Toy review: Leech

Toy review

The original Leech toy from the 80s was never my favourite, but I always liked it. It might have been the enormous size, or the dark green color in combination with the red Horde symbol, and the orange rings around what must be the leeches wrists.

Mattel gave Leech a unique body, like Two-Bad, Extendar, Grizzlor, Mantenna and some others. The huge round feet make a stable stand, though my Leech had always a bit wobbly legs. The photo is taken under uv light, and the worn off area in his inner legs fluorescent pretty strong for some reason. His arms are strong, but his muscles not as defined as the more human figures, they kind of remind me of Bud Spencer. His hands are real working suction cups! In the 80s She-Ra: Princess of Power series Leech would use these hands to drain energy from enemies by holding their head between the hands. On the original box, Leech holds Man-at-Arm up, using his mouth, not his hands. It says ‘Leech sucks the power from his enemies ‘. Because neither the hands, nor the mouth of the toy were made to hold another figure, it never really worked for me that he sucks energy. The mouth was a more sophisticated suction cup. It was flat, painted teeth on it, with a soft seal, the lips around it. A button on the back allowed us to pump a vacuum, when you pressed Leech against a flat surface. That worked well on glass, you could hang the heavy green horde member for some seconds. The hands wouldn’t hold him.

For the longest time I thought the flat mouth of the toy would be a compromise for the production. In fact the toy looks more like a leech than the more reptile-like cartoon version. Too bad I haven’t had a close-up of a real leech in the 80s! Making a leech one of the bulkiest members of the universe, with strong arms and legs, that’s what I love MOTU for!

It is the only green horde member, but he’s in good, green company. Mossman, Whiplash, Merman, Triclops, Man-at-Arms, Kobra Khan, and King Hiss are all very green.

Quality wise Leech is a great toy without flaws. The rubber is very durable, and the color rock solid. There’s a tiny bit of black mold on his hands, that’s it.

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.