Masters of the Universe Classics Unboxing and Review…Weapons Rack!

Happy New Year!  Do you now have swag stacked upon boxes piled up on returns as well as items not yet sitting in a permanent spot?
My MOTUC characters have been like this for awhile…extra weapons scattered about, or stored away in a little baggie.  But not anymore!  Here is my review of the MOTUC Weapons Rack!
I wondered if this box was going to say “Weapons Rak.”
It was misspelled on the Matty Collector Website!

The Weapons Rack was something I wanted when it came out, but couldn’t fork over at the time.  And the way that Mattel does things, it disappeared and I never had a chance to get it again.  With Castle Grayskull having been on sale (didn’t sell out as they predicted, did it?), They wanted to be sure that people could display the castle with the proper Weapons Rack.  After all, the vintage version CAME with a weapons rack, which is what this thing I bought is modeled after.

(I have not purchased a MOTUC Castle Grayskull.  There are a couple of problems. 1.I don’t have that many figures.  2. It costs way too much.  3. Where would I put it?  I do however, think it is terrific, and am glad they made it.  Maybe someday I will have it.  But there are other ways I have to spend $300 + shipping right now.  I am a cheapskate, remember?)

Here’s what you see when you open the box.  A nice window on card,
featuring the furniture and the weapons, packed in weapons pack style.

This is what is on the back.  Oddly, only one palace guard?
Here is a picture of the weapons that came with it.  The red ones are especially nice!  The silver ones have a little patina to them, that might not be coming through in my picture.  The silver ones are supposed to be an homage to the original weapons that came with Castle Grayskull, and the red ones are supposed to be an homage to “Man-E-Weapons.”
Here is the rack, with nothing on it.
Rows of pegs to display your weapons!

Here is how I set it up at first.  Front view.  I like how there is a little post to put
the shields on on both sides, as well as pegs to hang some weapons on the sides.

Here is the back view of my initial setup.
Here you can see the mace hanging on the right side.

How do other weapons work with this, that is, other than those that came with it?  I decided to do a good and evil theme!

My evil theme!

My good theme!

What are the limits of the weapons rack?  I went and found all kinds of MOTUC weapons to load it down with!  Here is a front and back view!  Read the captions for a contest!

Can you identify all of these weapons, readers?!  Send a comment for prize!

I will respond back and you can send me your address!  (The prize will go to whoever names the most.  Look at both the front and back view pictures, please.)  

This weapons rack is worth fighting for!

My rating for the Weapons Rack?  5/5!  It is a superb sculpt, serves its purpose well, and looks amazing with the figures.

SpartanNerd Review…G.I. Joe figures from Dollar General…Snake Eyes and Cobra Commander

Here at the edge of the world, we don’t have too many stores.  At one time, there were more, and then the apocalypse happened, and almost everything moved out.  And then Dollar General Market came in and filled the void.

I visit this store almost everyday, and saw these on the pegs right around Thanksgiving.  But I refrained from purchasing them.  I don’t collect G.I. Joes, and the SpartanSmurf’s have a history of owning them but not playing with them.  I admit that I was tempted, though.  I have never owned as awesome a Cobra Commander as they had on the shelf.  Furthermore, the figures seem to be painted in 1980’s generation 1 cartoon colors, and they were on sale for only $6.00.  (The cheapskate in me screams…”What a deal!  G.I. Joes are running almost as much as $15.00 at department stores!”)

So after Christmas, these were still hanging on the shelf…And the SpartanSmurfs had some money they were itching to spend…so where did I kind of point them???

Only one taker.  SpartanSmurf #2.  He is fond of Snake Eyes (and Ninjas in general), and thought Cobra Commander was cool also.  They also had a Duke, who looked nothing like Duke.  So neither one of us was interested.  (See…He takes after his old man!)

Here are some pics and a review, followed by some comments and a rating!  (I promise I took a pic of the box.  But somehow that is nowhere to be found?  The box is a window, prominently featuring the G.I. Joe branding, and on the back showcases six total figures from the line, but all painted in different colors than seen at the Dollar General Market.  You’ll just have to take my word for it I suppose. The only figures we saw were the ones mentioned here.)

Snake Eyes.  CLASSIC!
Cobra Commander.  CLASSIC!  This staff is also a sword.
Cobra Commander and his accessories.

Snake eyes and his accessories.
He’s holding a pistol.

A battle pose, by SparnanSmurf #2!

Thoughts on these figures.

