M.A.S.K. The Complete Series DVD Set
We here at The GeekCast Radio Network are all about doing things slightly different then the norm. Having said that this is yet another one of those times. We are bringing you a Dual DVD review. Why? you might ask, well the answer is simple the awesome people over at ShoutFactory have sent Mike and Kevin M.A.S.K. The Complete Series on DVD. Huge thanks to @TomChenLA for hooking us up with the DVD sets!!!
TFG1Mike’s Perspective on MASK The Complete Series:
Awwww I FREAKIN’ Remember that!!! Take two of the greatest 80’s cartoon franchises mesh them together and you get M.A.S.K. This cartoon basically took Transforming vehicles, G.I. Joe type characters, and a Dick Tracy watch and put them into one series. The series revolves around Matt Trakker and his team of Mobile Armored Strike Kommand agents that fight the good fight against Miles Mayhem and his VENOM agents.
I remember watching this cartoon as a kid and loving it just as much as I loved Transformers. There are two reasons why I love this series #1 the theme song and #2 the assembling of the M.A.S.K. team. Trakker is essentially a tech savvy King Arthur of the 80’s I mean he even has a Roundtable sort of……
August 9th 2011 marks the release date of M.A.S.K. The Complete Series from Shout Factory. This 12 DVD set comes in great packaging depicting the classic MASK imagery. This also marks the FIRST TIME EVER that MASK has been on Region 1 DVD. Before this all us United States residents had to import the various versions that were released in other countries. Shout Factory produced a DVD set with the first season (65 episodes) and it’s great to see these again. The 2nd season/racing season of MASK is owned by someone else and is not included on this Complete Series set. The racing season was only 10 episodes.
Shout Factory has done a great job with this DVD set as they do with all of the DVD sets they produce My only real gripe with the DVD set is there are only 2 special features:
- UnmaskingM.A.S.K.: retrospective interview with show writers on this hit animated series
- Saturday Morning Krusaders: entertaining look back with loyal fans
While it’s awesome to hear from the writers of the series the one thing I wanted was a voice cast special feature. The Saturday Morning Krusaders feature was kinda weird to me, because I didn’t know who any of those “fans” were. The featurette seemed as if these people were given a script and told to “ham it up” However do not let that be a write off of this DVD set. As I said I’m just glad to have a US release of it. If you are a child of the 80’s and loved cartoons you should definitely add M.A.S.K. The Complete Series to your DVD collections. And that’s the Bottom Line Because Miles Mayhem said so!
OptimusSolo’s Perspective on MASK The Complete Series:
Release Date: August 9, 2011
DVD Release Trailer: Click Here
PURCHASE: Click Here
DVD: $69.99 + S&H | SEASONS: 1 Season (65 Episodes)
My Initial Thoughts:
I have to admit that I have been waiting for this series to be released on DVD FOREVER!! This is one of the last few major shows from my childhood to be released on DVD and I was so excited when Shout! announced they were producing this set. So, regardless of what I say or don’t say in the following paragraphs please remember that nothing could take away from how awesome it is to finally own every episode of this series on DVD. It will definitely sit proudly on my DVD shelf in its rightful place alongside; Transformers, G.I.Joe, He-Man, ThunderCats, Silverhawks, C.O.P.S., BraveStarr, Blackstar, Challenge of the Go-Bots and yes, even She-Ra Princess of Power!
Case Front & Back Cover:
The front cover of this DVD set is easily the most eye popping part of the whole set. The artwork is vibrant and very well put together. Good and evil side by side and shots of not only the men in their masks but also their signature vehicles. I can’t say enough about the front of this set. The back on the other hand is definitely lacking in comparison. I do like the font used through the set which is most prominently seen on the back of the set. The description of the series on the back is very well written despite including two of the longest sentences I have read since the last time I graded a term paper :) Really the only reason I say that the back pales in comparison to the front is because the graphics don’t pop off the page like they did on the front. Now, I realize the need for text and that takes away from the ability to include stunning pictures but I believe the bottom section with the three framed pictures definitely could have been utilized in a better way. Heck, even just lining up three vibrant pictures of different masks would have been preferable over the screen shots chosen.
