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Monday, January 21, 2013

Toy Review – Masters of the Universe Classics Procrustus By Mattel

I was totally stoked about this guy from the second I saw him during the SDCC coverage. I am a big fan of this size and format of MOTUC figures and couldn’t wait to get another one. Especially one with four arms.

My excitement about Procrustus stemmed purely from his appearance. I don’t know dick about the character, and even after reading the bio I’m not too clear about what the deal is. I think he’s sort of like Atlas and Zeus rolled into one or something. I dunno. I think he showed up in one of the old minicomics.

I am not the guy to ask about the minicomics. I’m sure I read a few of them when I was a kid. At the very least the ones for the few figures I had, but likely for some of my friends’ figures as well. Now that I think about it I think I recall making one of my buddies hunt down all of his so I could sit and read them one day, then being bothered by the fact that they didn’t match up with the narrative of the cartoon. From what I know of the minicomics now I think I might prefer them. I’d like to make somebody hunt them down so I can read them. Actually, I think they might be posted on He-Man.org.

Okay, so back to Procrustus.

He looks like a giant, four-armed mud Jesus designed by Ray Harryhausen. Also, the picture I took of this guy for Instagram is my second favorite after this one from the Cypress Hill show:
I’ll show you the one of Procrustus at the end of the review.

First Glance: Even though I’ve had Megator – one of my favorites from the line – and Tytus standing on my shelf for a while now, I was still impressed by the sheer size of this figure when I opened it. When is the last time we had such a range of sizes within a single line? I’m sure there have been more, but the one that leaps to mind is the Inhumanoids from the 80’s.

Side Note: A pet passion that I never pursue is collecting the Inhumanoids line. I had one of the humans when I was a kid – the yellow underwater guy – and none of the monsters. I think they freaked my mom out. None of the toys are horribly expensive now, but there’s always something modern that I want more. If there were still toy shops around like there were 10-15 years ago I probably would have made some progress. Someday I will. I really want those toys.
Articulation: Procrustus features the same articulation as the other giants in the MOTUC line. Well, mostly.
Head – ball joint
Shoulders – ball joint
Biceps – swivel
Elbows –pivot
Wrists – swivel
Waist - swivel
Hips – t-joint
Knees – pivot

These large figures have fewer points of articulation than the smaller ones, but I’m okay with that. Not only would added joints make them even heavier, it would make it more difficult to stand them up. The main missing joints are the ankles, thighs, and abdomen. At this scale those would likely become loose over time (or even arrive loose) and you would never be able to get these guys to stand. I’ve got a 12” Captain America from Toy Biz that is very nice, but has so many joints that have loosened up over time that he’s now sort of hunched over and leaning on another toy for support. You can finagle him into standing up, but he isn’t going to stay that way.

Procrustus’ additional arms plug into his upper back and actually have quite a good range of motion. They look good up in the air or simply hanging down in repose.
The rest of the figure’s joints are tight and functional. His head has a good range of movement despite the longer hair.
Sculpt: Procrustus features more new parts than I realized. He has a new head, new hands, two new arms, a new torso, and a new skirt/belt. He uses Megator’s hands on his extra arms and uses his legs as well. 

The back arms are just the front arms used again, but that's perfectly fine. The angles are different enough that it's obvious at a glance.

Procrustus is a hollow figure, similar to rotocast vinyl toys (not sure if he’s actually made that way). 

The head has thick, muddy layers of hair with a craggy, bearded face underneath. The Four Horsemen have once again managed to sculpt a lot of personality into a face, as this one looks like a powerful and weary titan. 

The torso is all crusty and earthy (eterniany?) and has sockets in the back for the extra arms. Each arm has its own differently-sized peg to attach to so you don’t get confused like the five-year-olds that assemble other Mattel products. 

It’s interesting to note the slight difference in proportions between these large figures and the regular sized MOTUC. Everything is slightly elongated. I’m sure this has to do with balance. It isn’t good or bad or anything else, just something I’ve noticed and hadn’t brought up before. Actually, maybe it is good. It distinguishes these from just being one-ups of the regular figures. They have their own aesthetics and seem slightly more alien when compared to the “regular” characters.
Coloring: Procrustus has a fantastic color. It looks like clay or earth with all kinds of particulates. I love how this was achieved and give huge props to the Matty design team for not just making him brown. This coloring is what makes the whole figure a success. It just looks amazing.

The darker bracers and belt also add to the look of the figure. They break up the monotone earthen color and lend the arms a bit more imposition.

The white eyes are absolutely haunting. They give Procrustus’ face a look of being timelessly wise and somehow unknowable. In the production photos I was a little concerned it would make him look too much like a golem or some kind of inanimate automaton, but it doesn’t. It really works in person.
Flair: Procrustus has two additional arms and a new skirt.

The arms attach securely to the sockets on the figure’s new torso. 
They look good in pretty much any position, which is a neat trick for a couple of arms sticking out of his shoulder blades. They are even designed to be able to hang down in a neutral position, which I like.

The skirt resembles Procrustus’ hair, which makes me think that maybe it is supposed to be this guy’s equivalent of the standard MOTU furry loincloth. It looks good and is topped by the standard-style MOTU belt. I do think the skirt could stand to be just a bit longer, as many of the pictures I took ended up being upskirt shots.
Accessories: Procrustus comes with the Star Seed. 


It’s a translucent yellow ball and he can sort of cradle it in one of his arms. It looks neat. I don’t know enough about the character to know if he should or could have weapons, but I guess a yellow ball is okay. It feels like a solid acrylic and isn't just some cheap-o thing.
Packaging: A nice Masters-themed window box. Matty’s packaging for the larger-scale MOTUC items is some of the classiest in the business. Well, among more standard-priced fare, anyway.
Here’s his bio:
That's a pretty epic bio. And it bums me out.
Value: I have no problem paying forty bucks for these big-ass figures. Once you get past the regular figure prices I feel that the rest of the MOTUC line is a bargain. Thirty bucks for beasts and forty bucks for giants is A-OK by me.
Overall: Procrustus is awesome. The Horsemen and the Matty design team did a fantastic job on him and he’s one of those figures that I think any toy collector could appreciate. He’s huge and carries a certain mythological quality that I think is universal.

5 out of 5

You can check out eBay and BigBad if you’d like to own this guy, but I bet you’ll be able to find him pretty cheap if you can wait for con season to start. Or maybe even give it a year. He isn’t an essential figure and may be overlooked by many.
Here's that Instagram picture:
Pretty cool.

-Phantom

3 comments:

  1. Hmm, never really wanted this guy; until now. I should not read these reviews.

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    Replies
    1. Ha ha, I hear you man! Phantom has a way of making me want MOTUC figures.

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    2. He's a really great figure. Definitely pick him up if you find one for a reasonable price. And if my persuasive skills are what you say they are I think I should be in another line of work...

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