Thursday, October 13, 2011

31 Days of Halloween Day 9: Spooky Toy Review – Masters of the Universe Classics: Hurricane Hordak By Mattel

I definitely prefer the Evil Horde to any of the other Masters of the Universe factions.
I think Matty made a smart decision by releasing this Hordak variant in the same month as Leech. That way nobody could bitch about getting another Hordak instead of a new Horde member. Granted, they did anyway, but now it’s easier to ignore them.


There was additional controversy about this figure – mostly about his chestplate. Firstly that Matty decided to make it vac-metalized like the original. While I personally think vac-metalized parts are awesome, if the process isn’t done perfectly it can fade or even flake off over time. And if there’s one thing Matty is known for, it’s not doing things perfectly. People also didn’t like that, despite not having the action feature of the original – a spinning feature for the hand attachments – the dial that activated the feature was sculpted into the back of the chest armor.
I was in favor of the vac-metalized armor but didn’t really care for a non-functional gizmo being sculpted in. That dial was an eyesore on the original (just like most action features) and it seemed ridiculous to include it on this version when it wouldn’t even perform a function.
While cruising the Matty forums the other day I saw a post about this Hordak’s armor flaking after a single day. While I didn’t necessarily doubt it, there were no pictures included and I didn’t really see how that would even be possible unless you were actually playing with the thing. Now, I fully support these toys being played with if you want to spend twenty bucks a pop to give your kids MOTU figures and I think they should be durable enough to withstand it. But I kind of doubt very many people are doing that.
First Glance: Yeah – I love the shiny armor. This figure looks more like a warrior than the other Hordak.
Sculpt: This is basically the same figure as the first Classics Hordak except for the chest armor, the right forearm and the coloring. Hurricane Hordy doesn’t have a cape, either. This just adds to his more warrior-like aspect in my opinion.
Go on and check out my review of regular Hordak if you want a look at the shared parts. We’ll just look at the new stuff today.
The new right forearm with the connection point for the “spinning” weapons looks really neat-o. It has a sort of harness thing on it and reminds me of Ash from Evil Dead. I like to think maybe Hordak chopped his own hand off in order to attach these new weapons of destruction. Of course, the She-Ra cartoon tells us that Hordak is a shape-shifter, but I prefer to think that this grittier Hordak can’t turn into a rocket and fly away every time a flower-themed hero gets within a hundred yards. I don’t so much mind the idea of a techno-organic Hordak, but they just made it look so stupid in the cartoon. Plus he was blue.
So in my world a banished Hordak went a little nuts and lopped his hand off so he could utilize a bat-shaped fan blade to dice his enemies.
The other new piece of sculpting is the chestplate. I’m not considering it an accessory despite the fact that it is removable because believe me, you don’t want to be removing it. But we’ll get into that in Design. The front of this piece is exactly like the original, but the back has that fake dial sticking out. While I hated the idea of the dial when I first saw it, now that I’ve got the figure in my hands I rather like it. I can’t really reason up a function for it, but I think it looks neat and breaks up the armor a bit.
Design: Hurricane Hordak has several nice, subtle differences in deco. The trim on his collar and greaves is a glossy black rather than silver. This works very nicely against the flat black of the rest of those pieces and matches the trim of the chestplate. His belt and furry underpants lack the highlighting of the other figure and I actually think this is an improvement. Also, his torso is vac-metalized to match the chestplate.
The head and other body parts are painted exactly the same. I thought the head might have some minor variances, but it is nearly identical.
The right forearm is detailed very nicely with rivets and a glossy black for the straps. I do have a problem with the left forearm, surprisingly. There is a swipe of grey paint from Hordak’s arm right on the front of the gauntlet. I can probably get it off with some nail polish remover, but this is something that shouldn’t happen in an adult-oriented collector line. I suppose I could contact Digital River and get a replacement Hordak, but that sounds like an awful lot of trouble. I’ve been relatively lucky with QC for the most part with this line compared to some other folks.
Finally, the chestplate looks great upon initial inspection. It’s a shiny, attention-grabbing gold that I justify by comparing to Batman’s chest logo – it draws attention (and fire) to the most heavily armored portion of the anatomy. The Horde crest and fake dial on the back are a flat red that contrasts the gold nicely.
But you’ll notice I said “initial inspection”. The problem – and likely what the Matty forum poster was referring to – is at the shoulders where the armor is supposed to flex to allow removal. The other MOTUC armors (Battle Armor, Man-At-Arms, Palace Guards) actually come apart at this point. Hordak’s armor simply bends here. This is just fine for regular Hordak who has flat, unpainted chest armor. But on Hurricane Hordak mine had stress cracks in the vac-metal right out of the package. I don’t know if you can really tell from these pictures:
Well, I guess you can't.

