Toy review: Triclops

Toy review

 

Triclops is maybe the least evil looking villain in Eternia. In fact I would sometimes call him three-eyed Heman. The entire body is just a slightly different colored Heman, he’s more tanned, but a bit grayish. Many figures use this full-muscle-with-straight-fingers shape: Man at arms, King Randor, Mekaneck, Prince Adam and Faker. Triclops’ color variation is just darker boots and pants compared to Heman. The straight fingers were always an indication for the side the MOTU character was fighting for. Evil warriors with straight fingers are rare: I can only think of Faker. Things weren’t 100% thought-through in the 80s I guess, so I wouldn’t interpret too much into that hand.

Triclops’ head makes the difference, and a well-done difference it is. A rotating ring instead of eyes is a proper science fiction feature. They managed to make it look kind of natural, without the cheap 80s robot design. The fact that Triclops’ color is a natural looking green avoids any confusion with an Android. 80s MOTU toys had a much higher level of quality than other action figures, and Triclops is a good example. His face is rich in details, even though the eye-ring covers most of it. His three eyes are not only printed on, or even stickers. They are embroidered, and colored. The color lasts until today, and the whole ring rotates without any problems. Well done guys! 

Triclops’ harnish looks very tribal, as if he’s from a group of people from a savanna or rainforest. It is made from elastic, durable plastic that lasts till now.

I can’t remember any original story being told about his background. His box said that one eye is for day, one for night, and one to look around corners. And all three are to spy for Skeletor. Mattel really left us room for fantasy. On the other hand they produced such great material for stories, and just left it blank. Find my version in the titfortat tournament! 

Triclops’ sword is very different from Hemans. It is green, very narrow, and soft. It bent easily, and looked a bit funny when it pointed to the side. There is a holder on his back, which worked well. He hasn’t had any other weapon, but he had a glowing-in-the-dark ring. The ring was big enough to fit his arm, or a child’s finger. It had a secret compartment, and a black scull printed on it. A skull with three horns, that doesn’t resemble any other symbol of MOTU. So almost 40 years later I found a video on YouTube, explaining that so-called warrior ring. We haven’t had Trapjaw, otherwise we would have had two rings. The ring was meant to be for fan club members, but in the end was just for everyone who bought the right figure.

 

Toy review: Horde trooper

Toy review

The horde trooper is a very controversial character to me. I’m a huge fan of the evil horde, and I have many good memories of the 80s cartoons. But, the horde trooper is none of the real MOTU characters. It’s a soldier from mass production, more or less a walking bucket with no strength except for the shear number Hordak produced them. As a toy, it didn’t make sense, if you haven’t had dozens of them.

So all my childhood this figure was a gap filler unfortunately. And it’s quality didn’t help.

My problem was, or his problem was the instable flap. The Hordak-embodied button was cool, but the mechanism was not stable, so that the lid would open uncontrolled. You lift an arm, an the flap drops. Turn the head, drop.

Apart from that issue this figure is a cool looking toy. It has a fierce face, and a nice combination of pale grey, red and black. Other grey figures are few, Hordak and Stratos basically.

In terms of aging the Horde trooper is pretty good. Mine shows some yellowing on the legs, and the button made of soft rubber looks a bit worn off, but otherwise the material is pretty stable.

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.   

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

Toy review: Clawful

Toy review

The first two reviews haven’t been too positive, sorry! Clawful is one example for a high quality character. Even after 30 years, the mechanism of the claw is working well, the shell is perfectly intact. The massive right claw is one highlight for me, able to open and close and so hold swords, wrists and other objects. The shell is indeed hard and round like a crab shell. That only appeared to me recently, I wonder if that was the intention?

His feet are duck like, with a matte, dark blue finish that wears off a little bit. They allow a very stable stand. His legs and arms have a fringe, that perfectly supports the impression of a crab. Not as worse as with King Randor, but visible, is some mold on the legs. Maybe it has to do with the shade, which is also brownish. The torso is this extreme muscular human, making him look like a human crab mutant.

The weak point of this figure is the head- by no means the quality, the material totally holds. It is more the design, and the choice of material that makes it look a bit funny. Too shallow for me, too soft, so that it invites you to squeeze it. It also has some slack when you bend it, though it does not easily come off. His face is a bit like a pitbull`s, making him look really mean, except for the double nose maybe. Much better though than many cartoon variation of him. Good for him they didn’t try to add antennas!

His weapon is kind of a club, which never sits tight on his tiny left claw.

The UV light didn’t really change his colors, but it looks great! Sorry for the low quality picture!