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Captain Toy/Michael's Review of the Week

Review of Trap Jaw - Filmation Style Action Figure
He-Man - Masters of the Universe

Mattel
Date Published: 2016-04-22
Written By: Michael Crawford
Overall Average Rating: 3.5 out of 4

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Masters of the Universe Filmation Trap Jaw action figure by Mattel

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Introduction

Amazingly enough, Matty Collector is still cranking out the Masters of the Universe figures. Any long running line starts to get stale, and must find a way to rejuvenate itself on occasion. The new "Club Greyskull" subscription, with figures based on the Filmation style of animated characters, is Mattel's latest attempt.

These figures are done in a style that matches the Masters of the Universe Classics in body design and scale, but are intended to look more like the actual animated characters, rather than the updated, more modern versions we have gotten previously. That means a less detailed sculpt, and a more colorful, broad paint job.

The first release was He-man of course, but he's now joined by Trap Jaw. This guy sold out at Matty Collector of course, where he was originally $25 (or $20, if you were a subscriber) plus shipping.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Masters of the Universe Filmation Trap Jaw action figure by Mattel

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Packaging - ****
While I always liked the MOTUC packages, one issue was that they were not collector friendly. You were either a MOCer, or an opener - there was no in between.  These new boxes fix that issue, and you can open them up, remove the figure and accessories, and put it all back later, no damage, easy peasy lemon squeazy.

Add in some terrific old school graphics, including the personalized character art on the back, as well as a really cool design for the die cut window on the front and top, and you have a complete winner. Even the outer slip cover shows an amazing level of creativity!  The slip has the gate closed, while the interior box mimics an open gate with its die cut window. Great stuff!

Masters of the Universe Filmation Trap Jaw action figure by Mattel

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Sculpting - ***1/2
While I've never been a major fan of the cartoon, I have to say that Mattel has done a beautiful job capturing the style and design of the animation, yet keeping the figure in line with the MOTUC series. There's enough detail here, particularly in the face, to maintain an aspect of modern quality, and yet the softer, smoother overall look works perfectly with the animated style.

As you'd expect, he stands about 7" tall, just like the MOTUC series.  The left hand is sculpted in a gripping position, while the right arm is replaced with his various attachments.  This figure has additional articulation - more on that in a minute - but there's no conflict between this new articulation and the overall style.

Masters of the Universe Filmation Trap Jaw action figure by Mattel

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Paint - ***
The only area where I had any real issue was with the paint.  It's not terrible, mind you, but there are some quality issues across the figure.

I have yet to see one with perfect eyes, although mine are pretty close. The pupils don't quite line up, but I've seen other folks get much worse, and that inconsistency could be a problem over time.

I do have a fair number of spots and stray marks, as well as some inconsistency in the tone and finish on some of the broader colors. There are some small dirt particles trapped in the paint as well, always a bummer.

As I said, these aren't major issues, but in combination are problematic enough to pull him down slightly.

Masters of the Universe Filmation Trap Jaw action figure by Mattel

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Articulation - ****
This was actually a very tricky category for me this time.  I've always loved the solid yet mobile articulation of the MOTUC figures. They tend to score high in this category, and the original Trap Jaw got the full four stars, thanks to the articulation on his mechanical arm and jaw.

But this figure loses that full elbow articulation, which bugged me quite a bit when I was working with him. While it does seem to work better with the animated style, I couldn't help but wish I could bend the arm for additional poses.  There is a cut joint at the elbow of course where you swap the pieces, but it's quite a bit less useful than what we saw with the MOTUC version.

The other articulation is similar, including the jaw, ball neck, rotating hinge shoulders, cut biceps, pin elbows and knees, ab-crunch, cut waist, and hips. But these new figures have two improved joints - the wrists and ankles. Rather than simple cut wrists, these are now rotating hinge joints, and the ankles have added a rocker movement to the basic forward and backward mobility.

So while the loss of the elbow almost took him down a half star, the improvements in the wrists and ankles boosted him right back up again.

Masters of the Universe Filmation Trap Jaw action figure by Mattel

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Accessories - ***1/2
This guy isn't quite as well outfitted as his MOTUC predecessor, but he's still pretty good.

He comes with his blaster arm attached, and includes a laser bow and flyswatter that you can swap in. The flyswatter is pretty funny, and all three look great in place. Swapping the arms is straight forward, but you'll want to take some care anyway due to the softer plastic.

Masters of the Universe Filmation Trap Jaw action figure by Mattel

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Fun Factor - ****
Just like the rest of the MOTU figures Mattel has produced, these are great toys first, collectibles second.  Give them to any kid and they'll have a blast - combine them with copies of the old cartoon, and they will fall in love.

Of course, adult fans should be pleased as well. While I'm sure they'll be able to find nits to pick - that's part of being a fan - I suspect most of them will still be very happy with the final result.

Masters of the Universe Filmation Trap Jaw action figure by Mattel

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Value - ***
The MOTUC prices have risen quite a bit over the years, and are now at $28 for most of the releases.  Getting this guy for $25 - or $20, on the sub - is a slightly better than average value.

Things to Watch Out For -
My only concern is with the slightly soft plastic used for the various arm attachments.  The fitting is tight, so swapping takes a bit of pull, and the arms - especially the flyswatter - can't take too much pull.  I suggest using a small, flat blade to help pry the joint apart, rather than simply pulling on the lower arm.

Masters of the Universe Filmation Trap Jaw action figure by Mattel

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Overall - ***1/2
This figure was *this close* to being a four star figure.  It's only the slightly sloppy paint operations that are holding him back, and I have to admit that even I, a non-fan of the show, really love his cartoon colors and style. I wasn't too keen on this new subscription at first, but now I'm quite glad that I jumped in from the start.

Score Recap (out of ****):
Packaging - ****
Sculpting - ***1/2
Paint - ***
Articulation - ****
Accessories - ***1/2
Fun Factor - ****
Value - ***
Overall - ***1/2

Masters of the Universe Filmation Trap Jaw action figure by Mattel

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Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- was carrying him for $40.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
The most closely related review is of the MOTUC Trap Jaw of course, and the most recent review was of Evil Seed. I've covered a ton of the series over the years, however. You should hit the Search Reviews page to find the older reviews and in case any other applicable reviews were done after this one was published.

Discussion:
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Masters of the Universe Filmation Trap Jaw action figure by Mattel

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This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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