SQUEEZE…SpartanNerd Unboxing and Review

I remember being a kid, and going to the store.  It was likely “Sky City”, which was a department store that was big in Spartanburg before Wal-Mart moved in and started killing smaller retail businesses.  Anyways, my mom would generally get me and my brothers a He-Man guy, and they were usually under $5.   I remember this so well because Squeeze was one of the last figures I ever saw in a store for sale.  I never owned him…I think I walked out with Rio-Blast that day…and always the mystery of what Squeeze was all about lingered.

Until now!

Squeeze came in the regular box.   But…look how they had to cram him!


Why didnt I get this as a kid?   Probably was the mouth and head.

Here is the figure right out of the box.  You can see he has a lone accessory…a specially designed snake staff.   Squeeze has a stupid armor-bra, that is non-removable.  He has awesome spikes on his leg armor…one of his coolest and under appreciated features!   I am a big fan of the bright green, purple, orange, and silver coloring.   I still dislike the “alligator” head.
You can also see those incredible arms.

The arms make him triple in size, at least!

They are bendy, and can be posed and shaped however you like.  They hold their pose.  The shoulder is a ratchet joint.  So it clicks satisfyingly however you want.  His wrists swivel, and he has HUGE hands.   I’m glad we got hands instead of snake heads.  (Swappable hands would have been cool)


The arms have these qualities at a price, however.  Squeeze is so top heavy that his legs can’t really hold him up.  They can…but he never seems stable.   Mine has weak joints, making the problem worse.  AND the way the boots are designed, you can’t get the same range of motion as you can with other figures.


In the above pose, I have him propped against the backdrop.

His arms CAN help him stand and balance.   But it would have been better if the legs were stronger.  The more I played with Squeeze, the more I saw his hips get weaker as well as his knees.

His snake staff is different than the other snake mens’.  It is also kind of bendy, though it reminds me of a hammer a little bit too.

As mentioned in my last post, I got SQUEEZE along with several other figures in MattyCollector’s big closing sale.  I have played more with SQEEZE than any of the other figures.  And I think it is because of handy convenience.  You can do what you want with those arms, and then set it back down.

But I have lots of negative things to say.

The head is stupid.  Why no swappable 200x variant?  200x Squeeze was ugly too.  But not an alligator.  And along that line…why no swappable hands so we could have the 200x “Staction” look.  Squeeze was always ejecting snake projectiles out of his arms in the cartoon.  OK.  How about this…interchangeable normal arms?

But that was all WISHFUL THINKING.  What we have here is a weak-jointed MOTUC figure.  The shoulder joints are very tight and satisfying.  But the waist, torso, and knees are all loose joints, that get looser the more you play with it, and a problem exacerbated by the top heaviness of the arms.

And worse.  These are the worse ankles in any MOTUC figure as far as lacking articulation.  You can barely rock the feet back and forth.  BARELY.  the way the boot is designed, it keeps it from happening.

Don’t get me wrong.  I think this is fun.  But it is far from perfect as a figure.  I am going to give SQUEEZE a 2/5.  He has the spirit of what the vintage figure was all about.  But as an adult collector figure, we got hosed in the detail and articulation department.

So, the SpartanNerd gives Masters of the Universe Classics SQUEEZE a 2/5.  Do you agree or disagree?  Let me know in the comments!

 

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SpartanNerd Unboxing and Review Serpentine King Hssss.

 

Behold.  A figure I should already have….

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When Mattel decided to make 200x Snake Armor He-Man and 200x Battle Armor King Hssss into a two pack, they didn’t account for the amount of money required to have a rubber torso alt form for King Hssss.  Notably, they also didn’t include a transforming sword or snake armor shield for He-Man.  This pretty much left a bad taste in my mouth.  (If you read my review, also a bad smell!)  The two figures were incredibly well sculpted and painted, so much so that I stand by my rating after all this time. ( And they don’t stink anymore.)

Serpentine King Hssss arrived in a mailer not unlike all the others.  (I’m not showing you that boring picture to save data.)  There is a prominent “Snake Men” sticker on the front.  And you can see King Hssss crammed comically into the package.  Notably, he was tethered down tight with rubber bands!  I paid $26 for the figure, with free shipping thanks to Mattel “opening the vault” in honor of the San Diego Comic Con this year.

Here is the back of the box.  A new bio is here, furthering the mythos of King Hssss in the Masters of the Universe Classics canon.

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So what’s inside, SpartanNerd.  Here is everything!

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Notice that awesome transforming sword for He-Man, and his extendable Snake shield?  I didn’t see that either….We got the figure, which for the first time ever sports snake legs for King Hssss, a snake inspired spear, short sword, shield, rattlesnake club, and a mid-transformation head.  (These weapons are repaints of what came with the Snake Army builders.  I don’t have those.)

A little bit of rant.  The mid-transformation head is undeniably cool.  But by all accounts, head sculpts are the most expensive part of a figure.  WHY NO SHIELD AND SWORD FOR HE-MAN INSTEAD OF THESE REPAINTS!

