Titfortat 3: Tri-Klops vs. Grizzlor

Titfortat

History from the cold bloody mountains

This battle is Tri-Klops’ tit for tat. When he was a boy in a village in Eternia’s mountains, his live was just nice. Loving parents, fresh air, enough of everything. His people lived an easy, honest live. He wasn’t evil at all. Maybe he would have been a hero…

The people in the mountains used to tell stories about hairy monsters, maybe to keep the kids from running too far. To teach them to be careful. All myths, or? Hard to believe that there was a place in Eternia that wasn’t infested with horrific creatures.

Tri-Klops was always into technology, what was somewhat strange for his kind. But the mountain people understood the value of his developments. He was well accepted and an innovator, who would make live even more comfortable. One day, after testing a new machine, he came home, and he had to find himself in a blood bath, where his village has been. Everything was destroyed, all killed, all. His family, friends, neighbors. Suddenly the young man from the mountains lived in a nightmare, all alone.

Giant footsteps made clear, there was a single monster in the village. A single creature erased an entire village, and the future of a skilled potential hero. Who was this creature? Grizzlor.

Since Hordac started seeking for the worst creatures of Eternia to strengthen his horde, many horror-myths became reality. Hordac found that hairy monster before Tri-Klops had the chance for revenge. Grizzlor! You need the kind of magic Hordac has, to control this beast. So he did, he made the beast of the mountains one of his evil horde members, without knowing that Tri-Klops has an unfinished business with him.

A two meter human with one laser eye, one super- bright eagle- eye and one ice-beam eye (32 points) gets in the ring with a 3.20m, 310kg, 28 points bear-gorilla monster!

Let’s do it: Tri-Klops looks very focused, seems he has a plan and is so ready to go. No fear, no anxiety, that’s impressive. He looks tiny in front of Grizzlor, but he stands his man.

On the other side, a hairy, growling brown mountain of wilderness. Grizzlor is clearly under the control of a powerful being, if not he would have destroyed the entire arena. No one knows how much of himself is left.

The fight begins. Grizzlor’s first strike hits the floor, and the beast-made earthquake distracts Tri-Klops just long enough to allow Grizzlor moving one step closer to Tri-Klops. The second strike is a continuation of the first two actions, hitting Tri-Klops shoulders from above, what breaks both of Tri-Klops’ legs. The smart, skillful mountain man forgets his meticulous plan, and unfortunately replaces all his thoughts by the memory of stories told about the scary mountain monster.

The last strike in this so-called battle is more like a beginning of Grizzlor’s lunch. Tri-Klops is down, Grizzlor wins. Easy. Ugly. 

Toy review: Roboto

Toy review

Roboto is a very special MOTU toy to me, because I’m pretty sure it was my first! I think the reason why it was him is, that he looks cruelty-free, or maybe well-behaved. As a parent, I might also have preferred a Roboto or Horde Trooper over a Beastman or Snakeface.

Roboto is the only MOTU figure with a transparent torso, only Mosquitor has a transparent window in his torso. It looks fantastic, and the material is surprisingly robust. I can’t remember a photo of a broken, or yellowed Roboto. The only issue is the silver color on the boots, which seems to wear off often. You’ll see red plastic shining through.

Roboto’s colors are not as special as I thought first. His arms are blue, and the left hand is red. It is a bit confusing that is hand is formed like a claw, like the evil figures have it. Without doubt Roboto was always on the good side, so I wonder why the chose this kind of hand. The legs are red, with silverish boots. And for some reason the legs are shorter than usual. I could imagine this is to stabilize him better, perhaps the torso is heavier than usual? His “pants” (what is that on a robot?) are violet and a bit higher than usual, most likely because it carries some of the mechanical parts to get the gears in his torso going. The higher waist could also be the reason for shorter legs, so they could match the standard total-size. He’s got one red gear and two smaller, blue gears in his chest, which turn as you turn the waist. That’s a cool feature and makes him look alive somehow. His “jaw” will also move up and down while you turn the body, and that is maybe not so much supporting the impression of a real robot. It makes him look more like a 80s toy robot who can rather not fight, but only make noise and move.

