Luckily, the fact that every character has a vehicle that can transform into combat mode was more than enough to distract kids back then from the unfortunate naming choices. All figures also came with a neat plastic helmet that did nothing, but the tie-in comics told us the characters had various superpowers (such as telekinesis or murder beams), which, at the time, was all our imaginations needed.
Also, m***********g Hurricane.
Give a kid a flame-covered classic car that transforms into
a land attack vehicle, and witness true happiness.
M.A.S.K. was popular enough to get the obligatory crappy cartoon and a couple of C64 games, but, ultimately, it got more or less curb-stomped by the toy lines you have actually heard of -- a not-too-surprising fate for a toy line that found itself competing with both G.I. Joe and Transformers. Still, that's not to say M.A.S.K. doesn't have plenty of movie potential. In fact, I would argue that the franchise could mop the floor with those competitors, at least in terms of pure quality entertainment.
While the Joes are basically generic action movie characters and Transformers have been thoroughly Michael Bay'd, a series of folks with super powerful masks, riding cars that can transform into awesome things without running the risk of slapping the audience in the face with a pair of giant robot balls has all the makings of a massively awesome popcorn flick. Imagine the production value and general plot of the Fast and Furious franchise, only this time everyone has a face hat that can shoot laser tentacles and flames, and their super cool cars can turn into cannons. Can you? Of course you can, and it's awesome.
As befits a franchise with a logo that looks like this.