I said that.  Now I’m going to move on.  I guess if I really want those items, I can get them custom made.  Now that Masters of the Universe Classics has switched hands from Mattel  to Super 7, I’d bet we never see those items.  Not that I don’t give those guys any credit.  I just think someone who has been nagged at by millions of fans and is a multi million dollar company will probably listen more readily.  Maybe.  Finishing He-Man properly is probably on the bottom of their list.

The figure is tan colored, and adorned with snake markings up and down his body, including his legs.  The legs are just regular legs like you would expect.  My figure has weak ankles.  But this is the case forty percent of the time with this line of figures.

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Now, allay your concerns about the bendy plastic.  This toy can seriously bend every way you want.  The main head is hard plastic, the same as the “buck,” and can only swivel back and forth.  But every other snake on this figure is pliable and can be posed how you want.  And will stick, for the most part.

How bendy is he?  Lets ask Vikor.

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You can properly flatten him.

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You can make him look very big to scare off predators.  (Mongoose eat snakes.)

It turns out that King Hsss here can hold all of the weapons he came with as well.

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I am becoming more of a fan of the figure that can hold lots of weapons.  (Modulok, ahem.)  These fit loosely in the snake mouths, but make an intimidating effect, similar to General Grievous from Star Wars.

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The transformation works just the way you would expect.  You just pop the torso off, and attach it to the pair of legs you want.  Making not only an impressive 200x snake form King Hssss, but also for the first time ever, King Hssss Saturday morning cartoon watcher. (He appears to be wearing a shirt but only underwear down below.)

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Now Snake Armor He-Man has a proper foe to do battle with!

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So lets look at that other head, shall we?

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This really could pass as a different snake man.  It’s cool.  It has the green around the back, and the monster snake face on the front.  The green doesn’t so much match the 200x figure however.  Check the picture below.  The backdrop of green will help you see the different shades

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This head definitely works better on the MOTUC vintage take on King Hssss.

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I should note that the head seemed a little harder to snap onto the ball joint of both figures.  I believe it to be the way the neck is built up on the figures main buck.  The colors certainly match the vintage style better.  A puzzler,…we get an alt head meant for the vintage figure, with the torso for the 200x line…

Finally, we can get some proper comparison in.

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Yes.  I compared these in my earlier review.  This time, I wanted to reminisce about how me and my brothers used to think of King Hiss.  (That’s his correct name!)  The green body suit, with mask or eye make-up, was considered the “good guy” disguise.  Then when he earned He-Man and the other heroes trust, the skin would come off!  When you look at the figure on the right, you can really see how we might have thought that.  He doesn’t really look evil.  Unless you are scared of snakes, which none of us were.  (Our mother is, however!)

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Now lets compare the two snake forms.  I don’t think a single Masters fan will prefer the vintage style torso to the 200x torso.  It is much larger and more impressive.  There are snakes everywhere.  While King Hsss the first was bendy to a point, you get an incredible range of poses with the newer one.  Finally, the new version doesn’t have the rabbit teeth effect.  Yes, I understand it was modeled after the vintage toy.  But it just sucks compared to the 200x version.  The only thing that the older torso can do that the new one can’t is that it had a hinged jaw.

So.  Ratings time.

I suppose to be fair, I have to rate what came in the box.  I am going to give this item, as it came in the box, as it stands as a stand-alone figure, a 5/5.

It has lots of play value.  It looks impressive.  You get lots of weapons.  The only negative about this particular item is the ankles are a little weak.  But not so bad that it can’t stand.

But I have to give Mattel a 2/5 on this one.  We should have got the Snake Armor He-Man shield, as well as the sword that could open up and blast snake men.  It is all a big mis-handling of the property.  The Horsemen delivered an incredible sculpt.  The toys themselves are filled with fantasy play value.  But we should have gotten all of that the first time around.  They could have charged more money for the figures, or maybe split them up into two separate items.  This is essentially what they wound up doing.  Using another SKU that they were trying to save.

 

BOO Mattel.  However, this is an incredible figure, and I have enjoyed playing with it for a few hours today, and it has a prominent spot on display in my nerd closet.

The SpartanNerd rates Serpentine King Hssss 5/5.  Do you agree or disagree, Hub City geeks?  Let me know in the comments!

 

SpartanNerd Unboxing and Review…Masters of the Universe Classics “Snake Armor He-Man vs. Battle Armor King Hsss” Two Pack

I always wanted to have Snake Armor He-Man from the 200x line.  Unfortunately, I’ve never seen one in stores, and apparently it only was sold in Europe.

When Mattel revealed the MOTUC version, as a double pack with 200x King Hsss…I was very surprised.  Here is a company that has consistently said they weren’t going to do “anime stylized” figures.  I, like everyone else interested, watched Pixel Dan’s video review…and I knew this would be my next purchase.  Then came the big news of a 200x subscription line…I am still deciding on that.  But I am very glad to know that they are visiting that old line and bringing new figures from the show that were never released, like Ceratus and Calix.

I ordered this as soon as it was available on February 16, and today it arrived on March 2.  Not so good.  Not that the amount of time the shipping took has anything to do with the value of the figure, but it is kind of a bummer that it took so long.

