Maskman DX

4.7/5 rating (3 votes)

Description

Maskman DX by Bandai 1987

Maskman is a collectors anomaly. Quality diecast robots were supposed to be a thing of Bandai's past, back when they created Popy. As a kid I recall lamenting the death of diecast in Transformers and then later in the last Godaikins-- Machineman and Daileion. It is all over I thought.

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Then as an adult collector I discovered there was an anomaly-- Maskman DX, which contained a diecast ship, diecast legs, diecast chest, and heft of old. Each arm has diecast connectors and cockpits.

Those in "the know" may recognize this set's rarity. At least from an American perspective the DX Maskman set just doesn't hit e-bay that often. So when I had a chance to share the set with robot-japan viewers I jumped. Below is some detail behind our obscure DX set, arguably the toughest "Power Rangers" robot to find.

Head

Note the hints of Voltes V. The head is a red multi-finned jet with a amber cockpit window. The landing gear is diecast as well as the nose cone section. I love the angular design that is reminiscent of Ferrari's Testarosa design (also designed in the 80's).

Right Arm

Our hero's right arm is an unorthodox helicopter. Sporting pink blades and diecast landing gear, I can only assume it belonged to the pink power ranger. The fist launches forward by pressing the yellow button. The cockpit is diecast. A chrome helicopter blade with hinge is press fit into the top.

Left Arm

The left Maskman DX arm takes a similar design, with the cockpit acting like a shoulder. You have the same diecast landing gear and diecast nose as the helicopter. In this instance the robot's shield latches on to make wings and two chrome jet packs.

 

Chest

The chest is simply a new unorthodox design that I have not seen before or after. There is a vertical hinge that splits this drill vehicle in half on a hinge. Open the hinge 180 degrees , flip open white doors for arms, hide the treads on the back of Maskman, and you have a large robot chest. Close this same hinge and we have a drill vehicle. Each leg joint gets a chrome drill add-on and then you can add a chrome laser gun on the roof. All the silver on the legs is diecast. Diecast rollers are used under the treads.

Lower Legs

This design was the biggest shocker to me. The black hard plastic set of wheels reminded me of Goggle V's lander vehicle, but I had absolutely no clue how the cockpit was designed ....until checking out the vehicle. The cockpit of the toy rotates a full 360 degrees and is stored inside each leg. The back of the legs flip open to help transformation. Even more interesting is how the solid diecast feet transform. They rotate 90 degrees at the ankle and then slide inside the body. Great design.

Summary

The Bandai design team outdid themselves in 1987. I love the symmetry of the design, the unique head sculpt, the primary colors, and the innovative transformations. The red jet is incredible and has to be seen in person to be appreciated. Maskman DX is a superb combination of plastic parts for low wear, complimented with sturdy diecast for heft and durability.

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