How MASK Influenced the Toy Industry in the ’80s

How MASK Influenced the Toy Industry in the ’80s

How MASK Influenced the Toy Industry in the ’80s


The ’80s was a decade known for its variety of popular TV shows and the toys that followed. Among these was MASK, which stands for Mobile Armored Strike Kommand. MASK was a cartoon that ran from 1985 to 1986 and was created by Kenner. It not only left a mark on the animation world but also influenced the toy industry. In this article, we will discuss how MASK influenced and contributed to the toy industry.

What is MASK?

MASK is an animated series about a group of heroes primarily led by Matt Trakker who fight against the forces of V.E.N.O.M. (Vicious Evil Network of Mayhem). It featured transforming vehicles that included weapons and gadgets which could be switched on and altered by the character’s masks. Each character’s mask carried a special power, for example, Flying or Strength.

Toy Line

The toys related to the show were introduced by Kenner in 1985 and were a massive hit. The toy line was vast and included all the iconic vehicles and characters from the show. One of the unique aspects of this toy line was that the vehicles were not only able to transform but included many different gadgets and weapons which were specific to each model. There were also smaller toys and playsets available such as gas stations and garages to interact with the vehicles.

However, the most significant aspect that contributed to the success of the toy line was its mask feature. Every toy vehicle came with a mask that had a power switch which triggered different features on the vehicle, such as missile launchers or high-speed engines.

Influence on the Toy Industry

The MASK toy line had a significant impact on the toy industry. The toy line had the power to fuel children’s imaginations and created an influential power switch mechanism for children’s toys. Its innovative design encouraged children to use their imagination and enjoy each aspect of the toy. The transforming feature followed by the mask designs gave each toy vehicle many creative possibilities and combinations that children could enjoy.

MASK had many other impacts on the toy industry as well. The toy line expanded its market and created customizable toys, which were not new to the industry, but a rarity when it came to the scale of the toy line. The toy line’s success resulted in similar transforming toys such as the Transformers and G.I. Joe toys, appealing to older children. The toy line also played a part in the video game industry and influenced the creation of car-vehicle games.

Cultural Impact

The cultural impact of the show and its toy line was immense. The ‘80s saw the rise of cartoons and toys that encouraged children to use their imagination and explore new worlds. MASK added to this world by taking favorite TV shows and making them interactive. It is important to remember how toys such as MASK laid the foundation for much of the media we enjoy today. The show and its toys have left their mark on popular culture, and it’s unlikely that it will be forgotten anytime soon.


MASK was both a popular TV show and a successful toy line. Its influence on the toy industry is not only limited to the ‘80s but is still visible as a reminder to the innovation and creativity that started from this decade. MASK’s impact on the toy industry, video game industry, and popular culture cannot be forgotten. Its design and functionality encouraged children to think outside the box and play with their imagination. A question still lingers from this article; do the children of today have as much fun playing today’s toys as children in the ‘80s had with toys such as MASK?