Masters of the Universe Classics: Karg by Super7

I was supposed to wrap up my look at Super7’s second wave of Collector’s Choice figures weeks ago, but I got sidetracked by Halloween content and I’m only now getting to open the last figure in the wave. Anyway, today’s figure is Karg and he’s special because he’s one of a handful of figures based off the 1987 Masters of the Universe film. Matty gave us Blade and Saurod, and now Super7’s addition of Karg nearly rounds out the quartet of baddies pretty well with only Beastman still out of the picture. Although I shudder to think what I would give up to get a Skeletor and Evil-Lyn from this flick. Young Meg Foster… Yum!

The packaging is right in line with what we were getting from Matty for all those years. And speaking of all those years, there’s a nice Tenth Anniversary logo on this one, celebrating the line from 2010-2018. That’s a long time! No wonder I have so many boxes of these figures! Karg’s tagline labels him as the “Evil Inquisitor With A Horrible Hook” which I presume makes him Skeletor’s chief torturer and that’s some pretty harsh shit for kids toy line. The back shows a spread of figures from Super7’s two most recent waves and you get a bio on the back that works Karg into the mainstream Masters Classics canon.

Here he is out of the package and I’ll go ahead and say it: Super7 did a nice job recreating the costume from the film, at least in terms of the sculpt. It’s not 100%, probably due to copyright issues, but the influences are certainly there. The chest and shoulder armor are comprised of one piece, sculpted in soft plastic, and permanently attached to the buck. There are some nice details around his gorget and under the armor he has a quilted tunic that hangs below his waist and is belted in place. They even recreated that distinctive horn-like emblem for his belt buckle. Sculpted onto his belt are various tools hanging down, which I would imagine are some kind of torture instruments. Below that you get some smooth leggings and buccaneer-style boots. The coloring here, on the other hand, is a big departure from his on screen look. The figure eschews the browns, coppers, and golds of the big screen costume for a metallic blue deco. It may not jibe in terms of screen accuracy, but I do like it a lot. Hell, I actually prefer it. I like my MOTUC figures crazy and flashy, and this beautiful paint job is certainly delivers that and with a gorgeous paint job. The metallic blue is exceptional and I like the silver detailing on the tools.

If there’s one thing here that I’m not too crazy about it’s his cape. It’s extremely wide, and while the sculpted woolly pattern on the top half is well done, it just doesn’t look all that great from the back. I wish it was removable, but it’s permanently attached to the chest armor. At least I don’t mind it so much when viewed from the front.

As for the head sculpt? Well, it’s a work of art. Karg’s mask was an impressive piece of work in the film and this figure captures that look very well. The skin tone has been changed up to green, but the sculpt itself is as faithful as I could want. From the wrinkled skin to the somewhat porcine nose, everything just looks great. I especially dig the sunken eyes and the very distinctive paint used for the eyes themselves. The hair isn’t quite as poofy as movie Karg’s white coif, and it’s been re-colored to yellow. I’m fine with that and I like how you can see his very alien-looking ears peeking out through the hair. Oh yeah, and he has an Elizabethan Collar around his neck! As many times as I’ve watched that movie, I never noticed it until seeing it on this figure and comparing it with stills from the flick.

I’ve yet to mention one of Karg’s most distinguishing features, and that’s the “Horrible Hook” that he has grafted onto his left arm. It’s your standard pirate hook and it does swivel at the base and have a slightly barbed end to it. My only little gripe here is that the hook had a much cooler design to it on the early prototype. It’s a pity they changed it for the final product.

Karg comes with two accessories, the first of which is the delightfully named Dagger of Agony. It actually looks like it might supposed to be an energy blade of some kind, but I don’t really know anything about it. As far as accessories go, it’s OK, but I think the design is a little dull and certainly doesn’t live up to its foreboding name.

Second, you get this pretty cool laser blaster. It’s got a bit of a Star Wars vibe to it and I can certainly get behind that! I’ll definitely be displaying him with this over the dagger.

In case you can’t tell, I really love this figure. It’s not only great that Super7 was able to get us one more original character from the ’87 movie, but I think Karg is a wonderful addition to Skeletor’s Minions. This figure represents some superb sculpting and excellent paintwork. Is there a downside? Well, Super7 have opened the pre-orders for their third wave of Filmation Style figures, but I haven’t seen any word on a third wave of Collector’s Choice figures. These new characters have been my main focus, and it would be a shame if we didn’t get any more of them.

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Masters of the Universe Classics: Granita by Super7

I was supposed to be opening my fourth and final figure in Super7’s most recent Collector’s Choice wave today, but I got side-tracked last week and forgot to include these in the rotation. Yeah, sorry about that. But today I’m putting things to right by getting back on track and opening up Granita, the “Heroic Comet Combatant!” And I have to be honest, this is going to be a rough ride…

At some point in the 80’s, toy company execs crumbled under the enormous pressure (and probably copious amounts of cocaine) to come up with new ideas… and the rock transformers were born! For the Go-Bots it was the Rock Lords and for Masters of the Universe, it was the Comet Warriors, Rokkon and Stonedar. That pair got updates in Matty’s MOTUC line, but their among the few figures I never hunted down (and yet, I bought the Star Sisters, so… go figure!). I probably wouldn’t have bothered with this third Comet Warrior, Granita, either, but she was in an assortment with three other figures I wanted real bad, so let’s check her out.

As a Comet Warrior, Granita comes with her rock armor, but we’ll start with the base figure. She looks good and I get a strong Filmation vibe off of her, despite the fact that I don’t remember ever seeing her in the cartoon. She’s got light blue skin and a somewhat futuristic looking red and pink one-piece as well as some matching knee and elbow pads that make her look like she should be wearing roller-skates. But nope, just some low boots. She also has a gold belt with sockets in the front and back, and we’ll come back to those. Granita’s design is simple enough, but I like it, and the coloring and quality of paint are all up to snuff to make for a nice looking figure.

I also dig her head sculpt a lot. She’s pretty and has a somewhat distant and serene expression that makes her look alien, and a dome of green “hair” which is supposed to be rock, but honestly looks more like hair… unless you attach the rock piece to her back and here it looks a bit more like longer, stone hair. It does mess with the ball joint under her chest, but I could still see myself displaying her with this piece on. And believe me, this is the only one of her rock pieces that works reasonably well. I say, reasonably because the color doesn’t quite match and no matter how hard I adjust it, there’s always a big gap between her hair and the lower back piece. Also, I’m not really sure how stone hair works. Does she get gravel instead of dandruff?

Granita’s other rock pieces consist of a shell piece and four pieces of rock armor that clip onto her arms and legs… well, in theory they do. To be fair, I can get these to stay on well enough if she’s just standing in place, but as soon as I pick her up or try to pose her they fall off because the clips are just way too loose. I can’t even begin to articulate how frustrating this is. Get one three pieces on and another falls off. It’s a shame because they did a nice job sculpting the stone and I love the circuitry printed on the interior of the pieces. It’s even painted over with a metallic silver to bring out the detail. But what befuddles me is: How could they not get these clips to work right? It seems like a simple enough concept. And hell, if they couldn’t get the clips to work, they should have just had them peg into the figure. Of course, all of this gets pretty problematic when I try to transform her into her rock mode.