DVD Front & Back Cover:
As for the individual DVD case packaging this is once again a story of two sides. The front of these cases are very well done. On one case you have the hero, Matt Tracker in full costume with a nice sized logo appearing above while on the other you have the villain, Miles Mayhem in the same arrangement. A red background behind the ‘blue’ villain and a blue background behind the ‘red’ hero are also very nice choices. Once again though when you flip these cases over you are left wanting more. The choice to use the backs of these cases to display all of the episode titles was a mistake in my opinion. This was a great opportunity to feature a variety of masks, the vehicles, or even some of the other major characters. [More on that later in the review though]
By the time you open the cases to view the individual discs you realize the theme behind this entire set. The first disc in the Volume 1-3 case features a similar graphic as on the front of the case with a blue background and Matt Tracker in full costume as well as the M.A.S.K. logo, the only difference is now you also have a picture of his vehicle on the disc. Likewise the first disc of Volume 4-6 features the same arrangement with Miles Mayhem and the color scheme switched again. I am not going to lie, I was heavily disappointed when I flipped through the rest of the TWELVE discs to find the same design used on each and every disc in their respective cases. What a lost opportunity to feature a different character on each disc like Shout! did with both their Transformers and G.I. Joe set!! Also, using the same basic design on the cases and the discs gets a little boring, I was hoping the discs would pop a little more!
So, as we look at the background behind the discs one thing really stood out. Why in the heck do both cases feature the M.A.S.K. truck?? Isn’t one of the sets all about Matt Tracker and the other about Miles Mayhem. Seems very off that the decision was made to use the truck on both and not the Helicopter on the other. Also, another unfortunate decision to use screen shots on the other half of the background instead of some other stunning visual. This is perhaps the worst part of the packaging on this set.
Ok, absolutely LOVE the material they used to house the actual discs on this set and how they are arranged. Very easy to flip through all of the discs without having to worry about sleeves or some other flimsy concoction. The discs also release very easily so you don’t feel like you are about to break the disc while trying to remove it from the case. This for me is one of the highlights of the entire packaging portion for this set. Nice job Shout!
You may be asking yourself why there is no picture for this heading like there has been for the previous ones. Well, that is because there WAS NO INSERTS on this set!!!!!! Are you kidding me? This is BY FAR my biggest complaint on the entire set. So many problems could have been solved with the use of an insert. Let me explain: Remember the episode titles that cluttered up the back of each DVD case? How about the screen shots that were poorly used on the back of the set, the back of the cases, and the background behind the discs? ALL OF THIS could have easily been put into an actual Episode Guide booklet that could have been inserted in the set. That way not only could you have used all of these screen shots but you also could have put descriptions of each episode and I don’t know how about some trivia or something like that. Geeks LOVE trivia and other tidbits about their favorite series! On top of having a better place for all the screen shots and episode titles it would have freed up so much space on the packaging for stunning pictures of other masks, vehicles or characters! Maybe I have just been spoiled by all of the other DVD sets I have purchased from Shout! and some of their competitors but I have definitely reached the point where I expect at least some type of insert in my DVD sets, ESPECIALLY a COMPLETE SERIES SET!
There is nothing to complain about organization wise with this set. First, of all there really was no other way to organize this set seeing that it was only 1 season. They have divided it into two cases. The first case includes volumes one, two and three. Each volume is two discs and the fist disc of each volume (except volume 6) has 6 episodes while the second disc always has 5 episodes. The second case includes volumes four, five and six. Each volume again has two discs with the first disc having 6 episodes and the second having, basically the same as the first case. Each case also includes one of the two bonus features. So, not that this took a rocket scientist but job well done on the organization of this set!
The episode quality on this set is impeccable. In the end, this is by far the most important part of the whole set and in this part Shout! delivered big time! Finally, no more watching crappy quality feeds of M.A.S.K. on youtube or some other internet site! The picture is crisp and clear, and the sound quality is superb. I don’t see how anyone would be able to complain about the superior quality that each and every episode consists of. Excellent!
