#2238: Trapjaw

TRAPJAW

MASTER OF THE UNIVERSE (MATTEL)

Evil & armed for combat”

It’s been a stretch since I’ve looked at anything Masters of the Universe.  With it being pretty much the only major property Mattel’s got going for them (on the action figure front, at least; they’ve still got Mega Construx, Hot Wheels, and Barbie, I guess), and they’re supposedly trying to relaunch the brand again this year.  Until that line launches, I’ve got my love the 200x line to keep me warm.  I’ve got a pretty decent little collection of that line, so I’m dusting one of those off for review today.  Let’s have a look at Trapjaw!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Trapjaw was released in the second assortment of Evil Warriors as part of the 2002 Masters of the Universe relaunch (though, as part of said second assortment, he didn’t actually hit until 2003).  He was released alongside a Skeletor Variant and the previously reviewed Tri-Klops.  The figure stands a little under 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 13 workable points of articulation.  Technically, there’s a joint on his jaw as well, but it’s spring loaded, so it doesn’t really hold a pose (though I was able to keep it open long enough for the photo at the top of this review).  Like most of the 200x line, Trapjaw was sporting a unique sculpt, in contrast to his original figure, which used the same torso as everyone else and shared his legs with Roboto and Man-E-Faces.  Nope, this guy was all new.  Like a number of the figures I’ve looked at, Trapjaw was well-served by the divergent sculpts, as he was able to lean more heavily into the “mutilated cyborg” elements of the character.  The end result is far more imposing design than the one from the ’80s, making another member of Skeletor’s band seem like a genuine threat, rather than just another pea-brained buffoon.  Of course, then the cartoon went and made him a buffoon anyway…guess you can’t win them all.  There are a lot of really fun little details worked into this figure, including the stitching on his torso, which adds to that general “Frankenstiened” feeling of this upgraded design.  Trapjaw’s paintwork is pretty decent, being a little more detailed than some of his compatriots.  He takes the general basics of the classic design, but tones them down ever so slightly to make them fit better with the sculpt.  The application’s all pretty sharp, and he doesn’t leave as many details unpainted as some of the other figures in the line.  Trapjaw included three different robot arm attachments.  The main one is a claw, with some extra articulation worked in.  He’s also got a hook, as well as a gun attachment.  They swap out pretty easily and all fit well with the rest of the arm, and can even be stowed on his belt or his back.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Last year, when All Time got in a rather large 200x Masters collection, I was already invested in getting Buzz-Off and Man-At-Arms, but hadn’t quite jumped on the Trapjaw figure.  Jason told me that if I was getting any 200x Masters, I really needed at Trapjaw, because he’s one of the best.  After finally getting this guy for myslef, I can’t disagree with that assessment.  Definitely one of the line’s best, even if Trapjaw isn’t one of my personal favorite characters.

#2283: Man-At-Arms

MAN-AT-ARMS

MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE (MATTEL)

Heroic Master of Weapons”

