Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Toy Review – Masters of the Universe Classics Multi-Bot from Mattel

The most significant thing I can think of to say about Multi-Bot is that I have very distinct memories of the original action figure. Those memories consist of seeing dozens of it sitting on the shelves at Lionel Playworld on clearance long after the rest of Masters of the Universe line had disappeared.

I remember thinking that Multi-Bot looked like the junkiest, most thrown-together action figure I had ever seen and having zero interest in it. Modulok was at least scary, Multi-Bot looked like garbage.

I’m not sure that I feel any differently now, but I am at least enthused about this thing as a toy after the sheer excellence of Modulok. The one thing I wanted after that one was more parts, so even if Multi-Bot looks like an 80s junk store nightmare, he fulfills the promise of making his predecessor into an even more hideous and huge monster.

Said monster was called Megabeast back in the day:

but it looks like it might be Ultrabeast now, likely due to trademark stuff.

FIRST GLANCE

Every single part of this toy screams “I AM FROM THE EIGHTIES – LOVE ME!!!

I’ll get into more detail below, but the second I pulled that plastic tray out of the box I loved Multi-Bot more than I ever thought I would. He was fulfilling a dream I never knew I had and I’m not sure I’ll ever have to buy another action figure again.

Okay, he’s not that good, but I think he might be the most 80s of all of the Masters of the Universe Classics figures.

PACKAGING

I think I might have complained about having to destroy Modulok’s box in order to get him open. That was silly, as you can’t get any of the single-carded MOTUC figures out without destroying the package. I don’t know what I was thinking.

The flaps are glued shut with that old-school, commercial glue from the 80s that dries harder than the plastic the toys are made of and turns the same yellowish color as flu snot. There is no way to open this thing without tearing the side flaps up, but whatever. That’s how it should be because that’s how the old toy was.

The graphics are great and are simply an update of the old box art. I may not have thought much of Multi-Bot back in the day, but I have to admit that I was intrigued by all of the combinations presented on the front of the box. I love that they’re repeated here.

On the one hand I like that Multi-Bot’s “Real Name” is a serial number. On the other hand, how many of these did Modulok make? 2312 seems a little high. Unless maybe ol’ Professor Nycoff created this guy in the middle of making Horde Troopers. He got to 2,311 Troopers and finally finished his work on Multi-Bot, maybe?

I like the bio, though I can’t help but imagine the Masters just busting out laughing at the sight of Ultra/Megabeast. The thing looks pretty gosh darn ridiculous. Also, I’m having a little trouble imagining it ripping anything from the skies.

LOOKS

I love that the package presents two complete robot figures right out of the box. For ease of reviewing, we’ll call the orange-headed one “Bob” and the green-faced guy “Carl”.

Bob has a more robotic head, whose shape is reminiscent of the Death Star Droid from Star Wars, but also reminds me of terrible nightmares where robotic ants wander around eating people’s spleens.

Carl must be some kind of robotic zombie, like in Return of the Living Dead Part 3:

The green face and absurd genie eyebrows are clearly organic, while the helmet looks like some sort of life-support apparatus. It’s a bit Darth Vader-ish, except that rather than covering his hideousness with a faceplate, the sadistic Modulok left it exposed for all to see.

The torsos are probably my favorite part. They totally encapsulate the 80s toy idea of robots. The flat black plastic trapezoidal shapes with the shiny silver trim is so “Evil Robot”.

Just to make this easy – here’s a picture of all of the separate parts that come with this set:

That is a ton of stuff.

The colors on the limbs are fairly basic, but they are all highlighted with corresponding bits of paint. The green and blue legs are the hardest to tell, but even those have metallic highlights on various gears and wires:


And yes – the green legs basically have roller skates for feet:

The blue legs are supposed to be Attak Trak-based. I still can’t quite wrap my head around “fighting as both a humanoid, an Attak Trak Tank and finally combined with his creator to form the Ultrabeast”. How was Multi-Bot fighting as an Attak Trak, exactly? What does that even mean?

These are all the extra bits and pieces that aren’t integral parts of the main body/bodies:

There are four T-junctions, two extenders, one dual-hole piece, one crotch middlepiece, and one dual-peg piece (the same as the two neck pieces). I love all of the sculpted detail on the neck pieces. The T-junctions are pretty ugly and don’t look like something that should be on the exterior of an action figure. Just a few sculpted lines would have made a huge difference on these.

I like both sets of arms because they stand out from any other MOTUC pieces. They come from the same universe as Roboto or Horde Trooper arms, but look distinctive. The coloring is plain, but with the highlights looks good and, of course, matches the vintage toy design.

Each of the sets of legs look fantastic. I really like these, mostly because they are stylistically so different from each other. The blue ones have pistons, heavy armor plating and tank treads (reminiscent of the Attak Trak). They look sturdy and built for battle. The green set look more like traditional robot legs, but with roller skate wheels (that do not, by the way, turn). The red ones are sleeker and look like they’re built for speed and evasion.
The combination of colors seems like something of an eyesore. That is, until you remember this guy:

Any combination of the parts creates a strange, disjointed-looking creature that has very few aesthetically pleasing qualities. But Multi-Bot isn’t here to be pretty. It’s here to serve Modulok and to basically be a collection of parts and reinforcements in battle. It was made for go, not for show.

ACCESSORIES

Multi-Bot comes with two blasters that are similar to Modulok’s. They’re a little more generic and connect in the same way:

Also, they’re made of rubber. You guys know how I feel about that. It’s unacceptable.

On a positive note, any of Multi-Bot’s hands can hold the blasters, even the robo-claws. I’m super impressed with the little design trick they used to enable this:

There’s a circle sculpted at the base of each claw that the blaster grip plugs into. It’s super-neat and I am way too impressed with it.

FUN

Multi-Bot is quite literally a pile of unending fun. On its own there are so many building combinations that you can sit and play with it for hours without once hitting on the same configuration.

All of the connection points work quite nicely. The pegs are plastic and the holes are rubber, so it’s easy to connect the parts, but they also stay connected.

It’s funny to look at the original Multi-Bot in comparison to this one. All of the legs and arms on that guy were just single, solid pieces. The new version is loaded with articulation in each and every part.

This guy is going to stay on my desk for quite some time. The only potential problem is that I might get distracted while I’m recording a podcast.

I wanted to see if I could make a creature that utilized every part in the box, and I did:

And this is just the first weird thing that I made:


OVERALL

If you have Modulok, you have to get Multi-Bot. If you’re cherry picking Masters of the Universe Classics, Multi-Bot is a must. If you’re just a fan of fun and innovative toys, you’re going to want to pick up a Multi-Bot. It’s another one of those figures that isn’t so overwhelmingly He-Man that you can’t just have it as a toy.

It’s fun, all of the parts work like they should, and while the overall design and color schemes are simple, they evoke a wonderful 80s feel. If not for that rubber gun this would be a perfect score.

Side Note: I’m pretty sure Modulok’s gun was also rubber, but maybe it wasn’t as soft or maybe I just didn’t care as much at the time.

4 out of 5

I recommend you look around at cons and see if you can find yourself a Multi-Bot. Otherwise, you can always buy one from Amazon and help support Needless Things!:



No comments:

Post a Comment