Here you can see that her rock mode is just her bending over into the extra rock piece with her armor forming a shell. I left two of the pieces off in the above shot to show what’s going on in there. But forget about actually getting her to transform into her rock form without the armor falling off. I found the only way to go is to bend her over and then put all the pieces on afterwards, and even that is an exercise in frustration, not to mention when you’re done you just have a lump of green plastic rock, so I’m not sure the ends justify the profanity-enduing means.

“This is fine!”

In addition to her dubious rock parts, Granita also comes with a little blaster pistol and I do dig the design of this thing. It’s got a cool retro vibe to it, with a big gold disk on the end. And as a nod to the vintage toy, you can even plug it into the hole on her belt. On the downside, her hands with the outward pointing thumbs, aren’t the best choice to go with this weapon.

When I set out to open this figure and write this review, I had no idea how dire things were going to turn out. No, I’m actually not disappointed to have Granita in my collection. The figure itself looks good and she displays fine with the rock pieces on, but this is a case where the gimmick fails so miserably that they would have been better off working around it. I would have been much happier to get the figure with stylized and permanently attached rock armor while not being able to transform her into a lump of space rock. Honestly, it’s not a great gimmick to begin with. Maybe I would probably be a lot happier if I had Stonedar and her brother Rokkon to display with her, but I’m not likely to hunt those down and so Granita will have to remain the sole (and highly mediocre) Comet Warrior in my collection.

Masters of the Universe Classics: Dylamug by Super7

As promised, I’m back with another figure from Wave 2 of Super7’s MOTUC Collectors’ Choice series. If you’re just joining me, this is basically a continuation of Matty Collector’s Masters Classics line, with all new characters. Last week I opened up Wrap-Trap from The Evil Horde and I’m going to keep that sweet Horde lovin’ going this week with a look at what may be one of the wackiest MOTUC figures yet, Dylamug!

The packaging is mostly the same as what we’ve been getting all along. You do get Super7’s logo as well as a Tenth Anniversary tag, but otherwise this card design will fit right in with the one Matty used. The back of the card features some nice character art, a “Collect Them All” spread of the other figures available, and a bio of the character, which is all well and good, but all I need to know about Dylamug is that he likes forcing peasants to dance on tables and throwing pies at innkeepers. Yeah, he knows how to wield power! If you’re a mint on card collector, you may find that your Dylamug’s face isn’t completely dialed in right. Mine shifted a bit in transit, but that doesn’t bother me because I’m about to rip this bitch open!

Dylamug is kind of like MODOK meets Arnim Zola meets a Horde Trooper. He’s effectively a giant face in a can with spindly arms and legs. Other than the giant Horde symbol on his forehead, Dylamug’s body itself doesn’t sport a lot of detail, which lends itself well to the animated look of the cartoon, but might make him look a bit unfinished to some. There’s even a recessed square on his back that looks like it should have had some kind of sculpted detail, like circuitry or something. Indeed, some may say that Dylamug belongs more with one of the Filmation-based waves, but these are not hard and fast rules and I’m happy to let him coexist with my regular-flavored MOTUC Horde figures. Dylamug does have some black hoses running off his arms, legs, and shoulders, as well as a series of transparent tubes sprouting from the top of his head with various instruments inside them. I like these, they look like old radio tubes and give him a cool retro-tech kind of look.

Dylamug gets his name from the fact that the eyes and mouth on his face can be rotated to form different expressive combinations. It’s kind of like a different take on the Man-E-Faces or Tri-Klops gimmick. I don’t remember the gimmick being worked into his appearances in the cartoon, but it’s a pretty cool play feature. With three different sets of eyes and three different mouths you can come up with some neat expressions. I was a little worried about how this would work, considering Super7’s Filmation Tri-Klops came with his head stuck, but Dylamug has no issues with his facial swaps.

The articulation here isn’t bad for what he is. The arms have ball joints in the shoulders and hinges in the elbows while the legs rotate at the hips and have hinges in the knees. The ankles have hinges and lateral rockers, and there’s a swivel where his legs meet his head-body. I would have loved some swivels in the wrists, but I’m not disappointed with what we got. I’m also quite surprised that those leg joints can hold the bulk of the figure. Hopefully that will still be the case over time.

In terms of accessories, Dylamug’s extras are pretty hit and miss with me and all of them revolve around the Horde emblem on his forehead. You get one that’s designed after the Filmation look and one that’s designed after the vintage toy look. Swapping them out is easy as they just plug into a hole in his forehead and they stay put when handling him.

The third emblem is supposed to be an effect part to display him firing his laser beam, but the effect is pretty damn lousy. Most of the failure of this piece is in the paint job. If they had cast it in translucent red plastic it might have worked better, but as it is it just looks like he has a big dart sticking out of his head. To be honest, I would have so much preferred they designed some kind of crossbow attachment for his arm. Getting a Horde member without a personalized crossbow seems all kinds of wrong.

Since his reveal, Dylamug has garnered an unusual amount of scorn around some of the fan forums that I lurk at. Honestly, I’m not sure why. He’s a unique character and in a line full of crazy designs, he still manages to stand out in the crowd. Personally, I was super happy to see him get included in this wave and I’m extremely pleased with how he turned out. Sure, the effect part is a hopeless flub, but I’ll just toss it into The Bin of Forgotten Accessories. It’s not like it ruins the figure itself. Indeed, so far this wave is scoring a two out of two. Next Wednesday we’ll see if it can keep that record rolling as I open the third figure in the assortment. I just haven’t decided which one that will be yet!

Masters of the Universe Classics: Wrap-Trap by Super7

Even with Matty Collector long dead and buried, Super7 is keeping the Masters of the Universe Classics ship afloat by continuing to release the figures! It’s not the same quantity as when Club Greyskull was going full guns, but so far it’s just been a couple waves of four each year. I’ve had the willpower to resist going in on the Filmation style figures because I just can’t fall down that rabbit hole of buying a second version of every damn character. I am, however, picking up the Collectors’ Choice figures, which are basically just all new characters.

And that second wave of four Collectors’ Choice figures just arrived at my door in this shipper box. There’s nothing in the way of packing, so if you’re collecting these to be Mint On Card, your mileage may vary. My shipper box was a little bit beaten up, but the figures arrived just fine. Inside, each figure even comes comes in an individual mailer, just like Matty used to do. This wave includes two Horde members, one movie-based character, and a comet chick. I’m going to start with the Horde Mummy Wrap-Trap, partly because it’s the beginning of Halloween Season and partly because he’s the figure I was most looking forward to!