“‘Ow Be-zar!”  (Spoken in that dreadnok voice).  The marketing strategy here is…..I guess maybe some kid will come through with his weekly allowance, or maybe will come through with his mom and ask for this, and it is certainly reasonable as an impulse buy.  On the other hand, it seems it should appeal to people like me, more nostalgic types who have that 1980’s childhood aesthetic sense about them, who would see them and recognize them on account of their paint job.
These figures are excellent.  Cobra Commander especially.  (I am more fond of the all black suited Snake Eyes rather than the early versions.)  Cobra Commander’s eyes could be shoddily done, but they are not.  The work is clearly good.  And you get a stand!  (I am not sure, but don’t most Joes come with a stand nowadays?)
The only difference in these and what I might find at say, Target, are the accessories.  They seem a little scant.  But hey.  It’s a $6.00 G.I. Joe!  So I guess the corners had to be cut somewhere!

My rating?  I am going to say 4.5/5, taking off a point only because there aren’t many accessories.  Other figures at Dollar General seem to have the same trend though, for instance the Marvel characters they have on the pegs have no accessories.  So I guess these guys are better than them!  But still, it isn’t a full on G.I. Joe experience without the backpacks, extra guns, knives, swords, etc.   And I also wish the back of the box had a bio of the characters, (like in the old days!)  Anyone disagree with my 4.5, let me know!

SpartanNerd Review….Sonic the Black Knight by Jazwares

I reviewed several Sonic figures once before…you can, and probably should read that first by clicking this link.

Sonic the Black Knight is from a video game that puts Sonic into the medieval times.  I haven’t played much of this game, but SpartanSmurf #2 has almost beaten it.  What I have played is a combat mode where you fight against another player.

Sonic the Black Knight is a larger figure than these that I reviewed before.   But he has the exact same articulation.

But this time that isn’t as nice.

Here is Sonic the Black Knight, against some pajamas as a background…
You can see the sword and the mask in the window box.  This box also tells ME
that this is Excalibur Sonic.

Here’s the back of the box.  Pretty good art.  But not showing Sonic in his armor.

Here he is out of the box and mask less.

This is obviously supposed to be Excalibur.  (What else?)
It glows in the dark!

When we arm Sonic and put on his mask, he looks like this.
This is the mask raised to show his face.  What?  You can’t see it?

Here he is with mask closed.  This mask just doesn’t work.
Here is the backside of Sonic.  I think it looks like a golden artichoke.
This button peg keeps coming off of the mask.  I wonder how long until it is lost forever?

Here is Excalibur Sonic next to Classic Sonic and Super Sonic.
You can really see the size difference.

For the life of me, I couldn’t get a good picture of the sword glowing in the dark.  But I assure you it does quite nicely.
When Sonic the Black Knight came out of the box, his head was so tight I was afraid it would break.  But two days later, this figure is very loose.  Every joint can hardly support any weight.  The pictures here took repeated attempts, and there were multiple falls.
I appreciate the detail, and the level of articulation on this figure.  Unfortunately, there are several things working against a positive rating.  I give it a 2/5.  This is because he does not easily stand, his mask doesn’t work well…you can’t see his face good if it is up and the peg keeps popping out.  But that sword is a big positive.

Masters of the Universe Classics Unboxing and Review….Sky High with Jet Sled

OK.  So I had some worry about this package arriving.  I ordered it on Cyber Monday, and it showed up on Dec. 23….(This was supposed to be a holiday special item).  As I worried, the tracking information indicated only that it was in Georgia.  I was going to call and complain, when lo and behold, the information updated to Greenville SC, and it was magically at my post office before the end of the day.

As I moved from my car to the house with box in hand, I thought…”Odd.  Seems a little light.”  Indeed, compared to the box that came with the Griffin and Teela, it was a little lighter.  But it was something else that added to my worry….(was it really there?)

But on with the show.

The item was in the box…It was boxed in another mailer box, as expected.  I was halfway expecting one of the brown boxes that people have been getting.  Boxes that are supposedly more environmentally friendly or something.  But this is the exact same kind that all of my other figures have shipped in!

The first thing I noticed when I opened the mailer was WOW I CAN SEE THE DETAILS ON THAT SKY JET SLED ALREADY!

To clarify something, in case I slip.  I always called this vehicle “The Sky Sled.”  And over the years I have named a few USB flash drives “Sky Sled.”  Sometimes including a picture of the vehicle from the cartoon as the icon!  I realize that the terms may be interchangeable.  To me it is the Sky Sled.  To you it might be Jet Sled.  Tomato.  To-mah-toe.

