Thursday, April 24, 2014

Toy Review – Masters of the Universe Classics: Modulok from Mattel

Sorry for the lack of a post yesterday, Phantiomaniacs. I had to leave work a few hours into my shift on Tuesday night because I was having intense abdominal pain. I was afraid it was a kidney stone. I had one interrupt my Dragon Con weekend a few years ago and haven't had one since. I am very thankful fir that.

I drove home in considerable pain. Over the course of the next eight hours I screamed, cried, and begged for this pain to be over. If you don't know, kidney stones are considered to be one of the most painful things you can have happen. The doctor at the emergency room last time I had one said that she had experienced both kidney stones and natural child birth and would choose the child birth over stones any day.

I went to the doctor yesterday morning and he said it was almost certainly a kidney stone. In an odd way I was relieved because at least it wasn't something with a long-term impact.

I got painkillers and anti-nausea medicine. I threw up several times from the pain over the course of Tuesday night. 

As I write this - at home - I still have an intense pressure in my lower abdomen. The stone is pretty close to coming out, but at least I can function again.

Anyway, enjoy today's review and may you never be plagued with kidney stones. 

It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed a MOTUC figure and I attribute that to line fatigue. It’s a bad time for line fatigue because some of the very best releases are coming out now, like today’s subject – Modulok.

Actually, it might be more review fatigue than line fatigue. I’ve reviewed almost a hundred of these guys. And while it’s a fun line and each figure has lots of personality, they’re pretty much all the same figure. I mean, obviously they’re not, but after that many they start to seem like it.

Modulok is very much not the same figure. Modulok is one of the very best action figures I have ever owned. I want three.

I would never have suspected this based on my prior experience with Modulok, which was seeing approximately eight thousand of him on clearance at Lionel Playworld every time I went there in the late eighties. Seriously – there was a whole shelf of nothing but Moduloks, marked down to $2.98 (or something). I sure wish I had bought them all.

Nowadays I like Modulok, as I have decided that he is Hordak’s chief scientist and is just this weirdo that wants the unlimited budget of the Horde so that he can pursue science. He’s amoral but kind, hanging out in the lower levels of the Fright Zone and cranking out weird shit.


FIRST GLANCE

Holy hot damn.
As soon as I saw the plastic tray I knew this was a very special action figure. I don’t know exactly what I was expecting out of this one, but seeing all of these pieces blew my mind. And immediately made me wish I had ordered two more.
PACKAGING

It’s an old-school closed box, just like the original release. The art is updated and the design is almost identical. It looks really nice, even with the strong memories of a shelf full of dusty, similar boxes sitting in Lionel Playworld.

I do not like that they glued the sides shut rather than using a more standard flap tucked in:
There’s no way to avoid damaging the box, and while I normally don’t worry about saving packaging, I haven’t been able to throw out any of the boxes for boxed MOTUC items.

This is a great bio, despite it contradicting my story for Modulok. Or Professor Modulok, as I call him. I’d watch a movie about this guy. And he even has a pretty cool name, as opposed to many of the other dipshit names the Masters have ended up with.