Super7 didn’t mess around with the packaging much. It’s still the familiar green stone Greyskull design and apart from a few modifications, it could easily be taken for the original Matty packages. In addition to their logo, they did add the Tenth Anniversary icon to the package. They also brought back the bios on the cardbacks, something that Matty did away with in the waning days of their releases. And thank god for that, because otherwise, I wouldn’t know anything about any of these characters. And check out that bitchin’ character art on the back of the card! These figures look great carded, and if I had the money and space I’d love to have a wall full of them. But I don’t and they’re not collector friendly, so I have no choice but to tear these open.

Wrap-Trap is a mummy warrior with allegiances to The Horde and man does he look great! The sculpted mummy wrappings are quite detailed and painted in an off-white to make them look slightly aged. They’re also pretty ragged with uncovered spaces allowing W-T’s sinewy green muscles to show through. Each of these exposed areas include a piece of wrapping that’s hanging off to signify that they either got loose, tore, or just fell off. Wrappy also features a sculpted harness holding a large Horde symbol on his chest, and he has smaller Horde symbols on his lower left leg and left bicep. Finally, he has a simple waist belt with a large green oval belt buckle.

The paint on this figure is pretty solid, although there are a few lines between the green muscle and white wrapping that could have been a little sharper. That’s mostly just the case on my figure’s right bicep and the straps on his back. It’s not something that I noticed right away, but rather on closer inspection. It’s worth mentioning, but certainly not something that’s going to ruin my enjoyment of the figure. Everything else is excellent and I love the bright green they used for his exposed body. It really makes the figure pop next to the drab, white bandages. They also used a bit of black wash for the the Horde symbol on his chest, which adds some nice depth to the sculpt.

Wrap-Trap’s fantastic portrait ties this figure together beautifully. The head is covered in more mummy wraps, but has an exposed window to show off his eyes and the bridge of where his nose would be if it hadn’t rotted off his nasty face. The coloring is the real showcase here, as you have more of that great bright green with some yellow brushing and a pair of glossy red eyes set below his prominent and creased brow. He looks like a guy I wouldn’t want to mess with. He also looks like he probably smells a bit.

The articulation here is everything I’ve come to expect from my MOTUC figures with the addition of the hinges in the wrists. With over 100 reviews of these bucks, I’m not going to run through it again. I will say, however, that the joints feel really good. Nothing is stuck out of the package, none of them are too tight or too loose. I mention it because Super7’s previous wave had some of those issues, but here it’s all good!

Wrap-Trap comes with two accessories: A scimitar and a crossbow. The sword is a really unique looking piece with a curved hooded cobra making up the gold hilt. The blade has a sweeping curve and a forked point, which may or may not be meant to invoke a serpent’s tongue. He can hold the sword in either hand and it really suits him. I just love the imagination that went into this weapon’s design!

And speaking of imaginative designs, one of the reasons I dig The Horde figures so much is that they each come with their own personalized crossbow and some of these are damn cool. In this case you get a very Egyptian-themed weapon with a scarab and wing motif. The scrab is painted blue while the rest of the weapon is painted in some sumptuous gold with a satin finish. The scarab holds a green orb in his pincers, which I presume is where the energy bolt shoots out of. There are also some basic sculpted details at the back of the weapon suggesting some kind of controls. Considering how slow they usually are, it’s nice someone finally gave a Mummy a projectile weapon.

Of all the figures in this wave, I was excited for Wrap-Trap the most, and now that he’s in hand I can happily say he does not disappoint. I could make a few minor nitpicks about the paint, but otherwise this figure shows a marked improvement in the little QC niggles that showed up in the original Super7 wave. The sculpt is great, the colors are beautiful, and the figure is loads of fun to pose and play with. Not to mention I’m always thrilled to get more soldiers for my Evil Horde. And just an administrative note: For the next three weeks, Wednesdays here at FFZ are going to be occupied with these new Masters figures. My hope is that by the time I’m done getting through these Collectors’ Choice figures, I can turn Wednesdays over to the massive inrush of figures from Mythic Legions’ Advent of Decay, which are due to start shipping out in the next couple of weeks!

Masters of the Universe Classics: Fang-Or by Super7

My sincerest apologies for calling out sick on Tuesday, but I’ve had a bad case of the crud since the weekend and it’s only now starting to lift. Five days at work with this shit didn’t leave me enough strength to do anything when I got home, other than try to sleep and I couldn’t do much of that either. So I spent a great deal of time mired on the sofa with the fever sweats and bingeing on anime blu-rays. Anywho… Since I planned on opening another one of Super7’s Masters Classics figures on Tuesday, I figured I’d just roll that review over to today. And so, while the Cold & Flu meds are still pumping through my veins and buoying me to action, lets open up Fang-Or! And then it’s back to bed for me!

Once again we see that Super7 is preserving every drop of wholesome goodness that was Matty’s MOTUC packaging. As one of the Snake Men, Fang-Or was probably the one figure that was most influential in getting me to pre-order this wave. I just cannot resist me some Snake Men! And according to his tagline, Fang-Or is a “Freakishly Fanged Snake Men Warrior!” Lets ponder on that one for a moment. Fang-Or’s snake features are so extreme that even the Snake Men consider him a freak. That’s hardcore! There’s a bio on the back, but more and more these things are reading like Mad Libs to me, as they just seem to drop a lot of names and places and events, many of which don’t mean anything to me anyway. But that’s cool. I don’t need a backstory to make me appreciate this guy…

Because just look at him! In fact, you might say this is a case of love at first bite! Sorry, that pun was the Nyquil-Sudafed-Jameson-Unisom cocktail talking. It won’t happen again. Sure, Fang-Or’s gimmick, just having really long fangs, might not be all that original, but when it comes down to pure aesthetics, I love every bit of this figure’s design. Fang-Or’s body makes use of the segmented arms and legs we saw with King Hsss, and uses a rather pleasing olive green plastic for his skin color. I dig the decision to use these parts because it sets him apart from the rest of the Snake Men Warriors, giving him a rather distinctive look.

Fang-Or also sports a great looking set of brown and gold armor, consisting of a vest, belt, arm bracers, and grieves. The arm and leg armor features ornately sculpted gold fixtures reinforcing what I imagine is intended as leather. The grieves even have the detailed hinges and clasps that are supposed to be holding them in place. The vest has gold trim around the edges and sculpted rivets, each neatly painted gold, and a pair of green snakes running around the arm holes, over the shoulders and meeting under the neck. But the real showpiece here is the wide belt, which includes a huge ouroboros medallion in the center with a snake icon in the center. The belt has a leather-like texture, gold-painted studs, and it’s worn over the traditional Eternian furry diaper. The brown and gold and olive green deco blend together really well on this figure, and there’s even some coppery colored paint on the armor to spice things up. Overall, the quality of the paint application is pretty good. My figure has a stray gold fleck on his vest, and there’s a little bit of brown on his right thigh, but nothing I’m going to want to call the QC police over.

