Thursday, October 10, 2013

31 Days of Halloween - Creepy Toy Review Masters of the Universe Classics: Filmation Batros from Mattel

What better way to celebrate the impending holiday than by doing a review of a guy dressed up as a bat?
No, no – not Batman. Batros.
You know – Batros? From that one episode of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe? He was the guy that was dressed up like a bat because… uh… because some writer thought, “Heck, we haven’t done a bat guy”. And who better to steal some books than a bat guy?
Right?
Let’s face it – Batros looks like a fucking idiot. But apparently he had quite an impact on Grant Morrison, because over twenty-five years after Batros swooped his way into our hearts, this happened:
So Batros may have been sort of a lame Batman ripoff, but like he always does Bruce Wayne won in the end by turning the tables and becoming a lame Batros ripoff. EAT THAT, He-Man!
I’m gonna be honest, here – I didn’t remember any of these Filmation characters when I signed up for this sub. I just wanted the figures because they all looked even loonier than regular MOTU characters. I assume it’s because they didn’t have to actually exist as toys (at the time), so the cartoon’s creators went out there a bit. For the most part I am totally happy with the MOTUC line as long as the characters look crazy. I don’t really care how obscure they are, though I do prefer if they have some kind of actual history. That’s not to say I’d prefer one of these Filmation characters or a concept figure over, say, Modulok; but I don’t hate on these more obscure and sometimes silly creations.
Except for the bunny guy. I’ll get to him soon enough.
Batros here is so silly that I asked my Needless Things Podcast co-host Mr. Beau Brown if he could throw a few extra words in to help out. His words will be in BLUE TEXT, like Batros’ stupid hat.
First Glance: I literally laughed out loud when I opened this mailer. History has taught us that a man in a bat suit can look not-silly. Menacing, even. Clearly Filmation slept through history class. Batros looks like a grade-A goofball. And I LOVE HIM FOR IT.
Articulation: Batros has the standard MOTUC articulation.
Head – ball joint
Shoulders – ball joints
Biceps - swivels
Elbows –pivots
Wrists – swivels
Abdomen - pivot
Waist – swivel
Hips – ball joints
Thighs – swivels
Knees –pivots
Boot Tops - swivels
Ankles – rockers
Holy frijoles! Batros’ ankle rockers actually work really well! I don’t normally start with the feet, but I was so surprised by what is lately a rare occurrence that I had to go ahead and comment. Nice job, Matty!
Batros’ head is obviously somewhat restricted by the furry collar that is the bottom portion of his bat hat.
I expected his elbows to be restricted by his wings, but they pivot just as deeply as any other MOTUC figure.
My Batros’ abdominal pivot was stuck at first and I thought that it just didn’t have the usual range, but after a little careful bending I got it unstuck and it moves just fine.
All of the other joints on this figure work quite well. They are all tight and hold poses, but none are stuck to the point where I had to resort to hot water or the freezer.
Sculpt: Batros has a new head, biceps, and feet(!).
The head is straight-up Alex Toth. From the incredibly unsubtle profile to the “LOOK AT MAH EVIL EYES!” eyes, Batros could easily be from Space Ghost or the Herculoids. The cowl is detailed with fur and I love the notches in the ears. His face has a distinctive shape even if you discount the evil eyes and the fangs, but why would you ever discount those fangs!?! They look so dainty and refined. This is not a man that drinks blood. This is a man that sips blood. Probably with his pinky out.
Most of the body is from other figures but looks absolutely appropriate for Batros. The matching bracers are cool and the loin cloth… why am I talking about this? It’s Masters of the Universe. He has a loin cloth. They all have loin cloths.
The new biceps have wings attached to them and I am absolutely shocked at how good they look and how well they work. After the Sorceress debacle, I didn’t expect Matty to know how to handle wings on a humanoid (and no – Stratos’ don’t count; they barely even interact with the sculpt). But Batros’ wings look great and do not interfere with the figure’s posing or articulation at all. As a matter of fact, his elbows seem to me to pivot just a wee bit more deeply than other MOTUC figures. The wings are a sculpted part of the new biceps. They are made from a softer, more flexible plastic, but in this case that’s fine.
He has the Demo Man clawed hands. He also sports a new booted feet design that I like.
Holy crap! I thought for sure that Batros had the same boot-tops as Icer and I was wrong! I find this foot/boot combination to be absolutely bizarre and I find it even stranger that Mattel actually sculpted new parts rather than just putting Icer’s boots on Roboto’s feet. Because they totally could have. What we got looks good, though, and most importantly the rocker ankles actually work really well.