The head is of the same silver color as the boots, and the jaw is red. Overall the silver color makes sure that we know he’s a robot made from steel. First I thought that this would be a quite unique color, which other robots like Horde Trooper and Blast Attak do not have. Wrong! A bit of silver is found on many figures: King Hiss, Fisto, Ram Man, Mekaneck, Two Bad, Rio Blast, Rokkon, Dragstor, Battle Armor He-Man, King Randor, and Snoutspout. Pew what a list. Even shinier metallic gloss is found on Jitsu’s hand, Blast Attak’s torso, Flying Fist He-Man, and Hurricane Hordak, There might be even more.

Back to Roboto. Solid red and blue are used in almost equal amount, maybe in favor to red. The red parts make him look nice and give the impression that he must be a good one. Thinking about it, he shares very much the colors of Mekaneck, except for the pants and face. Plain or neutral, I want to call it standard blue and red are also found on Mantenna, King Randor, Dragstor, Stratos, Webstor, Spikor, and Stonedar. It is not so common, and I must say I don’t like these colors too much. I helps to have it combined with orange or more violet. Trap Jaw has more a pinkish red and I find that much more appealing.

Roboto’s right hand carries a silver weapon, which can be exchanged: You got a double-barreled laser gun, which I like most, you got and axe, and pincers or grippers. The plug connection is surprisingly stable and takes exchanges very well. Except for the fading color on the boots, Roboto has a fantastic quality.

Last thing: Roboto came out in 1985. In 2013 a cartoon called Rick and Morty started, and in 2014 Gearhead was introduced. This is a humanoid with a transparent torso, showing his gears inside. They always remind me on my first MOTU toy.

Crossover: Masters of the Stone age

Crossovers

THIS is my favorite so far! Each character worked out just fine. I have drawn in pencil, then used a marker for the final lines, and scanned it for Sketchbook then. I guess black background is best for my kind of drawings. I totally ignored the characters affiliation to good or evil, so that this is also a crossover of heros and villains.

We have Fred Tri-stone, who is Triclops of course! The visor is obvious, but he also wears his green I-don’t-know-what under the (sabertooth?) fur.

Orko is always good for a drawing, though I never liked him as a toy or in the cartoon. He is crossed with Dino, the dog-like pet of the Flintstones. His head is pretty cool, and his arm too. The whole attitude is a bit bitchy, not sure why this happened. No questions, his hand is in a weird angle, best is just to make weird hands my signature, isn’t it?

Next to him is Weelma – Wilma and Teela! Same as Fred, she has only subtle details of Teela, the crown, the collar and the armlets (ok I realize I have no idea how these three things are called). Her faces seems to say something between ‘Shut up’ and ‘Keep quiet, I’ll kill him soon”.

Weelma’s left, ugly hand seems to reach for the baby, Pebbles, only that she is crossed with the Scorceress, making it the Pebbleress. Like the smurfs, she was a bit small (of course you can zoom in in Sketchbook) and got a bit rough around the edges. But you should be able to see the bone in her hair, the hawk on her noodle, and feathers on the back. The legs, are weak, because she uses to fly (hmhm). She gazes at her friend, while she might have head one too much.

Her friend is Bam-a-Bam, Bambam crossed over with Mekaneck. This happened because our long necked hero carries a huge yellow bat that is just perfect for the strong baby. His futuristic glasses go very well with the stoneage style of Bambam, so that we have a very cool boy here!

His mother is rather evil, Evil Lynn with Betty makes Betty Lynn. I was in a kind of a misery, because I couldn’t make her limbs yellow, like the toy has it. That would have consumed the yellow bat. So I decided to make her entirely blue. She is well decorated with Evil Lynn’s applications (what is that thing on her head?!).