When you get the box out, you see it is in a battle cat style window box, where you can also see the pilot, “Sky High.”

And you flip the box over for these not so boring details.

You see, Sky High isn’t a vintage figure.  So he has no back story except what they included here.

Sky High was one of the  model kit pilots from the rarely seen model kit box art.  Wow that’s obscure!  He really belongs alongside the Fighting Foe Men, who I am a fan of, but do not own.  I think the bio-story here is separated from the FFM because the FFM were meant to pay homage to the Four Horsemen’s staff, and Sky High here not so much.

(I run into another nerd problem.  Does Sky High fly the Sky Sled?  That sounds stupid.  His real listed name here is “Darid.”  Darid flying a Sky Sled sounds better.)

I suppose I will go ahead and review him.

This is a cool new figure, that seems to largely reuse parts.  I don’t own Trap Jaw, but it seems his lower body is just Trap Jaw’s stuff.  That is new armor, and a new helmet, but I think those gloves may be Sir Lazer Lot’s.  Since the SLL at my house was stolen….

He comes with a weapon that represents the Wind Raider.  It fits in his hand in the middle, making a “fan sword” like Hotaru used in Mortal Kombat Deception.  Or you can clip it to his back to make a jetpack.  I personally think the paint job is excellent.  I don’t see any slop. I like his color scheme as well.

Sky High here feels generic.  Kind of like Vikor, Blonde Teela, Draego Man, or the Griffin.  He could be any pilot, really, and that is what is cool about him.  You see, you could just forget there is someone named “Darid,” whose nickname is “Sky High.”  This could simply be someone’s flight suit!  Just do a head swap!  Or maybe He-Man was feeling safety conscious, so he wore a helmet on his romp towards Snake Mountain in the Jet Sled.

Tired of seeing Teela as a Blonde?  (The head swap doesn’t really work here.  Her peg is too small.)

How nerdy is the SpartanNerd?  Sky High’s mask reminds me of Maximillian from “The Black Hole.”  I think it is the facelessness of him.  And those eyes.  He also resembles Boba Fett somewhat.

This guy is heading for Hell.  (At the end of the Black Hole!)

Now for the good stuff!  THE SKY JET SLED!

It is amazing!  Should I get a Wind Raider!?  I am super impressed with the SKY SLED!  Those sculpted details that I first saw when opening the box are all over it!  There isn’t one lazy decal anywhere!  Just sculpted, painted, fine details.

I love the Sky Sled so much because it was a Good Buys/ Bad Guys vehicle.  Though you never seemed to see the baddies driving one connected to the Battle Ram.  Somehow, I also seem to think that the bad guy version looked just a tad more evil, like maybe had a more definite dragon head rather than the cat/bird looking thing the good guys had.*  Hey.  Maybe I’m wrong, but I did remember Maximillian!

Pictures are worth 1000 words.  So here goes!

Classic!
I have virtually never seen a vintage Sky Sled who still had the stickers intact.  That will never be a problem with this model!
Both sides are the same.  Here I would like to say, clearly this was designed for a future Battle Ram to dock with.

The underside of the Jet Sled also has a ton of detail, and…What’s with that hole?  It is a hole for the Wind Raider flight stand.  (Not included here.  So maybe I SHOULD get a Wind Raider too?)  You can also see where the horsemen have added some additional guns!

What does Sky High look like on this vehicle?  Pretty cool.  But why fly a Sky Sled if you have a jet pack?

The black handles are nice.  But in a way they don’t feel as rustic as the vintage method of the figures hanging on.

You can see that my vintage Battle Ram and Jet Sled have really done some serious ramming over the years.

I am including some comparison pictures.  The Jet Sled here along with pilot is as large as the vintage version COMBINED WITH THE BATTLE RAM!  That just shows that the real scale differences in the MOTUC figures and the vintage figures.

“It’s comparison time!”

The Jet Sled feels just as hollow as the original, and I am sure it is.  The original has a pretty definite seam running up the line of symmetry…The same thing seems to be the case here, so I wouldn’t REALLY send it in the air, as I am certain it would break in half.  This explains the “lightness” of the packaging I am sure, as it is hollow plastic.  That said, the seam isn’t pronounced, and really just adds to the vintage feel of the thing!

