10. M.A.S.K. (First appearance: 1986)
You can imagine the boardroom meeting that birthed M.A.S.K. (Mobile Armo(u)red Strike, er, ‘Kommand’): “Hey, kids like Transformers, right? Kids like Action Force/G.I. Joe, right? ARE YOU THINKING WHAT I’M THINKING?”
The result: a toy line reeking of focus group, but kids loved it. Action figures could drive around in vehicles before — SPROING! — hey, look, it’s now a thing with guns! We reckon 95 per cent of the cool and craving was really down to Matt Trakker’s ‘Thunderhawk’ Camaro that turned into a fighter jet (i.e. the swing doors went up, becoming wings, simultaneously thumbing a nose at health and safety); it certainly wasn’t down to the ‘Rhino’ tractor trailer’s ‘mobile defence unit’ mode, which was a _tad_ less impressive then Optimus Prime’s transformation.
Image credit: Russell Warner