My introduction to Masters of the Universe was not via the franchise’s original ’80s incarnation, but was instead through the attempted 2002 revival series.  Though ultimately not as much of a success as the original line, I myself have always much preferred this incarnation, in part for my own sentimental reasons, and in part because I have no reason to be sentimental about the original.  Whatever the case, I’m always game for a look back at the line that got me into things, and that’s just what I’ll be doing today, with a look at the updated series’ take on Prince Adam’s own wise, sagely mentor, Man-At-Arms!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Man-At-Arms was released as part of the Heroic Warriors half of the first assortment of Mattel’s 2002 Masters of the Universe line, alongside the basic He-Man and Stratos.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation.  While the vintage Man-At-Arms was built from the same bank of parts as He-Man and a good chunk of the rest of the line, for the purposes of the 200x update, he was given a major overhaul and, consequently, a totally new sculpt (albeit one that would be used for a handful of Man-At-Arms variants as the line progressed), just like pretty much every one else in the line.  Earlier in the line, Mattel was still trying to hang onto some of the build aspects of the old line, so unlike later figures, Man-At-Arms still has a removable chest piece, much like his vintage counter part.  While there’s not a ton of reason to remove it, it does allow for a continuation of the interchangeability that the old figures had, which would more or less be removed from the line from Series 2 onward.  The arm and leg pieces are not removable this time around, but it’s honestly a bit of an improvement, since now they won’t constantly fall off or be at risk for breaking.  Man-At-Arms’ sculpt is certainly an impressive one, and definitely the strongest of the debut Heroic Warriors.  They’ve gone really crazy with all of the various tech details, which help to really differentiate him from his prior figure, as well as further remove him from his genesis as largely a repaint of the basic barbarian.  That barbarian aspect is much more removed.  What’s not removed this time around is Duncan’s mustache, always curiously absent from his original figure.  This one has it in all of its Selleck-esque glory.  He’s also got a far more intimidating facial expression than his predecessor, making this one guy I would not want to mess with.  The paint work on this figure is fairly decent.  Like the sculpt, the paint exhibits far more detail than the ’80s version, though it still doesn’t quite do the sculpt justice.  Plenty of details go unpainted, and are therefore very easily missed by the casual eye.  Befitting his name, this Man-At-Arms came with two styles of armament.  He has the classic figure’s mace (albeit at a slightly more imposing scale) and adds an arm cannon which slips over his left hand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Man-At-Arms was, admittedly, never a character that was high on my list.  As such, I never had one growing up, and I hadn’t come across one since starting to go back and fill in the holes in the collection.  When All Time got in a whole bunch of 200x Masters figures a couple of months ago, Man-At-Arms was included.  Since I was already picking up a few others, he was a pretty easy purchase.  Now my collection feels a bit more complete.

As touched on above, I picked this guy up from my friends All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#2198: Buzz-Off

BUZZ-OFF

MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE (MATTEL)

“Heroic Spy in the Sky!”

As a child of the decade post-80s (more commonly referred to as the ’90s, I suppose), I missed out on the initial run of a lot of the top ’80s toys.  Fortunately for me, there was something of an ’80s resurgence that began right around 2002, and it was this wave of psuedo-nostalgia which gave me my first proper taste of things such as G.I. Joe and Masters of the Universe.  For the Joes, it did eventually lead me to a proper appreciation for the true vintage stuff, but in the case of Masters, something about that early ’00s branch really stuck with me, thereby making it the 2002 line that I get nostalgic for, not the old ’80s stuff.  As a matter of fact, there are a good number of Masters characters whose vintage designs do nothing for me.  Good example?  Today’s figure, Buzz-Off!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Buzz-Off was added to the re-launched Masters of the Universe toyline in 2003, as part of the fifth assortment of heroic warriors in the line, alongside three He-Man variants, Ram-Man, Man-E-Faces, and Roboto.  The figure is roughly 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 17 points of articulation, thanks to the inclusion of ball-joints on the wings and little arms on his back.  That makes him one of this line’s most articulated figures.  The vintage Buzz-Off figure was designed to share parts with the villainous Whiplash.  I know, when I think of bees and reptiles, I see the similarities too.  For the 2002 relaunch, both characters got starkly divergent treatments, which was probably for the best on both counts.  While swollen and muscle bound was the only way to go for the vintage line, Buzz-Off’s recreation was now svelte and angular, easily one of the most slimmed down designs of this whole iteration of the brand.  It’s a quite unique look, and much like Roboto from the same assortment, it takes a much goofier design and makes it a little bit more palatable in the context of the wider story and the type of character than Buzz-Off is supposed to be.  When it came time to adapt the character to the new cartoon, Buzz-Off received a noticeably drab color scheme, drastically different from his old look.  For the figure proper, he more meets in the middle.  The basics of the old design are definitely still there, but he looks less like “wrestler in a bee” costume this time around.  Buzz-Off was packed with an axe (with launching, because that’s how axes work) and a pair of goggles for protecting his eyes while flying, I guess.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The thing about the 200x Masters line is that as cool as the redesigns were, and as much as I liked the look of the figures, they were our first real taste of how badly Mattel could screw up case packouts and distribution.  Remember how I mentioned the three He-Man variants in this set?  Well, they were heavier packed than the the three new heroes, and for Buzz-Off and Roboto in particular, that made them very, very hard to find when they were new.  No Buzz-Off for me.  In fact, since coming into that big GoodWill find several years ago, there have been just a few figures left to check off on my list of Masters I still really wanted.  Buzz-Off was at the top of that list.  Fortunately for me, All Time got in a whole bunch of 200x Masters figures a couple of months ago, and Buzz-Off was right there with them, meaning I was finally able to add him to my collection!

