Thunderhawk was the flagship M.A.S.K. vehicle of the first series. Thunderhawk is a 1985 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 that turns into a jet fighter, and includes M.A.S.K. leader Matt Trakker and his Spectrum mask.

Description and Features

Thunderhawk is a distinctive (unlicensed) Chevrolet Camaro Z28 with purple 80s grid patterns and yellow lightning bolts. Despite a somewhat bulky proportion, the vehicle is a fairly detailed replica, featuring unique four-spoke chrome wheels and rubber (licensed) Goodyear tires. Pressing the button in the center of the t-bar roof transforms the car into a jet fighter. The doors pop open gullwing-style, and the rear spoiler and bumper pop upward, revealing two thrust nozzles. Chrome side exhaust pipes can be extended from the doors to form wingtip blasters, and pressing on either of the thrusters releases two small bombs from the center of the vehicle' chassis. The interior features seatbelts for the driver and passenger, which can hold figures in while “flying” so they don' fall out the open doors. Unlike many other vehicles, Thunderhawk does not feature a fuel hose port. Matt Trakker is featured wearing a gray flight suit with various harnesses. His included Spectrum mask “pretends to create high frequency radio interference”.
Date stamp location: underside of vehicle rear (under trunk)
Logo location: revealed between thruster when bumper rear pops up

Collector Notes

Thunderhawk has a few common problems as the toy ages. The rubber tires are thin, and held on by their sidewalls gripping over the plastic wheel. The tire sidewalls can dry out and crack or split, and their loose grip often allows them to slip off easily, becoming lost. The spring that opens the gullwing doors can come unhooked from the pockets in the doors. If this happens, simply use a small tool to reposition the spring ends in both door pockets with the doors open. Sometimes, the spring can become a little weak, and will not hold the doors all the way open easily (not unlike REAL gullwing door springs).

Variants

As one of the earliest vehicles in the line, there are a couple variations of Thunderhawk. Some feature a smooth activation button, while others have a ridged button. The tail light lenses were originally molded in the same clear gray plastic as the windshield, and were later painted over red. There have also been rare finds of a version which features a pinkish shade of red plastic for the main car body; this probably correlates to very early production. As with all first series sets, Kenner bulked up the design of the mask for later relelases. Early Spectrums only cover Trakker's head and neck, while later Spectrums have flaps that extend down the chest and back of the figure, also adding molded hoses to the side of the neck.

Availability

Thunderhawk was available in the US and Europe in 1985 and 1986.
MSRP: $12.99 - $14.99
Packaging: windowless box with no top flap, folded cardboard insert
Paperwork included: instructions, mini-comic, catalog