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Wind Raider - Masters of the Universe Classics
Mattel

Wind Raider vehicle MOTUC Masters of the Universe Classics by Mattel


It's that time of the year when the Best of 2011 awards start cropping up. I know I'll be posting my best and worst over the next couple weeks, and the voting for the Poppies and the People's Choice awards should start by mid-January. It's always a good idea to wait til the year is actually over, and tonight's review is an example why.

One of the last Masters of the Universe Classics releases for 2011 is the Wind Raider, a cool vehicle designed for He-man. It was the December release, and just started hitting doorsteps this last week. It was originally available for $45.

This isn't a new creation - the first Wind Raider was released in 1982. This updated version by the Four Horsemen has much of the original charm, with a few modern improvements.
Click on the photo below for a life size version
Wind Raider Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC vehicle by Mattel
Wind Raider vehicle MOTUC Masters of the Universe Classics by Mattel
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Wind Raider vehicle MOTUC Masters of the Universe Classics by Mattel
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Wind Raider vehicle MOTUC Masters of the Universe Classics by Mattel
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Wind Raider vehicle MOTUC Masters of the Universe Classics by Mattel
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Wind Raider vehicle MOTUC Masters of the Universe Classics by Mattel
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Wind Raider vehicle MOTUC Masters of the Universe Classics by Mattel
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Wind Raider vehicle MOTUC Masters of the Universe Classics by Mattel
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Wind Raider vehicle MOTUC Masters of the Universe Classics by Mattel
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Wind Raider vehicle MOTUC Masters of the Universe Classics by Mattel
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Wind Raider vehicle MOTUC Masters of the Universe Classics by Mattel

Packaging - ***1/2
You can't see the vehicle inside the box - there's no window. But the box is somewhat collector friendly, since you can cut the tape on one end and slide out the contents. You'll have a couple ties to remove to get the vehicle out, and once you have it put together, you probably won't put it back, but you can keep the box as decoration or for storage later.

Sculpting - ****
This is a great looking vehicle, with plenty of texture. Rather than simply paint on the details, they've sculpted them as part of the ship's surface.

The vehicle is also nicely scaled for the regular figures, coming in at 16 inches long, with a 17" wing span. It has plenty of room for He-man to kick back inside, even with his somewhat funky sitting position. Due to the style of leg articulation, he can't sit correctly in a normal seat, but they've designed the cockpit so that he looks like he's sitting correctly! He doesn't flop around either, fitting tightly but not confined.

The ship has maintained the overall essence of the original design, but has incorporated some slightly more modern touches as well. It's a great looking vehicle all the way around!

Paint - ****
Rather than go with silly stickers that never go on quite right, they've painted all the cool details on the ship's exterior. Small wires, bolts, and control panels are also painted with exacting minutia.

The color palette is great as well, with a nice variety of complementary colors. The phoenix-like bird on either side gives the plane some badassitude, although I did manage to scratch one side on mine. I didn't dock the score due to the scratch, since it was my fault, but it's worth noting to take some care with yours.

Articulation - ****
It's unusual for a vehicle to be 'articulated', but there are enough moving parts here to make it notable.

There are wheels on the bottom of the plane, so that it can freely roll along the floor.

The wings tilt upward and downward together, and the tail/rudder turns to either side.

The bird on the hood turns, which is part of the 'action feature' and is discussed further in that section of the review.

Finally, both engines have opening compartments on top. Flip them up and you can see the inner workings, including what appears to be several red rockets.

Accessories - ***
Just like the previous category, it's pretty unusual for a vehicle to have accessories, but this time around there's a pretty key extra.

It's the large, sturdy display base, which has a top that can tilt forward and back. Because this top 'ball' can also turn from side to side, you can also tilt the plane sideways by properly adjusting the stand.

The stand works great, and the translucent dark color works well. I'm not sure I prefer it over a clear plastic, but the darker color does go well with the color of the ship.

Action Feature - ***1/2
The orange missile on the front of the Raider fires when you press a button on the top. The spring could be a bit stronger of course, but that's no surprise.

The missile stays attached to the vehicle by way of a black string. Turn the bird-like hood ornament, and it pulls the black string back inside the plane, hiding it until you fire the missile again. Cool!

I'm generally not a fan of action features, because they tend to get in the way of the actual toy. That's not the case here, and this firing missile makes this a better toy, not worse.

Fun Factor - ****
If I haven't made it apparent enough yet, this is a great toy. It works great with the figures, it's well built and can stand up to play, and has all the articulation and features to make it a kid favorite. Oddly enough, it's considered a collectible.

Value - **1/2
At $45, this isn't cheap, but I think it's one of those times where a Masters of the Universe Classics release is worth the cost.

Things to Watch Out For -
Zippo! That's the sign of a great toy - there's nothing here to worry about breaking or damaging under normal play.

Overall - ****
I mentioned the Poppies and the People's Choice Awards at the beginning of the review, and I while I haven't completed the ballot quite yet for voting, I can guarantee that this vehicle will be on there. It's a great addition to the MOTUC series, and one of the best Matty releases in several months. If you're a fan of the series, jump on this one!

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

Where to Buy -
This was originally available at Matty Collector of course, but you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
I've covered a fair share of the MOTUC figures and vehicles, including:

- the recent Snout Spout.

- seems like just yesterday that I reviewed the October release of Icarius.

- prior to that was Leech, who didn't do a whole lot for me.

- the large Megator was a bit more to my liking, and similar to him is the giant Tytus.

- other figures include Clawful, the Faceless One, CatraSy-KloneKing Hssss, VikorBuzz OffGrizzlorRobotoGygorChief CarnivusWhiplashOrko, Count MarzoShe-RaOptikkEvil-LynMoss ManTrap JawAdoraScare glowTeelaMan-at-armsHordak, ZodacFaker, Mer-man, Stratos, WebstorTri-klops, and starting out with He-man, Skeletor and Beastman together in one review.

- I also covered Battle Cat and  Panthor, the big kitties.

- check out the cool MOTUC Display stands.

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

Discussion:
Want to chat about this review?  Try out one of these terrific forums where I'll be discussing it!

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Wind Raider vehicle MOTUC Masters of the Universe Classics by Mattel


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

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