Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Restaurant Collectables: The Mask: The Animated Series 1998 Burger King

Of  all of the biggest cinematic hits in 1994 three of the most popular of those stared the relatively fresh faced Jim Carrey as three very different but equally wacky characters all of which inspired a respective Animated Cartoon series! But only one of them had the kind of mechanising opportunities of the third of those successes; The MASK! The potential was obvious from the moment the Dark Horse Comic Book was chosen for a big screen adaptation and the casting of "Rubber faced" Jim Carrey in a "Rubber face" proved to be the movies biggest selling point that and the revolutionary special effects that would bring the crazy living-cartoon anti-hero to life! Of the three movies (the others being Dumb and Dumber and Ace Ventura: Pet Detective) The MASK was the most obvious choice to be made into an animated series drawing inspiration from the hit Film and the original Comic Book series but with an even lighter tone and more pun's, characterizations and screw ball humour to-boot! 

The 1990's was the decade to grow up in if you wanted toys supplied with every one of your meals of the day and the mask was the sort of property that was so versatile and saleable that you could have that green-headed loony tune included in all three! Old Big head was virtually inescapable from 1994 to around 1997/98 and so no doubt if you grew up in that era you would have had an extra green to go with your five a day! There were the usual line of action figures of course (supplied by Toy Island after Kenner sold the licence after issuing the Movie figures) with almost every single figure dedicated to the MASK himself! Of course there was a few Restaurant promotions and even  cereal giveaways! here we will look at the UK and Europe Burger King Toys supplied back in 1998 as well as some of the Kellogg's Cereal pencil toppers that were released back in 1996:

The MASK: He's gotcha with his winning smile, He's a living lesson in flair and style, you just can't help but stare at his Savoir-Flare! He's the lean, green spinning machine known as "The MASK" though in reality he is just an awkward bank clerk named Stanley Ipkiss who is in possession of a mystical mask crafted by Norse God Loki which transforms the wearer into a green faced menace! Stanley has both a love/hate relationship with his alter ego whom he relies on to get him out of tricky situations and help save the good people of edge city when it they are under attack by any one of the various bad guy's in the MASK's rouges gallery of criminal adversaries! It is his reliability on the MASK who often over shadows Stanley and complicates his life with his unpredictable antics that leaves poor old down trodden Stanley down in the dumps and wanting to get him out of his life for good!  
This impressive looking figure comes in the form of a poseable action figure complete with bug eyed tongue extending and tie  *Ahem*erecting action feature via a lever at the back of the toy. Despite basic articulation and paint application this is still a very nice looking and well sculpted, fun toy!
Milo: Loyal pet to Stanley Milo is also the only real best friend Stanley has ever known! His so called best friends charley and Peggy both regularly take advantage of Stanley's good hearted nature for their own selfish needs but Milo has nothing but unconditional love and affection for his master! On occasion Milo himself will get hold of the MASK and transform into the green headed wacky K-9 equivalent to Stanley's own usually in order to come to his owners rescue out when he finds himself in trouble !

As with the above MASK figure Milo is essentially an action figure with poseable legs and a little action feature; when you pull his tongue it will retract as his jaw does a chopping motion! Once again this is a very nicely designed toy with basic articulation with simple but clean paint applications and a pretty fun little gimmick!

MASK Mobile: While Stanley barely makes it once around the block in his clapped out heap of a car The MASK only travels at high speeds and in the does so in style with this supped up sports car complete with a huge grin on the front grill!  

The vehicle itself is nicely detailed though simple in design and hidden inside the "mouth" of the vehicle is The MASK himself who appears to be driving from the "tongue" of the car, another nicely detailed miniature figure! As an additional feature when the mouth is opened wide the tongue with The MASK in tow launches forth!

The MASK: The final figure in this set features Stanley Ipkiss' alter ego as he spins around Tasmanian Devil style, somebody stop him!

This figure is possibly the most basic of the four but looks fantastic with his huge grin and raised eyebrow! and to top it all off he can actually spin around just like in the series and movie! Simply pull him back and watch him speed off whilst whirling around!

The MASK pencil toppers: As an added little bonus we will have a brief look here at some of the freebee Pencil Toppers that were available in packs of Kellogg's Cereals in the 1996 with around 8 different toppers available to collect!

Most of these toppers were based on  either The MASK himself or other wearers of the Loki Mask  such as The Baby Stanley sometimes babysits (not voluntarily of course!) and his pet Milo! Each takes its inspiration from promotional material released for the series featuring the MASK with number of goofy expressions including the most often used with his eyes bugging out, jaw opened and tongue extended. These toppers are actually very nice quality and feature a number of detailed paint applications for things such as gum lines and lips which isn't often seen in promotional Cereal toys which can sometimes be left completely unpainted!

Much the merchandise produced tended to leave out some of the main antagonists so its nice to see them pop up here in this Pencil toppers set! Particularly Frankenstein monster like henchman "Walter" (left) who as far as memory serves only appearance in toy form is here in this set where as the villainous scientist "Pretorius" (The main antagonist voiced by Tim Curry) has been included in a couple of the restaurant promotions most notably in the 1997 Taco Bell promotion.

The MASK being the huge hit it was back in 1994 was primed for an animated series, given its cartoonish nature, with the end result being a show that began with a very strong first series and ran out of ideas shortly after but was ultimately very successful and a great accompaniment to a fantastic movie! Some of the best merchandise produced for the show came from the many promotional tie-in giveaways both here in the UK/Europe and the USA including the above items from Burger King and Kellogg's!         


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