Masters of the Universe Classics
$20 + shipping from mattycollector.com
Clawful is the poster boy for some of the downright terrible punny names that were all over the Master of the Universe toy line and cartoon. Not only is his name a silly play on words but it says “Awful” right there. I can’t decide if this is a good thing for Clawful himself, but it’s definitely one of the things I enjoy about He-Man and company.
I never owned a Clawful figure as a kid, I got most of my MOTU figures from a garage sale all at once and therefore didn’t have any control over what I got, and so I wasn’t super excited before getting this guy in hand. It didn’t help that I hated his character in the 2002 cartoon thanks to the goofy voice and borderline mental illness.
So Clawful was the 3rd MOTUC figure in a row that I had no strong previous connection to. Was he able to overcome my lack of nostalgia, his goofy head and heavy re-use of parts, or did I bring Clawful down to the local pier and throw him in with his relatives? Click on in the find out the answer!
Nothing’s changed about the Masters of the Universe Classics packaging and that’s a good thing. The classic green bricks look great and make Clawful in particular a fitting Christmas gift for Mint on Card collectors who forgot to shop for Mom. That said, I took an acetylene torch to the card and, after clipping free the bio, there’s nothing left.
The bio is a nice nod to the 2002 Clawful who was a few snake short of a Hssss while also referencing the vintage Clawful’s craftiness. I don’t know how I feel about Evil-lyn being involved in just about everything though, it almost feels like the bio writer thinks she is real and wants to butter her up so they can hook up. If he knows something I don’t know then I guess I have some catching up to do….
Sculpt, Paint, Looks:
Clawful is a lot of red crab parts and light colored skin. There isn’t a lot of variation in colors and that may have been one of the things that prevented me from latching onto him as a kid. The crab parts are all really nicely textured to resemble a shell, it almost makes me want to get out the seafood tools and crack him open for dinner!
The “human” parts are pretty much par for the course for MOTU and are largely reused from everyone from He-Man to Skeletor and everyone in between. While they aren’t particularly interesting they do give Clawful a nice set of contrasting sections that are a lot more interesting that I initially gave him credit for.
The head has been a big sticking point for me (and a lot of other folks online) from the beginning. Similarly to Whiplash he has this kind of doofy, dumb look to him that I didn’t like when I saw it in pictures on the web. Also very much like Whiplash, once I got him in hand the overall look of the head and face won me over to the point that I wouldn’t have him any other way.
Clawful has a big, fearsome right claw that was his main draw in the vintage toy line. It’s just as well-detailed as the rest of him and it has a built in spring that lets him grip things! The claw is a fantastic piece and it really takes Clawful from looking like just another monster man to standing out from the pack. In addition to the big claw there is an interesting armor plate that wraps around his chest and then attaches to the back of Clawful. It gives him an extra dimension, more bulk, and changes up the chest piece that we’ve already seen on Buzz-Off and Whiplash.
There aren’t a ton of pain apps on Clawful but the ones that are there are very good. The slight washes on the crab parts and the transition of colors on his shoulders are a nice touch and they help to make him look less “toyish” than he would’ve without them. The teeth on my Clawful were just the slightest bit imperfect but you wouldn’t know it without getting up really close.
Clawful’s got the power to move just like his MOTUC predecessors and the way he’s put together gives him the freedom to use all of the joints to the fullest. The only part of him that’s even remotely hindered by his construction is his Giant Crush-You Hand(tm) and that’s more an issue of size than anything else.
I was able to pose Clawful in basically any position I could think of and get him to stand up in it with only the smallest amount of fiddlin’. Clawful also has what is probably the best and most expressive head so far in the MOTU Classics line. I don’t know if it has any more range in it that usual but you can really see the difference in mood with just a tin change in angle.
Whilst I was initially checking out his joints I almost had a heart attack when his GCYH popped off with a relatively small amount of pressure. It went back on with no issues so, once my wife put away the defibrillator, I calmed down pretty quickly. The nub that it connects to is actually similar to the one under Roboto and Trap Jaw’s removable hands but unfortunately the claw itself has the opposite connector that you would need to use it in that way.
Clawful comes with 2 extra parts that I’m not terribly thrilled with. He’s got a remold/recolor of the Moss Man / Palace Guard Mace and a brand new shield that looks like it was made out of one of his kinsmen. It’s not that either accessory is particularly bad on it’s own, they both look nice and are very well made, it’s just that neither one of them feels like something Clawful would actually use.
The Mace clips easily into his left claw and he can swing it around and look like he’s going to whack things with it. The pommel end of the Mace has been retrofitted with a sort of fish tail or fin and the whole thing is a kind of sea foam green.
Clawful’s shield is a brand new sculpt and it has the same design scheme and colors as his shell. It clips on to his left arm smoothly and stays on very well. The shield is a really good looking piece that I’m really happy to have, I just feel like it would be more at home in the hands of one of Clawful’s enemies, sort of a trophy they took from his Claw Brother, than clipped to his arm.
I’m tempted to say that Clawful feels a bit light in the value department simply because his included extras do nothing for me. After all, how much play value can you get out of a dude with no extra parts to swap around to get different looks?
In the end though I’ve got to give Clawful the benefit of the doubt since he comes with 2 accessories just like every other well reviewed character. Even though one of them is probably my least favorite weapon in the MOTUC line to date the shield and it’s brand newery makes up for that in spades. You’re just probably going to end up giving it to a different figure.
Clawful is well made, highly posable and just incredibly fun to play with. I think he’s well worth your money. Besides, he’s about the going rate for a lobster dinner and you don’t need to wear a bib!
Summary, or Is He Going to Make Me Crabby?:
Clawful is a very strange looking figure, from the top of his doofy head to the bottoms of his claw/insect/alien feet, and that is a very good thing. Even though he shares several of his major parts with other figures there is no true resemblance between Clawful, Buzz-Off, Whiplash or any of the other fellas that feature cloned appendages.
That’s one of the greatest things about MOTU Classics and really just MOTU in general, the ability to take these fairly vague characters (“He’s a crab! He’s awful! Clawful!”) and turn them into fantastic looking, unique and interesting characters all the while building their looks around a very limited set of parts.
As it is with all toys the bottom line is “Is it fun?” and for Clawful there’s no doubt that the answer is YES. From his spring-loaded claw to his wacky feet and everywhere in between Clawful is an absolute blast to play around with. He looks great with his fellow MOTUC figures and even better when you mix him in with other toy lines. There’s just something really great about him that I have a really hard time putting my finger, er claw on.
In the end it’s going to boil down to how you personally feel about Clawful as a character and as a figure in your collection. He’s absolutely an essential character to me as he’s been featured prominently in both cartoons but some fans may see him as a side character. I can’t imagine Whiplash without Clawful and, even though I wasn’t crazy about him in the newer cartoon, I highly recommend this beady-eyed shellfish to any fan of Masters of the Universe or clarified butter.