MEKANECK & GROUND RIPPER
MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE ORIGINS (MATTEL)
The best and easiest way for me to manage not going stupidly overboard on any given toy brand is really dig myself in on just a couple of characters I really like. That way, instead of feeling like I need to go all-in on any iteration of a brand, I can just focus on when they got to those couple of characters. Perhaps the most successful go at this I’ve got in my arsenal is Masters of the Universe. When it comes to any given Masters line, I really only need to concern myself with three characters: Orko, Roboto, and Mekaneck. Mattel’s been pretty darn lax on Mekaneck recently, and we had three different running Masters lines without any coverage for him, but that’s finally changing up at least a little bit. I already got Orko and Roboto from Mattel’s Origins line, but now I’ve got a Mekaneck. Oh yeah. Time for another Mekaneck!
THE TOYS THEMSELVES
Mekaneck and the Ground Ripper are a deluxe offering from Mattel’s Masters of the Universe: Origins line, bundling a standard figure with a smaller scale vehicle, following in the footsteps of the Prince Adam and Skysled pack from the line’s first year. This set initially went up for order exclusively through one of Walmart’s collector events, but it very quickly showed up through other vendors, so it looks like it was just some sort of exclusive pre-order window deal. Whatever the case, this is a standard release item, and that’s certainly a plus.
Mekaneck’s original figure was a 1984 release, and he’s the last figure from that year to make it to Origins, which also somewhat duplicates his late-game addition to Classics as well. He’s, unsurprisingly, an update on his vintage counterpart. The figure is about 5 1/2 inches tall and he has 23 points of articulation. As was the case with his vintage counterpart, Mekaneck’s body is based on the standard barbarian base body, which I looked at when it was used for Clamp Champ. It’s a nice recreation of the vintage base body proportions and design sensibilities, but with better articulation worked in. I can definitely dig it. Mekaneck gets a new head sculpt, patterned on his original sculpt, though definitely a bit more refined. The helmet and what we can see of the face are two separate parts, which keeps the division between them nice and sharp. Since it’s actually just the head, Mekaneck also gets neck articulation, something that his vintage counterpart lacked. The figure also makes use of the chest piece previously used for Stinkor, which makes sense, since the shared the part in the vintage and Classics lines. Of course, in the vintage line, Stinkor was re-using the piece from Mekaneck, rather than the reverse that’s occurred in every line since. For some reason, everybody’s way more into the smelly skunk guy than the guy with the extra long neck. I don’t get it either. Mekaneck’s color work is quite nice; it’s very bright and very colorful, and it really makes him pop. He’s quite eye catching. It’s largely molded colors, but they work. In particular, I really like the mirrored lenses on the goggles; they’re so very shiny. Since this Mekaneck is without his vintage counterpart’s built-in neck-extending feature, this version takes a page out of the Classics book, and gives him an extended neck to swap in. It maintains the posability of the ball-jointed neck, which makes this the Mekaneck with the most posable mecha-neck of all his figures. I wouldn’t have minded getting multiple lengths of neck like the Classics version, I suppose, but this one does at least duplicate the length of the vintage version. Mekaneck is also packed with his usual yellow club-thing, which is as yellow and club-thing-y as ever.
The Ground Ripper, or Road Ripper as it was originally named, was also a 1984 debut. It’s original release was a single, though it was also available in a gift set during the vintage run, albeit with a Battle Armor He-Man, rather than Mekaneck. The vehicle is about 9 1/2 inches long, and features rolling wheels in the front and back, as well as a working seatbelt. Yay for proper vehicular safety! The Ground/Road Ripper does *not* have its vintage version’s rip cord for its “ripping” feature, instead just being a rather basic vehicle. It’s okay, but not super thrilling, really. The sculpt more or less just follows the vintage version. The details are certainly a little crisper here, so there’s that. It also gets an alternate “head” for the front; the standard is rather bird-like, while the replacement is more like a dragon. They’re both pretty decent, and I like the extra customizability. There’s not paint to speak of on the vehicle, but there’s an assortment of stickers, which do alright on the whole detailing front, as well as getting that vintage feel down pretty nicely.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Have I mentioned previously how much I like Mekaneck? I’m just not sure if I’ve adequately conveyed that point. As with any Masters line, the first thing I wanted out of Origins was a Mekaneck. Unfortunately, I had a bit of a wait there, now didn’t I? Well, that’s okay, because it just meant that I got to appreciate other figures before Mekaneck inevitably came along a blew them away. Because, quite frankly, that’s what he did. Sure, the other Origins I’ve gotten are cool and all, but Mekaneck is just absolutely fantastic. Even worth the extra price for the stupid tricycle he comes with, which will be promptly handed over to Matty. But Mekaneck? Superb.
Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this set for review. If you’d like to see a video of this guy in action, I actually helped out with one for their YouTube channel, so check that out. And, as always, if you’re looking for toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.