Coloring: Batros’ skin tone is great. He looks like a creature of the night with the sallow purplish-grey skin. It has a nice wash to bring out some of the definition. This is a unique skin color among the MOTUC figures so far and it really makes Batros stand out. Well, almost as much as his stupid hat does.
The blue parts are just blue and lack any sort of wash, though the bat ears do have some darker coloring inside. I get why the blue parts are blue and I wouldn’t want it to be different from the cartoon, but I think black or dark grey with a black wash would look so much better. But then the character wouldn’t be nearly as Filmation-y. The black belt and bracers with the glossy studs look awesome.
Batros’ face is solid. The paint on the eyes reinforces that feeling of Toth influence and the fangs are tightly done, with the paint covering what it should and not slopping over onto the mouth.
The wings are a matte black on the outside and an almost vulgar red inside with a dark wash to break it up a bit. They look great.
Overall Batros has an excellent paint job. The shades and glosses all look awesome and there are no errors on mine.
Flair: Batros has a new harness and a fluffy little collar.
The chest symbol. Ugh. It is so a Horde emblem. But it's not. But then you see it and your brain automatically sees the Horde. So it can be distracting but I suppose the Horde hasn’t totally cornered the market on red bat public awareness campaigns.
Yeah, that emblem is pretty Hordey. I bet Hordak has sent this guy a bunch of cease-and-desists. Looks like Batros never got them. Probably because Hordak sent Cy-Chop to deliver them. Hordak, you don’t have the guy with giant scissor hands deliver your mail. Dumbass.
I like the harness a lot. It has a solid thickness to it and is another piece that is just different enough to make Batros stand out. But it is also totally a barbarian shirt and plants him firmly in the Masters Universe.
The furry collar would be the funniest fucking thing I have ever seen if it were by itself. Just this little muffler around some unfortunate figure’s neck. But it is actually meant to be the lower part of Batros’ cowl, so it is only the second funniest thing ever. It looks good when you’re taking in the whole figure, but when you get up close and are just looking at the head and neck it makes it look like Batros has a super-long neck. But it’s okay. No biggie.
Accessories: Batros comes with a shitty rubber mace that is absolutely bent the fuck up:
He comes with a repaint of Spikor's mace. Which makes no sense. In his one FILMATION episode, his big master plan is to steal all of Eternia's books. We get a nice speech, which is a good message. Knowledge is power, kids.
We have had two books released as accessories with Orko and Shadow Weaver. The guy's whole deal is books. He should have just come with a repaint of one of the books and a spell casting hand since he spends most of the episode shooting energy blasts from his hands. We get no explanation where these powers come from. Sadly, we don't have a clawed male spell casting hand. We have gloved (Faceless One) and ungloved (Marzo). We have opposite problem with the females since the female spell casting hands have nice lady fingernails on them (Castaspella, Catra, Shadow Weaver). This meant that Shokoti who is magic as fuck has the female accessory holding gloved hands that can hold the zero accessories she comes with. The mace itself looks fine but has no place on Batros. With its black and red color scheme I suppose it could find a place on another Horde member. It would look good with a Horde Trooper.
Packaging: It’s a blister card! The most powerful packaging in the universe!
Okay, maybe not. But I do love blister cards. Don’t make me pull tools out of my utility belt to open a friggin; action figure.
Here’s his bio:
You needn’t say “mercenary” twice. And “filch”? Really? This sinister, shadowy, dark mercenary tried to filch books? Somebody please get Toy Guru an editor. Edi-Tor.
Real Name. Wiley? Just Wiley. No last name. I don't know many Wileys. I know Wile E. Coyote who I have a great fondness for as someone with ambition and unique approaches to situations. Not many others. Batros comes from a race of half-man half-bat pirates. A whole race of them! Now I know of a whole race of half-man half-bat guys called the Spillians. Who REALLY look like half-man half-bat guys. Lord Dactys looks awesome. Apparently Batros comes from some race of guys who look an awful lot like humans and wear exciting Furry Leather Bear Rave Party Bat outfits. Which means he also looks exactly like the bat-guy should in He-Man.
Value: As I’ve said before, these Filmation releases feel slightly more special than the regular line. I know that’s an illusion, but let me have my moment. Because of that. I feel like they come a lot closer to being worth the money. They still aren’t worth $34. They just seem closer.
Overall: I love this guy. So far the Filmation sub has been nothing but wins. Obviously Batros isn’t a necessity, but he’s a darn fun figure that looks really neat. If you see one at a con, I’d say pick him up. He'd be perfect if not for the shitty mace and Beau being right about the book thing.
I really want to put him on a flight stand. If Duncan wasn't already the Batman of MOTU, Batros at least has the silhouette. He has that caveman Batman look about him.
