Wednesday, February 29, 2012

VOR-Tech: Battle Tracker ATV w/ Brad Logan


Be part of the VOR-Tech Undercover Conversion Squad, where things are not always as they seem!  Enter a world where a team of ordinary people in ordinary vehicles use amazing computer technology to convert themselves and their vehicles into an incredible fighting force, dedicated to saving Earth from an evil power spreading a deadly plague.  Join in this titanic struggle of human against cyborg, brother against brother, and machine against machine!

I first discovered this interesting line of Kenner toys in the late 90's as they were being clearanced out at both Toys 'R Us and KB Toys.  I was able to acquire two pieces, but the inventory quickly dried up.  Trying to find new VOR-Tech toys on the secondary market has proven quite difficult, but a few months back I found a toy that I didn't own, sealed too!  I quickly snatched it up so I could offer it up in review form here.

Right off the bat most of you reading this should be able to recognize the uncanny similarities to the toy line M.A.S.K..  Kenner obviously decided to re-use some of the M.A.S.K. molds and tweek them for their new line.  Sadly the line (and accompaning television show) didn't last past one wave / season in 1996.

Why the cartoon and toy line didn't make it past one year is beyond me.  While some of the toys we just recycled older toys there were some new molds and ideas integrated into the series.  What I've seen of the cartoon seemed to be just as good as anything else on the TV at the time.  Let me get this back on topic though.  We're here to look at the Battle Tracker ATV toy.

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VOR-Tech toys came packaged in one of two ways.  Boxed or on a blister card as shown above.  I like the large colorful logo.  I'm sure that stood out in the crowd of 90's toys.

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The back of the card gives you several bits of information.  There aren't any instructions packed in so this simple diagram shows you the conversion process of converting the ATV into hovercraft mode.  Kenner also did little bios for the driver/vehicle which was an added bonus in my book.  And what good toy company wouldn't include a ad somewhere on the packaging for other toys in the series?

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Sorry for the glare.  I tried taking the picture from several different angles and I couldn't get rid of the stupid camera flash.  I thought it was interesting that they list the cover occupation for the driver...in this case Brad Logan poised as a TV news camera man.

" Called to action, Brad Logan drops his news camera and hops on the Battle Tracker all-terrain vehicle, ready to make headlines himself.  Armed with his VOR-Tech helmet he converts the wheels of his ATV into jet pads, plus instantly activates dual front gun turrets and a rear laser cannon as his 4-wheel ATV becomes an awesome crime-fighting hovercraft. "

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My first ever VOR-Tech purchase was the equally awesome Sonic Stinger sports car.  I'll eventually do a proper review for the blog as the vehicle was one of the new molds Kenner created.

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The Battle Tracker ATV itself is a pretty nice mold.  It's much beefier than the M.A.S.K. toy it was based upon (Bullet).  The plastic is of a good quality and the large wheels are free rolling.  For a small toy there is a good bit of detail molded into the ATV, especially around the engine area.  There are only 4 stickers pre-applied - the headlights and a gray sticker on the rear fenders.

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I don't know if the figures are re-used M.A.S.K. figures or not, but they are in the same scale - small.  The only articulation are in the hips, shoulders and to some degree the neck/head.  I have two complaints about this figure however.  1) the hands are molded to grip the handle bars of the ATV and thus look odd when the figure isn't riding.  2) the head - it just looks off.  It's too small and it the sculpt is plain goofy.  Of all the VOR-Tech toys I own this is the worst looking figure of the bunch.

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From a head on point of view the figure looks OK on the ATV, but when you look at it from the side you'll see that the figure seems to be undersized.  You can cram it down a little bit more, but his butt still seems to hover over the seat (no pun intended).  Once you do cram him down he's practically looking down at an angle.  How can he see where he is driving or flying?!

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His bio mentions his helmet.  To me this thing looks more like a mask than a helmet.  The small black helmet just snaps onto his upper chest and around the head.  As you can see his red hat is still exposed.  Unlike in M.A.S.K. I have no idea if his helmet has any special power or ability of it's own.  From what I saw in the cartoon the helmet basically unlocks the conversion sequence of the vehicle.  From a toy perspective this piece could have really benefited by some sort of paint application(s).  It's just blah the way it is.

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This is where this toy starts to shine in my opinion.  The hovercraft mode is nice looking and offers up some fun play patterns.  To convert the ATV you simply flip down the wheel assembly on each side to create the hovercraft jet pads.  Slide the handle bars back to reveal the front mounted machine guns.  On the rear of the vehicle is a laser gun that flips up.  You can then position the gun facing either direction you so choose as it's mounted on a ball joint.

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This isn't my favorite VOR-Tech toy by a long shot, however there are a few redeeming qualities.  The ATV looks good and the alternate form is fantastic.  It's simplistic, but that is one of the things that I like about it.  I remember playing w/ M.A.S.K. toys as a kid and I loved that you could switch from form to form so quick and easy.  It made playing with the toys that much more fun.  Where this toy fails is the Brad Logan figure.  That shouldn't be a deal breaker for you though if you like the rest of the toy.

Trying to find this toy or any other VOR-Tech toys for that matter will prove to be difficult.  Even though they were on clearance at some point there just doesn't seem to be that many floating around the secondary market these days.  If you are a fan of M.A.S.K. and you've never heard of VOR-Tech or seen these toys then you owe it to yourself to at least track down one toy.

For a great look at all the VOR-Tech toys and what would've been in the 2nd wave check out the awesome Albert Penello M.A.S.K. and VOR-Tech site here!

1 comment:

  1. Hello,
    I have the entire collection of the Vor-tech first wave. I have all but 1 or 2 mosc or misb and a couple moc that are opened. I have 1 loose item with not card. I do have the entire collection with a couple opened doubles. It took me a long time to out together. I believe I am only 1 of a few people with the entire collection. The only other one I have seen that i don't have was a prototype. If there is interest in these please let me know. I am willing to sell. Jokeydees@gmail.com or @jokeydee on twitter.
    thanks

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