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Castle Grayskull Display Stands
Masters of the Universe Classics

Masters of the Universe Classic display stands by Mattel


February was a big month for Matty Collector and the Masters of the Universe Classics line. With the release of Trap Jaw and Battle Cat, the line saw two of the coolest additions since He-man and Skeletor. But there was a third MOTUC item available, one that slipped under some folks radar - Castle Grayskull display stands.

These small, stone-like stands came 5 to a box for $12 each. They proved popular (in no small part to the large number of figures already released - if you wanted to cover the whole series you needed to pick up at least four boxes, plus a box or two more for the future releases), selling out in a day.

Battle Cat and Trap Jaw sold out quickly as well, and Matty was almost as quick to let folks know they'd be re-released down the road. However, no such announcement has come yet with the stands, angering fans once again. Many are asking the question "what's the point of releasing a standardized display stand for the figures if you can't pick up more in the future as more figures are released?" And it's a question worth asking.
Masters of the Universe Classic display stands by Mattel
Masters of the Universe Classic display stands by Mattel
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Masters of the Universe Classic display stands by Mattel
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Masters of the Universe Classic display stands by Mattel
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Masters of the Universe Classic display stands by Mattel
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Masters of the Universe Classic display stands by Mattel
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Masters of the Universe Classic display stands by Mattel
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Masters of the Universe Classic display stands by Mattel

Of course, all that only matters if the stands are good - if they blow chunks like a frat boy on Saturday night, then there's no issue. So let's check them out!

Packaging - **1/2
The basic white boxes do what their supposed to do - get the stands to you in one piece. That's about it.

The outside has the most basic of logo graphics, along with black text telling you what's inside.

The five stands and small 'backers' are packaged in separate baggies, with another baggie for the pegs and insertion tool. They've also included a small instruction sheet, although this is one time you'll probably be able to figure it out for yourself.

Sculpting - ***1/2
In this section I'm only talking about the actual sculpt, shape and size of the bases. How they assemble and how the pegs work will be discussed later in the Design/Quality section.

The rocky base and small extra wall look terrific, and fit in quite nicely with older He-man castle designs. The sculpting is sharp and well defined, and the size, while a little small, is at least reasonable. The base is about 4 by 4, and the small stacked stone wall is 2" tall by 3" wide.

Paint - ***1/2
The paint work does a nice job complimenting the realistic appearance of the sculpted stone. There is variation both in color and coverage, with higher points lighter than the deeper, 'dirtier' areas.

The top of the rock wall has a bit of green added in, giving it a slightly mossy appearance as well. Overall, the paint work is in line with the rest of the series, and again, these can fit in nicely with other castle-like diorama pieces.

Design/Quality - **
The design and quality of the peg system does hurt the overall value of the stand, however. Still, since the pegs aren't necessary (I stopped using them almost immediately), whether this has a major effect on your opinion of the stands may vary.

There are ten small posts included, and one 'tool' to insert them into the base. The base itself has seven holes - one for the small rock wall to attach, and the other six to be used as you see fit with the feet of the figure.

The fit on both the bottom of the foot and on the stand is quite tight, but the posts aren't solid pieces. Instead, they are split so that they can have a tighter ongoing fit. However, this is a big negative for me. The smaller split end that's intended to go in the foot (or the bottom of the rock base) is very easy to damage, rendering any extra tightness that you could get from this design moot. I would have much preferred solid pegs like we've seen with other stands from companies such as DC Direct.

As I said, I stopped using the pegs, since there was no real need. The small wall can stand upright just fine on it's own, and rather than being forced to use the one peg hole that's designed for it (it's the one on the third stone up on the far left in the photo with He-Man holding it upright), you can simply place the walls wherever you'd like. Likewise, the MOTUC figures stand great on their own, so unless you're planning on putting them in some sort of gravity defying pose (perhaps a one legged kicking stance), there's little need to use the posts.

Fun Factor - ***
I'm not sure 'fun' is the right word to describe it, but they are a nice add for those of you that like dioramas. Kid's are going to want something a bit grander, like a true Castle Grayskull, to have true fun.

Value - **
Five stands cost $12, making them $2.40 each. That's about .50 - .75 too high to me, especially considering the basic re-use of all the parts. It makes no sense to me that they aren't continuing these, since now that the mold is produced and the fixed costs most likely covered easily with this initial run, they could be a clear cash cow from here on out.

Things to Watch Out For -
The small pegs are pretty easy to damage, especially the one you use to hold the backer stone in place. Personally, I'd just skip using the pegs altogether, unless you want to put the figure in a gravity defying pose.

Overall - ***
I'm not thrilled with the design of the small posts, and I tossed them in a baggy almost immediately. But the overall appearance of the bases is great, far superior to the dull, boring non-diorama stands we've gotten for Star Wars, DCUC or JLU figures in the past.

If you missed out on these, don't go nuts and spend a ton of money on ebay. They're nice sculpts and add a diorama look to the display, but they aren't worth bankrupting the farm. Hopefully Mattel will realize that making these is like printing money, and will get them back on the docket soon.

Score Recap:
Packaging - **1/2
Sculpting - ***1/2
Paint - ***1/2
Design/Quality - **
Fun Factor - ***
Value - **1/2
Overall - ***

Where to Buy -
These were available at Matty Collector in February, and sold out fairly quickly. But unlike Trap Jaw and Battle Cat, there's been no announcement of a further release. You'd think it would be a no brainer, but that might be the problem...

So your main option right now, sadly, is ebay. Remember, these only cost $12 for 5 stands originally, and they are just small plastic stands, after all - don't go nuts.

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

- I just covered Battle Cat and Trap Jaw 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.

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Masters of the Universe Classic display stands by Mattel


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

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