Thursday, August 2, 2012

Toy Review – Masters of the Universe Classics Spikor By Mattel


Okay, I’ve got to take a minute and be fair here.
I talk an awful lot of shit about Mattel, mostly because of all the stupid and easily avoidable problems they have created and failed to do anything about with MattyCollector.com. and the products it offers. But I recently had an experience with my Matty subscriptions that could have gone very badly and didn’t.
I’m assuming you all know that when the subs were offered last year Matty ended up offering to make sure they all shipped together after the first month of each sub as long as you used the same credit card and shipping option. This means that Metron, Atrocitus, Horde Prime, and Snake Man-At-Arms should have all shipped together. They did not. This didn’t surprise me at all, but it was a terrible inconvenience because it was something I was absolutely going to have to address. The combined shipping was the only reason I relented and subscribed to Club Infinite Earths, so I was damned well going to get it.
I called Matty’s Customer Service number the day after I received my stuff and told them the problem. The lady said that the additional shipping would be refunded and that the combined shipping issue would be sent to the Escalations Department. That’s all she really told me and I didn’t have a very good feeling about the whole thing. It just seemed too simple and most of what I’ve read online has suggested that interactions with Matty’s CS department is anything but.
But within a few days I received an e-mail stating that about ten bucks had been refunded to my credit card. I checked my account and, sure enough, it had. The e-mail also said that the Escalations Department handled the future combined shipping. Sure enough, Spikor, Starman, and that piece of shit Rocket Red figure all arrived on the same day in the same box.
So I had a great experience with Matty’s Customer Service Department and I have nothing but positive things to say about them. So there you go.
Lots of people were really excited that Matty was finally getting around to making Spikor back when he was first announced. I think he was even one of those that had his own topic that stayed relatively close to the top of the MOTUC forum on MattyCollector. One of those where people would speculate on which parts would be used and how certain things would be done.
I didn’t know who the heck Spikor was.
As I’ve said before, my recall of the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe cartoon and corresponding toy line isn’t great. I had a few of the toys and definitely watched the cartoon religiously, but it wasn’t one of my favorites. I honestly think the articulation bugged me.
Once I saw pictures of Spikor I was all in (not that I had a choice). He looks crazy and weird; just like I like my MOTUC characters. Also there’s purple spikes. And a trident. Total win. This is one of those figures that just baffles me when held in comparison with stinkers like Clawful and Snout Spout (but not, oddly enough, Stinkor). Spikor had so much potential to be goofy or stupid or ugly. He’s none of those. He looks interesting and vicious. What looked like a dog’s chew toy in the vintage line now looks like a dangerous creature.
First Glance: Until I saw Spikor in person I kind of thought that his arms and legs should be spiky, too. But looking at him in person I see how the look works this way. For some reason I really like that he has regular furry boots rather than villain feet.
Sculpt: It’s not just Spikor’s boots that deviate from the villain norm. His whole body – torso, legs, arms – is the regular He-Man buck.
Like all MOTUC figures Spikor has ball joints at the neck, shoulders, and hips. There are swivels at the biceps, wrists, waist, thighs, and boot tops. He has single pivots at the elbows, abdomen, and knees. Finally, Spikor has rocker ankles with the enclosed joint.
All of the joints on mine function nicely and the guy can hold a pose. The head and abdomen are a little restricted by the chest armor, but not too much. I find the resulting range of motion perfectly acceptable, though I will say you’re going to end up with some punctures after playing with this guy for a bit.
The new, unique head looks great. I like his ugly, dumpy face nestled in the midst of all those spikes. I’m going to count the chest armor as part of the sculpt because it’s one of those things that you can take off but don’t really ever need to. It looks awesome and the Horsemen managed to make the spikes just long enough and just sharp enough to look really good. I also like the neck collar that runs down the back. It breaks up the design nicely and adds a bit more character.
Spikor has the tiny, creepy human hands that the hero figures tend to have, but with one crucial difference – his left hand can be removed and replaced with various trident pieces. It pops off easily – but not too easily – and you can attach either a red cuff thing with one of two tridents on the far end or just one of the tridents. I prefer it with the cuff, but just one of the tridents looks pretty brutal – like he just jammed it in there after he got his hand cut off. And there’s no doubt he got his hand cut off. Probably trying to open the door to Grayskull or steal a baby or something. Spikor is one of Skeletor’s goons, after all.
Design: Spikor has some great, dark colors. His body is a purple with some nice washes for detail. The spiky parts are a very dark blue that contrasts nicely with the metallic green of the collar/spine thing. I kind of wish his belt had matched that metallic green. The red breaks things up, but is maybe a bit too much. And I’d kind of like it if they had created the illusion that his belt and the collar were all one piece with the spine stud thing.
I do like that his torso is the same dark blue as his chest armor. In general I prefer that so it doesn’t look like my warriors are wearing belly shirts. I want them to look fierce, not fierce.
The boots are definitely more villainy than the furry boots you’re used to. Even more so than Tri-Klops’. Spikor’s wrist bracers are also a fiendish shade.
His face is pretty simple, as the sculpt does most of the work here, but it does look good and mine is straight and well-placed. I’ve read about some folks’ Spikors having a bit of derpage. Mine doesn’t. I like the yellow, slitted eyes very much. It makes the guy that much creepier. I mean, just imagine running into this guy. Not literally – obviously that would suck. I just mean catching sight of him out in public. It wouldn’t even have to be a dark alley or anything. You’d freak out.
Accessories: Spikor comes with a spiked club, the two trident attachments, and the red cuff.
The spiked club looks pretty awesome, but I’m not sure about the orange. I know that matches the vintage figure, but I think a metallic black or maybe even green would have been cooler.
The tridents are a little weird with the balls on the ends of the tines, but they look pretty neat. I think it’s funny how the extended one has ridges in the shaft like a functioning version would. 

The red cuff is a little weird, but only because it’s red. Like the club, I think I would have preferred this be metallic black or green. But maybe my version of Spikor wouldn’t be as exciting to look at.
Packaging: The standard MOTUC blister card. I still love it and am glad Matty never saw fit to change it in any way. I love the bulk of the package and the way these figures fill it up. The new bios are mostly pretty great too:
“Spikor” may seem a little on the nose, even for Masters of the Universe, but I think we should all thank our lucky stars his name isn’t “Dorkupine” or “Porkuspine” or “Pointdexter”.
Overall: This guy is a lot of fun. For what is essentially the standard human sculpt with three new pieces, Spikor looks awfully busy and interesting. I think he’s a great addition to the collection and I’m pleased Matty got to him before things ended.
4 out of 5
Maybe he should be a “5” since the color choices are accurate to the vintage version, but they just bug me. I feel like he’d be perfect with just a couple of more subdued parts.
You can buy Spikor from BigBad or hit up eBay. I’m guessing he might be one of the pricier eBay buys since he’s actually a pretty awesome and different figure. Or maybe I’m wrong and other folks hate him.
-Phantom

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