Firecracker is M.A.S.K.'s off-road attack vehicle from the first series of toys in 1985. Firecracker changes from a mid-1980s Chevrolet K30 Dually pickup into a jacked-up recon truck. The vehicle is driven by the included Hondo MacLean, who uses his Blaster mask.

Description and Features

Firecracker is an orange Chevy single-cab, short-bed dually pickup truck with a large rollbar and a fifth-wheel trailer hitch in its bed, and a motorcycle latched on to the tailgate and back bumper. Among its numerous features and details are licensed Goodyear rubber tires, opening doors in tailgate, a spare wheel that attaches to the fifth wheel coupler, black trimmed fender flares, and custom fog lights on the front bull bar and the top roll bar. The motorcycle can be removed from its bracket on the tailgate, and the tailgate bracket can be removed altogehter to allow the tailgate to open and close normally. Firecracker's conversion is a single step due to its engineering: activating a slide switch on the chassis in front of the left rear wheel pops the whole truck body up on spring-loaded struts, revealing rear-facing guns from under the fenders of each rear wheel, and automatically extending two gun barrels from the grill (which is no longer covered by the bumper bar). In its Action Mode, Firecracker has pivoting rollbar spotlights, and can still deploy the motorcycle. Sliding the black switch on the left rear fender launches the boomerang tire, which automatically deploys blades from its tread when it pops off of the fifth wheel coupler. Hondo MacLean is dressed in fairly normal clothes, and wears various adventure gear like a pair of binoculars around his neck. His visor-like Blaster mask “pretends to project proton laser beams” (which are not real - lasers are, and proton beams are, though).
Date stamp location: bottom of truck chassis
Logo location: revealed on front body lift strut

Collector Notes

Firecracker has several common issues, most of which are easily remedied. The front and rear bumpers clip on to the chassis, and are removable to prevent breakage. The instructions even mention reattaching them if the come off, which is easily done - if they haven' been lost. The roll bar spotlights and the Freeze Cannons hidden in the fenders are also likely to go missing. This problem is compounded by the fact that the Freeze Cannons aren' visible in Firecracker’s normal truck mode, so it can be hard to tell if a Firecracker is complete without seeing it in Action Mode. A less common, but more difficult problem is the tire-launching mechanism. The spring inside is quite strong, and can break the latch that's released by the fender trigger. It is best to store this latch in the released position (the tire can still sit on its peg enough to keep the blades in), and handle the mechanism with care or avoid using it.

Variants

The main Firecracker vehicle has no noticeable variants, however the Blaster mask has perhaps the most apparent changes out of the first-series masks. The initial “short mask” is a ring-like eye visor that clips snugly onto only the top of Hondo's head, making it the smallest of all the masks in the toyline. The later “long mask” extends down the back and sides of Hondo's neck and around his shoulders. Due to the drastic nature of the change, the cartoon portrayal of the mask as a visor, and the fact that the long mask seems exceedingly more common, the short mask is highly sought-after.

Availability

Firecracker was introduced in 1985 and continued to be available in 1986.
MSRP: $18.99
Packaging: windowless box with no top flap, folded cardboard insert
Paperwork included: instructions, mini-comic, catalog