Fang-Or features the standard articulation that we’ve seen in Matty’s MOTUC figures, and that’s actually a little disappointing. The other two figures in this wave added hinges to the wrists, but Fang-Or here missed out on that little upgrade. I guess it’s not a deal-breaker for me, since 99.9% of my Masters Classics collection doesn’t have them either, but it would have been nice to know that all the Super7 figures were going to include the hinged wrists and not just some. Another thing about Fang-Or that disappoints is how loose his ab crunch hinge is. It’ll hold itself upright just fine, but it still feels like a figure that’s been played with a lot, even though it came straight from the package. Hawke had similar issues, and I’m hoping that Super7 gets some of these wrinkles ironed out by the time the next wave hits.

Fang=Or includes two heads and comes packaged showcasing his elongated fangs. The sculpted scaled noggin features a distinctively saurian shape with some pupiless yellow eyes and a wide stretched mouth. There’s some great detail inside the mouth and around the tongue, and the giant hangs are impressive indeed.

The alternative head has the shorter fangs. According to the bio, Fang-Or can “project” his fangs like knives and then grow new ones. I hope that means he shoots them out of his mouth, because I’d hate to think he snaps them off and throws them, because that just gives me the willies. Either way, this head features all the same great sculpting as the other, but it’s a little less awkward because of the normal sized fangs. I really like both heads a lot, but chances are I’m going to display this guy with the big ones, since that’s what he’s all about. At least, that’s the head I chose to use for the pictures throughout most of this review.

Fang-Or comes with a nice collection of accessories, although I’ll note here that I found his lack of serpent staff like a big omission. It’s become a tradition to get some kind of snake-related staff with these guys and I was surprised they didn’t work something up for Fang-Or as well. But that’s not to say what’s here isn’t great. For starters, he has this rather exotic and totally bitchin’ sword. This thing looks like it’s part falchion, part sickle, and all business. It’s got a silver painted blade with a black guard and pommel, and a brown ribbed grip. There’s even a saw-back sculpted on the back near the hilt. I don’t know how practical this design is, but it looks wicked and unique and I really dig it.

How about a set of tools? Fang-Or’s bio mentions that he’s fascinated by technology and that he learned all about tinkering on machines from Snake Man-At-Arms. As such, he comes with three of his favorite tools: A screwdriver, a hammer, and a pipe-wrench. Naturally, each of these tools is snake-themed, with snake head style implements (well, except for the screwdriver) and rattler-style handles. The gold paint on these looks especially nice. Pity they didn’t give him a toolbelt or something to tuck them into. These tools are not only super swanky, but it’s probably pretty convenient to have tools personalized like this, so that if someone tries to borrow them and not return them Fang-Or can always prove that they’re his.

Finally, Fang-Or comes with this adorable little winged serpent. It’s a simple static plastic figure, but the paint and sculpting are both nice. I have no idea if this is pulled from some particular piece of the MOTU fiction, but I’m very happy to have it. In fact, I can think of several different toy lines in my collection that would love to borrow it.

Fang-Or is a fantastic figure who definitely ranks way up there as one of my new favorites in the entire collection. I love the coloring, I love the personality in his head, and I particularly love all the fine detail work in his armor. He’s definitely my favorite figure in this assortment so far, and he may even be in the running as my favorite Snake Man, and that’s saying a lot, because I love each and every one of these loony bastards quite a bit. Yes, the lose hinge in the chest is troubling, and probably something we should not have to be dealing with at this stage of the game, but everything else about this figure is so good, it’s hard for me to get too upset over it. And that’s three down and one to go… Next week I’ll open up the final figure in this wave and add to the ranks of my Evil Space Mutants!

Masters of the Universe Classics: Hawke by Super7

As promised, Tuesdays in March are going to be all about Masters of the Universe Classics, as Super7 shipped out their first Collector’s Choice Wave a couple of weeks back and I am pretty excited to keep tearing into these. Last week I opened up evil slaver bastard, Lodar. This week I’m checking out the only one of the Heroic Masters in the wave, Hawke, the “Heroic Feathered Fighter!” Um, really? Did you even watch that episode?

Ah, it feels so good to be seeing this packaging again! Super7 may be running the show now, but they’ve kept the packaging 100% faithful to the Matty Collector style. I still get a warm and fuzzy feeling every time I get ready to open one of these. I know some folks were miffed that Super7 didn’t move to a collector friendly package, but I’ve been ripping these things open for years now, and I’m not about to worry about that now! They also brought back the bios on the backs of the cards, which I certainly appreciate, because I know next to nothing about some of the characters in this wave. Of course, you don’t need to be a He-Manologist to recognize that Hawke is an Avionian. Oh yeah, and the bio declares that she’s also Stratos’ sister. And supposedly, she was under some kind of spell when she did all that betrayal shit, so I guess it doesn’t count.

While Hawke is part of the Collector’s Choice assortment, she would also fit right in with the Filmation figures. She appeared in the episode “Betrayal of Stratos” and oh, boy did I hate her voice. She was also a pretty horrible person. The figure adopts a simple sculpt to match the Filmation design and does a great job of it. Just like her animated counterpart, her costume features a sleeveless gray bodysuit with blue birdy-panties and maroon thigh-high boots. The only real sculpted detail on the whole outfit are the cut lines radiating down from her neck to her chest. Like I said, she’s simple, but she looks good and I do dig the combination of colors.

As an Avionian, Hawke features wings on her arms with sculpted feathers. These are attached to the bracelets on her wrists, and she has matching bands around her biceps. Much has been said about Super7’s female figures and how their hips are awkward. I haven’t been following HipGate too closely, but I’m pretty sure it involved this figure and the Filmation Teela. I also recall them saying they fixed it. Well, I’m not sure if it’s the same issue or not, but Hawke has a pretty wide thigh gap. I’m told that there are women out there who would kill for that kind of thigh gap, but in this case, I think it makes the figure look a little strange when standing. On the other hand, it’s not so much a problem when she’s in an action pose, so it didn’t take me too long to get over it.

I like the head sculpt a lot, as it’s basically a female version of Stratos, thankfully without the weird Amish-birdman beard. She has the very iconic Avionian goggles, a helmet with three crests running down the top, perfectly painted lips, and a short coif of reddish-orange hair spilling out the back of the helmet. There’s a little paint rubbed on my figure’s goggles just above her right cheek, but I really didn’t even notice it until getting in close with the camera. The head does sit pretty low on the neck and this obscures the neck entirely when viewing the figure from the front. Still, all in all it’s not a bad head. But wait… there’s more!

Hawke also comes with an extra head, which I believe is supposed to be Stratos’ wife, Delora. It’s pretty much the same head sculpt, but with longer blonde hair spilling out the back of the helmet. I think I may actually display the figure as Delora, because Hawke was such a lying, scheming, traitorous bitch in the cartoon. Maybe if she came with a cage, I’d keep the Hawke head on and put her in it. I hear the bird people have a thing about cages.