As touched on above, I picked this guy up from my friends All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#2157: Faker

FAKER

MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE CLASSICS (MATTEL)

Originally built by Man-At-Arms to cover for He-Man when Prince Adam is needed, Faker was abandoned in the royal junkyard after his first mission and salvaged by the evil warrior Tri-Klops. At the request of Skeletor, Faker was reprogrammed to replace He-Man and convince the people of Eternia that He-Man had betrayed King Randor and turned evil.”

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so I guess someone should be flattered by the existence of Faker.  Maybe it could be He-Man, whom Faker is based upon, or maybe it could be Bizarro, whose schtick Faker totally stole.  Of course, it’s not like “evil-clone of the main hero” is a wholly unique concept, having made its way into all sorts of super hero fiction over the years.  It’s even more sensible in the world of toys where it’s quite the suitable excuse to do a recolor of a prexisting mold, which is exactly where Faker really hits his stride.   Additionally, Faker continually falls into that odd niche of characters who are nothing more than cheap repaints, who still for some reason have a ton of fan demand.  I guess we’re an easily amused lot.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Faker was an early offering from the Master of the Universe Classics line, available as an NYCC-exclusive in 2009, and then briefly on Matty Collector a month later.  As with the vast majority of the line, he’s designed to closely emulate Faker’s vintage toy.  The figure stands 7 inches tall and he has 23 points of articulation.  This Faker figure follows the tried and true construction of all Faker figures.  He’s the line’s standard He-Man body with Skeletor’s armor atop it.  It’s not anything revolutionary, but it’s not like you can say it’s not true to the character.  The base body for MotUC wasn’t a bad one, but I have to admit I was never a huge fan of the standard He-Man head.  By extension, I’m not a huge fan of this figure’s head.  It’s not awful, but something about it just never seemed quite as imposing as prior takes on the character.  He just looks a bit slack-jawed.  Faker’s main selling point is, of course, his paint.  He’s got that distinctive orange and blue combo, which is…well, it’s certainly something.  The paintwork on the figure is actually pretty solid.  At this point in the line, Mattel was still splurging for things like accenting, which shows most nicely on his boots, loincloth, and armor piece.  The nature of the details on the bracers and belt are actually quite striking, especially when compared to the same details on the He-Man figure.  He also keeps the robotic detailing on the torso, which is not quite hiding under his armor, just like on his vintage figure.  Faker was packed with his version of the Power Sword, as well as his half of the split sword, which is the same as the standard, but with the back half missing.  It’s a slightly light pack-out, given that He-Man got a shield and axe as well, but hey, it’s Mattel, right?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve always liked Faker as a concept, but the price points on his figures have always been too high for me.  For whatever reason, the price on this particular figure dropped to a reasonable range for a hot minute back in 2012, and my parents managed to get me one as a birthday present in that time.  My relationship with MotUC was always something of a love-hate one, and Faker fits right into that.  There are nice aspects of this figure, and there are annoying aspects of this figure, which is kind of the classic Mattel bit, isn’t it?

#1806: Mekaneck

MEKANECK

MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE REACTION FIGURES (SUPER 7)

“Heroic Human Periscope!”

