Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Toy Review – Masters of the Universe Classics Rattlor By Mattel

I never cared much about the Snake Men until the 20002 cartoon, which presented them as a massive threat to both the good citizens of Eternia and Skeletor and his evil minions. The faction made a huge impact and would have been an ongoing menace had the series progressed past a second season.

General Rattlor, in particular, was a favorite of mine. He was the guy that took control of operations after Kobra Khan freed him from captivity and he essentially remained the figurehead of the Snake Men for the remainder of the series. King Hssss made very few appearances, as I think they were sort of saving him for later.

This figure bears little resemblance to the armor-clad warrior seen in the 2002 Masters of the Universe cartoon. It is definitely an update of the original Rattlor, which is fine because that’s what this line is about. I would definitely like to see a 2002 Rattlor, or at least some armor to make this one look like that one.

Well, what do you know? Apparently Mattel has that armor tooled and ready, but just didn’t see fit to include it with the figure. Well, the chest piece, anyway. This guy would need greaves and bracers to be accurate enough for me. The colors and shape are still slightly off, but the armor is really all I need. Check out this Pixel Dan post for more details about that situation.

First Glance: Rattlor is a very bold-looking figure. The colors are striking and he is almost all new parts. Or would be, if the Snake Men 2-pack hadn’t beaten him to release. But his vibrant colors definitely set him apart from Scale Male.
Articulation:
Head – ball joint
Shoulders – ball joint
Biceps – swivel
Elbows –pivot
Wrists – swivel
Waist – swivel
Hips – ball joint
Thighs – swivel
Knees – pivot
Ankles – rocker joint
Rattlor is mostly standard, but lacks the calf articulation that most MOTUC figures have due to his sculpt. I appreciate that the Horsemen left it out rather than putting an ugly line across those scales. Besides that, if there’s one joint this line could live without, it’s that one. I like having it, but it doesn’t exactly add a ton of posability options.
Just like Scale Male (so named by me), Rattlor is a little limited by the thickness of his scaly sculpt. None of his joints seem to move quite as much as they do on other figures. His ankles are particularly immobile.
Like most MOTUC figures, the joints are worked into the sculpt fairly well. All of them move freely and hold poses well on my figure.
Sculpt: This new sculpt is so nice, truly different from anything else in the line (except the Snake Man, obviously). I can’t imagine the headache involved in sculpting all of the scales. Not only is it just a ton of tedious, repetitive work, they also have to maintain a regularity and size relation to one another. I suppose there could be some sort of tool to create the repeated effect, but I dunno.
Rattlor’s hands and feet are distinctive. Where Matty probably could have gotten away with reusing other feet, they went and had the Horsemen make new ones. They look great and add to this guy’s alien-ness.
Rattlor has a brand new head sculpt. I was surprised by how different it is from either of the Snake Men. I mean, it should be different, but the Horsemen did a really good job with it.
There is a new chest piece with a big ol’ back piece where the figure’s tail attaches. This thing just does not work for me. I mean, it doesn’t look bad, it just doesn’t make any sense. What the fuck is going on here? How is this overlapping his belt? I don’t get it. It’s bothering me.
Coloring: My gosh, this guy looks fantastic. I’m not sure how villainous he looks with all of these primary colors, but just like the sculpt his color design makes him stand out. The applications are tight and the different hues stay where they are supposed to.
I love the pupils on the eyes, as well as the detail of the belly color going up the chin. I also love the tint of the sides of the belly scales. The continuation of colors make all of the clearly separate parts of the figure seem more united.
I wish his rattle was all yellow. I almost feel like this is an error.I'm also not crazy about his blue armpits and elbow pegs:

Flair: Rattlor’s tail counts in this category. The Horsemen handled it very well, as it is a nice, thick piece that somehow does not interfere with the figure standing. There are a few figures that have amazed me with their ability to balance despite large, weird parts and Rattlor is another. The sculpt on the tail matches up perfectly with the back piece that it attaches to and while the part where it does looks extremely ugly if the tail is anything but positioned straight, it does move well and stay securely in place.
Rattlor is sporting the longer furry loin cloth, which I prefer. This is a new sculpt, as is the belt featuring the crest of the Snake Men.
Accessories: Rattlor comes packed with the same staff as King Hssss, a Horde armband, and a neck extension.
I didn’t particularly like the staff with King Hssss and I really don’t like it with Rattlor. This guy should have a sword and shield or spear or something. This staff really doesn’t make any sense. Heck, I would have preferred he come with the chest armor and no weapons at all.
The Horde armband is fine. I might use it on somebody else. I dunno.
The neck extension looks great and matches up well with the back. It’s fairly easy to put in place and isn’t loose like Mekanek’s neck.
Packaging: It’s the regular MOTUC blister card. Still neat and still effective. Here’s his bio:
"Battle Rattle”. Heh.
Value: $28.70 (including shipping) wouldn’t have been bad for this guy if he had lived up to my expectations. For a (sort of) all-new sculpt with the right accessories and no black plastic It would have been steep, but not ridiculous.
Overall: I’m torn on this one. I’m honestly not unhappy with it, but I really feel like Rattlor should have been better. I see how awesome he could have been, but he isn’t.

3 out of 5

If you want the Snake Men, you’re going to have to have Rattlor. He isn’t bad by any means, but he could have been so much more.

-Phantom


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