Thursday, June 25, 2015

Toy Review – Masters of the Universe Classics Sssqueeze from Mattel

I’m not as big a fan of the Snake Men as Mr. Beau Brown, but I can always appreciate the invading, fanatical faction that wants to subjugate or destroy all those who oppose. Many thought that the Yuuzhan Vong of the New Jedi Order Star Wars books were too much, and while I can’t necessarily disagree with that, I enjoyed the narrative and the threat that the Vong presented. We also have real-world examples of such fanatics. It’s terrifying in real life, but from a narrative standpoint it makes for great storytelling – you will become one of them or you will die; a compelling position to put protagonists in.

Heck, the Borg are another excellent example. But they illustrated the story problems inherent with such nemeses – you have to weaken them or exterminate them.

Sorry – I might have gotten off track a bit, but I do find the fanatical enemy fascinating and terrifying.

Especially when he has giant, grabby arms.

If I am going to be particularly fond of one of the Snake Men, it’s going to be because his goofy gimmick stands out amongst the goofy gimmicks of his brethren. While Snake Face is super goofy and King Hssss is mildly goofy, Sssqueeze is one of the most absurd action figures I own. And I own a Darth Vader with a gorilla head.

FIRST GLANCE

Sssqueeze’s bright green color is delightful. Obviously I’m partial to the purple, as well, but that green is going to stand out on the shelf. His head looks more like a lizard head, but I don’t care because he looks so happy. He just wants to give you hugs. He’s like the Masters of the Universe version of Bayley.

PACKAGING

The MOTUC blister card never disappoints.

Sssqueeze has a stupid effing name just like almost every other Classics figure. There’s not much to his bio – basically, “He’s a hugger”.

LOOKS

I’m starting with those ludicrous arms because how could you not start with those ludicrous arms?

They are bendy. And they are wonderfully bendy. We won’t know for years whether or not the material used will stand the test of time, but it’s not the foam crap Matty used for Spout Snout and Mr. Stay Puft. It’s a thick but flexible rubber that seems pretty sturdy and has held the sculpted scales nicely. There may be too much of these arms for your personal taste, but Matty did a fantastic job with them. The shoulders are hinged ball joints and the hands are separate pieces on swivels, so they can actually be posed. The arm articulation alone has made this figure far better than I expected it to be.

Also, I am very happy Matty went with the vintage look of hands rather than snake heads. 

Whether it be Transformers, mutants from Ninja Turtles, or Snake Men, I never like it when characters have heads for hands. It just looks stupid.

ALWAYS.

Side Note: It only now occurs to me that I could’ve ordered two and done a little customizing to have an alternate, shelf-friendlier version with shorter arms. Given the negative reactions I’ve already heard, I might be able to get a second Sssqueeze for a reasonable price.

The head looks more lizard-like to me, but I don’t really care because it looks great. Those teeth look brutal. The white eyes under those ridged brows look animalistic and monstrous. I love what Matty has done here – they didn’t settle for making Sssqueeze’s arms dangerous, they made that vicious maw and those bladed plates on the thighs as things that Sssqueeze would use those arms to draw his victims into.

His torso has a great scale sculpt and the armor is vaguely Egyptian-ish like the other Snake Men. As much as I like Sssqueeze’s sculpt, the paint is what is really putting him over the top. The brilliant green is a great start, but the yellow on his front and under his arms are really selling the look. It’s fantastic.

The blades on Sssqueeze’s thigh armor are great, but I cannot figure out why they don’t have the same silver paint as the studs on his boots. They look good, but they could look great. The boots themselves are awesome, though honestly they seem a bit complicated for this guy. They do match the vintage figure’s look.

ACCESSORIES

Sssqueeze comes with a thing that is most definitely not the Snake Men staff, which was on the verge of edging out stands as the worst accessory of all time.

I don’t know what this little thing is, but I can be happy with it for three reasons:

1 – It is not, as I said, a Snake Men staff,

2 – It is a lovely pearlescent purple, and

3 – Sssqueeze didn’t even need a weapon. Look at him. He is a weapon.

He can hold this thing and swing it around or whatever. It’s neat, but I won’t be displaying it with him.

FUN

Of course Sssqueeze is fun. Tons of fun! Aside from the arms, he has all of the standard MOTUC articulation and can achieve lots and lots of poses. But throwing those wonderfully long bendy arms into the mix makes him a fresh, fun figure that I couldn’t put down.

He can reach stuff on the top shelf!:

He’s great as the first guy in a “YMCA” performance!:

Sometimes he just dropkicks suckers!:

And he is the best at that making out with yourself thing!:



OVERALL

I think MOTUC collectors are either going to love Sssqueeze or hate him. There’s no middle ground here. I love him. He’s silly, but also has some really kickass parts – the head and the thigh armor. This guy really was excellently executed. You guys – he didn’t even come with that stupid Snake Men staff. That alone should garner him a point.

5 out of 5

If you need a hug, go to Amazon and buy it so you can help out Needless Things!:


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