Barney is also blue, because there’s a Faker in him – now he is Barker! Isn’t Barney like a wanna-be Fred? There is some truth behind it… Orange hair and a hint of his orange amour expose him!

Crossover: Masters of the Quest

Crossovers

The two seasons of “World of Quest” were released in 2008/ 2009. It is about the slightly spoiled Prince Nestor, who’s parents got kidnapped, and his mysterious, powerful, and petulant nurse/ bodyguard Quest. Let’s talk about these two characters first.

Finding a MOTU prince for this crossover was (too) easy. Prince Adam is Adamstor, same as all characters he has the body of the World of Quest character. In future I hope I manage to meld the bodies better. There is not too much to discover on him, he got Adams legs, and Nestor’s dress. The most obvious change is his weapon, he is carrying Prince Adam’s pink sword instead of the golden axe. Prince Adam’s sword by the way is thankfully not pink in the cartoon, but anyway he rarely used it.

Quest is now Man-E-Quest, and these characters melt well, both are mystical. One is an almost 2000 years old, unbeatable warrior, the other has three faces for some reason. Wait for the Toy review on hefarts! He is wearing Quest’s suit in Man-E-Faces colors, which makes not too much of a difference. His belt and the “sword holder” or sheath, are original Quest-colored. Most funny detail is the helmet, which in case of Man-E-Faces is a chunk. Quest’s chin on the other hand is a typical cartoon-testosterone-virility symbol for the superhuman bodyguard. I kept that, with the result that the helmet had to shrink. Not sure how the face-rotation would work, but a bit of a squeezing would totally be ok in Masters of the Quest. World of Quest has a sometimes very goofy humor, so different from the 80s MOTU cartoon.

The big guy in the background is Graertos, a griffin-like friend of Quest’s. He can fly and has feathers, so who else but Stratos could have been crossed with him? Battlecat would have been funny I’m thinking now. But it is Stratos. I tried a crossover with Stratos before, in Glow-Garmel, and one more time after Masters of the Quest, and I must say he is a difficult to draw character. If you want he is just a grey figure with some feather applications. What confuses me is his face, he is a bird man, but he only got a pointy mouth, is it a beak or not? What is he? In my crossover with Graer he has a beak, and it is a big one! This crossover made Stratos a bird, and I like that! I failed to add much more Stratos-details to this character, so let’s just continue.

There is the other friend of Nestor and Quest, Gatling. A cyborg human who eats metal and chews it to bullets, which he then spits out like a gun. So a guy with dark skin and affinity to weapons, he? Let’s make him Clampling! I never owned the Clamp Champ toy unfortunately. I’m not sure why, today I would leave a Snakeface or King Randor where they are and take him. His trademark is the huge clamp-weapon. I replaced Gatling’s robo-hand by this clamp, and gave him Clamp Champ’s red pants. The rest is very much unchanged.

This MOTU- World of Quest – Crossover is still far away from perfect, but is one of the step stones on my way to hopefully great pieces on day! Drawing such characters is a great opportunity to discover details from those cartoons, which you might no catch when you just watch it.

Note the visible spiral binding on the left. I still drew with pencil first, then with felt pen. On Sketchbook I colored a photo of my drawing.

Titfortat 2: Snoutspout vs. Squeeze – The big wrapping?!

Titfortat

This fight must have been setup based upon characteristics, but who knows…

Two squeezing arms vs a powerful trunk call for a big wrapping fight, doesn’t it? One of the smartest and heaviest heroic warriors, who knows how to make use of his dimensions, meets the fast and smart constrictor. Squeeze is 40cm shorter, and not less than 110kg lighter than the elephant man. Snoutspout though is not a warrior, under the line we have 28 points for him. Two more for the Snakeman, what is also not too much. Look at the table of skills for all properties of these two.

Clear the ring! No wonder that Snoutspout waits for the smaller Snakeman to attack. He is far to slow for a surprising attack. Not long to wait, a hissing sound pierce marrow and bone. An awfully fast move of Squeeze’s followed, with his left arm wrapping around the elephant-man’s trunk.