I’ve looked at entries from all throughout the history of Mattel’s home-brewed Masters of the Universe line.  Today, for the first time, I look at a Masters of the Universe offering that doesn’t come from Mattel at all!  Yes, Mattel has outsourced their MotU operations to the considerably smaller-scale company Super 7, who previously worked with Funko for their ReAction Figures line of vintage-inspired toys.  After Funko ran that brand into the ground, Super 7 split off on their own, and has been doing their best to re-invigorate it, by focusing on quality over quantity.  Amongst the much smaller list of properties they’re offering is, unsurprisingly, Masters of the Universe, which is now seeing its second assortment of ReAction Figures.  Today, I’ll be taking a look at my personal favorite Master, Mekaneck!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Mekaneck is part of Series 2 of Super 7’s Masters of the Universe ReAction Figures.  He’s based on his classic vintage appearance, just like the rest of the line.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall (4 1/4 inches with the neck fully extended) and he has 4 points of articulation, plus an extending neck.  Like his vintage counterpart, this Mekaneck is without the ability to turn his head.  While it’s a slight bummer, it’s rather understandable at this size, and in this style, and doesn’t prove to be too limiting as a whole.  Mekaneck’s arms and legs are shared with He-Man and a number of the other standard Masters, which is sensible, given that’s been the case for all but his 200x incarnation.  Standard limbs are standard limbs, and if you don’t have to make new ones, then don’t.  The head and torso are new, and definitely very nice recreations of Mekaneck’s original design.  The extending neck feature is a fairly simple, no fuss action feature; there’s just a small tab on his back for moving it up and down.  I actually prefer this to the original turning waist feature, since it means he no longer has to stand with is legs to the side if you want his neck extended.  Mekaneck’s paintwork is bright and colorful, and overall very clean.  He definitely catches your eye, and those primary colors do his sculpt well.  Mekaneck is packed with a rather goofy looking yellow club, the same rather goofy looking yellow club that’s been his sidearm since his introduction.  It’s a nice extra, which is well fitted to his hand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I hadn’t really been following ReAction since it shifted back to Super 7.  I gave it a good try during the Funko years, but there was definitely a lot of variance to the quality from figure to figure.  The first series of MotU figures intrigued me, but I wasn’t really feeling any of the line-up.  But, like I noted in the intro, Mekaneck is my favorite, and I’ll pretty much buy any version of him out there, so when All Time got in their set of Series 2, I was definitely down for this guy.  I gotta say, Super 7 really seems to have turned things around for this brand.  Mekaneck is a much better match for the style they’re aiming for than most of Funko’s output, and his design in general is just a good fit for it.  I’m very happy I picked him up, and I can definitely see myself tracking down a few more.

I bought Mekaneck from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#1688: Tuskador

TUSKADOR

MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE CLASSICS (MATTEL)

Mighty Tusked Galactic Warrior”

Tuskador!  It’s Tuskador!  ….Who’s Tuskador?  Boy, is that a good question.  Well, he’s from the New Adventures of He-Man, an iteration of the franchise I have no direct interaction with.  I’ve never seen a single episode of the cartoon, and I own none of the toys.  Or, at least I didn’t, until now that is.  Tuskador was one of the heroic characters, and seems to have followed somewhat in the vein of Ram-Man from the original series.  So, uh, here he is?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Tuskador was released during the 2016 year of Mattel’s online-exclusive Masters of the Universe Classics line.  He was one of the line’s oversized figures, and was also a Collector’s Choice item.  He was also the final figure to ship from the Matty Collector-run version of the line, so there you go.  The figure stands 7 inches tall and he has 21 points of articulation.  Structurally, Tuskador uses the same starting point as Ram-Man, which I’d say is most of the reason he got made in the first place, since Mattel is all about re-use potential.  Direct re-use is limited to the arms and torso, with the rest of the parts on this figure being modeled on older parts but technically new.  In order to facilitate the re-use, Tuskador has been bulked up a bit more from his prior appearances, at least from what I can find of him online. The new pieces fit the more cybernetically-advanced design aesthetic of the New Adventures characters, which helps to keep him well-separated from Ram-Man.  He’s definitely a hefty figure, and his armored elements are well-sculpted, with lots of sharp detail work.  His helmet can be removed, which causes it to sit a little funny.  On the plus side, the underlying head is one of my favorite aspects of the figure.  His astronaut-inspired cap is a fun touch, and there’s something undeniably cool about his grizzled and wrinkled face.  Tuskador’s color scheme is heavy on the blues, which works pretty well, as does the gold.  The application is all pretty clean; paint on these items was at the very least superior to Mattel’s various retail offerings.  Tuskador is packed with his titular tusks, of course.  There are two lengths included, with a more modest pair and a more ridiculous pair.  Both are fun, and you can store the pair not in use on his back if you so choose.  He also includes a big blaster, which can be held or kept on his belt.  It’s annoying that he doesn’t have a trigger finger on his right hand, but if it were perfect, it wouldn’t be Mattel.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