The articulation is similar to what we’ve been seeing in the Matty MOTUC figures, but with one huge difference that I neglected to mention in my Lodar review, and that’s the hinged wrists. Otherwise, she has rotating hinges in her shoulders, bicep swivels, and hinged elbows. The legs are ball jointes at the hips, have swivels at the tops of the boots, hinges in the knees, and both hinges and rockers in the ankles. There’s no waist swivel, but she does have a ball joint under her chest and the neck is ball jointed. But don’t expect to get much movement out of the neck joint. Between the sculpted hair and how low the head sits, it’s not much use. Also, my figure feels a bit more loosey-goosey than most of the other MOTUC figures in my collection. I didn’t have a problem with Lodar, so maybe this is just an isolated problem. She can stand and pose well, but it still feels like there’s too much play in some of the joints.

In addition to the extra head, Hawke comes two weapons. The first is her sword, which is a really cool and classic design. The hilt features a detailed sculpt with a ribbed grip that almost looks like it’s made to extend and contract for single or two-handed fighting. It has a short crossguard and a rather stout blade. It’s a pity there’s nowhere that she can wear it.

The other weapon is a gun, some kind of smokescreen gun, I think, which I’m not crazy about at all. It’s a weird and awkward design and she can’t really hold it all that convincingly. It does have a leather-like carry strap, which seems like it might be a first for Masters Classics. I think I’ll stick with the sword.

I think I was looking forward to Hawke the least out of this assortment, so I can’t really say she disappointed me. She’s not a bad figure, but there’s nothing about her that really blows me away either. Super7 did a nice job recreating the Filmation look and the extra head is a nice bonus, but there’s just a few too many little nagging things about this figure that keep her from being a homerun. I’m still happy to add her to my collection, and I’m pretty confident that she’s going to be the only underwhelming figure in the wave. But I guess we’ll test that theory next Tuesday as I open another figure in the assortment.

Hawke: “But why, Skeletor? I got you the Egg of Avion!”

Skeletor: “Myeahhh! Yes, and I’m rewarding your betrayal with more betrayal. It’s called irony, Birdbrain. Look it up!”

Masters of the Universe Classics: Quakke by Super7

The last Tuesday of the month is not usually something to get upset about, but in this case it means I’m opening up the last figure in my “Collector’s Choice” wave of Masters Classics from Super7. Yeah, I’ve got the next wave pre-ordered, but who the hell knows when they’ll ship, so if I want any MOTUC love in the interim, I may have to dig into my stash and open some old Matty ones. In case you hadn’t noticed, Super7 packed some nice variety into this wave. We got a character from the Mini-Comic, we got a Filmation style character from the cartoon, we got a member of the Evil Snake Men, and now we’re getting an Evil Space Mutant. Let’s take a look at Quakke!

New company, same old packaging. Super7 wisely kept the presentation intact after they took over the reigns. I’m sure this was a huge deal for collectors who do the Mint On Card thing and didn’t want anything to change. Super7 even restored the bios to the backs of the cards. I don’t have a lot of appreciation for the New Adventures of He-Man cartoon, or even the toys for that matter, but I do love me some Evil Space Mutants. These guys are fun, colorful, and creative, and I think the designs really carried the torch for what the vintage toy line was all about. I also like the idea of Skeletor getting into space and having to find a whole new collection of buffoons to order about. I was really excited about getting this one, so let’s see if he lives up to those expectations.

And just when I thought these Space Mutants couldn’t get any crazier looking Quakke shows up and drops the mic! For starters, this is a crazy complex sculpt and his ramshackle techno-suit is just brimming with detail. The torso is covered with a soft plastic vest, which also attaches to the shoulder armor, and even the right shoulder has a hose attached to it that runs down the arm and connects just below the elbow.

His armor is a mix of copper and silver colored plates, with sections of a black, ribbed under-suit showing through here and there. I love all the hoses and rivets, and vents, and mismatched plates. He also has a big screen on his chest that looks like the read-out on an oscilloscope. Beyond the copper and silver armor, he sports some blue segmented pants, and the bare sections of his arms reveal his red skin.

Quakke’s got a crazy looking red mug with a pair of bugged out eyes and a snarling mouth, displaying a whole wall of teeth. His ugly face is framed by his copper colored helmet, which looks as haphazard as the rest of his suit, and also appears to have taken a direct hit at the top, because there’s a nasty crack running down it.

Quakke comes with his signature weapon, which also happens to have one of the best weapon names ever: The Grabatron Meteormace! It’s actually a large three-fingered grabbing claw on the end of a stick designed to hold some meteor chunk he found. “Hey, look! It’s a rare space rock! I’m going to invent something to grab it with so I can hit people with it!” If that doesn’t perfectly sum up the Space Mutants, I don’t know what does. The claw isn’t articulated, but it does hold the meteor surprisingly well thanks to three little notches in it. The meteor also splits apart like the one with the original toy. I seem to remember the original just having rock textures inside, but this one houses some kind of crazy electronic instruments. I’m not sure what that’s all about, but it looks cool.

Quakke was a great figure to end this wave on and he does not disappoint! Super7 took the original toy design and ran with it, adding so much more detail and personality to what was already a pretty unique looking figure. Plus, his weapon is crazy and adds a lot of value to the overall package. He also looks great lined up with my Matty Evil Space Mutants. I’d say he’s easily tied with Fang-Or as my favorite in this assortment and he has definitely left me wanting more.

Masters of the Universe Classics: Lodar by Super7

Holy shit, it sure was weird to type that title, and yes the first time I did it, I typed “by Mattel” out of sheer mucle memory. Nonetheless, when Mattel decided to shut down Matty Collector it didn’t mean the end for Masters Classics. Nope, instead they turned over the reigns to Super7, a company that I knew only as the ones that gave birth to the ReAction figure line before they gave that away to Funko. Although they still do ReAction style figures, so I’m not sure what all happened there. Anyway, Super7 have actually tested the waters and turned out a couple of “Ultimate Editions” of previously released MOTUC figures, but the ones that arrived at my doorstep last week are the first Super7 Masters for me. It’s been a long wait. Indeed, it’s been so long that I couldn’t even tell you when I pre-ordered these. Needless to say I’m really excited to start opening these up!

This is a case of the “Collector’s Choice” assortment, which consists of four all new characters from various corners of Masters lore. Super7 also simultaneously released a “Club Grayskull” assortment, which is a wave of four Filmation-style versions of previously released characters. As much as I’d like to collect the Filmation style, I exercised some rare self control and told myself I wasn’t about to buy a second version of each figure I already own. But four new figures based on characters that haven’t been done yet? I signed up for that in a heartbeat. And then I signed up for it again when the pre-order dropped for the second assortment. The figures were $35 each with the caveat that you had to buy them by the wave, so that meant $139 per assortment and no cherry-picking. I’ll admit that all-or-nothing clause kind of pissed me off at first, until I realized I was going to buy all four anyway. Also, I think if you buy one of the two waves you can cherry-pick figures from the other? I’m not to clear on that point. At least they didn’t make us buy all eight, because if they did I probably would have. Anyway, that’s enough of a preamble, let’s dig into the first figure and he is Lodar!

