Masters of the Universe Classics
$20 + shipping from mattycollector.com
I’ll never forget watching “Stand by Me” for the first time. Besides the obvious awesomeness of the movie overall there’s a particular scene that left a big impression. You probably know where I’m going with this, they take a short cut through the swamp and when they come out they’re covered in leeches. That left a pretty big impression on the young me and ever since I’ve been pretty freaked out by leeches.
I imagine that’s one of the reasons I’ve always thought Leech, the member of the Evil Horde that we’re looking at today, was so scary and awesome. He’s the creature that scared me so much in Stand by Me only magnified and made into a true threat, something that could actually hurt a full size person.
Leech’s old toy rode a long way on his gimmick, a set of suction cups that represented his ability to drain (suck) the power from his enemies. I remember sticking mine to every flat surface in our house and freaking out quite a bit when one of his hands came loose from me pulling on it to try and take Leech to his next location. While this new Leech isn’t sporting the same suction cups (boo) as his predecessor he’s still quite the scary looking fella. Does he live up to the spirit of the monsters he was designed to mimic, or does this new Leech just plain suck (sorry)?
Click inside to find out!
As usual, Leech is packed out in the standard, single card Masters of the Universe Classics card with the awesome green bricks and really well done paper inserts that look so nice. He looks really big in the standard bubble, it’s obvious from the get-go that this guy is going to be bulkier than most of the figures on my shelves. You can even see a little peek at his weapons hiding behind him which is a nice touch for Mint on Card folks. The packaging for my Leech is now sleeping with the fishes alongside an AFA Graded Jimmy Hoffa.
Leech’s Bio is alright, instead of him being a naturally dim-witted dude like he was in the cartoon he’s been “mindwiped” bye Shadow Weaver to follow orders. I like this sly mention of Shadow Weaver before it was official that Mattel could make a figure of her (they call her Hordak’s “lead witch”) quite a bit but the rest of the bio is very forgettable.
Sculpt, Paint, Looks:
Leech has a lot of brand new parts which is always very exciting for me, it opens up new possibilities and gives my shelves a bit more variety. The giant hands and feet, the huge toothy head and those teeth are all unique sculpts that won’t likely be re-used (unless they make BATTLE ARMOR LEECH one day). Leech has a decent amount of extra bulk, mostly from his chest piece. It’s not as big a difference as you’ll find between some Marvel Universe figures but it’s certainly noticeable.
I really love the scaley details on Leech’s hands and feet as well as all of the multi-layered plates sculpted onto his head and neck area. He’s also got this really cool sculpted armor that matches the lines of his body. It looks like it’s been designed specifically to be worn by Leech right down to the spikey spines that match up to his own vertebrae. I really wish, though, that something had been put on the flat bottoms of his hands. I don’t know what I’d want on there but they just look a little plain as they are.
It’s a bit of a downer that Leech is forever doomed to stare into the distance with his mouth wide open and it’s also a shame that the poor bastard can never see directly in front of his face. I’ve seen plenty of comparisons to the old toy that show why he looks the way he does but it doesn’t change the fact that Leech needed a closable mouth.
In general though, I am tickled green with the way Leech looks. The paint wash on his green parts give him a life that makes him downright fun to play with and to take pictures of. It’s really amazing to me how the same figure can, with a simple re-posing, go from hilarious and silly to menacing and scary.
Leech has all of the standard MOTUC articulation points and they allow him to get into just about any pose you’d imagine. He’s also has bonus hinges at the wrist which allow him to “POWER SUCK” your heroes powers convincingly! Even with the extra hinges it can still be a little tough to find a natural looking position for those giant hands but that’s not really a problem with the articulation.
Leech has a great ability to balance in several stances that would be tougher for other figures. His big ol’ feet make it really easy to find a pose and then make it work. The swivels and hinges work so well to give him that strong, steady base that Leech needs. Playing with Leech has just reinforced my great sadness with other toy lines that have eliminated the ankle rockers.
My Leech figure’s joints are all extremely tight to the point where they squeak when moved. The only exception to that is his ankles which are quite loose. I’ve used the squeaking as a kind of action feature to annoy my wife and it was only by making Leech look bashful that I avoided a serious beating.
Leech comes with 2 items that are pretty neat but probably destined for the parts bin. He has the usual Horde Crossbow that came with Grizz and Hordak as well as a brand new rubber net. The crossbow is just sort of there for me. It’s based on the same sculpt as the previous crossbows but has it’s own details as well as a nice clip to allow Leech to use it. It looks nice but I can’t really imagine Leech standing at a distance, taking pot shots at the good guys.
The net is a bit better in that it’s all brand new. It’s meant to be a sort of stand in, I think, for Leech’s old suction cups and it’s a nice idea for sure. It’s made of thin but durable plastic that makes it both easy to pose and infuriating to try and keep in one place. The suction cups work about half the time making it pretty frustrating to try and trap anyone in the net. I like the idea of the net and I absolutely love the Horde themed sculpt but it just doesn’t work very well in reality. Obviously Mattel didn’t have to include anything else at all with Leech and so I’m not complaining in the least.
Leech comes out a little ahead on the value for 2 reasons. He shipped during a month where he was able to split the box fare with another figure (Hurricane Hordak) saving me around 30% off the usual shipping per item. Leech also feels like a better value just because he is a bit bigger and has a lot of parts I’ve never seen before.
Leech is just as well made and sturdy as the majority of the previous MOTUC figures and so I don’t have a problem spending around $26 for him.
Leech has gotten a bit of a bad rap around the MOTU community. I’ve read complaints about everything from his open mouth to his cartoonish looks to his size and everything in between and none of those gripes are completely without merit. The thing is, if you look past your own expectations or those of the internet mob and take Leech for what he is, this is a great looking action figure.
It’s really not fair to compare Leech to the NECA Staction like so many have done. MOTUC Leech has joints, accessories and play value. The Staction was a statue, a 100% unique sculpt not restricted by the need to re-use parts or be able to move. I can completely understand folks who would’ve preferred a more 2002 style figure (even if I don’t agree) but you can’t use a mini-statue as proof of how MOTUC Leech should’ve been handled.
I’m excited every time we get a brand new, unique looking MOTU character to play with. Leech is a giant, green monster with sucker hands and mouth that is big enough to fit another character’s head into! I don’t think you need to have any nostalgia for the old Leech toy or even be a big fan of MOTU to appreciate that.