By 2016, I’d completely bailed on MOTUC.  For the most part, the characters I’d wanted had been done, and Matty Collector was just too much of a hassle.  When the line ended, I really paid it no mind, and I moved on to other things.  So, why do I have this figure?  Super Awesome Girlfriend.  The Gamestop where she works got this guy in, she saw the logo on the box and knew I liked Masters of the Universe, so she bought him for me.  I’ve got no prior attachment to the character, nor can I say his design compelled me to track him down on my own.  With that said, he’s actually a pretty fun figure, and a nice counterpart to Ram-Man, who’s one of my favorite figures in the line.

#1628: Man-At-Arms

MAN-AT-ARMS

MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE (MATTEL)

“Man-At-Arms aka Duncan was a mentor to the young Prince Adam as well as a foster father to Teela.”

Most of my knowledge of Masters of the Universe comes from the 2002 reboot of the franchise, which served as my introduction to the context, and also provided the backbone of my MotU collection.  As such, most of my reviews here on the site have also been from the 2002 series.  Today, I’m going into less charted territory, and looking at a vintage offering.  So, let’s look at He-Man’s mentor, Man-At-Arms!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Man-At-Arms was part of the first assortment of Masters of the Universe figures, released in 1982.  The figure stands 5 1/2 inches tall and he has 6 points of articulation.  MotU was largely about getting as many uses out the same few bodies as possible, and Man-At-Arms follows suit.  He uses the standard Barbarian body (seen on the previously reviewed Tri-Klops figure), meaning he’s got those same goofy, overly-muscled proportions seen on the rest of the line.  They picked a style and they stuck with it.  Man-At-Arms had a new head, as well as add-on pieces for his chest, shoulder, and shin armor (mine’s missing the shin armor).  The head is infamously missing Duncan’s signature mustache, present on all other incarnations of the character, due to the figure’s design being put into production before Filmation added the mustache for the cartoon.  It results in a slightly different look for Duncan, but not an outright terrible one or anything.  The helmet has some pretty decent detail work going on, as do the clip-on armor pieces.  Man-At-Arms has a pretty simple paint scheme.  For the most part, he’s just molded in the appropriate colors, with only his face, helmet, belt, and boots getting any actual paint.  Application is mostly pretty clean, but the boots in particular have some definite slop.  The armor has no paint at all, making it look rather cheap and goofy, which is a real shame given how much detail went into the sculpt.  Man-At-Arms included a mace, to be held in his right hand.  It was the same color as his armor, and a little small and non-threatening, but I guess if you have muscles like that, you can afford for your weapons to be small and non-threatening.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

With the exception of a few personal favorite characters, the vintage Masters line isn’t one I really go out looking for.  That being said, the 2nd Ave Thrift store nearby seems to have gotten in someone’s ’80s toy collection, which has been slowly trickling out.  This guy and a few others popped up, and for a few bucks for the set, I felt like I could do a lot worse.  This line’s not totally my thing, but Man-At-Arms isn’t a bad figure.

#1374: Roboto

ROBOTO

MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE (2002)

