Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Toy Review – Masters of the Universe Classics Strong-Or from Mattel

NOTE: Episode 17 of the Needless Things Podcast was supposed to go up today. It's an interview with Adam WarRock and I am super-stoked about it. So of course Podbean shit the bed and isn't allowing me to upload the audio. So here's a review of Strong-Or. Hopefully I will be able to upload the WarRock interview tomorrow.

I am totally surprised at how bummed I am that Mattycollector.com’s Club Filmation has come to an end.

I obligated myself to this sub-Sub with tons of reservations since it was for six figures and only two were announced before the cutoff date. The two shown – Icer and Shokoti were awesome, though. So I had hope for the remaining four. And I have to give Matty a lot of credit because not only were the remaining four pretty great (except maybe Nepthu), they were very unique and different characters. They were individuals that managed to stand out amongst your existing collection rather than just oddities that you immediately wanted to stick at the back of the shelf (like the Star Sisters and the Fighting Foe Men). Despite the fact that most of these characters were fleeting parts of my childhood that were forgotten long ago, they were interesting enough to be fun now.

Strong-Or was a heck of a way to close the sub out. Rather than shit out awful or unwanted characters like Club Infinite Earths and Club Eternia, Club Filmation released a bizarre, kickass figure to finish 2013.
Like all of the Club Filmation figures (and several of the regular Eternia ones, if I’m being honest) I have no clue who Strong-Or is or what episode(s?) he appeared in. Once I found out that his for-real name is “Strong-Arm” he seemed a little more familiar. But the bottom line is that none of this matters because he is an insane looking character and most of the time that’s all I need from this line.

Side Note: I think I might as well go ahead and address Plundor, who I recognized as the Worst Figure of 2013. After talking things over with my Needless Things Podcast co-host Mr. Beau Brown, who explained to me who Plundor was and why he is such a great choice as a figure, I still hate that stupid piece of shit. I wouldn’t hate the figure as much if it had been part of Club Filmation because I would have felt like, “Well, that’s what I get,” but for it to be not only part of the regular sub but the final figure of the year is just awful.
I have opened Plundor’s mailer box several times to try and look at that pink pile of crap with a different point of view. I even wondered if I could switch the head out with something else and create some kind of genuinely weird new character. But I tried that with an extra Mo-Larr I had and all I could come up with was this:
Blech.

So the final verdict is that Plundor sucks and I am putting him up on eBay with his fellow December Disappointment, Batzarro. Later, suckos.

Strong-Or is not a sucko. So let’s check him out.
FIRST GLANCE

This is one of the rare occasions where I feel like an overwhelmingly orange color scheme works. Normally I abhor orange unless it is directly related to a Halloween decoration, but Strong-Or is making it work for him. With his crazy head.
PACKAGING

I have at least twelve more months where I am going to have to come up with new ways to extol the virtues of Matty’s Masters of the Universe Classics simple yet attractive blister card. So hows about I take this one off?
Desiring to become a super strong menace” is a candidate for the most headache-inducing phrase of the line. And that’s saying something. In addition to the minicomics collection I asked for in another review I’d like to see all of these bios eventually collected and put in order somehow. Though I’m sure even if Matty doesn’t do it some insane person on the internet will.

Strong-Or comes from the episode “She-Demon of Phantos”, which is the best name of any He-Man episode ever. I’m going to start calling my wife that. The character’s actual name is “Strongarm”, but Matty couldn’t call him that because never in anybody’s wildest dreams would this loony character get made into a toy so they let the copyright on the name lapse (if there ever was one) and some other toy line named a character Strong Arm.

Side Note: This marks the second time Hasbro has name-blocked Mattel in the MOTUC line. First was Flipshot, which is a Transformer and now there is a NERF gun and a Transformer named Strongarm.

Also, I am going to start claiming that I hail from Phantos. Until Hasbro copyrights that, too.
LOOKS

Strong-Or has a new head, right arm, collar, and trunks as well as new calves. He has the standard human body and Mo-Larr’s (and others’, most likely) left glove.

So I’ve designed this new character for the He-Man show that has a cybernetic right arm that extends.”

That sounds kind of cool.”

He also has a head that looks sort of like a robot bulldog.”

Okay, yeah – I can see that. That might make a good toy.”

It also has big, blue spikes sticking out of the top. Like a mohawk.”

Um… well, kids like that punk rock stuff. Okay.”

And he also has ears like Mr. Spock.”

Stop smoking crack before work, Terry.”

It’s 1983, Bill. The government hasn’t invented crack yet.”

Shit.”

