Rhino is the iconic M.A.S.K. mobile command vehicle from the first series. Featured in the series logo, Rhino is a maroon 1985 Kenworth W900 Aerodyne semi tractor. Included are M.A.S.K. leader Matt Trakker with his Ultraflash mask (which is also part of the series logo), and Bruce Sato with his Lifter mask.
Description and Features
Rhino is a detailed representation of a Kenworth tractor cab, featuring aerodynamic (for the time) styling, and a massive sleeper cabin. It features licensed Goodyear tires on all ten wheels. The big rig is decorated with generous amounts of chrome parts like smokestacks, a cab visor, rear view mirrors, horns, headlights, wheels, and fuel tanks. The truck is modified by eight chrome air intake pipes rising through the hood. It is also acccented by user-applied sticker stripes that extend from the grille all the way around the back of the cab. As expected for the largest vehicle in the early lineup, Rhino is packed with action features. Pressing the left chrome button behind the cab extends the front bumper and grille guard as a battering ram, while the right button flings open the passenger side door and ejects the figure sitting in the passenger seat. Both smokestacks can be rotated forward to act as cannons, firing over the front fenders. The sleeper can be extended and opened to reveal a command center with a computer and boarding ramp, as well as an internal rocket launcher, triggered by a lever on the back of the cab. The roof-mounted air foil can pivot and rotate as a radar scanner. The rear tandem axles can be detached from the chassis to form a scout vehicle, piloted by a figure placed in under the upturned trailer coupling plate. The scout vehicle features independently pivoting axles, and leaves the outer wheels of the front dualies on the cab to allow it to operate independently. Matt and Brad are dressed in somewhat-futuristic jumpsuits or hazard suits. Matt's Ultraflash mask “pretends to disorient with a blinding flash of light”, and Bruce's Lifter mask can “pretend firing [an] anti-gravity beam”.
Date stamp location: bottom of cab chassis
Logo location: revealed inside sleeper cab roof when flipped open
Rhino is a fairly sturdy vehicle (although chrome wear is a perennial problem). The main weak points are the thin attaching struts of the rear view mirrors, which can break off leaving the stumps in the doors. Even apparently intact mirrors can be broken, as the small fisheye mirrors that hang down from the main rectangular mirrors can break off unnoticed. The mirrors can be removed for safer storage and packing of the vehicle by pressing out their attaching pins from inside each door. The only other common problems are a missing wind vane or trailer coupler plate, although these can be easily snapped back in if they are present.
Rhino's primary variant entails the headlights and the rear mudflaps: some feature a grid pattern molded onto these areas, while other samples feature smooth mudflaps and smooth headlights. Like all first series vehicles, the Ultraflash and Lifter masks were extended. Early masks cover the figures' heads and necks, while the newer masks have flaps that extend down the figures' chests and backs.