Friday, August 21, 2009

The Six Million Dollar Man: Maskatron


Wow! Look, a new post! ....sorry about the hiatus.

Onward.

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.

Still dangerous...

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.

15 comments:

  1. That is one cool dollie! I love his full-on robot mode! Neat!

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  2. WOW..great post. Next to the Evil Knievel stunt cycle this line had the most play value of any toy line of the 70s. When a kid like me salivated over an OSCAR GOLDMAN figure you know they had a winner. I am a huge fan of any figures that can change their appearance. Captain Action has that same great feature. I appreciate the detail and the pics you always include with your posts about these toys.

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  3. SCHWEEEEET!!!

    Love the pics, thanks for sharing.

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  4. What a great toy. I've never seen it before -- It's a little before my time (which is an ironic thing to say considering I collect space toys from the Fifties). But really well designed, and as you say, excellent play value. Thanks for posting!

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  5. Looks like he is wearing his shirt backwards.

    Oh, and purple underwear too!

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  6. I had this toy. The villain actually scared me a bit (when I was little...cough...)

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  7. Hi, any idea where to find a high res san of instruction leaflet to complete a repro box?
    Thanks

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  8. Very well presented toy... I am very impressed on the state of this one, looks nothing like a toy from the mid 70's... And the to have 3 faces... 3 toys in one is what we like!

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  9. I have one, mint in box if anybody wants buy it... and a lot of bionic things like arms, legs ( special assigment ), uniforms. Also Steve Austins... Sad for me, but I don't have space for my Bionic collection...

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  10. I had one of these! I think I still do at my mom's house, but I'm sure I'm missing some parts ...

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  11. That brings me back...thank you so much for posting. I had one too, my Oscar Goldman mask would never stay on lol. Did/do you have the Oscar Goldman Office? That was my favourite...safe, alarm, lights...it was great!

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  12. I had Maskatron as a kid, and liked him better than Steve Austin. Now, I have a complete Maskatron along with the OSI Office playset with Oscar Goldman with the exploding briefcase.

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  14. Wow, i used to have one of these, i couldn't remember his name though. Brilliant.
    I was gutted when i lost him. (aged about 9, 1980).

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  15. I like the idea of a maskatron vs. Terminator comic book. I used to make my own comic books as a hobby when I was a child. But I didn't have the time or the discipline to finish them. I also had the maskatron action figure when I was younger.

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