SEARCH REVIEWS    LIVING WITH LATE FEES    FEATURES    LINKS    BIO    MISSION    EMAIL    MAIN PAGE >


Trap Jaw
Masters of the Universe Classics

Trap Jaw Masters of the Universe Classics action figure by Mattel


Earlier this week when I reviewed the recently released Battle Cat from the Masters of the Universe Classics series, I also mentioned what a disaster the ordering process turned out to be. We all joke about the crazed fan boys and their rants of "they're killin the lien", but there's more than a grain of truth there - it's actually a boulder.

The most problems are always going to occur with the most popular releases - that's when traffic is heaviest and temperatures highest. But just because something is popular doesn't mean it's good.

Ah, but the sad fact (or not, depending on whether you got lucky this month or not) is that Battle Cat and Trap Jaw weren't just popular - they were good. Damn good.

For those on the subscription (a plan with all it's own issues, to be sure), Trap Jaw was the monthly figure and didn't require them to place another order. That gives him the leg up on Battle Cat, at least for availability. Then again, if you aren't a subscriber (or were just concerned about your sub with all the mis-information, credit card snafus, and weird cancellation emails floating around), you were thrown into the same stir pot of frustration as everyone else.

Matty has announced that they'll be re-releasing Trap Jaw in the coming months, so all hope is not yet lost.

Trap Jaw cost the usual $20 plus shipping, although everyone who tried to order, whether they succeeded or not, paid with a few years off their lives.
Trapjaw Masters of the Universe Classics action figure by Mattel
Trap Jaw Masters of the Universe Classics action figure by Mattel
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Trap Jaw Masters of the Universe Classics action figure by Mattel
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Trap Jaw Masters of the Universe Classics action figure by Mattel
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Trap Jaw Masters of the Universe Classics action figure by Mattel
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Trap Jaw Masters of the Universe Classics action figure by Mattel

Packaging - ***1/2
Same old, same old, but thankfully, that same old is sweet. The packages continue to sport that retro appearance that's makes them so attractive. They aren't collector friendly, but that's a minor issue here.

I do wish that the MOTUC label at the top didn't block TJ's face quite so much, since it's such a key aspect of the character. They could have also place the accessories (especially the extra head) in a bit better location to show them off.

Those with sharp eyes will notice that the package did bend down his little loop on top of his helmet. I've left it that way so a) you could see it and b) because I feared creating stress fractures by bending it back up, and having it look worse or God forbid, break off. I suspect this was a rarity though, and yours will most likely end up fine.

Sculpting - ****
Like Mer-man and Teela, Trap Jaw comes with two visages, both with exceptional Four Horseman sculpts.

The normal portrait hearkens back to his origins as a psychotic killer from outer space. His mechanical jaw opens to show a gruesome, bloody gaping hole where his jaw once was, and the grimacing expression works great no matter how open or shut you pose the replacement jaw. The sculpt of the face, wrinkling of the skin, and damage to the underlying jaw are all very realistic for the cartoon style of the series.

There's a small loop on top of his helmet that allows him to slide down string 'ropes' - take that, Batman!

The body still has it's share of re-use, but with the swappable mechanical arms and several pieces of new armor, he's one of the most unique figures in the series. The sculpts on every additional robotic arm is great, with sharp lines and clean edges that add to the metallic appearance.

The second head sculpt (and additional right arm) are a nod to the fans of the 2002 series, when his origin was altered slightly. It was revealed that he was originally a criminal named Kronis, and the additional head and arm are intended to swap him to this appearance. Again, an outstanding job by 4H, and the pieces swap easily.

He stands great on his own of course, and the overall sculpting is some of the nicest we've seen in the series.

Paint - ***1/2
Generally the paint work has been solid on the MOTUC line, as you'd expect for a collector focused online series.

The work here is clean, with decent cut lines, no sign of over spray, and almost no bleed. There's also more color and detail than the average MOTUC figure, making the work that much more impressive.

It's not completely without issue, and the green face is a little gloppy in spots, but for the most part it's well above average quality.

Articulation - ****
All the articulation you expect in this series is present with this figure, plus one.

There's the usual ball jointed neck, and it has some decent tilt action. There's ball jointed shoulders and hips, pin elbows, ankles and knees, cut waist waist, wrists and calves, and probably something else I'm forgetting. It all adds up to plenty of posability.

The joint that sets this guy apart from his brethren is the articulated mechanical jaw. It works great AND looks great in just about any pose.

There's one more extra point of articulation worth noting - the claw hand. One of the three arms sports a nasty looking pincher, and this is articulated as well.

Accessories - ****
This guy comes loaded! There's the additional Kronis head and arm that I've already mentioned, a very nice addition for fans of the overall MOTU series.

There's also three swappable cyborg right arms. There's a pirate hook sort of contraption, a claw (that opens and closes of course), and a funky laser/drill looking dealio that's the largest of the three.

The first couple times it might take some effort to do the swap, but be patient. Don't force it, and you'll get the hang of it pretty quickly.

They've also added hoops to both sides of his WWE champion belt, and the two arms he's not wearing at any one time can be attached. This guy would make J.J. Arms envious!

The Kronis arm is the full arm, shoulder to hand. You can pop this on and off pretty easily, swapping it out for the full robotic arm.

However, the other cyborg arms are swapped from the forearm down. That allows the mechanical arm to have a pin elbow joint, and keeps the swapping feature from hurting the overall articulation.

Fun Factor - ****
An evil cyborg that has swappable robotic arms, great articulation and sculpting, and half his face is ripped off? How could this NOT be fun!

Value - **1/2
In the past I've questioned the $20 price tag, but I have to admit that with the extra arms and alternate head, this guy really is worth it. You won't feel like you're getting a great deal, but for once I'm not holding the price against him.

Things to Watch Out For -
Like I said, take your time swapping the arms the first couple times. You'll get the feel for it and it will be a lot easier.

Overall - ****
This figure is awesome sauce on cool biscuits. The character design makes even a non-fan such as myself stand up and take notice, and part of that may be my inherent affection for Baron Underbheit.

With not only the addition of the extra robotic arms but the inclusion of the 2002 origin Kronis parts, this guy jumps to the top of my list as my favorite MOTUC figure so far, and is the first of the year on my short list for Best of 2010.

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

Where to Buy -
This was available at Matty Collector last month, but your best bet now is to watch ebay for a deal. But if you can manage some patience, Matty Collector has announced they will release him later this year.

Related Links -
I've covered quite a bit of the series:

- I just covered Battle Cat earlier this week, and prior to that was Adora.

- I really liked Scareglow, although he's not exactly what you'd call a key character.

- Adora isn't the first girl in the series - Teela has that honor.

- before that there was Webstor, one of my favorite, and Tri-klops, another one of my favs.

- prior to that was Man-at-armsHordak, ZodacFaker, Mer-man and Stratos, starting out with He-man, Skeletor and Beastman together in one review.

Discussion:
Want to chat about this review?  Try out one of these terrific forums where I'll be discussing it!

Enjoyed this review? Be sure to head back to the main page to find thousands more just like it!



Share this review with others! 
  Digg it!    StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble It!      Reddit

Trap Jaw Masters of the Universe Classics action figure by Mattel


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

This page copyright 2000 - 2009, Michael Crawford. All rights reserved. Click here for copyright permissions! Hosted by 1 Hour Hosting.com