Well, that sure looks familiar! The packaging is pretty much identical to what we’ve been getting all along from Matty Collector. Each carded figure even comes in the same style mailer box. Now, I do tear these open, so it wouldn’t have bothered me much if they had changed the packaging. Hell, if they shipped them in baggies and knocked some dollars off, I probably would have been fine with that too. But, it’s still nice to get that clear continuity in terms of the presentation. I’ve always loved this package design and if I were a rich man with a lot of space, I’d have doubles of all of these figures to keep sealed. One key difference on the card is that Super7 brought back the bios on the back. Some of you may remember these were dropped from the final figures in the Matty Collector line. I’m happy to see them return, because without it, I would have no idea who Lodar is. His tagline calls him the “Evil Master of Celestial Magic” but he looks more like a thug, and his bio kind of supports that. Apparently he’s from one of the mini-comics and he’s some asshole who captured a city called Targa and enslaved the population. Magic comes into the picture somewhere, but I think, “Evil Slaver Bastard” would have been a better tagline.

Out of the package, Lodar looks like someone who just stepped out of a Road Warrior movie. Only purple. This is a really simple figure, but I have to say I dig him a lot. From the waist down he’s got a typical Masters-style belt but eschews the classic furry diaper for a pair of slick black trousers with a purple, segmented V drawing attention to his groinular region. He’s also got some wicked spikes on the soles of his boots. Above the waist, he’s showing off a lot of that flashy purple skin and the plastic they used is fantastically vibrant. He’s got a pair of spiked wrist bracers, a strap on his right bicep, a half-vest, which is tied at the front with a giant cross-stitch, and a pair of spiked shoulders that he may or may not have borrowed from Beast Man’s wardrobe.

Just about everything about Lodar feels like the same old Masters Classics line.  I know some people were reporting some issues with their figures, but I don’t have any with Lodar. In fact, Matty was getting a little sloppy with the QC on the last batches of figures, and it’s nice to not see any of that evident here. The hands feel a little softer than most of my other MOTUC figures, but that just makes it easier for me to get the weapon in his hand, and he holds onto it quite firmly. The buck seems more or less standard MOTUC fare and I’m not going to break down the articulation because I’ve reviewed over a hundred figures in this line and it’s all been the same. I suppose you could argue that the level of articulation here is getting a bit dated, but I wouldn’t want to see them change things up this late in the game. Oh yeah, he does have ankle rockers, which hasn’t always been the case.

The head sculpt continues to drive home the Road Warrior-y vibe that I get off of Lodar. It’s a tight-fitting helmet with spiked mohawk and a face mask with breather slits. The only aspect of Lodar’s face that’s showing are his eyes. The closer shots show off the hammered metal pattern on his shoulder armor, as well as the sculpted rivets. If this were still part of the actual Masters toyline, it would have been cool for them to give Lodar a post-apocalyptic dune buggy with a skull on the front. Yup, you can probably tell I don’t know anything about this character.

Lodar comes with a nasty looking spiked mace as his weapon of choice. It’s a simple weapon, mostly black with purple spikes and matches his own color palate rahter well, proving that even evil slaver bastards know how to accessorize.

Lodar also comes with this set of manacles and chains attached to a disc, which I presume is supposed to be bolted down to a dungeon floor. This is a fun accessory, especially if you’re into some weird bondage shit with your action figures. The cuffs are made of soft plastic and clip easily around most of the MOTUC figures’ wrists. Ironically, it’s kind of hard to get them on Lodar because of his spiked bracers. The plate their attached to doesn’t actually secure to anything, but a little blue-tack would probably work wonders getting it to stick to the floor or even to a ceiling.

As I think I mentioned earlier, I pre-ordered these figures so long ago that I forgot about them for quite a while. It wasn’t until pre-orders for the second wave came up and Super7 started talking about these shipping out that I started to get really excited. And when they finally arrived I realized how much I’ve been missing this line. After getting at least one MOTUC figure a month for I don’t know how many years, I was really sorry to see the line wind down, although my bank account was probably relieved. There have been some rocky roads between then and now, but I’m delighted to see that Super7 is taking up the reigns and if Lodar is any indication, it looks like Masters Classics is in good hands, I just wish Super7 could have done the same for ThunderCats. Anyway, I’ve got three more of these figures to look at, and I’ll be clearing Tuesdays for the rest of the month to do just that!

Masters of the Universe Classics: Hover Robots by Mattel

My Christmas excursion into Masters Classics last month got me good and fired up about picking up some of the figures missing from my collection, and finally opening up some of the stuff I’ve been waiting on. Hell, I still have a unopened Battle Ram lying around here somewhere. Suffice it to say, I still have some unfinished business with MOTUC. Take these Hover Robots for example. Missing out on these the first time broke my heart. And then just as I was getting over that heartache, I missed out on them again. Luckily, I peruse Mattel’s Ebay page every now and then, and they just so happened to turn up there over the Holidays… and on sale too! It was like a Christmas Miracle!

Despite being a three-pack, these figures come in the same size and style card-and-bubble that we’ve been seeing throughout the Masters Classics run. If you’re unfamiliar, these tin cans are from the Filmation cartoon, and occasionally served as Skeletor’s soldiers as well as enemies for He-Man to beat up without having to depict him actually inflicting violence on living beings. It’s sort of like the Battle Android Troopers in GI Joe. Acceptable cannon fodder. I seem to remember one of He-Man’s signature moves was to grab one robot and toss it into a group of others, resulting in them all explode. Even the delightful tagline, “Evil Mindless Robot Goons” stresses that they have no sense or feelings. Some of you may know that I have a “love to hate” relationship with the Filmation cartoon, but I always loved these robot designs.

The three-pack does indeed consist of three of the same figure. I’m a little surprised Matty didn’t do something to distinguish them apart like they did with the Horde Trooper two-pack. Maybe scorch marks on one? But don’t get me wrong, I’m glad they didn’t. The robots come with clear plastic stands that plug and unplug easily into the socket at the bottom of their little hover tube. These are similar to the stands used for Orko and The Unnamed One. They balance quite well and certainly serve their purpose, but it would have been cool if Matty could have given them a ball joint or some kind of articulation. Maybe it could have been something put into one of the accessory packs, if these were released earlier in the line’s lifespan. But I didn’t come here to complain, I came here to praise these adorable little death machines.

Each of the robots are very simple figures, but that’s not a criticism, but rather what the design demands. The sculpts feature minimal details and minimal paint, but both of which works to maintain the Filmation animated style. You do get a little bit of metallic blue paint on some of the panels, as well as silver paint on the hover tube and the arms. The dome at the top features bright yellow paint for the eyes and black for the “V” shaped area that houses them. It helps to give them a rather sinister look, despite their somewhat dumpy design.