Let’s not forget, this is his nose, so he is not able to breathe properly now! How will he counter? How will the kind elephant react to the snake attack?! In a smart way of course! Obviously he is able to hold the breath for quite a while, so he doesn’t panic. He spreads out both arms, pushing against the snake’s head while he draws his head backwards/ He tries to pull that arm off!!

He even threads his trunk further around the arm, and so tightens the grip, until we all hear a popping sound, saying clearly that arm is dislocated! Suddenly the Snakeman lets go, his left arm is now useless. Though Squeeze looks very much unimpressed. Our orange hero looks very much strained from this apnea action! He breathes heavily. Squeeze seems to change his tactics now, he’s running from one corner to the other. Snoutspout is hardly able to follow with his eyes. In terms of speed we have a four fighting an eight. Then the next attack! The remaining green arm wraps around Snoutspout’s left foot, but the snakeman this time keeps moving, keeps out of reach for the powerful trunk. Elephant-like, Snoutpout stamps on the arm with his free foot, and then starts stumbling. Still holding the foot, Squeeze jumps with both feet first against the left shoulder of the already falling hero.

What does Snoutspout bring up now? His lack of experience in battles in very obvious, and the snakeman managed to locate his shoulder back! Now he is squeezing the trunk with his jaws, while the other arm wraps around the entire body. Squeezes arms are so long!!! This grip will only get tighter, and gravity is not helping our losing elephantastic hero. He can’t get back on his feet, and he is exhausted already. Snakeman wins. Speed wins over strength and brain.   

Rio's burger

Crossover: Rio’s burgers

Crossovers

Bob’s burgers is a fantastic cartoon! Bob’s face hair remined me a lot on Rio Blast, so that a crossover was very simple! From black to brown hair, and from weapon-rich armor to an apron. The pocket on his apron is exactly Rio’s flap, where he hides his weapons. His family counts three females, what was a bit of a problem, since MOTU doesn’t give many options here. Though I think I could have invested some more fantasy here.

Queen Marlene is Marlinda now, and she lost the queen-like serious attitude, plus she wears glasses. The rest of her appearance is very much the Queen. Teela is Teena, and that didn’t work out so well. I’ve combined Tina’s shirt with Teela’s amour, and I gave her Teela’s hair color. Below the belt she is dressed like Teela, though Tina’s legs are a bit weaker… She also has the Bob’s burger’s character’s attitude with sloping shoulders, what is the opposite of Teela.

Louise became Louork, because both have pointy ears. There isn’t much left from Louise, maybe only the eye leashes. I guess she would be happy to be just Orko.

Last and least there is Genetendar – the chubby knight. I think he is okay, I didn’t know how to combine both heads, so I went with Gene’s. Arms and shoulders are nice, but I couldn’t get the right angle for the six pack on the amour (?). Below the head he is basically Extendar in blue shorts.

The black background was meant to highlight the colors, but I noticed later it is too far from the burger place, and didn’t really fit. But since this is one of the early sketchbook drawings, I made it all in one layer, so that changes aren’t that easy. To be honest I lost interest in this peace early, because except for Rio I don’t like it.

Rio's burger

Ok two of the three kids are fine to float, but Teena is as always a bit weird…

Sy-Klone

Toy review: Sy-Klone

Toy review

This was a very confusing character to me when I was a child, and it didn’t get better after writing this.

First of all, he wasn’t very present in the cartoon. There is so much info about MOTU out there, that is was easy to find out from this page (amazing!), that he had only two short roles in the cartoon. Also he was never very famous or popular I would say. There are so many more popular figures, that Sy-Klone is just one of the easy to forget ones.

Second: His face and haircut resemble Heman’s a lot. In fact he looks like a wiser, more relaxed 80s version (remember the Jetsons?!) of a future – Heman. This fact was totally ignored in my opinion, it seems almost like the Superman / Clark Kent thing (ok this was recognized by most of us). The name however suggests that he is a clone of someone. As you can read on the linked fandom page, he was considered a cyborg. But the story line wasn’t very straight in the different comics/ cartoon/ books. That is confusing, but also opens the door for your own version, which is great for kids, isn’t it?

