Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Toy Review – Masters of the Universe Classics Callix from Mattel

As not into Peekablue as I was is exactly how excited I was for Callix.

As I’ve mentioned before, the 2002 He-Man and the Masters of the Universe cartoon is my preferred MOTU canon. I won’t disparage the original Filmation cartoon, but the deeper characters and ongoing narrative of the more recent cartoon captured me in a way that the original never did. It was what made truly dig the franchise and gave me that “I must own these toys” feeling that all toy collectors know so well.

The Evil Horde never got a s big of a presence as they deserved in the 2002 cartoon. The plan was for Hordak to be the Big Bad in season 3, but the show was cancelled in the middle of the second season. We did get to see a bit of Hordak and his minions in the King Grayskull flashbacks, including this guy, who Hordak obliterated for daring to have a good idea.

The 2002 cartoon was better, but only by so much.

Callix is the first offering from Mattycollector.com’s Club 200X subscription. Matty offered figures of six characters of varying significance from the 2002 cartoon and they all looked great. To be honest, as much as I like the Mike Post Productions update, I didn’t recognize all of them at first, but I did like them. I didn’t particularly want to add another six figures to my bill for 2015, but I knew I’d end up kicking myself if I didn’t get them.

FIRST GLANCE

I liked his looks when pictures first showed up, but in person I love this guy. His proportions are so different and cool, and yet he totally fits within the MOTUC aesthetic. The sculpt on the rocky portions is just outstanding.

PACKAGING

The MOTUC blister card never disappoints.

There’s nothing special in Callix’s bio, but also nothing absurd. I wonder if the “ability to crumble into pebbles and rebuild himself” thing is a retcon for him surviving Hordak’s blast.

LOOKS

Callix uses the same basic buck as all male Masters of the Universe Classics figures, but thanks to his numerous unique parts he seems quite a bit bulkier than the average figure. And yes – obviously it would have been super if that buck had been rock like the added parts, but that’s simply not something that is going to happen in a Masters of the Universe line. I’m also not going to point out that the shapes of the figure’s new parts leave it looking somewhat poodle-like. Because then you wouldn’t be able to unsee it.

His head is fantastic. It looks like Doomsday and Darkseid had an evil rock baby. The massive jaw and brow set the tone for a very different figure. It’s a great adaptation of the slightly exaggerated aesthetics of the 2002 line. His coal black eyes sit deep in his face and are painted with a glossy black. The sculpt of the rest of the head is jagged and uneven – it has a very natural rocklike appearance, as do the rest of the craggy portions of the figure.

The upper torso is covered by a separate piece that looks great but amazingly doesn’t restrict movement or add unnecessary bulk to Callix’s torso. The rock sculpt is all asymmetrical and the Horde crest on the front looks wonderful. I like the pale colors used for this and the “belt buckle”. It creates a much nicer look for the figure than if Matty had just gone with the standard red. And obviously it’s better than a straight adaptation of the cartoon version, where those parts were the same color as the rest of Callix.

The lower torso piece is ingenuous. The front mimics the standard MOTU loincloth, but the back is shaped in such a way that it minimizes the visibility of the smoother buck – it rides quite high and leaves a negligible gap between it and the upper torso piece.

The forearms and hands are equally great. Thanks to smart sculpting around the elbow, Callix retains a standard degree of bending. His hands are massive and yet still retain a nicely humanoid appearance – they haven’t turned into mitts or talons.

Callix’s big, stompy feet are my favorite part. They give the figure so much added presence but aren’t overly bulky. He can stand normally and they don’t look awkward or oddly placed. The feet have just enough definition to look like feet, but not so much detail that he looks like a cartoon. As much as I like the well-defined fingers on the hands, toes would have been a mistake.

Callix has a very simple paint job that accomplishes a lot. All of his parts share the same grey base tone, but there’s a textured wash over all of the rocky parts that really sell the sculpt. His face is slightly darker than the rest of him to bring attention to it, and the Horde crest and “belt buckle” have the same paint effects, but in different colors. This results in a wonderfully uniform look while still adding a bit of color to break up the grey.

ACCESSORIES

Callix comes with an ax/crossbow and a shield.

The ax/crossbow is rubber, which sucks, and also means that the handle on mine is bent. I will never consider rubber accessories to be acceptable. Unless it’s a whip or something. But for an ax or crossbow? No.

Otherwise this thing looks awesome. I’m amazed at how good it looks in either mode. It has the same great paint job as the figure itself and is a brilliant piece of design work by Matty.

The shield is a bit on the small side, but looks good. It’s simple, but just by virtue of the excellent rock sculpt and paint job it becomes one of the more interesting shields in the line.
Callix can hold both accessories with no problem.

FUN

Callix has the same articulation as almost every other male MOTUC figure, so I’m not going to waste time there.

The figure’s head is the only part that has any sort of restricted movement, and that’s just a bit. It mostly moves well. The shoulder pads of the upper torso armor are rubber (okay in this instance), so the arms can move fairly freely. Thanks to the design of that armor, his abdominal joint is free to move, as well.

These figures are all designed well for the most part. They aren’t going to be able to recreate your more advanced wrestling moves, but they can achieve about as many poses as you might want them to. We all know the drill here by now.

I suppose it’s also worth noting that my figure had no stuck joints or overly loose ones. For the most part, those days seem to be a thing of the past.

OVERALL

I don’t see how Callix could have been any better. I’m utterly happy with this guy and feel like even though he is a very strong start to Club 200X, there is much better on the way.

This isn’t one of those revolutionary figures that I would recommend to everyone, but it is a very good figure of a rock guy. If you’re collecting MOTUC but were unsure about Club 200X, you should definitely check Callix out.

5 out of 5


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2 comments:

  1. Nice review of Callix, man. I totally see the Doomsday and Darkseid resemblance. Good eye catching that!

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    1. I keep meaning to take a picture of him with Darkseid, Stonedarr, and Rokkon. I don't own a Doomsday. Never saw the appeal.

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