The coolest detail on these guys is the lenticular sticker used for their “mouths.” By viewing it at different angles, it changes the pattern of the oscilloscope-like wave that would react when the robots spoke. It was a great idea and it works really well. Other than the animated mouths, the articulation on these fellas is pretty simple, but all the necessary points are there. The arms are ball jointed at the shoulders and elbows, and they hands can rotate at the wrists. The dome with the eyes can also swivel from side to side.

The pack includes an extra set of propeller hands for each of the robots, and swapping them in and out is really easy. I seem to remember the robots in the cartoon using the propeller hands as weapons by spinning them really fast to chop up their foes. I suppose they could really do some damage with those if they got up close and personal. Good thing for The Masters of the Universe that these guys were pretty useless.

And really, that’s all I have to say about the Hover Robots, but don’t be fooled by the brevity of this review. These are fantastic little figures and I’m so happy that I was finally able to snag a set without paying crazy money for them. They look great, they capture that Filmation design perfectly, they’re fun to play with, and even though I never owned any He-Man figures as a kid, I still would have loved to have a set of these. They’re still available on Matty’s Ebay Store, although since I picked mine up the price has gone back up to $35. But that includes shipping and is certainly less then they would have cost if they were included in my Club Eternia Subscription back in the day. Either way, I’m in love with these dopey tin cans and I do believe I’m going to try to grab another set before they’re gone.

Masters of the Universe Classics: Point Dread and the Talon Fighter by Mattel

Merry Christmas, friends! Well, it’s actually Christmas Eve for me as I’m writing this, and yes I’m bumping Marvel Monday this week for some special Christmas content. Last year I attempted to recreate the magic of Christmas past by opening up a truly epic playset, Castle Grayskull, and it was a wonderful experiment in recapturing my youth. It brought me back to those Christmas mornings as a kid sitting under the tree and unwrapping that giant toy that I begged for all year long like the insufferable little shit that I was. This year, I’m doing it again with the only playset that could possibly match Castle Grayskull… Yes, it’s the MOTUC version of SNAKE MOUNTAIN!!! Oh, wait… that never came out. Bummer. OK, so I don’t have anything quite as grandiose as Grayskull, but once again, I have been saving an MOTUC toy all year for this occasion. And if you know me, then you know that it took every scrap of my nearly non-existent willpower to let this thing sit unopened for a year. Keep in mind, I have to really stretch the limits of my little photo staging area for these bigger toys, so I’ll apologize in advance for the quality of the pictures. Now… Let’s check out The Talon Fighter and Point Dread!

The long and fully enclosed box is none the worse for wear after having spent an entire year unopened in my closet. Despite it’s lack of height, it’s still an impressively sized box measuring just a bit longer across than the Grayskull box. You get that same amazing vintage-style artwork that I’ve come to know and love from the Masters Classics boxed toys. He-Man and Teela are cruising along while Duncan looks like he’s chasing after them and yelling, “Have my daughter home at a reasonable hour!!!” There’s also some trouble rising in the background as Skeletor and his goons approach to ruin He-Man and Teela’s date. I originally abstained from buying the Talon Fighter because I knew I had nowhere to put it. Naturally when Matty put it up on clearance, I decided I would somehow make it work. The collector part of my brain told me that cheaper things take up less room, and Collector Brain would never lie to me!

The reverse side of the box has a panel of line drawings showing all sorts of figures and other goodies from the MOTUC series. If you grew up in the 80’s these monochrome panels were on most big playsets. It’s all an effort to recreate that vintage charm, and it succeeds brilliantly. Opening the box reveals lots of parts and cardboard, telling me that there is some assembly required here. Point Dread comes in two parts, with one stacking on the other. There’s also a beam that attaches to the top for the Talon Fighter to rest on. The Talon Fighter itself requires you to attach the wings, the radar dish, and the four guns. You also get to choose a sticker for the viewscreen inside the ship. There’s nothing too complex here, but unfortunately the wings aren’t meant to come off again, so unless you’re willing to risk some damage to the clips, this baby isn’t going back into the box.

And here’s what you get when everything is all set up. While it’s no Grayskull, the combined size of the Talon Fighter and Point Dread is still pretty impressive. Just look at how the whole thing towers above Teela. Oh, did I mention the set also includes a Filmation version of Teela? You know that one annoying relative that shows up every Christmas and almost ruins everything? Well, let’s just call her Teela.

So, this version of Teela has become infamous from the scorn that she has attracted, so I was really curious as to whether she could really be that bad. And yes… she really is that bad. With something like 125 Masters Classic figures in my collection, I’d only consider a few to be sub par, and this one is easily in the runner up for the worst of them all. I don’t know what happened here, but it’s like a perfect storm of bad design. From the bulky top to the granny panties on the bottom, the outfit just doesn’t work. There’s even hideous mold lines running down the arms. About the only thing that I can give a pass to here are the boots, they look fine. That’s probably because they borrow from the original figure.

And the head! The nose and mouth are so weirdly shaped and the paint is so basic and flat. Maybe if this figure was released at the beginning of the line, I could understand, but Matty and The Four Horsemen had something like a hundred figures under their belt by the time this Teela came out.

It doesn’t help that the original Teela is such a great figure and easily one of my favorite in the entire line. And yes, I realize that this Teela is supposed to look simpler because she’s based on the animation model, but that doesn’t help excuse any of this. If I had to say something nice about this new Teela, it would be that the paint is overall pretty good. They used the usual gold leaf for her armor and it really pops next to all that white.

Teela does come with some accessories to help assuage the suck. One of them is an alternate helmeted head, but unfortunately it’s built off the same sculpt, so it really doesn’t improve anything. The blue helmet is similar to the kind her father and the Eternian Royal Guard wear. It also has a removable visor. I want to love that they included this for when she’s piloting the Talon Fighter, but this figure is so ugly, she won’t be allowed in the Talon Fighter. Well, maybe just today… but only because it’s Christmas.

The other accessories are a sword and a shield, both of which are new sculpts and they both look great. OK, that’s enough about Teela. She’s the turd in our holiday punch bowl and it’s best to just ignore her and move on to the main event… Point Dread! We’ll start at the bottom and work our way up.

Point Dread is not only the resting place and remote outpost for the Talon Fighter, but depending on which fiction you happen to follow, it can be a surprisingly weird place. Sometimes it was depicted as magically appearing under the Talon Fighter when it landed, other times it was a fixed location that only appeared every twenty years. It’s also the place Skeletor cooked up Teela by magically cloning The Sorceress in an attempt to make an Evil Sorceress. HOLY SHIT! For the purposes of this review, let’s just say that Point Dread is a small fortified outpost that gives the Talon Fighter a place to rest its weary bird feet. The little playset is comprised of two pieces, the top of which can be attached to Castle Grayskull, and I’ll circle back to that at the end.

From the outside, it shares all the iconic charm of Grayskull’s green stonework architecture. It uses the same eerie colored plastic with a nice wash and some dry brushing to bring out the look of the stones. It’s sculpted out of proportion, with the size of the stairs getting smaller toward the top to make it look bigger. The stairs do, however, give you a cool place to give your figures some action poses. You also get a little window near the base with a sculpted wooden shudder over it. Let’s turn it around and have a look inside.

