Friday, November 9, 2012

Toy Review – Masters of the Universe Classics Sy-Klone By Mattel

This primary-colored goof has been sitting on a shelf in my office since the day he arrived over a year ago.
I don’t know exactly what my problem was with the Heroic Lord of Blustery Days, but I just did not want him. So when he arrived I took him out of the white mailer box, got a picture, and promptly listed him on eBay.
And then after seven days listed him again.
And seven days later, again.
2011 Masters of the Universe Classics figures are nigh impossible to move on eBay because every citizen of the planet Earth had a subscription. My dog had a subscription. So unless you are willing to take a deep loss on your figures, you’re not getting rid of them. I am not willing to take such a loss. I’ll break even, but I’d rather have the most ugly, stupid, ridiculous figure ever sit on my shelf for at least a year than lose money on a MIP toy.
Side Note: This is what I did with Clawful and Snout Spout. Once they had hung around my MOTUC shelves for about a year being stupid-looking and just generally bringing down the tone, I finally put them up on eBay at a reduced price just to get rid of the fuckers. I think I actually ended up breaking even because one went for less than the $28.70 I paid for it and the other went for a surprising amount more. I can’t recall which was which.
I finally accepted a few weeks ago that I would never be able to get rid of Sy-Klone, so I opened him up.
I don’t know what my big problem was. Once I had that guy in my hands I appreciated what was going on. He’s kind of goofy, but so are 80% (or more) of the Masters of the Universe characters. That’s a big part of why I love them.
First Glance: At first I really didn’t like him. But once I opened him up I changed my mind. Honestly, Sy-Klone is pretty neat. The problem might actually be that I am kind of a judgmental dick.
Articulation: Sy-Klone has all of the standard articulation. I really wish they could have figured out a way to make his torso spin, or at least make his waist joint loose enough so you could do it manually.
Head – ball joint
Shoulders – ball joint
Biceps – swivel
Elbows – pivot
Wrists – swivel
Abdomen – pivot
Waist – swivel
Hips – ball joint
Thighs – swivel
Knees – pivot
Calves - swivel
Ankles – rocker joint
For a figure from early 2011, this guy’s joints are all pretty good. Then again, I’ve been luckier than some on that front. I think loose ankles and a loose knee or two have been my worst problems. The DC Universe line gave me a lot more trouble.
Sculpt: Lots of new parts on this guy, and I’m not entirely sure where some of them could be used again. His head, biceps, forearms, belt/trunks, and calves are new.
His head looks like a space samurai, which is a cool thing to look like. The head and the helmet are permanently attached but separate sculpts and that adds a whole lot to the look. His face kind of just looks like a blue He-Man face, which marks the first time I have felt that a face in this line was less than distinctive. It’s fine because the rest of Sy-Klone is so unique, but a little surprising.
His torso is obviously new and special. It’s basic shape is the male MOTUC style, but there’s a huge lump in the front to house his… uh… radar chest. As you can see in the picture, this is exactly as weird as it sounds. Sy-Klone has a weird backpack thing that I really like. The clip where his rotary tool or whatever attaches is kind of ugly when the tool isn't there, but whatever.
The arms are nice. I really like the airfoils or whatever that are attached to the upper arms. The tops of the gloves are great, as they feature rings to compliment the helmet and the boot tops. I like how retro-sci-fi this guy is.
His trunks are new (I think) and look solid. They work with the look of the rest of the figure. He has a sort of Saturn-looking thing on his belt that I like.
The boots are ringed at the top like the gloves and the helmet. It’s a nice sculpt and they’re much more distinctive than they were on the old figure.
Overall, the shape of this guy is great. I really like the samurai/50’s spaceman theme Mattel was going for. He reminds me a lot of Daimajin. I guess not so much because he resembles the daikaiju, but because he’s a weird-looking samurai dude. Based solely on sculpt Sy-Klone is pretty great.
Coloring: But then there’s the colors.
Obviously the blue is good. This guy flies around the sky and stuff, so blue is a natural. Well, that and he's a Gar. The red is okay as well. It’s a natural contrast for blue and makes those rings pop really well. But the yellow is atrocious. It’s so bright and bland at the same time. These huge swaths of yellow are what turned me off of the figure. Try to picture this guy if those yellow parts were grey or silver. See? How much more awesome does he look?
Just like the other MOTUC figures, Sy-Klone has shading that isn’t as apparent in pictures. It saves the yellow from being a deal-breaker.
The other thing that saves this guy is the awesome lenticular sticker on his chest. I say “sticker”, but this is a thick piece of decoration. I was a little concerned about whether or not his chest radar would stay put, but it is definitely in for the long haul. It looks really nice and functions well.
Flair: Sy-Klone does not have any extras to speak of. His torso – called a TECH Vest in his bio – is a sculpt rather than an add-on.
Accessories: Sy-Klone comes with a cosmic shield and a battle ring.
The shield is fine. It looks kind of aerodynamic and looks like something this guy could throw, Captain America-style, in a pinch. It a new shield that fits the character as opposed to just being He-Man’s shield painted yellow.
The battle ring is just damned strange. It’s too big to be believable as a hand-held weapon and it just looks weird no matter how you attach it to Sy-Klone’s back.
I can’t help but feel like he should’ve come with an actual weapon. I know what he has reflects the old figure, but I was just a little disappointed that he didn’t have a blaster or something.
What’s important is that the figure can interact with these accessories like he is supposed to and he can. The battle ring fits in his hand or on the mount on his back perfectly and the shield clips onto his arm. I am not a big fan of the clip-on shields. You’re stressing the clips on the shields and potentially damaging paint on the figure. I’ve got to think there’s a better way to design these.
Packaging: It’s the regular MOTUC blister card. Still neat and still effective. Here’s his bio:
Seriously? So this guy completely failed his duty and let his stones get destroyed and the Masters were all like, “Well clearly you’re Masters of the Universe material! Join up, broseph!”
Value: $28.70 (including shipping) actually seems like a slightly better value for Sy-Klone than some others. He has a lot of new parts and what in my mind constitutes a bit of an action feature in his chest radar. Still overpriced, but closer to being a reasonable deal.
Overall: I still hate his yellow parts, but the rest of Sy-Klone is pretty great. There’s no way we’ll ever see a color variant like I suggested, so I’ll just hang onto this one. Maybe I’ll paint him someday.
4 out of 5

Sy-Klone is perfectly fine and not a bad addition to the shelf if you can stand the yellow. Since he’s a 2011 figure I bet you can get him for next-to-nothing.

-Phantom


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