Masters of the Universe Classics: Wind Raider by Mattel

None of the figures offered up by Matty Collector last month really grabbed my interest, but I couldn’t resist the first vehicle released in the MOTUC line. The Wind Raider was pretty much a no-brainer as a choice for the first vehicle since its relatively small and apart from the Sky Sled is probably the most iconic vehicle from the Filmation cartoon and the comics. I was almost positive this thing was going to sell out in under ten minutes, but it actually hung around for at least a couple of days, making grabbing one a pretty painless affair. Of course, as usual shipping was less than painless. $15 to ship and it takes over two fucking weeks to get here. That’s why I’m checking this thing out so late. It actually didn’t arrive until a few days after New Year’s. I realize this is a tough time of year for shipping, but it seemed like everything I ordered from everyone else got to me pretty fast and its not like Matty doesn’t have a track record for slow, expensive shipping.  Matty, you have some of the worst customer service on the planet.

The toys on the other hand….
Just like the figures, the Wind Raider comes in a white mailer box. Sliding it off reveals the actual toy’s box underneith, which is all kinds of cool since it really recreates that vintage boxed toy feel of the 80’s, complete with exciting illustrations and not a single photo of the actual toy on the box anywhere. The last time I can remember getting this nostalgic feeling from a boxed toy was when I got Bandai’s new Thundertank earlier this year. The box art is indeed nice, and I especially like the antiquated looking schematics sketched onto the back. Its also kind of exciting to see those spinning hover vehicles pictured on the front illustration. I know Mattel said there would be no vehicles in 2012, but if another one is coming, that one looks like it would be pretty easy and cost effective to produce. Plus, it seems only fair that the next vehicle go to the bad guys. Anyway, the box is a little bigger than the boxes for Hasbro’s $20-30 Star Wars vehicles. The vehicle requires a little bit of assembly. You need to pop on the rear tailfin and the wings.
Before I get to the toy itself, I just want to say: Holy crap, it comes with that display stand!!! I genuinely had no idea this was coming in the box. I saw it sitting on the stand at the various conventions and expos, but I always assumed it was just something Mattel was using to show it off. Getting the stand with the toy was an amazing surprise and just impressed the hell out of me. It’s a nice big disc with the Masters of the Universe logo etched into it, front and back. It has a curved stand with a ratcheting sphere that pegs into the bottom of the Wind Raider. The result is you can position the ship at all sorts of angles. It’s an amazing bonus for what is already an amazing toy.
My first thought as I was taking the Wind Raider out of the box and snapping it together was about how big this thing is. It’s a nice, hefty toy with a huge wingspan and when  you put a figure in it, it looks wonderfully scaled to the figure, whereas the vintage one always seemed too small. I was expecting a lot of stickers, particularly in the cockpit, but that wasn’t the case. The striping and artwork on the body and rear wing are actually expertly applied decals, but apart from them every little detail, and there’s a ton of detail, is sculpted and beautifully painted. The detail work on this thing is just breathtaking. The panel lines, the little wires and cables, the cushions on the pilot seat, and most incredibly all the controls on the console… it’s all sculpted and painted and absolutely gorgeous. It may be a toy, but it really does look more like a highend display piece when perched on its stand. I’ll note here that the decals on the sides scare me a bit, as they will be prone to chip over time, so if I ever put this baby into storage, I’ll probably have to wrap really well in something.
The Wind Raider actually does have a few play features. there are two opening compartments that reveal sculpted and painted missiles inside, the wings pivot and lock into various position, like flaps on an airplane, and the front harpoon fires, albeit not very far. You can lift the large dragon disc on the Wind Raider’s hood and crank it to retract the harpoon and cable.
The Wind Raider is priced at $45, which feels like a pretty great value for what you get. Unfortunately, with the only way to get this thing being online and through Matty, you really need to factor the shipping into the retail price, and that brings it up to $60. Nonetheless, even at sixty bucks, I think this thing was well worth it, maybe not a great value, but definitely worth it. It really is just an amazing looking piece and extremely well constructed. I haven’t decided where I’m going to display it yet, so right now, I just have it sitting on my coffee table with He-Man at the controls. I’ll probably leave it there a while because every time I walk past it, it puts a huge smile on my face.

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