Toy Review Lightning Round!


March Edition

I’m trying something new here, a set of shortened toy reviews for stuff that is either too late or not cool enough to merit a full review. I’ll try to do these once a month for everything that I picked up but didn’t get around to giving the full treatment.


Masters Of The Universe Classics
Bow
7 Inch Scale
By: Mattel
$20 (+ Shipping)

The Good – Bow manages to capture the essence of the one fella from the vintage She-Ra, Princess of Power line and make him cool. Even as a kid I always thought Bow looked pretty lame but this design really works. It’s hard to put my finger on any one thing that’s drastically different about him, he just has an air of capability that makes him stand apart from his roots. I always thought of him as someone who sort of rode She-Ra’s skirttails while she did all the work but now I think of him as her right-hand man.

The Bad – His leg articulation is hindered a bit by the crotch piece, it keeps him from having the full range of motion front to back that other MOTUC’s have thanks to their furry underpants. His chest armor is also prone to riding up because it’s somewhat loose, this isn’t a problem on display but can be a little annoying when posing him for pictures.

The Verdict – Bow is a perfect example of the MOTUC line taking a goofy vintage figure and making him look great while retaining the essence of the character. If you have any interest in Bow he comes highly recommended.


Masters Of The Universe Classics
Shadow Beast
7 Inch Scale
By: Mattel
$30 (+ Shipping)

The Good – The Shadow Beast is big, beefy and comes with a truly awesome and massive wooden club. He captures the look of the Shadow Beast from the 2002 MOTU Cartoon but is in the scale and proportions of the Filmation version. My wife calls him the “Monkey Dog Unicorn” which is a pretty good way to sum up his looks. He’s got a lot of range on his head movement which lets you convey lots of different moods and emotions and his arms work great for grappling with your other MOTUC figures.

The Bad – The Shadow Beast, just like his buck brother Gy-gor, is missing some key movement points for an agile and dangerous beast. His torso and legs are basically immobile, the feet are technically on ball joints but they don’t really move all that much. His torso is rotocast which makes it slightly more flexible than a normal MOTUC figure, this makes him feel a little cheaper but it doesn’t affect the look of him on the shelf. His hands don’t hold the huge club very securely, I’m not sure if this is a result of the sheer bulk of the badass club or a flaw in the hands.

The Verdict – The Shadow Beasts featured prominently in several classic episodes of the Filmation He-Man cartoon and in one really memorable 2002 episode. This figure somehow represents both incarnations very well without favoring one or the other. While he isn’t as posable as I’d have liked him to be I’m extremely happy to have him menacing my Eternians. A must have for all but the most casual of He-fans!


Masters Of The Universe Classics
Preternia Disguise He-Man
7 Inch Scale
By: Mattel
Only Available in MOTUC Subscription or Secondary Market (Prices vary)

The Good – The existence of this guy ALMOST put me off of buying the Club Eternia Subscription last year but he has grown on me as I’ve spent some time taking pictures of him. His mask is well done as is the entirety of his disguise. It’s very silly but in a likeable way. The Bionatops Blaster and Cosmic Key are almost worth the price of admission on their own, uniqe accessories go a long way in making another He-Man variant feel like a brand new figure.

The Bad – It’s hard to come up with anything truly bad about the figure itself. My cosmic key was bent by the damn rubber bands holding it in the package but it’s going back into shape more and more as the days pass.

The Verdict – I don’t think very many collectors of this line were clamoring for a Preternia Disguise He-Man, not even the people who fondly remember the Mini-comic that it’s based on were lining up from what I can tell, but really he’s very cool for a be-skirted He-Man. I don’t think I would cry if mine broke or got lost but I’m glad to have him.


GI Joe: Pursuit of Cobra
Low-Light
4 Inch Scale
By: Hasbro
$6.99

The Good – Low-Light is definitely the media darling of the recent waves of GI Joe figures. He’s a fan favorite character that was left out of the 25th Anniversary Collection and he’s been done right here. He’s got a boat-load of gear including a sniper rifle that comes apart and stows in a detailed case, a huge backpack and even an ammo box with a removable bullet. He’s one of the best action figures ever to be mass-produced and he’s awesome.

The Bad – The ONLY bad thing I can think of to say is the one he shares with every single GI Joe figure made to date. He can’t lay down and look straight in a prone sniping position.

The Verdict – If you like GI Joe or if you used to like GI Joe you should shell out the $7 to check Low-Light out. He’s got just the right amount of cross-over between the ARAH aesthetic and the modern look to please fans of either style.


GI Joe: Pursuit of Cobra
Shadow Tracker
4 Inch Scale
By: Hasbro
$6.99

The Good – While Low-Light is a great example of a modernized version of a classic character, Shadow Tracker is a brand new character firmly rooted in the Metal Gear Solid guts of Pursuit of Cobra. He’s a mean looking, bow carrying dude with a translucent face mask and a bad attitude. He has great looking sculpted dreadlocks and a lot of unique gear that is mostly brand new.

The Bad – Other than his bow, which he holds very well, Shadow Tracker has a hard time keeping a grip on any of his cool knives, his spear and his bola. His dreadlocks block basically all of his head articulation as well.

The Verdict – If you like the general look of the Pursuit of Cobra figures who have strayed from the classic Joe and Cobra looks, you’re going to want this guy. It’s pretty rare these days to get a brand new character instead of a retread of an existing one and I bought this guy in multiples because I want to encourage this!


