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Gygor - Masters of the Universe Classics

Gygor Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC action figure by Mattel


Since the release of King Kong in 1933, one thing has been apparent - we love big monkeys. From Mighty Joe Young to Magilla Gorilla, the anthropomorphic ape has been a mainstay of pop culture.

There have been lots of toys as well. Of course, King Kong has gotten his share of the attention, but comic book characters like Gorilla Grodd or Cy-Gor, and even the aforementioned Magilla have gotten plastic effigies.

One thing that has always intrigued me - why is it than when an ape gets smart, really smart, he always turns out to be evil? Is there some part of our psyche that fears them so much that we project our worst attributes on them when we fictionalize them? I bet someone already has a psyche dissertation on that very subject.

And yes, Gygor is evil. He never actually made it into figure form back in the old Masters of the Universe series, which makes him another odd choice for the new Classics series. He did make it to the drawing board though, giving the Four Horsemen at least some basic concepts to work from. You can see pictures of the old school prototype here.

Gygor, along with Chief Carnivus, was a September Matty Collector release. He was more expensive than the usual figure due to his increased size, coming in at $30.
Gygor Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC action figure by Mattel
Gygor Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC action figure by Mattel
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Gygor Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC action figure by Mattel
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Gygor Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC action figure by Mattel
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Gygor Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC action figure by Mattel
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Gygor Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC action figure by Mattel
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Gygor Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC action figure by Mattel
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Packaging - ***
While the package is bigger and slightly more box-like, it still follows the same general design as the cardback/bubble packages that the other figures come in. Interesting note about Gygor, from the bio on the back...his real name is Gygor. Guess he's not big on the alias', eh?

Sculpting - ***1/2
As I just mentioned in my Carnivus review, the Four Horsemen do animal warriors extremely well. They've had lots of practice with both licensed characters and with their own lines.

Gygor is a very realistic looking ape, with a textbook shaped cranium and face. Rather than being a cartoony, comic book stylized character, they've given him a modern, natural look.

I suspect some fans may feel this puts him at odds with the more cartoon-style figures that make up the majority of the characters, but I think it works well. Like Battlecat, I think they found a happy medium between the Classics style and a realistic animal appearance.

The armor looks terrific, and fits tightly. I did find that it rode up on his shoulders, and every time I handled him I had to adjust it a bit again, but that's a very minor nit. The surface of the straps are textured, while the harder armor sections are smooth, giving the impression of multiple materials.

He stands great on his own, and comes in at about 10 inches tall. That seems about right when compared to the other figures in the series. It looks like there's some re-use here from the DCUC Gorilla Grodd BAF, but that's not the case - a reader sent along some good side by side photos that clearly show he's a brand new sculpt.

Paint - ***
He's certainly unique in the monkey world when it comes to color - he's yellow. I don't know of any monkeys or apes that are yellow, so he's a breed all onto himself.

The color is subdued, which is good. Bright yellow would either look like a) an obvious toy or b) a tropical bird.

The fur is what's yellow, while the skin is green. There is also a subtle, smooth transition between the green and yellow, rather than a sharp cut line.

The teeth are a dirty white, but the cut line between the gums and teeth is a little on the sloppy side. I don't expect good oral hygiene here, but the edge between those two areas should still be sharp.

There are also some fuzzy lines around the silver highlights on the armor as well, but it's certainly not a deal breaker.

The dark red tongue has a glossy, wet look, giving it a very realistic appearance. This red appears to have found its way to the top of his head though, where a stray mark is clearly visible. This issue is likely to be a YMMV type, but it is the one thing that pulled the score back from ***1/2 to *** stars for me.

Articulation - ***
There's plenty of it, particularly when you consider the basic layout of an ape's body.

The ball jointed shoulders work well, and there's hinge elbows, ankles and wrists, although the wrists and ankles mostly just turn due to the sculpt. Add in the swivels at the biceps, and you have some fairly well articulated arms.

There's also the V-cut hips, which aren't too mobile but were about the only choice given the design of the legs.

My only real complaint with the joints is with the ball jointed neck. It does allow for some tilting, particularly backward and forward, but the fit is so loose (not the joint itself, but the fit of the head on the ball) that the head popped off if I looked at it funny. You can tighten it up a bit with some plumber's tape, but it is still a tad annoying. This may be something that's not consistent figure to figure, however, and you may find that your's is just fine. Had that been the case, he would have picked up another half star here, easy peasy.

Accessories - ***
Compared to other MOTUC figures, he's a tad light in this department. Of course, that depends on whether you count the cape and armor as part of his accessories - they are removable. There's a pin/hole snap in the back of the lower belt, and once you open that and pop the head off, everything else slides right off. I think that you can also pop the hands and feet off to remove the gauntlets and shin armor, but I didn't risk it. Of course, then he just looks like a big yellow ape, but maybe that's your thing.

There are two additional items which are truly accessories by any definition. There's his helmet and his massive ax. Both are clearly based on the original prototype designs from 30 years ago, and both look great. The helmet has a bit of a Darth Vader thing going on, which is probably not surprising considering the time period of the original design. It fits tightly, and adds even more menace to his already dangerous appearance.

Throw the big, dark, deadly ax in his right hand and you have an even more impressive looking figure on the shelf. The ax handle is very solid, making it unlikely that you'll bend or damage it putting it in place, and less likely that it will wilt over time.

Fun Factor - ****
It's MOTUC, which is just a longer way to spell 'fun'. Great sculpts, great articulation, cool characters - you could give this figure to any 7 year old, and he'd think it was da bomb, even without any knowledge of the source material. It helps that he's a big ape, a type of character that can fit in with other action figure lines with little trouble.

Value - **
I'm not hugely thrilled with the $20 we end up paying for the smaller figures, and this guy is appreciably larger. Like Battlecat, he's $30, which seems a few bucks too high for my tastes. I don't think it's going to be much of an issue for most collectors though, as they've gotten accustomed to the price point.

Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing. He's very sturdy, and you should be able to handle him without fear.

Overall - ***1/2
I waffled around on my final Overall assessment for quite awhile. I almost dropped this another half star, because of the errant red mark, the loose fit at the neck, and the higher price point...but he's just so damn cool looking on the shelf with the other figures.

As I've mentioned many times before, I have no nostalgic tie back to the original show, and I just love this line for what they are today - amazingly cool action figures. For me, Gygor fits right in, and really adds a nice bulky figure to the otherwise identical bodies of the smaller characters. The display needs someone like him to add some variation to the theme, and I'm extremely happy with the final result.

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

Where to Buy -
At this point, you're best bet might be to search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
I've had lots of MOTUC reviews:

- earlier this week I looked at the 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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Gygor 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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