Sunday, 28 September 2014

Review: MOTUC Club Eternia Quarter 3

Expensive month, this one, what with the 4 figures arriving with the standard Club Eternia plus 3 more coming via the just-started Club Etheria (containing She-Ra figures) and a mix of characters spanning (most) of the incarnations of He-Man.

Rio Blast
This guy was released near the end of the original 80s line. Unlike a lot of lines where you begin to cut costs as much as possible to scrape every last penny of profit out of a dying line, the final few 80s Masters figures actually featured a high amount of new tooling. Rio Blast was no exception, and had all new parts to accommodate gun-hiding areas.

Unfortunately, this isn't the case with the new figure. Instead the guns have to be attached/detached from the figure. This is essentially what everyone expected, though the execution is not brilliant. The wrist guns work fine, but that's about it. The guns for the leg sections don't clip in very well, more 'resting' in place than anything else. The large backpack has a few problems: first, it doesn't stay on Rio's back too well and keeps falling off. The second problem is that once deployed in attack-mode, there's a visor section which, obviously, is supposed to go over his eyes (presumably as a kind of gun-sight). This is miles above his eyes. Oddly, Mattel chose to add paint detail to the backpack section of the gun, which spends a lot of time covered up by the giant guns, or just generally at the back of the figure, instead of the gun-section itself that is much more visible.

Finally, we come to the chest. This is simply horrible. Sure, with the gun deployed it looks fine, but there is no way you can get the flap to close up in any way that doesn't look ridiculous. It looks bad on photos, but in hand it's even worse.

I'm not sure if this is down to bulky armour, or simply the bulky buck of the Classics figures, but there are a limited range of positions that Rio can have his arms. I was hoping to achieve some really good gun-shooting poses in the photos but simply could get the arms to go where I wanted them.

New Adventures Skeletor
Since I had zero NA toys back in the day, almost all of my exposure of the 'He-Man in space' line comes from the cartoon. In that cartoon, NA Skeletor dumps the look of this particular figure after about 5 episodes and spends the rest of the series looking very different indeed. I am, therefore, a tad disappointed that this is likely the only version of this version of the villain we're likely to get in the line.

But putting that aside.

I do like the design of this character and it could have been amazing, however it's seriously let down by the bulky armour...and this figure shouldn't even have armour! All of the blue cyborg-like area of the figure is supposed to be skin. Therefore Mattel should have used as thin a piece of plastic as possible to cover the base torso - like they'd done previously with figures like King Hiss. Instead it's an 'armour' piece, with clips to remove it and therefore it's very bulky. It even restricts the head articulation, limiting it to side-to-side motion, as the neck is so thick.

Thrown in with Skeletor is the much-requested 'battle damaged' head for Faker. This is a nice little bonus, though I have no explanation as to why Mattel have opted for a much lighter, orangier hair colour compared to the previous Faker releases.

2 NA releases this quarter, probably to the upset of a lot of people. Flogg's pretty great actually. In fact since I find it much easier to rant on and on about things I dislike, Flogg's review is going to be pretty short. Good, solid figure.

Like Skeletor, Flogg comes with a bonus accessory in the form of a Filmation-style sword for He-Man. Again, this has been something much-requested, though personally I don't see too much difference from the standard sword.

I don't have much to say about this one. There's nothing wrong with her but nothing to 'wow' about either. She simply 'is'. A welcome addition to the Princess of Power characters, but not one people will be reaching for to show off to others.

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