Masters of the Universe Classics: Shadow Beast by Mattel

It’s been a while since I’ve been back to look at any of the MOTUC figures. Mattel had several figures up for sale this month, including a re-release of Keldor, Bow from the She-Ra line and the figure we’re going to look at today: Shadow Beast. I’ll admit that Digital River’s ordering process is getting a little better and Matty seems to be genuinely upping the number of figures they produce. I was able to log in around 4pm and buy my figure without any problems at all. Shipping, on the other hand, has really taken a hit. Twelve dollars to ship a figure and it takes over a week to get it to my door? Here’s your next opportunity to fix, Matty.

Shadow Beast comes in a really big white mailer box. I guess if you bought Gygor you know what to expect, but I passed over the big Mellow Yellow Ape in favor of this guy, so I was suitably surprised by the size. Out of the mailer, the package is a large window box that is very much in keeping with the overall presentation of the smaller carded figures. A little patience can get him out of the box without mauling it, so the packaging is pretty collector friendly. I am glad, however, I’m not a MISB collector, because my Shadow Beast came with his massive club clanging around loose inside the box.

I’m really thrilled with the way this figure turned out. The head sculpt is superb and suitably menacing and I love the pupil-less red eyes and the horn that pokes up from the top of his head. We all know that Filmation original designs are off limites to Mattel and The Four Horseman, but this figure is pretty darn close to the design I remember from the cartoon. I’m guessing that’s because of the similarity between the cartoon version and the one in the comic. Either way, purists should be mighty happy with the way this guy looks. The paintwork isn’t as outlandish as Gygor, which may be good or bad, depending on how you see it. I like the traditional browns used here over the radioactive neon used on Gygor, but there’s no doubt that if you have both of these beasts on your shelf, Gygor is the one that’s going to stand out.

I wouldn’t say that Shadow Beast is super articulated, but he has a fair amount of poseability for what he is. His head is ball jointed, as are his shoulders. He has swivel cuts in his biceps and wrists and hinges in his elbows. His stubby little legs have swivels cuts at the hips, which give him a little bit of useful movement there, and allows you to put him in a really goofy seated position. Of course, if you already own Gygor than you know all of this.

Shadow Beast comes with one accessory: A honking big club! It really is massive and it’s sculpted to look like a tree limb (or trunk!) with leather straps wrapped around it for a grip and iron studs scattered around the head, because let’s face it, getting hit in the face with a tree isn’t bad enough, so you need to add iron studs to make your point. The figure can hold the club pretty well, although sometimes you need to jimmy it around in his hand so that he can get a good grip on it. His joints are also tight enough so that he can hold the club above his head, although I’m not sure how long that will be the case.

I’ll admit to being a little cautious about buying this figure. It’s sometimes hard enough for me to justify the $28 a pop for the regular MOTUCfigures and Shadow Beast set me back $41 with the shipping. Ultimately, I’m very happy with my decision to get him, although I am still glad that I just went with one of the two figures based on this body sculpt. Nothing against Gygor, he looks like a great figure and one of these days I may still pick him up, but the Shadow Beast fits in with my Masters of the Universe nostalgia much better. He’s a beautifully sculpted figure and I well deserved addition to my collection.

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