In case you missed the first memo, and the second, and possibly the third… Marvel Mondays are no more. This will give me a better opportunity to spread the love around to all the other toylines that I collect. Today, I’m ripping into another Masters of the Universe Origins release with a new figure and vehicle bundle… Let’s check out Mekaneck and The Ground Ripper!
The packaging here holds no surprises. You get an elongated window box with an extended back flap. There’s some bitchin vintage-style art of Meka speeding along on the vehicle, and the window shows off all the goods. My only gripe here with the packaging is that the alternate head for the vehicle and Meka’s accessories are sealed to the cardboard tray in bubbles, so you do have to tear them open to get everything out. I’ll still likely keep the box, but it just isn’t quite as collector friendly as I would like. Let’s get to ripping, and we’ll start with the figure first!
Mattel did a great job recreating the vintage figure for this Origins update, as it is absolutely spot-on! You get a brilliant shade of blue plastic for the torso, arms, and legs with the sculpted bracers left unpainted, and the hands flesh colored. The belt is painted green, the furry diaper is black, and his boots are cast in an almost pearlescent silver. Just like the vintage figure, Meka’s chest piece is borrowed from Stinkor. Or is that the other way around? This time it’s cast in bright red plastic with some very nice silver painted trim on the front. Unfortunately, it’s a bit loosey-goosey and I don’t remember having that problem with Stinkor’s, but either way it’s no big deal. I really dig the coloring on this figure, as the red and blue just look spectacular together.
The head sculpt is a dead ringer for the original figure, with an almost pyramid-like helmet exposing only the lower half of his face. The giant triangular goggles are gray with mirror-finish lenses, which were a nice surprise. I’m not sure if that’s paint or actually a little vac-seal action, but it looks great and adds a little premium kick to the figure. I also like the way the extended piece on his chest armor synchs up with the cutout for his face. At the right angle it almost looks like its covering it.
As with the MOTU Classics version, Origins Mekaneck uses an additional neck piece to work the extending neck gimmick. You simply pop off the head, reattach it to the extended neck, and then attach that to the body. Origins has been sticking a little closer to the original play gimmicks than Classics ever did, so I guess I’m a tad disappointed it doesn’t have the neck extending gimmick from the vintage toy. Then again, it makes sense with the heavy reuse of parts in this line. At least, maybe since they repeated the Classics engineering here, they should have added a longer neck piece too. Still, it works fine and I’ll likely keep him displayed with the extended piece to show off his special talent.
You also get an orange club, styled very closely off the original figure’s accessory. Let’s move on to the Ground Ripper!
This is my first experience with this vehicle, since I never owned the vintage version, and we didn’t get one as part of Classics. It’s a simple one-manned vehicle designed to speed warriors into battle, and from what I can see this Origins version looks to be extremely close to the vintage toy design. The body is cast all in green plastic and features some very sharp and deep-sculpted detail, along with some well-placed stickers to spruce things up a bit more. The vehicle rolls along on two large back wheels and a smaller front wheel, giving it a bit of an Eternian dragster vibe. Sadly, it’s missing the ripcord gimmick that allowed you to pull out a serrated plastic strip and make it go. It doesn’t seem like it would have required a lot of engineering, and while I knew ahead of time there would be no ripcord, it still bums me out a bit.
You get two options for the vehicle’s head. The one that comes attached in the box is very similar to the original toy with stickers for the eyes and a slightly bent beak at the front. This piece also has a rather large instrument panel on the dashboard, also represented as a sticker.
The second option is a lot more bland and looks more like a robotic dragon. There are no eye stickers, and everything is very angular. The dashboard detail on this head is made up of two narrow sticker strips. I’m not sure where the inspiration from this head came from, but I guess it’s a good look if you find the first a bit too goofy. But, I prefer the first one to this by far. I suppose if I ever got a second Ground Ripper, I’d be up for displaying one with each head.
The Ground Ripper fits most of the regular style figures in the line and has a seatbelt to hold them in. I like the way the driver’s feet can touch the pedals, but with the belt on, their hands can’t reach the dashboard console. Still, the figures look pretty good in the seat and it’s fun to zip them around!
I love The Ground Ripper and I really dig Mekaneck, but I have to ask why bundle the two together? If they had to bundle a figure with this vehicle, I wish it had been a troop builder of some kind because I would have been more likely to buy a second. Maybe a Palace Guard or a variant comic-repainted figure would have been a better choice. It’s also worth mentioning that now mint-on-card collectors will never have an Origins Mekaneck to hang on their wall. Nope, that doesn’t effect me, but it still makes this seem like a misguided bundle. I picked this set up for $35, and if you break that down to twenty for the figure and fifteen for The Ripper, that seems like a pretty square deal. All I can say is keep the Origins vehicles coming, they are loads of fun!
Mekaneck looks at the Ripper: This design is a bit sus, Duncan. I can’t reach the controls with this damn seatbelt on.
Duncan: Seatbelt is there for safety reasons.
Mekaneck: It’s also not letting me jump free when this uncontrollable sled inevitably crashes.
Duncan: That’s why you’re test-riding it! Your slightly above-average visual range should give you at least one more second of warning of an impending crash.
He’s just got to remember to retract the neck for those low clearance bridges!