My MOTU Origins backlog may not be nearly as bad as other lines, but there’s still a few things I’m behind on. Case in point, poor Stridor has been waiting to be opened for a while now, and it’s well past time we let this mecha-horsey out of the stable. And boy am I excited! I love animals, and I love robots, so it stands to reason that I love robot animals like Stridor!
The packaging for this line continues to kick all sorts of ass, thanks in no small part to the vintage-style artwork on the extended back panel. It shows He-Man charging into battle atop Stridor while Fisto gets ready to lay down some righteous fist on Skeletor, who approaches in The Roton! Oh yeah, baby! The Origins Roton is coming! Ah, but let’s not take any thunder from Stridor, because he looks all sorts of awesome on display in that window box! Give me a sec to carefully open this box (because it’s a keeper!) and let this electric equine out to trot!
Stridor comes out of the box more or less assembled. You really just have to attach his front guns and he’s good to go. The design is very faithful to the original vintage toy, but with a bit more detail in the sculpt, and now fully articulated legs! You still get the mostly brown body with some lovely silver paint on the neck, head, and ass. You also get some additional silver paint picking out the joints and hydraulics on the legs, which looks quite nice! The orange here looks a lot brighter than what I remember from the vintage toy, and I certainly dig that. The tail, front guns, and head armor all add some bright red to the colors, making this figure’s deco pop brilliantly! What a fantastic looking toy this is!
In addition to the sculpted vents and mechanical bits and bobs, the toy makes use of some well placed stickers to add some detail. These include the vents between the legs on the front, the instruments on the back of the seat and in front of the ass-cannon, the dash board controls, and the heraldic images on each side of the body. I’m not sure what the collector consensus is on the stickers, but I really dig them. They evoke the feel of the vintage toys, and I’m sure they help to keep the cost down on these toys as well.
Stridor comes with the vintage-style armor for his head, which can be removed and swapped out with a more modern look. The modern armor covers more of the head, encompassing the nose and adding holes for the robot horse to… breath? I dunno… maybe that’s where he expels exhaust. There’s a lot more sculpted detail in this armor, including interlocking scales around the top of the neck, and overlapping plates on the snout. The longer spike and the shape of the eyeholes conspire to make him look a lot more aggressive. I like them both, but I think I’ll go with the vintage one for display.
The added articulation in the legs is a welcome treat, with three joints in each leg: At the top, knees, and ankles. The back legs are also ratcheted, so they can easily hold Stridor as he rears up on them. The figure is also balanced well enough to pose like this without any support, which is pretty damn cool. There’s a little articulation in the neck, but not a lot of movement there. Stridor’s jaws will open and snap shut again, so watch your fingers when you’re feeding him sugar cubes, or energon cubes, or whatever! The ass-cannon can turn left and right, and the two front guns can raise and lower a little. I do have a bit of a gripe with the front guns, as they have a habit of falling out when rotated.
Naturally, Stridor has room for a rider, with the rider’s legs going into the body, more like a car than a horse. It works really well, and Stridor can pretty much handle any of the normal Origins figures. Sorry, Ram Man… Not you! You have to walk! Or bounce, or whatever the hell it is you do! Stridor comes with a set or reins, which are made out of rope and has a plastic bit that goes in his mouth, and two handles for the rider.
You also get some blast effect parts to go over the three guns. These are cast in translucent blue plastic, and they’re kind of big. It’s nice to have display options, but I just don’t know about these. I doubt I’ll use them much.
And finally, Stridor comes with a little stable, which consists of a green stone floor and a couple of hitching posts. It’s a cool extra, but I wish they had added a computer or something to make it look like Man-At-Arms could run diagnostics on him or program him or whatever. Maybe I’m being greedy. It’s fine.
The base also has an optional stand, which can hold Stridor in action poses, and that’s very cool!
I paid $30 for this magnificent robo-steed, which I think is the actual MSRP, and I think that’s a damn fine deal considering his size and all he comes with. Indeed, Stridor encapsulates everything that’s fun about the Origins line. He’s a big and satisfying toy, with plenty of display options. He’s a great figure all by himself, but he also interacts really well with the regular figures, giving them yet another option for riding into battle against Skeletor and his minions of evil. Now, bring on Night Stalker! God, I love this line!