I love Strong-Or’s crazy-ass head. It does, indeed, look like a robot bulldog with liberty spikes and Vulcan ears. It’s fantastic. The sculpt is strong with thick lines and well-defined features. The spikes – which could have been short or overly blunted – are long and as sharp as you could expect. His jagged teeth crack me up because they are sculpted the way that I drew monster teeth when I was five – just zig-zag lines up and down that result in one tooth right in the center. And if you’re wondering how I can love this weirdness while hating Plundor so much; well, me too.

The paint on the head is actually a bit spotty. Nothing that will stand out on the shelf, but the ears and spikes aren’t as tight as they could be. I love the metallic blue of the spikes, though.
Plundor’s collar is a new piece that is very distinctive and impresses me for not being painted on. If this were a DC Signature Collection figure I am positive it would have been. It looks great and adds a lot to the profile. The flat blue with metallic blue trim (to match the spikes, of course) is nice. The new trunks and boots match this scheme as well. The trunks have the regular MOTUC studded belt with what I would call “Robot Panties” if anybody were to ask me. 
The boots have a nice pointed top and some lines sculpted on to give them some more character. In the future, everybody will wear ribbed boots.
Strong-Or’s right arm is badass. It basically looks like Colossus from the X-Men’s arm. The painted hinges and studs are a nice touch and I love that it is actually bulkier than his regular arm. The fact that it goes up to his bicep makes it different than Fisto, too. I do think they could have sculpted this as an open fist, though. I’d be okay with that for Strong-Or and Fisto. But it really isn’t that big of a deal.

The figure’s left arm has a dishwashing glove on the end. They say he was injured when a mechanical press folder malfunctioned, but does anybody even know what a mechanical press folder is? From the sound of it, if your head was injured by such a thing I think it would be injured right the heck off, not just maimed to the point where you could get by with installing a cyborg bulldog face. We’re talking a recreation of the final scene of The Fly here, people.

I think Mr. Beau Brown figured out what really happened (which you will be able to hear on Episode 18 of the Needless Things Podcast – Masters of the Universe Classics – 2013 Year in Review). Poor ol’ Dalmus Fu was a lowly worker in the kitchens of the She-Demon (of Phantos – keep up). He was scrubbing the blood off of some dishes one day when a stray bolt of magic flew in the window and blew up all of his dishes and also his head and right arm.

Because everybody that inhabits the Universe is insane, the attending physician decided the best solution was to cut Dalmus’ head off, put his brain and ears in a punk rock robot dog head, put that head back on Dalmus’ body, and also attach a giant robot arm. You know – for punching.

Also, looking at Strong-Or’s orange ears I realized that he is mostly naked.
ACCESSORIES

Strong-Or comes with a blaster and an alternate, extended right forearm.
Beau informed me that the blaster was actually a shrink ray and I think he said it wasn’t even from Strongarm’s episode. I think that’s pretty cool. It’s an early indication that Matty (or the Horsemen, maybe) are trying to get certain things done before the line ends.

Whatever this device may be, it looks great. I love MOTU items that have a 50s sci-fi aesthetic, and this is certainly one of them. I’m sold by the rings on the front, but the big, ovoid body is great as well. Obviously Strong-Or can’t utilize the double-handled grips, but this isn’t really for him. He’s a puncher, not a shrinker.
The longer forearm is just that. It switches out easily and stays put. Most MOTUC items like this work fairly well. I have to point out that this is another instance of these figures being tremendously well balanced. 
Even with this oversized arm on Strong-Or can still hold many poses unassisted.
FUN

I had a blast with this guy.

He sports all of the standard MOTUC articulation, plus a giant arm. All of his joints work well and like I said above, he can hold poses.

All I really wanted to do was put Strong-Or’s long arm on (I can’t imagine displaying him with the short one) and punch other figures. Fortunately, I had a bunch on my desk that hadn’t been put away yet, so once I was finished with photographs I had a big ol’ punch-a-thon.

Note: No toys were harmed during the punch-a-thon.
OVERALL

Like all of the other Club Filmation figures Strong-Or is by no means a must-have. And I can’t even really say he’s one of those figures that any collector could appreciate because he’s ugly and weird. But I’m thrilled to have him and he more than makes up for that sad sack, Nepthu.

This figure is almost as good as it could possibly be. The mild paint stuff on the head is no big deal and the rest of Strong-Or is just awesome. If you are collecting Classics, I highly recommend him.
Your best bet for nabbing this guy is probably paying way too much on eBay. I haven’t looked at any of the Filmation figures, but since it was a special sub I bet there are a lot of people who wish they had signed up. 
 
4 out of 5

2 comments:

  1. Something that I thought you may find interesting, this guy is actually selling for cheaper on Evil bay than Plundor. I guess people really like that bizarre guy.

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    Replies
    1. That is bizarre and upsetting. And yet not really because it means I'll get more cash for that stinkin' rabbit! If I ever get around to listing him.

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