I rate Sky High 5/5 as far as a flight suit is concerned.  3/5 as a Masters character.  I mean, I am deducting points here simply for the fact that he wasn’t ever originally there, and is non-essential to people who are really only interested in updated versions of the vintage figures.  His model pilot origins are pretty obscure, so my question here is, why not have included a different figure here?  Someone more deserving.  You could have put Dekker here, (or who taught him?).  You could have included Trap Jaw or Tri-Clops (technology type bad guys).  Or even another Man-At-Arms.  Why put someone new here and “waste” a SKU, (as Mr. Nitelich points out is necessary to do a figure.)  Or even this.  How about white space-suit Marlena that people seem to want, or an articulated Battle Suit for Castle Grayskull, which was on sale at THE EXACT SAME TIME.  (See…The SpartanNerd knows how this should have been done!)

How do you sell Jet Sleds?

But the Jet Sled gets 5/5…A solid, Solid, SOLID 100%.  It feels vintage.  Plays vintage.  But is totally updated in scale and quality.

Now, I can’t wait until they release a Battle Ram to go with it!

*James Eatock uses the term “War Sled” when referring to the one Skeletor is riding on the “He-man and She-Ra Christmas Special” commentary, which is on You Tube.  I have never heard this term, but like it as a contrast in that it sounds more evil.  (I will never argue with Busta Toons, and you shouldn’t either!)  Oddly, Skeletor is flying a version that has extra room on the seat, as if he intended to carry two earth children when it was designed!

SpartanNerd Birthday rundown

Darkest day of the year.    Literally!   The Winter Solstice.  How did I spend it?

First,

The SpartanWife made this EXCELLENT cake.  Chocolate covered cherry.  For the record, I’ve had more birthday cakes as an adult than as a child.  When your birthday is so close to Christmas, that’s the way it pans out.  But the SpartanWife made up for that tragedy once again, making one of the greatest cakes ever!
Next, I had a hankering for some Super Mario Bros.  Feeling nostalgic perhaps?
Notice that score!  I would die on the B World, 8-2

I saved the princess for the zillionth time. It has been maybe 9 months since I played this game.  AND I decided to play sans warp zones.  I barely scraped by, but did so within one game!   I made the joke, “never before has the life insurance mushroom on 8-2 been so important!”   It’s true!   I completed the game with only one life left!   There are many secrets I seem to have forgotten.  So I am old as well as rusty!
Last night after the Commander tournament at the Tangled Web, (click here for details about the deck I SADLY played), I bought a comic book storage box.  I considered cleaning up the nerd closet some.  Plus I expect some new MOTUC items in the mail to display (The Sky High and Jet Sled have not arrived…These are my birthday presents 😦  )
But decided instead to read this book…
That first chapter is HARD to read.  Comics should get to you like that.
So around the time for the afternoon, have a CHEESE STICK for lunch, (we were planning on shopping and eating out for dinner at the Colonial Fish Camp in Gaffney, SC), we snuck past the gate to get a look at this lovely site!  (SpartanSmurf #2 was afraid to get busted!)
We had a great meal, and I hit the BIG LOTS in Gaffney, thinking there might be some nerd bargains…(nope)
So we came home and watched this lovely movie together….after teaching the children a little bit about how to program a simple BASIC program on the computer.
SpartanSmurf #2 came up with the idea, and if any of us will grow up to be a real computer programmer, it’s him!
10 print “Welcome to my Soda Shop!”
20 print “What kind of soda would you like?”
21 print “1. Coke   2. Diet Dew    3. Root Beer”
22 print “(Type your choice, and press return.)”
30 input x
31 if x = 1 then print “That will be $3.00!” else goto 32
32 if x = 2 then print “That will be $2.00” else goto 33
33 if x = 3 then print “That item isn’t available.  Make another choice please”
40 end
A good version of Scrooge.  I still say I like the Disney one better.
My day was quite pleasant, and maybe my year will be as well.  Thanks for reading, Hub City Geeks!

ETERNAL BARGAIN Commander Deck….Unboxing and Review

HOORAY!  The SpartanWife got me the OLORO, AGELESS ASCETIC DECK!

First of all, I thought OLORO must be the commander for me when I first saw the artwork on the card!  He’s just kicked back, relaxing, and directing a win!  (I first saw the card in the store at the Tangled Web.)

As far as a product, it is more or less exactly the same as the Derevi deck that I already reviewed as far as the packaging and presentation are concerned.  The SpartanSmurfs  both got a commander deck also(Mind Seize and Power Hungry), and they are all boxed the same, with a different set of instructions specific to their deck, a different color box for storage, and three oversized commander cards.  I might get to review their decks as well, if they don’t mess them up too bad.