One year ago exactly, I wrapped up a two-week stretch of Masters of the Universe reviews with a review of the Castle Grayskull playset from the 2002 line.  In what I guess is going to become a birthday tradition on the site, I’m looking at yet another MotU figure today.  It’s one of my favorite characters from the franchise, Roboto, Heroic Mechanical Warrior!  I’ve actually looked at Roboto once before, having looked at his vintage counterpart, but today I look at his super awesome 2002 version!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Roboto was added to the re-launched Masters of the Universe series in 2003, as part of the fifth assortment of Heroic Warriors.  The figure stands about 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 12 points of articulation (13 if you count the very slight mobility of his jaw).  Where the vintage Roboto made use of a couple of pieces from Trap-Jaw, this Roboto was a totally unique sculpt.  This figure takes Roboto’s admittedly rather goofy vintage design, and does its very best to make him look, you know, actually pretty cool.  Unlike a lot of things that Mattel tries at, this figure succeeds.  In fact, this is easily one of my favorite designs from the 2002 line, and really Masters of the Universe in general.  He keeps all of the important details from the original Roboto, so you can clearly tell it’s the same character, but all of these details have been made much sharper, more robotic, and more in line with other cool robots of the last few decades.  The head in particular ditches the duck-billed knight looking design of the vintage figure in favor of a more futuristic warrior look, which made more sense in the setting of the updated cartoon.  Like his vintage counterpart, this guy takes advantage of the usual hollow torso of these figures, and has molded it in clear plastic and placed an assortment of gears inside, representing his inner workings.  In terms of paintwork, this guy is pretty great; the application is all very clean, and I really like the metallic re-working of his classic color scheme.  It really pops.  The figure is packed with two arm attachments for his right arm: a claw and a blaster.  Both are updates of the same pieces included with the vintage figures, updated to match the new figure’s style.  He loses the third attachment (the axe) but gains an extra armored piece for his torso, as well as a missile for his blaster arm.  Not a bad assortment of extras at all!

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Roboto’s debut episode was one of my favorites of the 2002 show, so I always wanted this figure.  Remember how I mentioned that his re-design was one of my favorites?  Well, I wasn’t alone in this thought.  That, coupled with Mattel’s incredibly stupid methods of packing cases and distribution, meant that I never once saw this figure at retail.  It also meant he was one of the figures to hold onto his aftermarket value, even well after most of the line had fallen way down in price.  Honestly, I’d never even seen this guy in person.  So, when I found him at Lost In Time Toys a few weeks ago, I was pretty excited.  I was even more excited when I found out that he was half-off his given price, allowing me to get him for a more than reasonable price.  I’m thrilled to finally have this guy, and for all the ragging I do on Mattel, there’s no denying that this is a cool toy.

*As an added bonus, Roboto was also the 4000th unique figure to be added to my collection!  Wow, that’s a lot of figures!

#1009: Castle Grayskull

CASTLE GRAYSKULL

MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE (2002)

Grayskull1

Playsets for action figures are by and large a thing of the past. They were really big in the ‘70s and ‘80s, and even kept up steam for a good part of the ’90s, but a general trending towards less interest in action figures coupled with rising costs of plastics has made them less than practical. Sure, you still see the occasional set here and there, but they lack the charm of the older sets. Occasionally, an attempt is made at recapturing that charm for a more collector-oriented market. A few years back, Mattel used their online store Matty Collector to get enough backers to fund a high(ish)-end version of Castle Grayskull, an important part of the He-Man mythos. This not a review of that. Nope, this is a review of its direct predecessor. Well, most of it anyway. Let’s get to the review!

THE PLAYSET ITSELF

Grayskull7Castle Grayskull was released as a deluxe playset during the first year of the 2002 Masters of the Universe line. The Castle is designed to fit with the basic 6-inch figures Mattel offered. It’s actually about half-scale. In its defense, even the much larger, much more expensive Castle Grayskull was only three-quarter-scale, and that one wasn’t even vying for valuable retail shelf space. As it is, it’s definitely undersized, but it’s large enough that it suits the purpose it was built for pretty well. The Castle is just about 20 Grayskull2inches tall and 17 inches wide. When the Castle is all folded up, it’s only about 4 inches deep. The exterior of the Castle is pretty impressively detailed, and features a very nice selection of textures, which keep it exciting. Well, for a non-mobile playset anyway. The overall look, though undersized, is a very nice translation of the Castle’s 200x design. As you can probably note from the pictures, the parapets are made up of several Grayskull3different pieces, which clip into place. They were prone to fall off, which is why my set is missing a couple of them. The Castle can unfold, which reveals the interior and increases the depth of the set to 11 inches. The interior of the Castle isn’t quite as nice as the exterior, since it has to fit inside when folded. Still, there are several very nice details, including a spot for weapon storage and even a neat little computer thingy in the corner. I also love the small, easy to overlook details, like the skull and rat on the floor in the prison cell area. For some reason, in the 2000s, toy Grayskull5companies thought that the best way to sell a playset was to work in some weird battery-operated, figure prompted gimmick. Remember the ThunderLynx bit from the Tower of Omens? Well, Castle Grayskull’s got something like that. Each of the figures in the 200x Masters line (well, at least the earlier ones) had a little…thingy imbedded in their foot, which was expressly designed to work with this set. There are several spots on the set where there’s a golden footprint. When a figure’s foot was Grayskull9moved back and forth on this spot, it would release a lever on a door, revealing differing parts of the set or activating traps. Most of them are a little weird and gimmicky, but I do quite like the one on the upper level, which swings open a door revealing a special chrome version of the power sword placed on a nice little pedestal. It’s still really gimmicky, but, c’mon! Chrome! In addition to the aforementioned chrome sword, the Castle included a flag (missing Grayskull6from mine), a big cannon sort of thing, a set of shackles, bars for a cell (also missing), a giant key (because why not?), as well as a large arsenal of weapons, of which I only have the trident. Still, that was a pretty awesome selection of extras, especially given the kind of extras we see nowadays.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

