As a kid, Ivan Ho was enamoured with the 1985 toy and cartoon line, M.A.S.K. and watched all the cartoons around a group of task force take on a criminal organisation known as V.E.N.O.M.
The Mobile Armored Strike Kommand or M.A.S.K. team utilised special helmets with unique technological capabilities, alongside normal, everyday vehicles that could transform into a combat vehicle equipped with advanced weaponry. A staple of 1980s cartoons, the series and massive toyline stood toe to toe against the likes of other 80s toy giants, including Transformers and G.I. Joe, but Ivan never owned any of the toys.
And as an adult and LEGO Ambassador, as well as a founding member of Singapore’s Titans Creations that prides itself in using the bricks to build massive dioramas, Ivan took it upon himself to recreate the classic toys in LEGO form, complete with the second vehicle mode that the M.A.S.K. one were famous for.
“I’m particularly in love with series one [of the toyline]. The Rhino is my favourite toy and the first one that I built. It motivated me to get started, and finish everything,” recalls Ivan Ho, who spent several years building the toys and refining them as new bricks get released, to improved on the transformation, as well as to scale the vehicles to the minifigs, so that the figurines would match the dimensions of the vehicles.
These include Thunderhawk, Switchblade, Condor, Jackhammer as well as the massive Boulder Hill playset, which serves as the base of operations for the M.A.S.K. team.
And yes, since he has never owned any of the toys, his reference and sources were M.A.S.K. fantasies and photos of the classic toys. When he posted a video of Rhino, he received positive comments and support from M.A.S.K. fans, who enjoyed seeing their favourite toys adopt a LEGO approach.
He then took it upon himself to complete the first wave of vehicles, and used his experience as a LEGO MOC, or My Own Creation, which refers to LEGO creators who use the classic bricks to build their own unofficial sets to start his journey. He also tapped his experience building LEGO mechas, or robots, and adapted some of the mechanisms to his M.A.S.K. creations, to transform the two modes unique to each vehicle.
The good news for LEGO and M.A.S.K. fans is that Ivan is open to sharing his creations with the wider community, as step-by-step instructions are available on M.O.C Central, a YouTube channel that focuses on his personal MOC creations.
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