Mummy Mask and Metal Hawk (Power Commandos)

It’s not often that a turkey of an action figure, particularly one of the knock-off variety, transcends its own weirdness and circles back around to being cool. It’s also rare to find a knock-off figure that shows some kind of care (albeit offbeat and/or misguided) went into its production. Both are the case with the Power Commandos figures, which appeared back in the 90s and have since been a subject of fascination for me. I finally managed to pick up a set of three this summer, and I have to say they’re pretty great. Now I’m torn on opening them up or leaving them sealed.

By far, Mummy Mask is my favorite of the lot. This character is just the sort of nutso creation that sometimes results from attempts to capture the same lightning in a bottle produced by the big toy makers. He’s in the Zartan vein, at least in terms of his role, but as I said before, the design goes beyond what could have been a copy of the master of disguise himself. Mummy Mask’s head wrappings evoke DC Comics’ Unknown Soldier, as well as general mummy imagery–albeit outfitted in a dress cap. See what I mean? This is brilliantly wacky stuff. I won’t regurgitate what the file card says; you can read it for yourself below. Amazing.

Much of the molds for these figures are based on Hasbro designs. They’re not exact copies, rather inspired by the originals. I don’t have a problem with such a situation, as it shows at least someone put some work into these toys. Mummy Mask’s torso closely resembles the padded vest of the Cobra Tele-Viper.

Metal Hawk, the good guy of the set, (and no relation to the Japan Transformers exclusive Pretender) isn’t quite as Bat-poo crazy as his pack mate. He is nevertheless a unique figure. Sharp eyes will recognize bits of the 1985 Viper in the arms and legs, as well as the Techno-Viper in the chest. According to his file card, he was born on Ironrock Comet (sure, why not?) He has an original alien-like helmet design. I can’t imagine a human face beneath that headgear.

The Power Commandos accessories are surprisingly well done. Like the figures, the weapons and backpack aren’t up to Hasbro’s level of detail, but most are unique, although Mummy Mask’s rifle looks similar to the first Viper’s. Finally, Metal Hawk’s swords match up with the world-building elements of his file card.

So we’re not really dealing with an honest-to-gosh turkey this time around. In fact, I’m even more jazzed about these figures than when I started this article. Now to decide whether to open them.

8 comments

  • Those filecards read like they are straight from Google translate. So terrible they’re awesome.

    Mummy man is afraid of fire and water. So, if you catch him on fire, he won’t put himself out?

    I don’t know if I’d open them or not. There’s a great chance that the figure quality could disappoint upon opening. But, you get some totally offbeat figures to offset your Joes. Maybe mummy man was used in the mix to create Serpentor. See, easy Joe tie in. 🙂

  • I like them more than the first time you brought them up on knock it off! I’d love to see them geared up, but I’d keep em sealed. The card (front & back) is too pretty…

  • For a moment I actually thought that The Doctor was this year’s turkey. Anyway, I don’t think that you should open this blistered card, but instead, try to find these figures loose on Ebay. You never know when one day in the future, you might want to, or have to, sell this set, and you can get more money for it if it is sealed. So, you might prefer it to be sealed then. But, anyway, I’m sure that you meant to type that the arms, and legs, of that figure, look like the ones from the 1986 Viper, not 1985. And that silver backpack, kind of looks like the one from the 1986 Low-Light figure. As for the poses of these characters on the cover, they remind me of some poses of some G.I. Joe, or Cobra figures poses(remember the 1980’s Bronze Bombers figures that had their poses traced from the card art of the 86 Roadblock, the 87 Psyche-Out, the 87 Crystal Ball, and the 86 Zarana, covers). But, right now, I cannot remember from which Joes, or Cobras, those poses might have been traced from. But, they sure look very familiar to me. As for that story of that guy been born on a comet, it makes me wonder if it is really possible for that to happen, even though it seems way too far fetched. Is there oxygen on a comet? Or enough oxygen for some human size creatures to live on it? Oh well, great article.

  • I had couple of these years ago, quality was good (just don’t force anything in the hands, because hard hands like old CORPS and Joes), but these are scarce to find even loose, so I’d say don’t open.

  • I used to have metalhawk. I pretended he was Darth vader

  • I’m impressed by how spot-on the packaging on this set is. Near-perfect impersonation of Hasbro’s typography, and a legitimately dynamic comic-style action pose of the characters. Those Guys From The Other Galaxy are pretty OK in my book.

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