As a playset, there’s not a lot going on in here. There’s a sculpted wooden floor, which features some really nice woodgrain detail as well as sculpted nails. There’s a window that the occupant can look out of, and there’s a computer system with a sticker on the screen showing a Saturn-like planet. The computer features that lovely retro-tech styling that I love so much in my swords-and-sorcery-and-tech fantasies. It not only has all sorts of sculpted controls, buttons, and dials, but it features some wonderful paint applications that really bring the whole thing to life. On the downside, it’s scaled way too small for the MOTUC figures to really work with it. Maybe if it came with a chair it would work better, but as it is, even Teela has to bend way over to get to the controls. In all honesty, as a standalone playset, Point Dread doesn’t offer much other than a little cubby for your Masters figures to check their emails, tweet a little, and maybe engage in some naughty net surfing. Or they can just look at a picture of space.

But what Point Dread lacks as a compelling playset it easily makes up for as a posh way to display your Talon Fighter, thanks to the rotating crossbeam that rests on top of the structure. This platform has foot pegs for the fighter’s birdy feet and they lock into place securely so there’s no worries about it falling off and crashing. When you’re ready for the Talon Fighter to take off, you just press a switch on the bottom of the platform, and it releases the craft for flight operations.

And what a great looking fighter this is! Oh, don’t get me wrong, it’s clunky and it’s clearly designed by someone who was more concerned with satisfying their bird fetish than applying actual aerodynamics. But this is Eternia, where a vehicle can be all those things as well as be downright awesome. And when I first had this thing in hand, I was indeed in awe of it. Sure, there are some companies out there experimenting with 6-inch scale vehicles. Diamond Select has done some for Batman, NECA did one for their Predators, and even Hasbro has delivered some for Star Wars Black. But it’s still a new and rare enough experience that it’s hard to approximate just how big a 6-inch scale vehicle is until I’m holding it my hand and trying to find somewhere to display the damn thing. And let’s keep in mind, the Talon Fighter is designed to hold two figures!

And besides being big, this thing is a work of art. From the chunky, back-swept feathered wings and taloned claw landing gear, to the sweeping curves of the bird’s hooked beak as the nose of the vehicle, this is a sculpt that celebrates the very weird and wonderful spirit of Masters of the Universe. And the coloring… oh, the coloring. I love the way the sumptuous golden yellow of the bird’s beak gradually gives way to the fiery orange on the top. Couple that with the maroon wings and the brilliant metallic blue that makes up the guns, canopy, and radar dish, and you’ve got a deco that is as appropriately flamboyant as the design.

The back portion of the craft beautifully blends the glory of Eternian tech with the fighter’s avian art deco design. You get two large thrusters and two smaller ones in the middle. The sculpt includes vents, tubes, cables, what appear to be some rotating handles for shut-off valves, and even the individual bolts are part of the sculpt. Applications of red, black, and silver paint all help pick out some of the details.

The cockpit canopy features clear plastic windows all around and the framework includes sculpted rivets and a sculpted non-functioning escape hatch at the top. There are also highlights of a deeper and more metallic blue paint used to pick out some of the details as well as some beautiful silver paint used on the triangular vent sections on the sides. Finally, there’s a beefy radar dish on the top of the canopy, which can rotate 360-degrees.

Inside, the cockpit displays more of that great Eternian tech design. The main console features an array of buttons and switches in all different colors as well as a dual-handled flight stick protruding out from under it. The central viewscreen on the console is a sticker. You get three choices to customize your Talon Fighter, including a goofy shot of Orko. I went with the generic radar display graphic. The left and right of the pilot seat is flanked by more consoles and still more colored buttons and switches. There are also some gauges to the right. I love that Mattel went with actual sculpted instruments for the bulk of the controls here, rather than cop out with just stickers.

That’s not to say there aren’t some stickered panels. The back seat features two stickered consoles to the left and right, showing all sorts of gauges and readouts, and even what appears to be an intercom system.

On the back of the rear seat there’s more sculpted and painted details, which include some tools and emergency equipment. Included here is a medical kit, a fire extinguisher, an axe and some wrenches.

What’s really impressive about this vehicle is how roomy it is. Lately I’ve found myself having to squeeze some 3 3/4-inch figures into their vehicles from one of those other toy lines from that other big company, but this big fella can accommodate two Masters Classics figures and still give them plenty of room to move around. That’s no small feat for figures as big, buff, and bulky as these guys, but just look at He-Man in the back seat. He’s got room to spread out, stretch his legs and enjoy a first class flying experience. Teela has so much room, I’d bet you could squeeze two chicks in the back as long as they weren’t opposed to things getting cozy. The pilot seat is just as spacious and your average MOTUC figure can sit and hold the control sticks perfectly. And now that we’ve looked at this big bird inside and out, how about joining it with Castle Grayskull.

Just when I thought Castle Grayskull couldn’t get any more impressive, I go and add this to it. And boy was this a lot of fun to shoot in my tiny studio. I had to reposition my overhead light all the way to the ceiling, and it was still bumping the top of the Talon Fighter. Next I had to switch out the table I shoot on for something a lot lower. Needless to say, this set up is freaking huge!

The top part of Point Dread fits over the right tower and while the union isn’t exactly seamless, I think it looks pretty natural. The connection is extremely solid and you hear a big scary snap when it’s locked into place. What’s scarier is separating the two again. In fact, it’s so scary, I don’t know that I’m going to be doing this too many times for fear of cracking the castle wall. Granted, the Talon Fighter looks pretty awkward sitting up there. It either looks way too big or makes Grayskull look a lot smaller. But I really don’t care. I just think it’s awesome that they were able to make this work so well with the castle.

And this is what Christmas used to be all about: Waiting all year for that one special big toy and experiencing the joy of opening it up on Christmas morning. Of course it’s getting harder and harder to do, because they don’t make big and satisfying toys like this much anymore. But Point Dread and the Talon Fighter did not disappoint, even if the Teela figure was a little like getting coal in the stocking. And for all the shit everyone used to give Matty, I’m grateful to them for allowing me to celebrate two Christmases in a row now with some truly amazing Masters of the Universe Classics. I still have some pretty cool toys and figures to open from this line, but I doubt I’ll be waiting until next Christmas to do it. But fear not, I have some other ideas for Christmas 2018.

And that’s a wrap for me this Christmas. I’m going to be taking a couple days off from bloggery and I hope to be back with new content on Thursday and Friday and by then I should have sorted out what next week is going to look like. For now, I’m off to have dinner with my folks, exchange some gifts, and come home and watch Doctor Who. But before heading out I want to offer my sincerest and most heartfelt wishes to you all. I hope your holiday is restful and full of joy. Cherish your families, don’t sweat the small stuff, and I hope you get to enjoy some toys!