Wow! Look, a new post! ....sorry about the hiatus.
What's more dangerous than a super-powered robot that can disguise itself as your neighbor or your boss? Not much.
This is Kenner's Maskatron from 1976. Maskatron was introduced as Steve Austin's first enemy in the Six Million Dollar Man toy line. I remember getting this guy for Christmas, one year. My younger brother got one, too, even though he didn't have any of the other SMDM figures. He had a blast with this toy, anyway.
The three faces of Maskatron. Left to Right: Steve Austin, Maskatron's own human face, and Oscar Goldman.Maskatron is based on a very similar character from the Bionic Man TV show that was played by actor John Saxon. I don't remember the character being called Maskatron in the show but it's a perfect moniker for this chameleon-like "robot of doom." If you think about it, Maskatron is a very similar concept to the disguised robots from the Terminator films. Yet, he predates them by a good 9 or 10 years. In fact, we need a Maskatron vs. Terminator comic book. Someone, get on that.
Maskatron was a very "feature rich" toy. He came with the 3 masks that would allow him to disguise himself as Steve Austin, Oscar Goldman, or his own separate identity. It was liking having 3 characters in one! Sort of like a robotic Captain Action, of sorts.
He also was able to shoot off his appendages at the elbows, knees, and neck due to spring-loaded limbs. Each limb has a button for shooting off an appendage or his head and also a sliding "lock" to keep limbs from flying off at unexpected moments.
A black lobster claw-like arm and a suction cup arm were also included and could replace Maskatron's normal limbs whenever you liked. The claw opens when the claw's wrist section is pulled back and snaps shut when the wrist is released. It should also be noted that the three large "computer chips" in his chest were also removable. To top things off, Maskatron also has a door on his back for storage of unused masks in his torso.
This toy had tremendous play value and even seemed cool to kids who weren't all that "into" the Six Million Dollar Man TV show. On a side note, it's a bit tough to find a complete Maskatron, today, due to the enormous amount of accessories that were included with the figure. More accessories means more opportunities for things to get lost or broken.
A complete Maskatron should include a beige shirt, black pants, two black shoes, 3 computer chips in the chest, 2 normal arms, 2 normal legs, a suction cup arm (although the rubber used is prone to deterioration after all this time), a claw arm, and 3 different masks.