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DVD Review: M.A.S.K.: The Complete Series


M.A.S.K.: The Complete Series consists of twelve DVDs packed into two standard-sized DVD cases, which is an amazing feat. Each DVD case holds six discs, and both cases fit snuggly into an outer box. Despite being called M.A.S.K.: The Complete Series, this set actually only includes the 65-episode first season, and is lacking the 10 episode second season. I used to watch this show as a kid, and have absolutely no recollection of a second season. Actually, I didn't have much of a recollection about the first season until watching it again, and I think I know why....

This series is only about selling toys! Sure, Transformers, GI Joe, and other 80s cartoons were also about selling toys, but at least those shows tried to provide characters that you cared about, characters that had personalities and strengths and weaknesses. The characters in this show show are all so bland! I used to have almost every toy from the first wave, and I even had duplicates of some, and yet when I watched this series on DVD not a single episode seemed familiar, not did the characters.

As with most 80s cartoons, there is a group of bad guys and a group of good guys. Here, the bad guys are called V.E.N.O.M. and the good guys are called M.A.S.K. Both groups have vehicles that transform and masks that have special abilities. The leader of the V.E.N.O.M. is Miles Mayhem, who flies around in a helicopter that can transform into a jet. His mask shoots acid pellets or something like that. Matt Tracker is the leader of M.A.S.K. and his vehicle is a Camero called Thunderhawk that transforms into a jet. His mask helps him to track by showing different visual spectrums. Oh, and it also can hover him down slow when he's falling... or something like that. I don't know, it's kinda like they make this stuff up as they need it.

Okay, so let me tell you about some of these episodes. In the episode called "The Spectre of Captain Kidd", V.E.N.O.M. tries to steal gold hidden inside old cannonballs by rigging devices to shoot the cannonballs onto the beach so that everyone thinks ghosts are shooting them. Of course this is WAY easier than just walking up and stealing the cannonballs. In "The Creeping Terror", V.E.N.O.M. wants to find a temple lost in the jungle... so of course the use a bunch of giant caterpillars to clear the jungle. In "Vanishing Point", V.E.N.O.M. wants to steal a new prototype jet that can be taken apart and reassembled anywhere... because they have the technology to create helicopters that can transform into jets in mid-flight yet they can't figure how to to make a "portable" jet? And if a jet can fly, doesn't that automatically make it portable? Anyway, so they fool the test pilot into landing at a fake runway that they created (at great expense) which can fold away into the land to hide, and then fooling the real runways radar to make them think the jet is actually landing at the real runway.

Before every mission, Matt Tracker asks the computer to select the best people for the mission, even though he never tells the computer what the mission is. A signal is then sent out to all of their special M.A.S.K. watches indicating that need to drop everything and get to M.A.S.K. headquarters immediately! I can understand it in the first few episodes as a way to get to know the characters, but every single episode?! It really gets annoying. Also, Matt has a son named Scott who always ends up coming along on missions... and yet for some reason Matt is always shocked when he notices that Scott is there. After the 50th time is it really necessary to exclaim "Scott, what are you doing here?!"

The toys that went with this show were pretty cool for their time, but the show itself is fairly forgettable. I do like the amount of content you get with this set, AND there are extra features, which seems to be pretty rare for a cartoon TV series DVD release. On Disc 6 (Volume 3, Disc 2) there is a featurette called "Unmasking M.A.S.K." which is about 14 minutes long where two of the writers on M.A.S.K. talk about their experience writing and working on the show. On Disc 12 (Volume 6, Disc 2) there is a featurette called "Saturday Morning Krusaders" which is adult M.A.S.K. fans talking about the show for a little over 20 minutes. And it's cool because they love the show but they also make fun of all the stupidity in the show. Watching that extra feature gave me a different appreciation of the show. I think these two extras were actually more interesting than the show itself.