But you definitely do not want to take the armor off. It’s only going to make those worse. My opinion is not that Mattel should have forgone the vac-metallization, but that they should have redesigned the armor to come apart like the others do. I’m going to go ahead and say that this finished product is unacceptable as it stands. Not, like, Robin’s feet breaking off unacceptable; but definitely not okay.
Accessories: Hurricane Hordak comes packed with three different attachments for his right forearm: a three-headed morning star, a bat-shaped blade and what I think is a wind generator if I’m not mistaken; hence the “Hurricane” moniker. What with the lack of a set of turntables or a green mask and cape there’s no other discernable reason for that name.
All of the accessories fit nicely into the plug on Hordak’s forearm and look pretty natural when attached. My favorite looks-wise is the hurricane-maker thingy, but for pure effectiveness the lawn mower blades are pretty awesome. Setting your arm on “frappe” and dicing your enemies to bits is likely more effective than blowing them back a few feet.
Packaging: The standard Masters of the Universe Classics packaging. It looks nice and makes the figures look even bigger than they are. You also get a bio on the back that is sort of a composite of each character’s history. Hordak’s real name is “Hec-Tor” which I find absolutely hilarious.
Overall: I’m thoroughly irritated that I can’t totally love this figure. The concept is so awesome but the execution is just flawed. Minus a point for the laziness of not re-engineering the shoulder portion of the armor (it would be more, but I haven’t actually lost any gold – yet) and minus another for the paint error on the glove.
All in all I do still like the concept a lot. The first Hordak looks more like a figurehead leader that sits on a throne and commands. This one looks like he is ready to start some shit – a real warrior.
3 out of 5
As of this writing Hordak is still available on Mattycollector.com. I like him a lot, but I think there’s a pretty high likelihood that that gold is going to flake off over time. Just know if you buy him you’re taking that chance.
If you really want that arm variation and don’t like the vac metal you could always buy this one and then get an original from eBay and mix some parts. The result might be kind of neat and you could even paint the standard chestplate with some gold acrylic paint and get a nice look. I’d do it, but I’ve got too many other toys to buy. Plus, I still have a bunch of figures laying around that I haven’t customized yet. My green and purple Mer-Man is still sitting on the bookcase upstairs waiting to be finished.
Hec-Tor – “What?”
Pond – “You’re awfully… um… dastardly.”
Hec-Tor – “Why yes, yes I am.”
Pond – “Nice skull face.”
Hec-Tor – “Why thank you. Grizzlor! Bring her back to Snake Mountain!”
Grizzlor – *grunt*
Feminist Batgirl – “Okay, this is way out of line.”
Pond – “Shut up, you.”
31 Days of Halloween vs. 31 Days of Halloween!
11:00 AM – 7:00 PM – Friday the 13th: The Series – SyFy has more than redeemed themselves for all the fucking Ghost Hunters lately with this one. Hoo-fucking-ray for this awesome show. Maybe, just maybe they’ll do a Freddy’s Nightmares marathon too. Let’s dare to dream. Or should I say… nightmare? Bwahahahaha…
Halloween score – 4
Quality score – 4
7:00 PM – 9:00 PM – The Cave – I was confusing this with The Descent at first. While The Descent is excellent (5/5), this one is merely pretty good. A worthy entry into your Halloween movie file, though.
Halloween score – 4
Quality score – 3
9:00 PM – 11:00 PM – Dawn of the Dead – An excellent remake of an excellent movie. I think you could show this to anybody as proof that remakes are not always a bad thing.
Halloween score – 5
Quality score - 4
11:30 PM – 1:30 AM – Wes Craven Presents: They – This 2002 movie was a bunch of stupid crap, much like most “afraid of the dark” movies from the aughts. I would much rather have seen the original idea (according to Wikipedia, anyway):
The original spec dealt with a group of four recent college grads who discover that Earth is actually run by a race of organic machines which allow the human race to exist so that they can kill them and harvest their corpses for "spare parts" as their own bodies break down and deteriorate. Shortly thereafter, the machines begin to eliminate the students, not only killing them but using their influence and abilities to wipe the memories of their family and friends—making it as though they never existed.
I hate to even think this, but one has to wonder if Stephen Moffat ever saw that.
Halloween score – 4
Quality score – 1
1:30 AM – 3:30 AM – Wes Craven Presents: Dracula 3: Legacy – I am totally setting the DVR for this one. I had previously avoided it thanks to Vitamin C’s titties being the best thing about Dracula 2000 (the first in the series). But now that Patrick Lussier (the director of – surprisingly – all these Dracula movies) has proven himself with the amazing Drive Angry I’m thinking I need to give them another chance. And I will starting with this one because it stars Rutger Fucking Howard as Dracula. Not to mention co-stars Roy Scheider and…
Wait for it..
Wait…
JASON LONDON
Halloween score – 5
Quality score – I’m predicting a bizarro 5
3:30 AM – 5:30 AM – Bloodsuckers – Vampires rule Earth in the year 2210 and some outer space people send a crew of Not-Colonial Marines to wipe them out. This actually sounds kind of decent. Good night for vampires and good night to own a DVR.
Halloween score – 4
Quality score – 3, maybe?
5:30 AM – 6:00 AM – Twilight Zone – Classic
Halloween score – 4, depending on the episode
Quality score – 4, depending on the episode
6:00 AM – 8:00 AM – Paid Programming
Halloween score – 0
Quality score – 0
8:00 AM – 9:30 AM – Scare Tactics – I’m done talking about this show. We’re not even halfway through the month, so I can’t imagine how many more times I’m going to have to mention it.
Halloween score – 4
Quality score – 1
9:30 AM – 11:30 AM – Boogeyman 2 – This is one of those sequels that actually ended up being a lot better than the original. Or at least, that’s what I’m assuming. I haven’t seen this, but the first one was such an utter turd that I can’t imagine this one is worse.
Halloween score – 4
Quality score – 2?

Until next time, stay creepy
-Phantom

2 comments:

  1. Look man, I just happen to like Grizzlor, is that so wrong?!

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  2. Sadly, Feminist Batgirl has a habit of falling into that whole "books by their covers" thing. I'm glad everybody isn't so prejudiced.
    Grizzlor and Hordak are quite the gentlemen if people would just take the time to get to know them.

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