GI Joe: Pursuit of Cobra
Skydive
4 Inch Scale
By: Hasbro
$6.99

The Good – Skydive is the final release of a canceled “Desert Battle Ripcord” that was supposed to come out towards the end of the movie line. He’s got a great looking jetpack, a killer removable helmet and some really nice gear that’s painted just about perfectly. Skydive is named after one of the sky patrol characters, one that I remember as being the last Joe I bought in stores as a kid.

The Bad – The sexy gear that Skydive is sporting blocks almost all movement in his head and legs, the gear is removable but then you’re missing out on the main draw of the figure. He comes with only a pistol for a weapon, it’s a really nice gun and stows on his ankle but I’d have really liked some kind of rifle. Skydive also has a generic balaclava masked head, I still remember the cool mustachioed vintage Skydive head and I wish they’d have gone that route.

The Verdict – This guy is far from essential, I probably would have ended up skipping him myself if not for a light toy week where I had some extra spending change. I’ve had fun playing around with him and swapping different heads onto the body to get Duke and company in a jetpack. He’s certainly going to be the peg warmer of the wave, but I’ll be surprised if warms anything for very long!


GI Joe: Pursuit of Cobra
Destro (Wave 4)
4 Inch Scale
By: Hasbro
$6.99

The Good – Destro is a welcome update to the Cobra weapons dealer we all know and love. While the Arctic Destro had some nice stuff going on we were missing a Destro that could stand with Cobra Commander and the Alley Vipers and not look out of place. He has a nice suit of armor and a crazy hip mounted mini gun thats on a swivel and ball joint. He also looks great in varying levels of his armor as lots of it is removable. Destro also comes with an armored briefcase full of money!

The Bad – About the only downside I can think of is that he doesn’t QUITE feel like Destro to me in this gear. When I first saw him I hated the look but in person it works quite a lot better that I thought it would.

The Verdict – I think every G.I. Joe fan should check this guy out. With a head swap you can have a nice heavy weapons cobra trooper or you can just let ole Destro kick some Joe ass with his mini gun. The cash case is also a really cool and unique item that’ll fit in with lots of scenarios for pictures and dios alike.

6 Responses to Toy Review Lightning Round: March – MOTUC/GI Joe

  • This post deserves more comments. You got hosed.

    Anywho, I really wanted Shadow Beast. I was prepared to buy several. But then the damn shipping rates were so high that I skipped him. Instead that money went to toys I knew I would be more satisfied with. I still wish I had a couple, but I just can't be buying a bunch of those guys at that price. When I look at my Kriegaffe #10 and then the Shadow Beast… It just depresses me. The Shadow Beasts could have been THAT!

  • PrfktTear says:

    I don't collect Joes (save for that POC Snake Eyes) and when I ran into Shadow Tracker even I was sorely tempted to pick him up as an impulse buy, but I'm afraid the guy on my right shoulder won out and I put him back. Very nice though.

    In a perfect world where I just won the $312M Mega Millions jackpot, I'd have about ten Shadow Beasts, but it isn't and I didn't — so there. I was tempted to pick up one more to go along with my sub, but coming off the heels of January's Eternian Guards, and knowing BA Skeletor, Panthor, and the Weapons Stands are just around the corner I held off. Its a fine buck, I think it compliments Shadow Beast even moreso than Gygor (who I initially passed on, but then once the reviews started pouring in decided I had to have him). I'm not much of a dio display kind of guy, my figures are on the shelves lined up somewhat neat, occasionally battling each other, so one was enough for me.

  • PrfktTear says:

    PE He-Man or as I like to call him, Trick-Or-Treat He-Man wasn't really so much of a deciding factor for me when joining Club Eternia for the second time (technically third), but then again, neither was Wun-Dar. If Mattel DIDN'T make him, I wouldn't feel like there is a gap in my collection, and even if I didn't join the club I don't know that I'd seek him out on eBay, but I have him nonetheless, and he's pretty good. Some people made fun of him for having boobies and said the 4H really screwed this one up, yeah, the shirt does "ehance" his pecks, but if you want, just take it right off. Its a cool little reference and kinda helps round out the POG line. He's sort of an off-beat He-Man variant, and much better than any of the Spin Blade/Sucker Punch/Discotheque He-Man variants Mattel clogged shelves with in the 200x line. The Cosmic Key is the real prize there, and certainly puts him over the top. That was an unnecessary accessory but is sort of like the cherry on top of the sundae.

  • PrfktTear says:

    I like Bow. I had the vintage figure as a kid so naturally I wanted to see him updated in MOTUC. Some promiment members in the MOTU community were vocal about him being "the ghey" and his armor being too flashy, but I completely disagree. Hopefully that line in the bio about his "heart" beating for Adora will squash any arguments some homophobe might have but regardless to me its a non-issue. There were a few other issues people raised, like with the quiver, how the arrows were sculpted and the fact that Bow couldn't be posed correctly with his arrow "drawn". To that I say "so what". I'm looking forward to more POP characters like Glimmer, Queen Angella, and hopefully Scorpia. As far as any of the later female variant characters like Purplebloo and Sparkleina or whatever, those might make me reconsider getting Club Eternia, or at least if they do get that far they'll probablly remain MOC and in their shipping boxes, if not re-sold on Ebay, but if we actually do get that far and we get through other must-have vintage characters and *crosses fingers* others like Shadow Weaver and Queen Marlena, then its a price I'll be willing to pay.

  • PrfktTear says:

    I'm not trying to spam, it made me break my comments into multiple posts!!! 😉

  • Haha, I like that you had a lot of intelligent, thoughtful responses.

    I still think PE He-Man looks like a doofus though and you couldn't pay me $30 to have him in my collection.

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