4 out of 5
Check out BigBad or eBay if you want to pay a premium. Matty might have some left over to sell for their Black Friday (or whatever) sale this year.
Maybe in the end he is in fact MOTU's Wile E. Coyote. He looks just like he bought the bat suit from the Acme Catalogue, put it on and is ready to run off the cliff. He is a great one off villain from FILMATION and to me looks like a Masters character should.
Good Journey,
-Beau
Phantom Troublemaker vs. 31 Days of Halloween
I’m changing the format a bit this year in order to more accurately portray SyFy’s schedule and also to preserve my sanity. I had the genius idea to cut and paste the schedule directly from SyFy’s page rather than typing it out in my own format. This has saved me an awful lot of time and also means that individual episodes are listed rather than blocks of programming like previous years. So what I’m going to do is provide commentary where I feel it is needed rather than posting next to every single entry. Don’t worry – you’re getting the same amount of hilarious, then kind of funny, then labored, then thoroughly disenchanted Phantom content. Just in a different way.
Like last year, I am covering the programming from the time this posts until the time of the next post. That means that on Fridays you are going to be treated to a shit-ton of this stuff.
Let’s do it!
Oct 10 11:00 AM Ghost Whisperer Unhappy Medium
Oct 10 12:00 PM Ghost Whisperer Bad Blood
Oct 10 01:00 PM Ghost Whisperer All Ghosts Lead To Grandview
Oct 10 02:00 PM Ghost Whisperer Holiday Spirit
Oct 10 03:00 PM Ghost Whisperer Slam
Oct 10 04:00 PM Ghost Whisperer First Do No Harm
Oct 10 05:00 PM Ghost Whisperer, S5 Dead Listing
Oct 10 06:00 PM Ghost Whisperer, S5 Lost In Shadows
As you may know if you are any kind of fan of Needless Things, I find Jennifer Love Hewitt to be absolutely delightful. She is charming and sweet in interviews and can dress like an absolute slut-pot and still seem totally innocent and demure. That’s a tricky thing, right there.
I’ve seen more than a few episodes of Ghost Whisperer over the years, and while it doesn’t compel me like other shows do, it is a perfectly nice setting in which to enjoy Ms. Love Hewitt for 42 minutes. You will not, however, get to see her dressed like a slut-pot on this show. So here you go:
Oct 10 07:00 PM 31 Days Of Halloween Movie Night Of The Demons
SyFy just blew my fucking mind. There is a remake of Night of the Demons that is four years old and I didn’t even know about it? I would refer back to my old posts to make sure I haven’t referred to it before, but I just don’t have that kind of time or willpower. Shannon Elizabeth is in this remake. She dresses like a slut-pot lots but doesn’t quite pull of the innocent and demure thing:
It’s okay, Shannon, we still think you’re super.
Oct 10 09:00 PM Syfy Original Movie Ghost Shark
That last movie aside, there is a definite ghost theme today. I appreciate when SyFy puts that kind of effort into their programming. Except for when it’s natural disaster day. I hate natural disaster movies.
We have Ghost Shark on the DVR and I still haven’t watched it. It can’t possibly be as good as Sharktopus and it can’t possibly be as bad as Sharknado. There’s just no winning here.
Oct 10 11:00 PM Syfy Original Movie Ghost Town
Hot the heck is a movie with a dull, uninspired name like Ghost Town supposed to stand out amongst titles like Ghost Shark, Ghost Storm, Thir13en Ghosts, and The Ghost Stole My Banana?
Oct 10 01:00 AM Syfy Original Movie Ghost Voyage
Ghost on a boat. Slightly more intriguing than ghost in a town. Significantly less intriguing than The Ghost With Shannon Elizabeth’s Boobs.
Oct 10 03:00 AM Syfy Original Movie Haunted Prison
I saw some of this one last year and it was actually pretty fucked up. Check it out.
Oct 10 05:00 AM Deals From The Darkside Bamberg Shackles
Oct 10 05:30 AM Deals From The Darkside A Piece Of The Hindenburg
Watch some turd take advantage of stupid people with too much money.
Oct 11 06:00 AM Paid Programming
Watch some turd take advantage of stupid people with too much money.
Oct 11 08:00 AM Friday The 13th: The Series Cupid's Quiver
Oct 11 09:00 AM Friday The 13th: The Series The Poison Pen
Oct 11 10:00 AM Friday The 13th: The Series A Cup Of Time
I LOVE THIS SHOW. I don’t know if it’s the best horror-themed show ever, but it’s really good. It suffers a little bit from being very 80s, but is still a lot of fun to watch.
-Phantom


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