Back to OLORO.

You are always gaining life with this deck.  And the cards included count on that, as many of them say “Pay X life…” as a cost for their effect.

This is what the box looks like.  You can clearly see the three colors, White, Blue, and Black, “Esper.”  The purple coloring is a good compliment, though it doesn’t mean anything else to me.  My boys were puzzled by the purple…all of the other commanders have a color of box that represents one of the REAL colors of magic.

Here’s the back.  It’s just propaganda.

All that hype aside…you open the box and see something LIKE this.  Only this isn’t the correct product.  This is what POWER HUNGRY looks like inside. not ETERNAL BARGAIN.  How did this happen?  Regardless of how I swapped out the pics accidentally, I assure you it looks like this when you open it.  You get a nice box that perfectly fits the deck….at least when the cards are sleeveless.  Three big foil cards.  And two pieces of paper.  You might as well throw the blue one away.  The other one is specifically for the deck it came with.

ETERNAL BARGAIN came with this commander on top.  OLORO, Ageless Ascetic, of course.  Read it and weep.  Basically, unless someone is playing EREBOS, GOD OF THE DEAD, you gain life constantly.  Notice the art too.  This is what struck me first.  I am an art kind of guy!  I have studied this picture several times, and am finding new things.  Notice the bandolier he is wearing…He’s a giant…He has regular sized human weapons strapped to that bandolier!

You also get this sqinx as an alternate commander.  This deck plays lots of artifacts, so this card approaches that angle.

This card also tackles the artifact angle.

This poster comes with the deck.  It is pretty, but this side doesn’t accomplish much but tell you some fantasy story that surrounds Oloro.

This side accomplishes a lot!  You get a very light summary of how to play the deck, and then the deck list.

Here is the deck list alone, if you want to try and read it.

OK, already.  What cards are in the deck?  Well, I have played the deck twice against the SpartanSmurfs, and am going to play in a more “serious” tournament tomorrow.  But I have kind of an idea how this is supposed to work.  I have a self designed life drain deck, and this accomplishes that, but on a commander scale…It could definitely be improved, but I am keeping it vanilla for awhile.  (I am just playing what was here, at least until a second more serious tournament.)

AZORIUS.  Enough said.  But cool enough, both times I have played this deck, he wound up in the graveyard, and I was able to cast him from there and get the life gain benefit!

Great card if it didn’t get burned off 😦

There is one of these in every Commander deck apparently.  This is a great card, and legal in modern!

This card is one of the staples of my self designed life gain deck.  The fact that she can give you life and burn EACH opponent is great!  She can be burned easily, though, and her abilities are indeed a tad expensive.

Sorry about the sideways action.  I didn’t get to use the ability on this card, but it is a source of card draw.

A slow source of mana….

This card is normally a complete board wipe.  Get rid of those indistructibles and hex proofers!

Same as Azorius Herald, I was able to cast this from the graveyard.  But I have never been able to pay the echo cost.  It has always appeared in the early game.

I’m glad to own this!  A panorama card comes with each Commander deck.

I played this today, I like it…But I held off and used the tokens as blockers.

Heh Heh.  Drop this onto a commander…He becomes utterly useless!

Another good source of life gain.

Now we’re talking!  A board sweeping artifact!

A big drain spell.  I usually wait ’til the very end to play stuff like this.

The OLORO deck has lost both matches…I think it’s me, not the deck.  Proshk, Sky Raider of Kherr is the one that did me in, with the commander damage rule.  Oloro pretty much forces your opponent to swing with his commander, because there is probably no way that your 40 life is going to be whittled down.

I am not going to rate this deck…  Compared to Derevi, it hasn’t won as much.  On the other hand, these are more of my natural colors…I like this deck, and love the art!  Darksteel Mutation is maybe the best card for a commander, and then the Vizkopa Guildmage also really makes it work.

UPDATE:

Last night I played the deck at the Commander tournament…It was my first EDH tournament ever.  And each match was exceeding long.   Oloro as a Commander makes you into a target…not so much as Nekusar (SpartanSmurf #1 found this to be the case).  Just the same, Oloro did what he was supposed to.  I should have won the first match.  I played Sanguine Bond, and then a few turns later Filigree Angel.  I forgot to call the trigger.  So it was my fault.  I didn’t make good draws during round two, and SpartanSmurfs were tired out by the time that was over…

Next time I am plain Derevi.  Or maybe I will tweak this deck.  Drain is one of my favorite styles.  It just tends to be slow.  I should maybe tweak this some.