Disc 1 (Volume 1, Disc 1)
  1. The Deathstone
  2. The Star Chariot
  3. The Book of Power
  4. Highway to Terror
  5. Video VENOM
  6. Dinosaur Boy
Disc 2 (Volume 1, Disc 2)
  1. The Ultimate Weapon
  2. The Roteks
  3. The Oz Effect
  4. Death from the Sky
  5. The Magma Mole
Disc 3 (Volume 2, Disc 1)
  1. Solaria Park
  2. The Creeping Terror
  3. Assault on Liberty
  4. The Sceptre of Rajim
  5. The Golden Goddess
  6. Mystery of the Rings
Disc 4 (Volume 2, Disc 2)
  1. Bad Vibrations
  2. Ghost Bomb
  3. Cold Fever
  4. Mardi Gras Mystery
  5. The Secret of Life
Disc 5 (Volume 3, Disc 1)
  1. Vanishing Point
  2. Counter-Clockwise Caper
  3. The Plant Show
  4. Secret of the Andes
  5. Panda Power
  6. Blackout
Disc 6 (Volume 3, Disc 2)
  1. A Matter of Gravity
  2. The Lost Riches of Rio
  3. Deadly Blue Slime
  4. The Currency Conspiracy
  5. Caesar's Sword
Disc 7 (Volume 4, Disc 1)
  1. Peril in Paris
  2. In Dutch
  3. The Lippizaner Mystery
  4. The Sacred Rock
  5. Curse of Solomon's Gorge
  6. Green Nightmare
Disc 8 (Volume 4, Disc 2)
  1. Eyes of the Skull
  2. Stop Motion
  3. The Artemis Enigma
  4. The Chinese Scorpion
  5. Riddle of the Raven Master
Disc 9 (Volume 5, Disc 1)
  1. The Spectre of Captain Kidd
  2. The Secret of the Stones
  3. The Lost Fleet
  4. Quest of the Canyon
  5. Follow the Rainbow
  6. The Everglades Oddity
Disc 10 (Volume 5, Disc 2)
  1. Dragonfire
  2. The Royal Cape Caper
  3. Patchwork Puzzle
  4. Fog on Boulder Hill
  5. Plunder of Glowworm Grotto
Disc 11 (Volume 6, Disc 1)
  1. Stone Trees
  2. Incident in Istanbul
  3. The Creeping Desert
  4. The Scarlet Empress
  5. Venice Menace
Disc 12 (Volume 6, Disc 2)
  1. Treasure of the Nazca Plain
  2. Disappearing Act
  3. Gate of Darkness
  4. The Manakara Giant
  5. Raiders of the Orient Express

Slideshow

Press Release: M.A.S.K.: The Complete Series

Illusion is the Ultimate Weapon!

M.A.S.K.: THE COMPLETE ORIGINAL SERIES

ALL 65 ORIGINAL SERIES EPISODES IN A 12-DVD BOX SET FINALLY HITS NORTH AMERICAN HOME ENTERTAINMENT SHELVES FOR THE FIRST TIME!

IN STORES EVERYWHERE AUGUST 9, 2011 FROM SHOUT! FACTORY

This Summer, loyal fans and collectors can finally bring home one of the most enduring animated adventures from the 80’s when the long-awaited M.A.S.K.: The Complete Original Series DVD box set debuts nationwide on August 9, 2011 from Shout! Factory, in collaboration with FremantleMedia Enterprises. Poised to attract an audience of kids, young adults and parents who grew up with this animated series, this 12-DVD box set contains all 65 action-packed episodes – known to fans as the original series aired in 1985, as well as insightful bonus features. A must-have for collectors to complete their pop culture video library, M.A.S.K.: The Complete Original Series is available for pre-order now from Amazon.com and major retailers.

Led by multimillionaire Matt Trakker, the Mobile Armored Strike Kommand — better known simply as M.A.S.K. — defends the world against Miles Mayhem and his nefarious international criminal organization V.E.N.O.M., the very same group responsible for the death of Trakker’s teenage brother. With his own son, Scott, and a secret strike force including his friends — engineer Bruce Sato, courageous historian Hondo MacLean, mechanic Buddy Hawks, rocker Brad Turner, computer expert Alex Sector, stunt driver Dusty Hayes and beautiful martial artist Gloria Baker — it’s up to Trakker, equipped with special power-granting masks and a garage of special militarized vehicles, to keep the world safe from Mayhem and the villainy of V.E.N.O.M (Vicious Evil Network of Mayhem).

Throughout the years, M.A.S.K. boasts a large fan following and spawned a series of toyline, comic books and video games. The complete original series of M.A.S.K. has been sub-licensed to home video distribution to Shout! Factory by FremantleMedia Enterprises.

M.A.S.K.: The Complete Original Series DVD Bonus Content

  • Unmasking M.A.S.K.: retrospective interview with show writers on this hit animated series
  • Saturday Morning Krusaders: entertaining look back with loyal fans

Technical Information:
Street Date: August 9, 2011
Not Rated: For all audiences
12 DVDs
Aspect Ratio: 4:3
English, Stereo
Total Running Time: +/- 1430 min.

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