LOOKS

This is a one hundred percent new sculpt and is one of those that is somewhat intimidating to review. There are so many parts here. It’s insane.
The figure is a mixture of standard Masters of the Universe Classics plastic and rubber. The rubber is there to make swapping the parts out easy. Some of the connection points are painted and the paint comes off when you use the connection points. It doesn’t make a huge difference because they’re the pegs that go inside the holes. You don’t really see them.
The heads are both horrifying. One is almost kind of Mars Attacks/Metaluna Mutant-looking. That stereotypical big-brain, bug-eyed alien thing. It’s a great, creepy sculpt. The other head is fucking weird. IT’s like a mix of… an Andoran, Voldemort, and Maggie Simpson’s nemesis. As creepy as the other head is, this one takes the creepy cake. Which is probably made from babies.
There’s only one torso, though you can cobble some pretty horrifying things together using other pieces. The main torso is ridged and insectile. The lines are very angular and none of it looks anything like any other MOTUC release. In a line of bizarre, alien figures Modulok is by far the most bizarre and alien. There are peg holes at the shoulders and hips, as well as one right in the middle of the butt. It’s awkward and weird and I’d really rather not discuss it. But you can plug any of the various items into the… butt hole.
Or you can twist it around and… well, look:
Not that I recommend anybody try this.
Here’s a thing that bothered me, though it is true to the original figure – Modulok comes with three sets of legs and only two sets of arms. That leaves one set of legs with no corresponding arms and it is driving me crazy.
You have the purple insect-style arms and legs that are very cool – probably my favorite. They have a sort of carapace design and meaty joints and ridges and stuff. They look pretty gross.
There are also the more robot-looking legs with the green highlights. Those are kind of boring. I suppose the plain red arms go with those. Not because they necessarily match, but because they definitely don’t go with the spiky insect legs.
The spiky insect legs look great and have one of the best textures of anything I’ve seen in the MOTUC line. They’re irregular and unique and so good that I wouldn’t mind a whole figure that looked like this.
Then there are the extra parts. There are two different insect butts and a connection thing to extend the insect butts out and allow for a third set of legs. You know – if you’re into that. There are also two double sockets for legs or arms and one double socket for the heads. Though you can really use anything for whatever. These double socket pieces look really good. They’re meaty and creepy.
Modulok doesn’t appear to have a lot of paint going on, but what’s there is well done and does a great job of highlighting the sculpt. The brainy head just has black and white on it, but the black and white look great. The same goes for the green and black detailing on other portions of the body – there isn’t a lot, but it’s well done and highlights certain parts. This is a case where just a few colors served to make a very interesting and consistent figure.
Every bit of Modulok screams excellence. It’s clear that the 4 Horsemen put a lot of thought and love into this one.
ACCESSORIES

Modulok comes with two blasters that can be put together to make one blaster. It’s made of rubber, but this is the one occasion that calls for it. It makes the connection points more secure and easier to use and the rubber is solid enough that the guns aren’t floppy.
Modulok can hold it in several of his hands (that was a fun sentence to think of) and can assume a number of cool gun-wielding poses.
Modulok didn’t need to come with any more accessories, but I’ll say this – if Matty released a Weapons Pak full of various multi-part accessories for this figure I would buy it in a second. Swords, spears, larger blasters – there are all kinds of possibilities. I suppose Spy Monkey should get on that. Or maybe they already have. I dunno.
FUN

It’s possible that this figure is more fun than any other I own. The possibilities for creating crazy monsters is almost endless. All of the connection points are interchangeable, so there’s no idea that you can come up with that can’t be done. Unlike many modular toys that may have certain points that don’t connect, Modulok is completely compatible with himself. It’s been on my desk since I opened it and there haven’t been many occasions where I was sitting there and failed to pick it up and mess around with it. I don’t see it going on my Masters shelf any time soon.
Modulok is so damn good that I really, really want two more. I want a shelf of Modulok monsters. If I find one for anything approaching a reasonable price during con season I will buy it.
OVERALL

This is one of those rare figures that I would recommend to any toy collector, whether they collect the Masters line. It’s an excellent example not only of toy engineering, but of a successful update to a classic action figure. This is a great piece for any fan of toys, science fiction, or horror. BUY ONE!
I’ll be very surprised if I buy a better toy this year. Though one was just announced that has the potential to beat ol’ Moddie; depending on the price point.
5 out of 5
Despite earlier claims to the contrary, Matty has been offering older figures again. It’s possible that Modulok will show up in some form again on the site. But I wouldn’t wait for that. Try to find one at a local con and pay a little more than MSRP. He’s worth it. Or you could just do something crazy and order it from some seller on, say, Amazon…




2 comments:

  1. This seems like a really awesome figure, I don't collect MOTU but love your reviews! I've wanted to pick a few figures up but this one might be high on my list if I see him at any cons.

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