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Webstor
Masters of the Universe Classics

Webstor Masters of the Universe Classics action figure by Mattel

I've made this point before, but I'll make it again - I'm not a Masters of the Universe fanboy. When the cartoon debuted in 1983, I was fresh out of college, and there was only one thing on my mind. Uh, my career of course. Yea, that was it.

But here it is, all these years later, and I've bought a dozen Masters of the Universe Classics figures, with plans to complete the line as they are released. Clearly, Mattel has me by the...career enhancers.

Starting with September's release of Webstor, a short 4 month subscription plan went into effect at Matty Collector. I had signed up, happy to avoid the heartburn and anxiety caused by trying to order the figures each month. I'm happy to report that things went very smoothly, with the figure billed and shipped right away with no intervention from me. It's not always going to be puppy dogs and sunshine, since next month there's the repainted Zodak as well as the Movie Masters Joker to pick up. I've also purchased the 2010 12 month sub for MOTUC, but again, it's only so useful since almost every month there's an additional figure or four that I'll be buying. BTW, if you're looking for a way to keep track of all these releases, I highly suggest bookmarking this page over at It'sAllTrue.net.

So who is this Webstor character? First you have to get past all the lame "I've got Webstor in my web store" jokes (online specialty retailers are notoriously bad comedians), and then ignore any similarities with Webster, another evil television villain. Webstor was a bad guy, but brighter than the usual buffoon that Team Skeletor usually attracted. There's quite a bit of spider in his DNA, making him one of the more visually interesting - at least to me - characters on the show.
Webstor Masters of the Universe Classics action figure by Mattel
Webstor Masters of the Universe Classics action figure by Mattel
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Webstor Masters of the Universe Classics action figure by Mattel
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Webstor Masters of the Universe Classics action figure by Mattel
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Webstor Masters of the Universe Classics action figure by Mattel
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Webstor Masters of the Universe Classics action figure by Mattel

Packaging - ***1/2
SPDD. Same package, different day. I don't like it any less, but there is less to discuss.


I will note though that the figure isn't wearing his armor this time, but rather, it's packaged to the side in the interior bubble tray. I can't think of any good reason other than someone thought the presentation looked more menacing that way, since it sort of implies that the spider legs, which are packed behind him, are coming out of his actual body. Either that, or Mattel is trying to force me to count the armor as an accessory. It's a conspiracy!

Sculpting - ***1/2
If you own Skeletor, then you own the basic components of this figure from the neck down. There's some slightly different armor, but that's it.  The basic body in this line, especially with the shin guards and three toed feet, looks great, and you have to give the designers (Four Horsemen) a lot of credit for coming up with a basic physical architecture that could be re-used so many times in such an effective way.

That leaves us with the head. The design goes back to the old school version, and yet it adds a bit more menace than the 80's toy was allowed. The double tusk-like fangs look great, and by including the upper pseudo-eyes on his head, they add to the overall impression of arachnidity. I wouldn't advise using that word in a game of Scrabble.

Paint - ***
I just mentioned in the previous review of Jake Sully that I'm a big fan of blue, so it should be no surprise that I really like the color palette here.

There's not a whole lot of true paint ops though, since the majority of the figure is cast in the color you see. Most of the paint work is on the face, with the eyes, teeth and secondary 'eyes' on his forehead having actual paint applied. The work is fairly clean, although the edges of the eyes could be slightly improved.

My big issue is the inconsistency in the actual cast blue, particularly on the chest, where rub marks have appeared already. In normal circumstances is would be minor but this is a pretty expensive figure, and you should have high expectations. The funny thing is, if he'd been wearing the armor in the package like the other figures have, I might not ever have noticed, and he might have scored a little higher here...

Articulation - ***1/2
Since the underlying body is pretty much the same as every other figure in the line, the score here is pretty much the same too.

The ball jointed neck works quite well here, and the range of movement for the rest of the joints is comparable to past releases.

