I’m still working my way through opening the Masters Classics figures that I got from Matty’s Cyber Monday Week last year and today I’m ripping open this magnificent beast! I’ve had my eye on the Griffin for a long time, probably ever since it was first released, but I’ve hesitated due to his size and my problems finding new display space. Turns out if you discount something enough I forget about the whole display space problem and buy it anyway. I’m wacky that way!
The packaging is pretty standard stuff for the larger beast figures, but we see it rather infrequently so it’s still kind of novel. The Griffin comes in an oddly shaped window box with the same Greyskull-inspired deco as the regular figure cards. The huge window certainly offers a great look at the figure inside. Be sure to take note of the tagline, “Evil Flying Beasts.” That’s “beasts” plural, which is Matty’s subliminal way of saying, “dudes, you all totally need to army build this guy!” Yeah, that’s not going to happen. Anyway, the box is sorta, kinda collector friendly if you worked at it hard enough, but I will likely be trashing it because… you know… display space problems.
The back of the box has a whole bunch of figures pictured. How’s my score? Well, I’m only missing two of them: Webstor and Kobra Khan. Both of those are creeping up there in price, so I may have to just live without them. Anyway, the Griffin’s bio isn’t terribly interesting, although it does declare them not natives of Eternia. Considering what a bizarre place Eternia is, I’m kind of surprised the planet was Griffon-free until some “Star Merchants” imported them. Well, let’s open this beast up and get him out.
Back when we got Battle Cat, we all knew that the body would be re-purposed as Panthor and since then we also got Battle Lion, a figure I certainly wasn’t asking for, but it turned out to be pretty good nonetheless. In between all those releases came this Griffin and I think he’s one of the finest examples that Matty can really work magic with parts recycling when they want to. With Battle Cat’s beastly buck repainted a lush chocolate brown, a couple of added sockets for a set of majestic wings, and some exceptionally finely sculpted new parts, I fell in love with this thing the moment I got him out of the box and all set up.
There’s plenty of great work to be seen on this big guy, but I find my eyes are instantly drawn to his wings. The sculpted texture on the feathers is dang near breathtaking and the contours make them look great in a number of different poses, whether tucked to the sides or spread for flight.
In addition to those wonderful wings, the new parts include a forked tail, a pair of bird talons on the back legs, and a reculpted neck with a mohawk of sculpted hair running from the head and disappearing under the saddle. Of course, the most impressive new piece of sculpting on this guy is the superb head. With four sinister looking eyes and a viscious hinged beak, this beast is just dripping with character right down to the feathers sticking out of his fur and his pointed bat-like ears. The detail in the beak includes some weathering, cracks and chips that make him look well battle worn.
Being built off the Battle Cat buck, The Griffin shares the same excellent articulation. The hind legs rotate at the hips, are hinged at the knees and again at that second knee (for lack of a better term), and they are ball jointed at the ankles. The front legs rotate at the shoulders and have ball joints at the knees and ankles. The head can raise and lower and twist side to side and there’s a swivel in the body, just behind the shoulders. As already mentioned, the tail is on a ball joint. The wings are attached using rotating hinges, giving them a nice range of motion and the joints are strong enough to hold them up. Indeed, all the joints on this guy feel a little tighter than on my Battle Cat.
The Griffin is one damn fine looking toy and a wonderfully creative reuse of the Battle Cat buck. Chances are he is going to wind up on my MOTUC shelf with Beast Man riding him, but I’m equally tempted to loan him out to my LJN Advanced Dungeons & Dragons display. He looks like he would fit in with those guys quite well. I may have one of the Titan-sized figures riding him, or I may have my entire party of good guys fighting him off. Either way, he’s a welcome piece for my collection!