6.04.2015

1988 Kenner Action Toy Guide Showcased M.A.S.K. 'Split Seconds' Series


I recently came across these scans from the 1988 Kenner Action Toy Guide catalog featuring M.A.S.K. Split Seconds vehicles. Let's take a minute to examine each page. The banners on some of the images that reads "Available in Spring 1988" would lead me to believe this catalog was distributed in the Fall of 1987.

If you're like me, when I view the Split Seconds toyline I sometimes think about possible story lines and concepts behind the toys. Why did each character have a computer image clone? Could each agent control the clone or did the M.A.S.K. computer control them? Why wasn't Thunderball or Ramp Up ever released? Anyway, lets take a look...


It's kind of strange to me that later in these images, the licenses for the General Motors and VW vehicles are stated but not for Stiletto. It's obviously a Lamborghini Contach. Did Kenner forget or just decide they were gonna make it whether or not they had an official license? Gloria's suit also looks darker than the figure that was actually produced.


I also noticed some subtle differences with Dynamo and the actual toy, mainly the coloring of the chassis. I guess it's possible these images were taken from concept art designs. Thunderball is one in this series that was never produced, however superfans like Bill over at Matt-Trakker.com have invested in making a custom 3-D printed version. I think it's a mystery why it was never produced, but I've never lost any sleep over not having a proper adversary for Billboard Blast.

Now we begin seeing the "Available In Spring 1988" labels appear in the images. Never been a fan of the new Magna-Beam mask for Barracuda. Seems that Bruno could've used something a little more aerodynamic on his bike rather than that cone shape. Interesting that Kenner decided to produce another Corvette toy. Maybe they did since they already had the license? Whatever the reason, I'm glad they choose a classic version for Wolfbeast as I'm a huge fan of Hurricane.

The final images note more licensing from GM and Volkswagen. I was never really a fan of either car in real life, but these designs were well done. It's interesting that each of the vehicles in the Split Seconds series (other than the two that weren't produced) have both a land and air vehicle. Could that have been something in the story line? Was Kenner trying to take advantage of more popular vehicles from the previous series toys like Thunderhawk and Firefly?

Let me know your thoughts on these images of the Split Seconds series in the comments!

Images courtesy Flickr

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