Masters of the Universe Classics

Clawful Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC action figure by Mattel

With all the hubbub of San Diego Comic Con, it's easy to overlook that the Matty Masters of the Universe monthly figure hit at the same time. The July release is Clawful, one of the old school villains. Making an appearance in both the original cartoon and the 200X show, there's something universally appealing about his lobster-like design.

It doesn't look like there's any plans to end the Masters of the Universe Classics any time soon, and Matty Collector has their subscriptions on sale right now for 2012. By picking up the subscription, you'll be guaranteed the monthly figure without any hassle (theoretically of course, since I had plenty of issues this last year just keeping the sub working), and they showed a ton of planned figures at SDCC. Check out my coverage here to see what they have in store for the next year.
Clawful Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC action figure by Mattel
Clawful Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC action figure by Mattel
Clawful Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC action figure by Mattel
Clawful Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC action figure by Mattel
Clawful Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC action figure by Mattel
Clawful Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC action figure by Mattel
Clawful Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC action figure by Mattel

Packaging - ***1/2
No surprises here, but if you're a MOCer, that's a good thing. Consistency in the packaging looks great when you line up a huge number of figures. And if you're an opener, you're not really worried one way or the other.

Sculpting - ***1/2
The big changes here are his head sculpt of course, as well as the large right claw. He also has a very crustacean-like covering for his torso, making him look like the main course at Red Lobster.

The head sculpt looks great, with the short snout and large fangs. Add in some Brooke Shield eyebrows and Marty Feldman eyeballs and you have a unique character to add the the group of bad guys.

The large right claw has a spring action to hold accessories or snap around an opponent's neck. It's textured with the bumpy pattern that's also on the neck and head.

The rest of the figure is pretty much a redux of Buzz Off. And like Buzz Off, he lacks any texture on some of the extremities. I don't mind the change with the legs, but the biceps look out of place with the textured shoulders and claw hands. I didn't have too much issue with it on Buzz Off, because at least the color of the pieces was similar. But here, the scaly red shoulders contrast with the smooth skin tone upper arms far too much, making the difference stand out all the more.

He stands great on his own of course, and the claw sculpts work fine with the included scepter.

Paint - ***
The paint is fairly clean, with a reasonable level of quality for this price point and market.

The issues I have are largely personal and aesthetic, but nonetheless effect my overall impressions.

The first I've already mentioned - the difference in color between the shoulder and the biceps. It's not unusual with the re-use in this line, but here there's just too much contrast, making it obvious that they don't really go together.

The other issue is around the style of paint on the face. The teeth show a little slop, and the eyes and eyebrows are done in such a way as too be too cartoony for my tastes. Yea, I know, it's a cartoon, but if you compare the style with something like He-man or Teela, or even Buzz Off, you'll see that Clawful is a bit more 'Family Guy'-ish. It's a minor nit to be sure, but managed to bug me.

Articulation - ****
Clawful has all the usual articulation present in this series - ball jointed neck, hips and shoulders, swivel biceps, pin elbows, ankles and knees, and a cut waist. The left wrist is also a cut joint, as you'd expect, and there are cut joints at the top of the big claw and the top of the 'boots'.

Clawful gets an extra joint as well, with the spring action claw on his right hand. The spring is tight enough to hold accessories.

A big plus overall for this guy is the ball jointed neck. While it's no surprise that it's there, his works particularly well, allowing for lots of tilt action and extra personality in the poses.

Accessories - ***
He comes with two accessories. First, there's his classic scepter, with a well done sculpt and decent paint ops. It fits in either claw as well.

There's also a large shield, shaped like a shell, which clips to his left forearm. It actually looks like it would be quite protective, and I love the glossy finish.

Fun Factor - ****
Can you imagine if these figures had been released with this level of articulation and quality in the mid-80's? The original line was one of the best of the period, and Mattel and the Four Horsemen have found a way to improve on almost every aspect.

Value - **1/2
Twenty bucks for an online collector's action figure is starting to look like a real deal, considering what I just paid for the 6" scale Young Justice figures at Target. I'm not willing to say the MOTUC figures are a steal yet, but they have become an average value, even without an extra head.

Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing.

Overall - ***1/2
Another hit figure, especially when he's paired with some of his other colleagues like Buzz Off. The goofy variety of designs really make this an appealing line, even if you're not a fan of the show.

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

Where to Buy -
Obviously, the chance to get this at Matty Collector has passed, you can try Big Bad Toy Store or hit ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
I've covered most of the series:

- last up was the Faceless One, and prior to that was Catra.

- prior was Sy-Klone, who sadly, wasn't one of my favorites.

- just prior to that I looked at Panthor, the big kitty.

- King Hssss was last month's release.

- prior was Vikor, and before that the very yellow Buzz Off.

- Grizzlor was November's release.

- the previous month was the swapped shoulders Roboto.

- Gygor makes other big monkeys look silly.

- another character with animal instincts is Chief Carnivus.

- just before that was Whiplash.

- Orko was the SDCC exclusive this year.

- just before the Con, Matty sold out of Count Marzo.

- before that was She-Ra, Princess of Power, and the large scale Tytus.

- I've also looked at the cool custom swords and shields you can get from SpyMonkey Creations.

- prior to that, 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.

- 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.

- She-Ra 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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Clawful 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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