on my site and leading me here! I look forward to checking some posts out!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the comment and also for joining this blog. I think the ideas are changing, and today's most succesful toylines are planned for both boys and girls. In Austria (where I live) and central Europe the action figures you can find in toystores are almost exclusively Playmobil and Lego (and Barbie too).

      I think this topic was approached for the first time by the end of the 80s or the beginning of the 90s (at least in Spain, where I lived then), I vaguely remember a tv documentary where sociologists tried to explain why girls' role playing of cooking, taking care of children and so on was outdated and toymakers should make more efforts in bringing toys for both sexes, to change society. At the time it sounded quite ridiculous, but today... I also remember the first tv commercials were a boy appeared playing with dolls, or girls playing DIY and car racing. In America this all happened probably 5 to 10 years earlier.

      Well, that's a complicated topic to talk about, maybe I find a chance to deal with it in some future entry of my blog. As you will notice when you go through a couple of entries more, I always try to bring a discussion topic, apart from showing one toy per entry.

      Thanks again for your participation! See you!

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...