By the time of the 200x Masters line, I had aged out of playsets. Yeah, I know, it shocks me too. Aging out of toys. I was just about aged back into collecting playsets when Mattel’s collector version was released, but it was just far too hefty a price for a moderate Masters fan such as myself. Of course, this more economical set had also gone up quite a bit in price. As you might have guessed (or just have already known, for those of you who paid attention to my Teela review), the Castle was part of the big Goodwill find from several weeks back. I ended up spotting this particular set first, and upon discovering it was only $4.50, I felt like I couldn’t say no. Sure, it’s not complete, but it was also super cheap, and it’s actually a really fun set. It’s too bad I never got one when they were new!

Side Note: This set was far too large for my usual photo set-up, so this is the first item to be shot in the Auxiliary Photo Studio (aka the dining room). As it turns out, the Auxiliary Photo Studio takes two people to operate, so special thanks goes out to Super Awesome Girlfriend, who aided with most of the photos you see here!

Grayskull8

#1008: Two-Bad

TWO-BAD

MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE (2002)

TwoBad1

Okay, so yesterday, I wrote about how important the Evil Warriors are to the whole Masters of the Universe brand. But, up until now, I’ve only actually looked at one member of the Evil Warriors. It’s actually kind of amusing that I haven’t looked at any others just yet, since the Evil Warriors were actually my favorites growing up. Today, I’ll be looking at another member of their number. Well, in a way, I’m actually looking at two of them. Yep, today’s figure is the combined forces of Tuvar and Baddrah, better known as Two-Bad!

THE FIGURE IN QUESTION

TwoBad2Two-Bad was released in the 2003 series of Masters of the Universe, as part of the third assortment of Evil Warriors. The figure stands a little under 6 inches tall and has 13 points of articulation. The shoulders both have spring loaded features. When pulled upward, the arms will snap back into place. It’s not the best feature, and it can make posing the arms quite difficult. On the plus side, it doesn’t affect the aesthetics of the sculpt. Two-Bad’s design in the 200x line was one of the least changed. It’s really a pretty straightforward recreation of the original figure in the newer style. What this figure’s sculpt does have to offer is a greater difference between the two halves. Baddrah is shorter, squatter, and all-around stockier than Tuvar, and has some very impressive texturing. Tuvar includes much cleaner lines and stands just a tiny bit taller. Even the armor exhibits different stylings depending on which side it lays on. Very high quality sculpt to be sure. The paintwork isn’t quite as strong as the sculpt, but it’s actually awful. The colors are nice and bold, and the two sides each have their own separate color scheme, and they accent each other pretty well. Two-Bad was packed with a double-headed mace (clever, that one) and a shield. The mace accents Tuvar and the shield goes with Baddrah, which is a nice touch.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I always wanted a Two-Bad figure when I was collecting these, but I was never fortunate enough to find one at retail. However, Two-Bad ended up being one of the many figures from my recent Goodwill find. I’m happy I’ve got one after all these years, and the figure’s just as cool as I’d hoped! And look at that, I went the entire review without a single awful pun based on his name! Not Two-Bad if I do say so myself!