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Tytus - Masters of the Universe Classics

Tytus Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC action figure by Mattel


If you're like me, the first thing you thought when Mattel announced the inclusion of Tytus in their Masters of the Universe Classics series was "Who the Hell is Tytus?"

While the giant warlord that helped He-man didn't have much of a show background, his original action figure is well known amongst collectors. He was a 'tail ender', coming at the end of the line back in 1987. Dropping demand did to him what it often does to tail enders - made him mighty rare. He was actually released, but only in Italy, and in those days of no internet getting something from across the big pond was much trickier for American fans.

It's this rarity of the original figure that drove Mattel to give us an updated version in the MOTUC series. As a giant, he had to be big, and he is, clocking in at around 12". That super size meant the price tag was super sized as well, doubling from the usual $20 to $40.

Tytus was sold out faster than Optikk, a good indication that Mattel was right when it came to the demand. They weren't right with supply of course, but by the time we get to the tail enders of the MOTUC series, I'm sure they'll have it right. And monkeys will fly out of my butt.
Tytus Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC action figure by Mattel
Tytus Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC action figure by Mattel
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Tytus Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC action figure by Mattel
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Tytus Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC action figure by Mattel
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Tytus Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC action figure by Mattel
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Tytus Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC action figure by Mattel
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Tytus Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC action figure by Mattel
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Tytus Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC action figure by Mattel

Packaging - ***1/2
This is a box, rather than a card/bubble combination, which makes sense due to the large size of the figure. It still follows the same retro style of the rest of the figures, and includes the basic bio on the back.

It's almost collector friendly too, since it's technically possible to remove the figure and put it back, with relatively little damage. They've utilized a new type of twisty here, with thin, rubbery straps that slip into plastic backers to hold them in place. They are certainly easier to work with than standard twisties (and you can just loosen them to remove the figure, you don't have to pull them completely free), but they've taped the heads on the back of the cardboard tray, requiring it to be torn off to get at them.

Sculpting - ***1/2
As mentioned, this is a large figure, standing about 12" tall. That's compared to the 6 1/2" or so height of the regular figures. If a 12 foot man walked in the room, 'giant' would probably be the second word that came to mind, so I think the scale is reasonable. I know that the original Italian Stallion version was even bigger, but I think this size works well with the smaller figures.

The head sculpt is good, with a stern, bad ass expression and chiseled jaw. The long blond hair is sculpted (I believe the original was rooted?), and the strands are a bit thick and chunky, but it's a minor nit. The head band is part of the head sculpt and not removable, but that allowed them to properly incorporate it into the hair and face.

While heavily muscled, he isn't quite as cartoony in appearance as the smaller figures. There's a tad more realism to the look, sort of like a Ahnold Conan wannabee. Some collectors may find this slight deviation too distracting on the shelf, but I think it's a close enough match to work, and by giving him a slightly different appearance, they differentiate him from the smaller series by more than just height.

He stands great on his own of course, and the right hand is designed to hold the weapon.

Paint - ***1/2
The paint work is very clean, and because of his scale, there's plenty of opportunity for detail work.

The eyes are sharp and straight, and the skin tone good, if a bit more matte in finish than his smaller cousins. This is probably due to differences in the rotocast plastic and the injection molded plastic, but it isn't much of an issue for me. I prefer the more matte finish anyway, and wish the other figures were similar.

The paint doesn't do much to help with the chunky appearance of the hair, but at least there's no slop. And when it comes to the chest piece, belt and armored boots, the detail work is quite impressive, especially for Mattel. They've stepped it up in this category on their 'collector' lines, and I for one appreciate it.

My one complaint is the thin line added to the inside of the lips to give them a bit more depth. At this scale, it's too obvious, even in person.

Articulation - **1/2
There's been some talk about how this figure is similar to the Mattel DC 12" line, and that's true. It's not an identical match, and the articulation, while weak compared to the rest of MOTUC, is better than the DC line.

Here there's the cut neck, but that's a bit hindered by the solid blond hair. There's also shoulders that look like ball joints but aren't, pin elbows and knees, a cut waist, cut wrists, and cut joints at the top of the boots. The hips can move forward and back at least a bit (restricted by the fur diaper), a step up from something like the cut hip joints on Superman.

But even with these few extra joints, Tytus is going to be a big disappointment in this category for most MOTUC collectors. He's far less articulated than his 6" brethren, and there's a certain expectation (increased by the excellent work Mattel did with Battle Cat) that every figure in the series irrespective of size will have the same level of articulation.

It's also worth noting here that his club, which I'll discuss in greater detail in the next section, would be too heavy for his elbow or shoulder to maintain in the air for any length of time if there were an actual figure trapped in it anyway.

Accessories - ***
Tytus comes with one big honkin' accessory - his giant club! Calling this a club is a bit of an understatement though, since there appears to be electronics and hydraulics involved. It's officially a 'warrior smasher', although it's not used to smash warriors but the Evil Horde. The original version had a soft rubber base, allowing it to fit over the smaller figures and then 'capture' them, holding them in place. This one has the same sculpted design, but there is one thing stopping it from capturing anyone - the base is now hard plastic, and without the ability for the sides to bend, the hole is simply to small to fit over the figures. 

I'll be tossing it in the big box of goofy accessories and not using it in the display. It's nice to get of course, but he looks a little too much like the janitor at He-Man High School running the floor buffer when he's carrying it.

You can also count his chest piece as an accessory, since it's easily removable. He looks a little funny without it though, since the head piece is not removable.

Fun Factor - ***1/2
While he's less articulated, he's still a damn good time in the sand box. This scale works great for kids, although manufacturers aren't really big on it these days. Combining him with the smaller figures and providing an interactive accessory (smashing the puny Skeletor is fun even if he can't fit inside) gives this guy a leg up in the Fun Factor category.

Value - **
The 6" figures are $20, so a 12" figure should be $40, right? Not exactly. Doubling the size of anything doesn't necessarily double the price, and I think most of us have seen examples in our own lives. On top of that, this figure has several hollow, rotocast parts, rather than the solid pieces of the smaller figures, so there isn't a direct doubling of the amount of raw materials. And let's not forget that there are far fewer points of articulation.

As I mentioned, this figure is very similar to the 12" DC figures we've seen at Toys R Us, also from Mattel, like the Cyborg Superman. That figure was $30 back in '07, and I thought that was $10 too high then. It's three years later, and this guy is produced at lower numbers (probably), so he comes out (at least for me) at the same slightly below average value rating. While $30 would have felt about right, even at $40 he wasn't a total rip.

Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing - just like the rest of the series (and more correctly, like the 12" DC figures from Mattel), he's sturdy, solid and well built.

Overall - ***
This guy is an expensive addition to an already expensive series.  The articulation isn't quite all that it could have been either, but the sculpt and paint are both excellent.

He's not a must have by any means, and if you are going for a more consistent look in your MOTUC display, he'll break the pattern. But if you're like me, a person who appreciates a little variety in your MOTUC diet, then this guy does the job. I'm glad I picked him up, and while he'll never be in my top 5 figures in the line, he will always have a spot in the display.

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

Where to Buy -
This was a Matty Collector item earlier in the month, and ebay is your best bet now unless you know someone kind and generous.

Related Links -
I haven't covered quite all of the series, but almost:

- Just last week I looked at the other May release, Optikk.

- seems like it was just yesterday that I covered Evil-Lyn.

prior to that it was Moss Man last month.

- check out the cool MOTUC Display stands.

- just before that I covered Battle Cat and Trap Jaw, and prior to that was Adora.

- I really liked Scare glow, 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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Tytus Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC action figure by Mattel


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

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