The main menu for M.A.S.K. as pictured above is excellent. I love the design, the font selection, and the graphics in general. The graphics also change as the menu is viewed. Also, one of the best theme songs in cartoon history plays on a loop while you remain on the menu screen. Nothing else I would rather here as I select which episode to view!
On the first disc you are treated to a commercial for the Transformers set, one for the G.I. Joe set, and one for the Beast Wars set. A nice touch, however I am glad they only do this on the first disc and not all twelve. I also was very pleased that they included all of the different bumpers used to represent when the show would go to and come back from commercial. Many DVD sets forget about these bumpers and fans like myself love hearing these retro goodies. I will say though that on the first disc of the set I found it a bit odd that a set of bumpers plays before the episode even begins. The ending PSA is included in every episode as well as the full credits sequence which again seems like common sense but I have seen left off of other sets.
The bonus features are always what I am most interested in on a set like this. I always hope for a large variety of bonus features and most of the time I am disappointed. This is no exception to that. The first bonus feature is great. You get to hear from two of the many writers of M.A.S.K. and get a little inside look at what writing on this series was like. What makes this feature great are the scenes that give us glances at both scripts and the series bible. However, if both of these things were available for these shots…then why weren’t they included as features all to themselves? I especially would have loved to peruse the series bible in its entirety. The only other thing that could have been better on this bonus feature is if they had been able to get one or two more writers to help contribute. However, I realize its been a couple decades and that this is most likely easier said and wished for than actually done.
The second bonus feature is your typical ‘fans’ commentary on the series. This type of bonus feature ALWAYS pisses me off somehow. I wish these companies would hold contests of some sort to find ‘the biggest fans’ or just to make it seem more balanced and fair because it always comes across as just a group of people that are probably friends of the producer or some other insider. To the casual fan, almost every single one of these people are unknown which is fine but damnit when do I get a chance to talk about my favorite cartoon series, do I have to move to L.A. and become friends with someone at Shout!?? I will say that a few of these guys do a great job of talking about the series, add some good comedy and do seem to know what they are talking about. However, there are also a few that make it seem like they have never even seen the series before or that it had been two decades since they watched it and came to the recording session doing NO homework to catch up on the basics, like oh I don’t know, the main characters names! I did like that they touched on a variety of topics including character, theme songs, episode plots etc. The bonus features were also very well spliced together and come across as very fluid.
The reason I was disappointed in the bonus features basically boils down to the fact that there were only two of them. No retro toy commercials? No scripts? No Series Bible? Nothing from the main producers/directors of the show? The most notable omission and something that can sell a DVD set to me single handedly, NOTHING with the VOICE ACTORS!! I love hearing from the voice actors! I know the voice actors from this series are probably not as readily available as other shows have been in the past but I would have loved to hear from at least a couple of them.
This has no effect on my review whatsoever but just felt like I needed to point out the ONLY error I have seen thus far in the set, when Tom Clarks hand disappears!! (haha)
Overall this is a great set. Like I said in the introduction, I have been waiting on this set for what seems like forever and am so glad that it is finally available. I am also very glad that Shout! is the company that has brought it to all of us. Like, always they have produced a set that is far superior to the sets that most of their competitors put out. I know I was hard on them for the packaging, the lack of any type of insert, and the lack of more bonus features, but that is most likely more due to the fact that I have been spoiled by so many of their other sets that delivered in all of those areas. However, when it is all said and done I am very happy to have this set proudly displayed amongst the rest of my DVD collection. Great Job Shout!!
- Packaging: 3.0 out of 5.0
- Organization: 5.0 out of 5.0
- Episode Quality: 5.0 out of 5.0
- Peripherals: 4.5 out of 5.0
- Bonus Features: 3.5 out of 5.0
- Overall Score: 4.2 out of 5.0
Well there ya have it folks the first ever Dual DVD Review on The GeekCast Radio Network. Huge thanks again to Tom Chen, Brian Ward, and the rest of the awesome people at Shout Factory for giving us the review copies. Plus putting together a great DVD set. Illusion Is the Ultimate Weapon!!!!!!!!