I'm always impressed with how natural of a pose you can get out of this body. He won't look stiff, uncomfortable or toy-ish in even a basic stance.

All the joints were also tight, and the posts, discs and balls they've used are all very high quality and quite sturdy.

Accessories - ***1/2
Webstor was going to get the big four stars here, but one little issue held him back.

It's not a quantity problem. He has his very cool blaster, with it's Spaceman Spiff retro design, he has his spider legs back pack, which includes his retractable (sort of) grappling hook, and he has his chest armor.

Yea, I know - I normally don't count their armor. But he came not wearing it this time!  I'm telling you, they did this just so I'd count it as an accessory...I'm going to start wearing the aluminum foil hat again.

It fits great, looks great, and covers up those annoying rub marks on his chest. The spider leg back pack fits in the four holes on the back of the armor, and stays in place pretty well.

The back pack itself is great. The four spider legs are very menacing, particularly if you have a bit of arachnophobia like any sane human being. They are also articulated at the base, with a ball joint (the peg/disc kind, often used in shoulders), to allow a very full range of movement and posing.

The grappling hook has a strong rope attached, which runs through the center of the back pack down to the bottom, where a plastic 'tab' keeps it from pulling all the way through. Pulling on the tab pulls the string through the other way, as you'd expect. There's no mechanism here, just a string running through the middle of the pack, like dental floss through your teeth. You know, you really should floss more often.

That might annoy some folks - not that you're flossing more, but that the string doesn't automatically retract -  who remember the old figure fondly. But Mattel made it clear from the beginning that there would be NO action features in this series, so I'm not surprised. Collectors are well known for hating action features, so dropping them entirely was an admirable principle for the line. I have no problem with the decision, even if this would be an action feature that would not interfere with the sculpt or articulation of the figure, the number one complaint collectors have with most such features.

No, my big problem is with the super soft shaft of the grappling hook. While the hooks themselves are quite rigid, the shaft is like butta', and I thought I might tear it right off when I was placing it in his hands or on the intended slot on the pack.

If Webstor's tool had a rigid shaft, I would have given his performance in this category the full four stars. Admit it, when you read that sentence, the little Michael Scott voice in your head said "That's what SHE said!".

Fun Factor - ****
I don't understand why it is that the very best action figures Mattel is currently producing are in the collector line, not their mass market line. And by 'best', I don't mean the finest sculpts and paint (although they're pretty damn good), but the best action figures as actual action figures. You know, toys? The DCUC and MOTUC lines are excellent toys, with a ton of fun oozing from every accessory. I'm also impressed with the recent Movie Masters Avatar figure, but I can almost guarantee that the actual mass market line designed for kids will blow chunks like a frat boy on Saturday night. I'm hoping Mattel will prove me wrong, but I certainly wouldn't bet real money on it.

Value - **
These figures are still twenty bucks, which isn't cheap even with today's market. Considering the amount of re-use, the margins on this line must be amazing.

Things to Watch Out For -
The soft handle on the grappling hook could tear, particularly when you are putting it in one of his hands or on the pack. Otherwise, this guy could get run over by a truck and come out fine.

Overall - ***1/2
I think Webstor is my favorite in the line. I realize that this will be heresy for most folks, since he was never a particularly important character. But I just love the articulated spider legs and head sculpt, and the color palette is tops for me. Had there not been just a couple minor issues, he might have been my first four star figure in the line.

Of course, there's still Hordak, who's pretty sweet. And of course, Man-At-Arms turned out better than I expected...okay, so picking a favorite in this line is no easy task. Isn't that the hallmark of any great series?

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

Where to Buy -
Matty Collector was the place to pick him up, but sadly, he's sold out. Ebay is now you're next best bet, unless you can find a local dealer or trader.

Don't forget that Teela goes up for sale on October 15th, as well as a repainted Zodak.

Related Links -
I've covered pretty much the entire series so far:

- last was Tri-klops, 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. I still need to get around to doing He-Ro.

Discussion:
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Webstor Masters of the Universe Classics action figure by Mattel


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

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