Heya, Toyhounds, and welcome back! Before the week of insufferable lists, I ended things with a MOTUC feature and promised another one when I returned. I was going to open up one of the Beasts, but then I saw that I had specifically mentioned Gwildor, so I guess that’s who I’m opening today. The Masters of the Universe is a crazy film. It seems as if Masters fanboys should hate it, and yet I encounter a lot more love for it than I would have ever expected. As someone who was never a rabid part of the fandom as a kid, I didn’t see this movie until it first hit HBO or Showtime, but I remember watching at least some of it whenever I found that it was on. It’s a troubled movie full of budgeting problems (both planned and unforeseen) and I have to say that all things considered, I think they did a respectable job with it. It’s certainly not what fans wanted, but I can still gleen a certain amount of kitchy enjoyment from it. I know, back when I reviewed Blade I said that if Matty did one more movie figure I would watch the film for that feature. Well, I’m going to renege on that because I don’t have easy access to the movie. Maybe next time.
And there he is in his rather larger than normal packaging. Strange how such a little figure needed a bigger package, especially when they were able to cram all of Mermista’s girl and fish parts into a normal package. Well, what Gwildor lacks in length he makes up for in girth (right, ladies?) and he also has one pretty damn big accessory (right, ladies?). This was the “Holiday Figure” for Club Eternia and I honestly have no idea what it means, only that I was contractually obligated to buy it as part of my subscription and I’m perfectly OK with that. His biography on the back of the card does not say anything about his love for buckets of chicken, ability to converse with bovines, or his advanced certificate in auto mechanic customization, but it does make some references to the Cosmic Key that was featured so prominantly in the 1987 film.
And here’s the little guy out of the package. If you aren’t familiar with the film, Gwildor served as comic relief and the all important Keeper of the Mcguffin, and if not, that’s OK because, as I think is often the case with this line, you don’t need to know the character to enjoy the figure. The first thing that impresses me about Gwildor is the wonderful job T4H did on his portrait. Keeping in mind that the overwhelming majority of these figures are based on concept art or vintage figures, it’s quite a stretch designing a figure based on a character in a live action film. Sure, Gwildor had a vintage figure but it obviously looked nothing like this one. T4H really nailed the likeness beautifully. And by that I mean, he’s ugly as sin. Gwildor’s giant noggin is framed by a spectacular mane of sculpted orange hair with two pointed ears poking out the top and a haggard face nestled in the middle. His face features all the wrinkles and blemishes of the make up used in the film. He even has that slightly wonky right eye.
Gwildor’s body is clad in sculpted soft plastic robes. Again, there’s some splendid detail in the sculpt, including the scrollwork surrounding the buttons on his coat and the embossed ornamentation on his inner garment. The trim around his sleeves and shoulders is painted with red and gold fringe and you can see some more beautiful scrollwork and gold fringe on the back of his coat. He has an intricate system of chains, what appear to be pocketwatches, sculpted and neatly painted in gold, and his coat is loaded with pockets, some of which have sculpted and painted contents peeking out the tops. I can’t really find anything about the sculpt or paintwork to fault on this little figure,. He’s just a fine example of loving design and craft all around.
The drawback on a figure like Gwildor is found in the articulation. Between the diminished size and the sculpted teepee-style costume, poseability has to take a hit, but what’s here is still certainly passable. The arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders, ball joints in the elbows, and swivels in the wrists. The legs appear to be set in a T-crotch and have swivels just above the boots, but the only reason to mess with the legs is to get him to a comfortable standing position, which rarely seems necessary as he’s stands just fine. Lastly, you get a ball joint in the neck, which is understandably limited by all that sculpted hair.
Gwildor comes with three accessories: You get his staff and two versions of The Cosmic Key. The staff is a pretty simple brown piece with a white crystal on the top and a fine representation of the staff he carried in the movie. It’s a cool steampunk design with a shaft sculpted to represent wood and some technological doo-dads sculpted on the top. Some paint hits to the electronics would have been cool, but this line has never been big about paint apps on the accessories.
The smaller Cosmic Key is designed to be held and features some fairly intricate sculpting. The tuning forks on the top are cast in soft plastic so it was necessary for me to do a little bending to get them straight, but all in all, not bad.
The last accessory is the activated Key, which is notably larger than the hand held accessory. Again, there’s some excellent sculpting on this piece and even some great weathered silver paintwork. The base and central part are painted gold and the tuning forks are cast in a harder red plastic this time around. They can also rotate around the Key, which is a nice little touch.
I’ll confess that I would have been a lot more excited about Gwildor if we had (or were getting) more figures from the film for him to go with. Don’t get me wrong, he fits in fine with the diverse population of my Eternian shelves, but other than hanging out with Blade, he still looks kind of lonely. I know Matty is focused right now on just getting out new versions of the vintage figures to wrap up the line in 2015, but I’d love to see another mini-sub offering the movie-style versions of the main characters. Matty supposedly has plans for rebranding the line in 2016, so I guess anything is possible. Either way, Gwildor certainly represents one of the most impressive sculpts in this line, which is kind of ironic for such a goofy little guy.
Don’t lose movie hope yet. Saurod was part of the vintage line, so we’ve been promised to get him before year’s end. We should be getting a Laser Light He-Man as well, and since he originally came with regular and Dolph Lundgren flavoured heads, I’d *hope* we’ll at least get a Dolph Classics head from that figure as well.
I’d love a Movie based mini-sub as well. Maybe where the Minis Mini-Sub fell through they’ll try to squeeze in a Movie sub for the 2nd half of 2015? They were clearly planning on milking the giants and minis through 2016… now that their popularity seems slim… maybe they won’t give up on 6″ figures yet?
I never knew there was a vintage movie head sculpt. That’s pretty dang cool! Forgot about Saurod. I’d be really excited to get a Classics of him.
I’m actually rather excited to see what comes in 2016. I definitely think we’ll get something, probably limited, but something nonetheless!
I’m excited to get Saurod, too. Hell, I’m excited for all this year’s figures.
Here’s the Laser Light figure with Dolph head. Both versions were European exclusives along with Laser Skeletor, Titus and Megator at the end of the vintage line.
Wow… very cool!!!