Toys & Merch

Toy Review: Hello, Kitty!

After the sturm and drang of last week’s sale at Mattycollector.com, I assumed my reaction to receiving the actual toys would be subdued. However, no matter what shenanigans Mattel employs in their business practices, I can’t deny that the Masters of the Universe Classics line continues to exceed my expectations.

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This month, the bonus figure that had the whole world in an uproar was none other than He-Man‘s best friend and main ride, Battle Cat (aka Cringer). What surprised me most about actually holding this figure in my hand was its weight. This is not a hollow, plastic kitty cat. He is solid and heavy, an impressive and substantial figure. For those of us who grew up with a Battle Cat frozen forever in a static pose, this figure’s articulation and posable features are revolutionary. Neck, head, mouth, shoulder, knee, wrist, even tail joints make him the most dynamic Battle Cat ever produced. He comes in his trademark green, with orange tiger stripes. His saddle is the most regal version we’ve ever seen, with a lot of detail and weight attributed to this piece alone. Straddling the saddle requires a bit of a wide stance for He-Man, but the size of Battle Cat and the overall majesty of our favorite feline transportation more than makes up for the somewhat awkward riding pose. He-Man isn’t He-Man without Battle Cat, and this is a stellar addition to the line. I can’t wait to get more beasts and (hopefully) vehicles in the future. (Attack Trak and Talon Fighter, please!)

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The main figure of the month (and part of the 2010 Club Eternia subscription) was dear, old Trap Jaw. As a kid, Trap Jaw was never a buffoon in my adventures, as he was portrayed on the cartoon. He was sinister and dangerous and had no regard for human life. This figure is a gorgeous tribute to his dangerous legacy. Mattel warned us they wouldn’t be incorporating trademark action features and gimmicks in this line, but Trap Jaw managed to slip through mostly intact. He has a hinged, movable jaw, interchangeable attachments for his robotic arm and even a whole other head and arm for his Kronis persona. The paint job on TJ is one of the best we’ve seen in this line. The shinier finish on his helmet and arm give the appearance of real armor, while the careful application of details to his arms and legs give him a real sense of presence. Even the tiny gold applications to his belt are a standout on this figure. A creepy new addition is the bloody remnants of his jaw, hidden by his mechanical choppers.

You’ll notice I have Trap Jaw posed on one of the figure stands Mattel offered in last week’s sale. They are serviceable, overall, but I found them to be flimsy, with really oddly-spaced holes for the pegs. Also, I feel the stone work should fit more seamlessly onto the stand. But, like I said, they’re serviceable. I probably won’t order more than I already have, though.

It’s great to see this line continue to fill out with all the characters we know and love. I really do hope Mattel makes getting these figures a lot less stressful for the fans. Figures of this quality should be in the hands of everyone who wants them.

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