Third: His cool sticker shows some kind of universe. But space travels wasn’t a thing in MOTU (BTW the Jetsons were very popular in the 80s). It seemed a bit like a test run whether the customers would ask for more space stuff or not. But was the sticker meant as a screen, or a window to a universe inside him, or just decoration?

Fourth: While I’m writing this, I notice that the name is also very confusing. You’ll find different versions like Cyclone, Sy-Clone, or Syclone. There is a photo of a box on Google with both versions, Sy-Klone and Cy-Klone on it. So maybe there are also regional differences.

Apart from the confusing and weak background story of this figure, this is a cool, high quality toy. I can’t think of any reused parts (except for the face) on other figures. His arms are a little bit like Mantenna’s though… He came with a clip-on shield, that is also unique. It was necessary because of his tiny fists. Sy-Klone is very colorful, in a bright, maybe royal blue, and sun yellow, combined with some wine-red applications. The colors are of very high contrast and exist in almost equal amounts (maybe a bit more blue). IKEA wasn’t that popular these days, so this combination of colors wasn’t prejudiced, though I would say Sy-Klone isn’t exactly beautiful or pleasant to the eye. He is rather flamboyant. The legs got some mold over the years, same as King Randor did.

And there is one coincidence, or maybe a hint from the makers? Other figures with a high amount of royal blue, like Mekaneck, King Randor (the blue cape!), Man-E-Faces, Faker, Two Bad, Dragstor, Roboto have blue combined with red or orange colors. This is much more pleasant than the bright yellow, and obviously very popular amongst MOTU figures. The only other blue – yellow combinations happen on “drums” … Skeletor, and Evil Lyn!!! The standard Skeletor only has the yellow face, but else he is totally blue, same as Evil Lyn. Does this color scheme tell something about the real attitude of the clone Heman space android?! I guess not. Or?

While blue is a standard color for MOTU figures, real yellow is very rarely seen. Buzz Off had to be yellow, sure. Mantenna’s and Mossman’s belt, and even more Panthor’s and Orko’s eyes are really tiny. Heman’s and strangely also Prince Adam’s hair (so similar!) are yellow, but that is it. Merman’s armor is of a greenish yellow. Oh yes, Mekanek’s bumbum weapon is also yellow, but his armor is red, so the contrast is lesser. Not sure why this is the case, in X-men blue and yellow go so well together…

The chest has this 3D like holographic planet-design – which is of good quality and never came off. His wrist can be rotated by a wheel, which works well. His arms have a different joints from the standard figures (and tiny fists!), so that the arms lift up during fast rotation. This means also that he is a bit wobbly, like a doll. This feature is well-made, but also some how isolates him in the MOTU universe. I guess he wasn’t the cheapest in production.

To me his isn’t a standard Master, so for the Titfortat tournament he is one of the special guests…

Sy-Klone
Sy-Klone in UV light, note how much the blue body glows!

Beau-Tee and the Beastman

Crossovers

Teela and Beastman meeting in the 1991 Disney version of Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve’s Beauty and the Beast (1756). The viewer takes part in the dancing scene. Beastman holding Beau-Tee’s hands, obviously attending to look at the camera, but then distracted by we-don’t-know-what, gazing to his left. Is this a sign of his bad conscious? Does he feel trapped, maybe even caught in the romantic act with the enemies daughter? His dress is a bit off-shape, for sure Beastman never learned how to take care of a doublet. It is a clear night, we can see many stars shining through the large windows.

Beau-Tee looks like she is fully dissolved in the situation, admiring Beastman’s strength. Her head is half a size too small for her body, and maybe that small head is what explains the situation.

Toy review: Whiplash

Toy review

Writing about Whiplash got me thinking about the color schemes of MOTU toys.

