Name: Fireforce w/ Julio Lopez
Line: M.A.S.K. (Kenner)
Transforming toys were all the rage in the 80's it seemed thanks in part to the success and popularity of the Transformers brand of toys. Most children of the 80's will remember M.A.S.K. - Mobile Armored Strike Kommand. Ordinary vehicles that transform into battle ready vehicles piloted by guys and gals w/ cool masks that each have their own "super power". I loved these toys as a kid, but sadly I never owned many. With the invention of the internet I was able to track down several of the toys that came out after my interest waned and this is one of them.
Fireforce was part of the Split Seconds line where the vehicle would separate into 2 different vehicles. Each toy came with a clone of the included figure. Today, these toys can be hard to find. I was able to track down the Fireforce toy on a UK toy website a few years ago. I'm guessing the interest was already starting to decrease by this time in the toy line's life and Kenner didn't produce as many toys thus making them hard to find on the secondary market. It also doesn't help that the majority of the toys I've been able to get my hands on are inferior when compared to the first few years worth of toys.
The car does feature an open sunroof. To the best of my knowledge there was never a piece to pop in to close off the roof. This opening does make it easy to place the driver or any other M.A.S.K. figure into the vehicle.
The license plate on the back simply reads Lopez. This is for the driver Julio Lopez that comes packaged with Fireforce. You can see just how far the back wheels protrude here...this is part of one of the Split Seconds vehicle that you'll see shortly. Getting that Miami Vice vibe yet?
My specimen came with both Julio and his clone figure, but I only got Julio's mask - Streamer. The clone figure is identical to the regular figure sans the neon green translucent plastic.
Instead of the whole vehicle transforming into one battle ready vehicle the Fiero splits into 2 different vehicles. The top half of Fireforce becomes a flying car a la the Thunderhawk or Raven. The side doors raise up to form wings while the wheels fold back and act has jet engines. The front bumper extenders to give the car a more aerodynamic look. When the back spoiler is depressed it drops an orange missile. This part is usually missing and very hard to find (i.e. expensive when it shows up on eBay).
The bottom part of Fireforce forms a trike of sorts. Again my specimen is missing a small, yet crucial part - the black handlebars. Not much to say about these form other than it looks forced. The rear of the trike is actually the front of the car. It's attack mode is the front bumper can launch from the back acting as a big missile.
I have to be honest when I say this isn't that great of a toy. The Fiero as a whole is pretty good, but the problems start when you split the vehicle. None of the Split Seconds toys have impressed me outside their basic appearance. To me it seems like the ideas started to run out which really hurt these toys. When compared to my favorite M.A.S.K. toy the Raven there is no comparison. One positive thing I can say is the Julio Lopez figure and his mask are very well sculpted. Unless you can pick this up for less than $30 I'd say save your money and pick up the Raven or one of the other earlier toys.