Anyways, on with the review!

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The toys arrived in this mailer box.  Similar to what we have seen in the past.  You can see the names of the figures prominently on the front.

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Removing the inner box from the mailer reveals this packaging.  It is similar pakaging to what we got with the Palace Guard two pack.  There is a Snake Men sticker conspicuously on the blister bubble.

Flipping the box over…wait a minute.  (sniff sniff).  What’s that (sniff sniff) smell?

I’ve heard of new car smell.  And there is/was a blog or show on the web “That New Toy Smell.”  But I never actually smelled a new toy outside of a toy that was supposed to smell.  And I have to say, it isn’t very pleasant.  It is a strong smell, that overcomes the packaging.  I heard complaints on Roast Gooble Dinner podcast about some of the new plastic Mattel using smelling “like urinal cakes.”  I wouldn’t quite describe this smell as that bad.  It smells of chemicals, though.  And like new paint.

Onto flipping the box.

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We get some pictures of other snake men in the line, notably Tongue Lasher, my favorite Snake Man…until today!

The bios are interesting, and you can read them on your own time, Hub City Geeks.  I am just throwing this packaging away.  (As I type this, I am looking at the two figures on my kitchen table, and they continue to smell funny.)

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Both figures are MAGNIFICENT!  The sculpt of He-Man’s armor…what they’ve done with the concept is incredible!  And there are lots of tiny details.  He-Man is one of those figures I could stare at for a while and keep finding new things.  King Hsss likewise, has a remarkable sculpt, and this time, they adapted the 200x look into his Armor instead of making a new buck, or whatever.  Both figures feature loin cloths reminiscent of the 200x time period.  King Hsss comes with a snake staff and a shield, just like the older version…

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No shoulder swapping has been done to the new King Hsss!  The older version has a certain nostalgia, but the newer version carries Egyptian details.

He-Man has received a new head sculpt, and this is what has people excited the most about getting these figures, I think.

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No more fish-head haircut for He-Man  Notice that there is a sword holder on his back, designed to hold the 200x sword!

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He-Man also has the claw accessory that was prominently featured in the cartoon.  It just clips right into his gauntlet.

He-Man and King Hsss have all of the articulation of other MOTUC figures: Ball jointed head, ball jointed shoulders, bicep swivels, rotating wrists, an ab crunch, rotating waist, ball jointed legs, knees with a hinge, and rocker ankles.  Neither figure has a boot cut swivel, but that is generally unnecessary.

King Hsss’ head swivel is hampered by his headdress a little bit.  Otherwise, all of the joints feel tight and the figures stand very nicely.  I would like to point out that the loin cloth on both figures hampers their ability to ride on a steed…He-Man can’t properly ride Battle Cat (if you happened to get Battle Lion and armor swap.)

You can remove King Hsss torso and swap out with the snake form from the previous figure.  Mattel is promising a 200x snake form to be packed with a different figure.   I feel that the older snake form looks like a buck-toothed rabbit.

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You can try trading He-Man’s head sculpt onto different figures, and vice versa. You can make a truly 200x regular He-Man now if you have King Grayskull’s armor.  Or you could take the armor off of the 200x He-Man, and use that…it fits the classics figures just fine.  (I don’t have these options available, sadly.)

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But putting that 200x head on Prince Adam looks SWEET!  He looks like some kind of model, don’t you think!

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Here is a COMPARISON TIME:  Wolf Armor He-Man 200x and Snake Armor He-Man MOTUC

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Hsss’ staff and shield are given to us in muted colors this time.  I especially like the staff in this color.  It looks extra evil.  And the darker colored shield is also better than the brighter shield we got before.

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He-Man’s sword is the same as the other swords we have from 200x, but this time the cross on the hilt is highlighted in black.  Some things are lacking in this department for He-Man.

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Sure we have awesome new armor…(incidentally, non-removable armor).  But Snake Armor He-Man needs a snake shield.  He also needs a sword that can open up to fire the power of Grayskull at Serpos, like we saw in the final episode of the 200x series.

So what’s my rating?

I had a blast coming up with cool poses for each figure.  They look absolutely awesome together.  My favorite thing is the action pose you see above, where He-Man is fighting King Hsss.  This armor lends makes you believe this figure is a real snake fighter!

But no way around it…I have to take off some for a couple of reasons.  We didn’t get all we need with these figures.  King Hsss missing his alt mode.  He-man not having a transforming sword or a shield.  And then there is that smell.  That has to be enough to really effect some people’s fun.

But the positives really outweigh the negatives.  The sculpts are amazing.  The customizability that is opened up with these figures is also very nice.  The figures are fun to play with and look at.  I can’t say enough about all of the details.  The paint is very intricate as well.  This has to make up for some of the bad.

So I am going to rate this set a solid 3/5 or a cautious 4/5.  If you are a fan of 200x, or just the snake men in general, then this product is for you.  I mentioned above, this sculpt of King Hsss has promoted him to my favorite snake man.  And I really like the part swapping options opened up with the new 200x head sculpt.