Tuesday, November 11, 2014

M.A.S.K.: Slingshot w/ Ace Riker

M.A.S.K. has always been one of those nostalgic toy lines I would love to collect, but it seems like every time I buy a toy from the series I find myself liking the memories of the toys, more than the toys themselves. While there are a few exceptions, this held true when I picked up Slingshot sometime last year.

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Slingshot is a very dated looking recreational vehicle. I can't help but imagine what kid's impressions where when they saw this sitting on store shelves in 1986. After all, in the same 2nd series of M.A.S.K. you could have chosen the Raven, the slick black Corvette or even Outlaw, V.E.N.O.M.'s tanker truck headquarters. I'm sure though some kid out there was beside themselves when they realized they could own a transforming RV!

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All joking aside the Slingshot does have a realistic looking form, complete with "Crusin" license plate on the front and back. The head lights and tail lights are stickers (as are the license plates), but the windows and the deco on the side are painted on the toy. Even after nearly 30 years, the chrome on this toy still looks pretty good. How comes this chrome looks so good, yet the chrome used on the Transmetal Beast Wars toys looks like crap now? What gives?!

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Slingshot's transformation is very simple - just fold down the two halves of the RV and you've got yourself a surveillance unit complete with a Sonic Jet.

This form is strictly powered by imagination. Yes there are some stickers alongside the edges that give it a computer lab feel and of course you've for the launching Sonic Jet, but there really isn't much going on in this form.

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The RV's front grill does fold out to reveal a dual pair of laser guns, but outside of the launching the jet what more is there to do here? I should also mention that there is a seat in the launching mechanism for the jet. Here Ace or any other figure can operate the attached guns.

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The Sonic Jet is the real draw I would guess for most kids back in the day. When "launched" from the surveillance unit, the wings pop forward giving it flight. Underneath the jet is a Laser Tracer bomb that can be dropped with your finger and some imagination.

I've always thought this jet reminded me a bit of the old Cobra Firebat that launched out of the middle of the Terror Drome play set. More of a reconnaissance type craft than a fighter, Ace Riker can spy on V.E.N.O.M. unnoticed and report back to Matt Trakker.

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Speaking of Ace, the included figure is one of the better looking figures in my opinion. I like the leather bomber jacket and orange shirt underneath. Ace seems to look a little older than some of the other characters and I like that. To me he gives off a tough guy vibe - reminds me a lot of Colt Seavers, the Fall Guy.

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Ace wears the Ricochet mask. However I can't remember what it's exact power set is. I'm guessing it shoots some kind of ricocheting objects? 

I like the look of the mask. The exposed eyes, the silver breathing apparatus and how the mask cradles his shoulders and upper torso. I mush prefer these style of masks over the shorter masks that just cover the figure's head.

Slingshot is a fairly common M.A.S.K. toy and can be had in most cases for under $30 complete. The small Tracer bomb is the most commonly missing part. All of the M.A.S.K. toys are fun in their own right and while I do remember having fun playing with my friend's Slingshot in the mid-80's, for me it just doesn't have the same lasting power as some of the other vehicles.

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