Wiphlash is a fully green figure with a special feature: his huge green crocodile tail. Also is he one of the most famous villains. And green is a commonly used color amongst MOTU figures: Man at arms, Kobra Khan, Mossman, Leech, Triclops, King Hiss. Squeeze and Snake Face also have a lot of green.

Color schemes can be explained using the color wheel. This displays the colors of a rainbow. Starting from yellow, the colors are orange, red, purple, blue, green, and back to yellow. Green, blue, and purple are considered cool colors, whereas the others are warm. Looking at green and orange, we have one cool and one warm color, that means it is balanced out. This happens with most figures, think of Syclone, Roboto, or Faker! Snake Face does only show cool colors: green and purple, with grey and black. All green figures, except for Snake Face, got the orange color. This results in a low contrast, or signaling effect. Maybe that’s why I have my problems with Snake Face, who only has some purple, but no orange. Purple is not the exact opposite of green in the color wheel. Yellow would be, so the green- purple combo is a bit off. That feels unpleasant. Look at Panthor vs. Battlecat. While Panthor is mystical or scary, Battlecat has matching opposites: red and green. Some orange is right between those colors and makes it even more pleasant. I will focus more on the colors in the next reviews!

Whiplash got it on his spear and belt in orange. The quality is amazing. In opposite to Man at Arms, the squeezable head keeps his color for ever. Even the rubber tail is stable and flexible over decades. He stands perfectly solid, with the tail as 3rd stand. His chest is crocodile like, it is not the standard body. The arms are not as muscular as others. Believe it or not, just as I am writing this, I realize that Whiplash and Clawful have the exact same legs. The color is so different, that I never saw the same shape! Did you? Ok, yes Buzz Off has it too. Reusing body parts was a thing, I did not really notice that when I played with them.

The UV light I used for the photography highlighted the arms and legs, plus his pants. The tail is invisible in the picture.

Whiplash

Titfortat 1: Beastman vs. Spikor

Titfortat

– You can run from Skeletor, but you can’t hide!

Evil vs. evil? Why? Spikor is a victim of Evil-Lyn’s. When she tortured his home village near the swamps, he was the one to stand up against her. With nothing more but a trident, and arrows made of porcupine spikes, he had the idiotic idea to fight the witch. And no one was surprised that she punished him hard, made him a monster, decorated with his own weapons. Abandoned by his own people, he had to live in the swamps. The leeches didn’t kill him surprisingly. Sick of being a homeless monster now, he later followed Evil-Lyn to join her evil army. And guess what, she didn’t want him, made him nothing but a cheap gift for Skeletor. When Spikor heard that Hordak trapped a Leech in his home swamps, he decided to switch sides to fight at a Leeche’s side, hopefully to once defeat Skeletor and Evil-Lyn. This battle is Skeletors revenge for Spikor leaving him! Skeletor chose nothing less than Beastman, the furious wild monster, to pay him back! Spikor is already impressive 2.1m and weighs 140kg, but in the ring with Beastman, 2.7m, and unbelievable 80kg more, he looks like a tiny hedgehog.

So let the fight begin: The orange Beast starts as expected: With a fast and powerful jump towards Spikor, he fearlessly fires a punch straight onto Spikors head. The porcupine monster is down! Seriously shattered, and on his knees, he realizes – that the he is still alive. The Beast isn’t tearing him into pieces. Beastman is sitting down! Not that the dozens of spikes in his left fist would hinder him. But Spikor must have risen his Trident in a reflex. Beastmans right shoulder is bleeding heavily, he seems unable to move his arm. A terrifying scream, like a bear, a lion and a wolf in one, comes out of his mouth, before he starts calmly starring at Spikor. Knowing that the Beast has the power to take over control of animals, Spikor tries to focus on the human part left in his head. He feels Beastmans mind attack, but manages to move towards him. Once close enough, he smashes his fist in the Beast’s face and wins the first tit for tat! What a surprise, the defensive Spikor defeats the Beast.

That’s the final move…