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


Whiplash - Masters of the Universe Classics

Whiplash Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC action figure by Mattel


Another Whiplash review, you say? Didn't I cover that Hot Toys figure...and didn't Jeff Parker also cover him? Uh, no - not THAT Whiplash.

This Whiplash is much more old school, going back to the original Masters of the Universe. One of the Evil Horde, this reptilian bad guy could use his alligator-like tail to bitch slap you into next week, and was Killer Croc's BFF. Okay, I made that last part up, but you know you were thinking it.

He was the August Matty Collector figure, and I suspect that if I told you either the Matty sale went perfectly smooth or that it was sleeting in Hell, you'd buy Satan a pair of rubber boots. Yep, you know there's absolutely no chance that the monthly fiasco known as Matty Mayhem went without a hitch. The conspiracy theorists believe that it's all part of a plot to sell more subscriptions (which do work amazingly well, I must say), while others believe it's merely the perfect storm of general incompetence and bureaucracy gone bad. In any case, those who are banging against Matty Collector's site on the ides of each month know exactly how Julius Caesar felt.

Whiplash was the usual $20, but he sold out in minutes once again. A reissue is always a distinct possibility - Matty has done it with quite a few of the figures so far - but until then, a dealer or Ebay is your only bet. I don't know about you, but I already bought my 2011 subscription, since my hair can't get any grayer.
Whiplash Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC action figure by Mattel
Whiplash Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC action figure by Mattel
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Whiplash Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC action figure by Mattel
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Whiplash Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC action figure by Mattel
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Whiplash Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC action figure by Mattel
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Whiplash Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC action figure by Mattel
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Packaging - ***1/2
Different day, same package. But for most MOCers, that's a good thing, providing consistency to any carded display. And since the original design looked great, why muck it up now?

The only real complaint is that the positioning of the spear tends to hide the face inside the package, but it's a minor nit.

Sculpting - ***
It seems that Matty and MOTUC can never be without controversy. Much of that is around the ordering process and the seeming ineptitude of Digital River (Mattel's outsourced e-commerce solution), but it exists within the design, style, character choices and other decisions around the line itself as well.

This figure marks another of those controversies. He includes two head sculpts, much like several of the past figures, one labeled 'classic' and the other 'modern'. In reality, the more modern version also is very much like the 200X design, and that's where the latest ruction comes in. It appears that Mattel management has handed down an edict that MOTUC should not be highlighting the 200X designs and style in this way, and that it won't be happening again. Whether that turns out to be the case, and how extreme that might be is yet to be seen, but it certainly has the fans buzzing.

I like both head sculpts this time around, and will have a hard time deciding which one to display. In fact, this is one of those rare times when I'm sorry I didn't pick up a second figure just to use both head sculpts. 

There's lots of great, scaly detail in both, and they are also both quite dangerous in appearance. This is a mug only a mother could love, and then only if she was Stevie Wonder.

The body has a bit of the scaling as well, but some of the re-used arm and leg sections are smooth.  These smooth areas look a bit out of place with the textured head, feet and torso, and cheapen up the overall look.

His most unique feature is the large tail. This appendage is connected to his body via a turtle shell attachment on his back. I'm not loving the overall design, and it tends to come loose, at least on mine. The two short pegs that hold it on the back don't do the job particularly well, and it looks too much like a separate entity, and not a physical part of the character.

He stands great on his own, and the hands are sculpted to hold the accessories in both one and two hand poses.

Paint - ***
As usual, there aren't a ton of paint ops, but the work this time around is a bit sloppier than I expect.

The worst area is the white tusks or fangs that run up from the lower jaw. The white is very sloppy, running over onto the green skin on both heads.

The eyes are good on both, but the edge of the Mohawk fin is fuzzy, and I'm really not feeling the lighter green color. There's a lot of it, and like the smooth limb sections, the color tends to cheapen and toy-up the overall appearance. Add in the neon orange of the weapons, and he's one of my less favorite color combinations in the series.

Articulation - ***1/2
All the articulation that's present in past figures is present here, and I had no issues with loose joints or weak pins. These figures pose great, certainly far better than any other in this scale being produced these days.

The ball jointed neck works a bit better here than it has on some figures in the series, allowing a fair amount of tilt action. That's a big plus for me, as it adds personality to most any pose.

Another plus is the cut joint on the tail. It's not a huge addition - it is just a cut joint that allows the tail to turn right and left - but it's certainly better than nothing.

Accessories - ****
He's loaded up well, which is becoming the common theme with the series. 

There's the extra head that I've already mentioned in the Sculpt and Paint sections, but it's worth mentioning here again because it goes a long way to upping the Accessories score. Any time Mattel gives us a second head sculpt, they'll get a good score in this category from me.

Along with the extra head, there are two weapons, following the same retro/modern theme. There's a basic orange spear, and a larger, more elaborate (and deadly looking) bladed weapon. It's sort of a Swiss Army Knife of Death, with a more detailed sculpt and paint ops.

Since the tail pops off - a bit too easily - I'm counting it as an accessory this time. While some of its problems hurt the previous scores, its inclusion boosts the Accessories score.

Fun Factor - ****
A big lizard looking guy with great articulation and a ton of accessories? Yep, he's a whole lotta fun for kids of any age, although it's unlikely too many under 15 will ever get their hands on him. The irony that the best kid's toys Mattel is currently making are for adults makes me a little sad.

Value - **1/2
I've softened up around the $20 price tag, largely because of the good assortment of accessories and the extra heads.

Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing to worry about here.

Overall - ***
Big fans of the old show (and the 200X design as well) should be fairly happy with the figure. I'm not an old school fan, so many of my preferences are driven not by nostalgia by by the figure itself, and this one isn't one of my favs in the overall series. I'm glad I picked him up, but with the ugly green, the weak paint ops, and the funky tortoise shell connection for the tail, he's not knocking my socks off.

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

Where to Buy -
Matty Collector was the original place to pick this guy up, but he's since sold out. Now you can search ebay, but don't miss out on Chief Carnivous or Gygor next month on the 15th!

Related Links -
Other MOTUC reviews include:

- 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.

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

Whiplash 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.

This page copyright 2000 - 2010, Michael Crawford. All rights reserved. Click here for copyright permissions! Hosted by 1 Hour Hosting.com