Awhile back I mentioned my love of figures with helmets. Take a cool figure and put a helmet on them and they became awesome. Imagine my joy when a toy line and cartoon came along with this exact same premise, M.A.S.K.
M.A.S.K. or Mobile Armored Strike Command, came along towards the end of the transforming toy craze of the 80s. Instead of vehicles transforming, converting or go-botting into robots, the cars and motorcycles of M.A.S.K. transformed into... slightly different cars and motorcycles and things. The best part of the line was that each vehicle came with a driver who had, you guessed it, a helmet which you could remove.
Now my family were a bit on the poorer side and I really didn't have many vehicles for my action figures. An action figure only cost a couple bucks back then but vehicles and play sets could be in the double digits. I really didn't think I would be able to get anything from the line. Luckily some of the M.A.S.K line were relatively small and cheap. In fact one of the best toys was one of the cheapest, the Condor.
Condor was a green motorcycle which converted into a helicopter. It was sleek and a really well designed toy. Condor was piloted by Brad Turner, who was some sort of rock star in the show. Aside from his mask the figure had glasses molded on his face. As a young nerd, it was exciting to see a figure with glasses. Sure they were meant to be sunglasses, but still I could pretend he had trouble seeing the black board in school just like me.
I ended up with 3 M.A.S.K. vehicles during my childhood. Some of my friends had more, but everyone had the Condor. Even though he was common, none of us thought he was lame. The fact that we had all put the same toy on our Christmas lists can attest to his awesomeness.