Ultimate Edition Ram Man…SpartanNerd Unboxing and Review

The announcement that Mattel was passing MOTU off to another, smaller company, Super7, was scary, scary news.

I (and everyone else who cares) was aware of their work, and none of it was of collectors style figures along the lines of Masters of the Universe Classics.

Their stuff was cool…just not highly articulated figures.  They carry on the legacy of M.U.S.C.L.E.  And 3.25 inch scale figures.  Plus some pop vinyl things, shirts, all infused with pop-culture goodness.  (For instance, Aliens M.U.S.C.L.E., and Street Fighter M.U.S.C.L.E.). Puzzlingly…they have their own characters and things as well.  And I wonder how they sell that stuff?  It’s not that it isn’t cool.  But when you are selling something that feels generic next to a beloved liscenced character, I wonder how that works out?

But Super7 is going all out with Masters of the Universe.  They are making a TON of figures.  Just dropping them into their other lines…as well as reviving the vintage style figures (YES!) and also carrying on with MOTUC.

Way back in December, Super7 offered their first pre-order…the Ultimates.  You could order He-Man, Skeletor, Teela, Faker, or Ram Man.  They were costed out at about the same price as Mattel was offering figures, but with the promise of a different shipping handler (no more digital river), and the figures came with basically everything that was ever offered to outfit each figure.  For instance, with Skeletor, you got Keldor’s head, cape, and all of Skeletor’s basic weapons.  Teela got her armor set, blonde head, and blaster.

But Ram Man promised to be the same thing Mattel offered.  Just with card-back coloration.  Why Ram Man anyway?  Mattel sold him out in under 30 minutes back in 2013.  And really never offered him again.  This made the after-market price of Ram Man around or even over $200.  So Super7 was doing us all a favor by increasing the amounts of Ram Man out there.  Sure, that red vintage toy paint job will still be pricey to get, but I think the figure will go down.

Ram Man was the only ultimate that I bought, and I have a little bit of sadness that I didn’t order Faker now.  I started to, but it was too late, and the pre-order window closed.

So here is my unboxing and review of the first ever Masters of the Universe Classics style figure made by someone else!

Ram Man came in this shipping box.  It is similar, but of lower quality than Mattel’s box I think.  I don’t care either way.  Just saying.  On the bottom is the conspicuous Super7 instead of Mattel.

img_0451

I don’t know why, but Super7 opted to go with different packaging.  I’m glad they did!  This box is very reminiscent of the vintage toyline box.  You can see what you get clearly.  Ram Man in vintage cardback colors (orange instead of red.)  His ax, and his alternate head.  This is the exact same product that was offered before…I went back and checked old reviews, etc.  Besides the coloration and package, you get the same Ram Man.

or do you?

Before flipping the box over…what’s that?  A MINICOMIC?  (I already knew it was faux)

But the presence of that item back there is very, very welcome.  Mattel could have done this while all that time people were asking for minicomics.  Super7 really shows some genius in that they are quite aware of what fans are into.  If you are a MOC collector (I’m not) then it is splash like this that makes a big difference.

 

IMG_0452

The back of the box.  Take in the awesomeness.

IMG_0453

It’s like they perfectly captured the feel of the old boxes!  You get to see lots of upcoming Super7 MOTUC goodness.  There is a comic art scene at the top.  There is even instructions for swapping Ram Man’s head, with arrows and everything.

Again I must scream.  HOW HARD WAS THIS TO DO, MATTEL?

Don’t get me wrong.  I have been a fan of MOTUC.  I was sad to see Neitlich go.  But this on card packaging is perfect! Super7 is showing a lot of promise.

Now let’s open him up.  I just throw away the boxes anyway.  (If I want to look at them, I will just go back and read my blog!)

IMG_0454

Remember that “minicomic”?  It is really a small poster.  This I will keep!  And for those people upset that there was no “bio” for Ram Man on the back, if you flip this poster thing over, you get this!

IMG_0455

This is over TWICE AS MUCH INFORMATION as the Mattel bios gave you.  And then they signed it “Scrollos.”  Can we stop crying with joy yet?

IMG_0456

Here is Ram Man right out of the box.  Unfortunately, he has that “pee plastic” smell.  It has worn off (I’ve had him in hand for three days.), but that doesn’t ever give a good impression.  The smell of urinal cake in your incredibly expensive collector figure.

Ram Man looks great, though.  I like how there is a gold paint-hit all around the studs on top of the boots, and even on the cleats on the bottom.  That same paint-hit goes around his skirt.  Ram Man has “Michelin Man” pants on.  This is what the vintage and 200x version had.  So it is a part of who Ram Man is.  The cloth pieces of the armor are sculpted with little laces…very nice.  The “metal” parts of the armor are just flat silver.  Which is boring.  At least is shiny, if it is done in matte.  The skull on his belt needs more paint or something.

Ram Man’s face is very impressive.  There doesn’t seem to be that much age-range in MOTU.  If a character has gray or white hair, they are old.  Otherwise they seem to be mid twenties.  Filmation differentiated them by making their voices sound different.  (Man-At-Arms, Randor.)  But in toy form, you lose that.  The wrinkled, grizzled face of an old veteran knight suits Ram Man perfectly.  And it takes a character who is usually billed as a “moron” somewhere new.  Somewhere respectable.

IMG_0457

The back of Ram Man is what you would expect.  The back of the knees are unsightly, but I’m not sure that could be helped.  You can see the little hook on his back as well to hold weapons.  Maybe more flare could have gone into this?  I understand that some of this torso had to be re-tooled.  The Ultimate Editions are obvious re-use of the tools Mattel had.  But we were told early that something was wrong with Ram Man’s shoulders.  If they re-tooled this, maybe they should have made more of a big deal out of this little clip.  Of course, I might be completely off base.  Maybe this part of the tool was fine, and they saved some money.  It’s just a small gripe.

IMG_0458

I would never display Rammy like this.  But I wanted you to see the articulation points.  Ram Man has everything you would expect.  But his armor style restricts the movement somewhat.  Ram Man won’t be sitting down or manning vehicles.  He has boot cut swivel, as well as knee swivel and rocker ankles.  His arms have ball joints at the shoulders, swivels on the elbows, and rotating wrists.

He can twist his torso above the belt.  And it seems that he has a rocker joint for his upper torso.  But I can’t make that joint move, and I am afraid of breaking him if I force it.  I don’t see a reason to move that joint, I’m just saying.  Ram Man isn’t a yoga master.

His head is on a ball joint, and you can get a surprising amount of movement out of it considering that it has such a large helmet sculpted on.

IMG_0460

WE INTERUPT THIS RAM MAN UNBOXING WITH A RANDOM PICTURE.  Help!  Squeeze has BattleGround Teela in a figure eight hold!

Back to business…

IMG_0463

Tell me this isn’t a classic image!  (Proving AGAIN that the rock that came with Marvel Select Thor is the best part of that action figure…)

IMG_0464

Ram Man has two accessories.  The un-helmeted head, and the axe.  The alternate head has the same face-sculpt, but you can see the ears, and you can see the metal piece that is the top of his skull, explaining his super power.

What I don’t like is the neckline…it seems that his head is floating on top of a silvery-gray nothing.  I don’t know what the solution could have been, but for such an outstanding figure, this feels like the shoddiest part.

The axe is well done…but fits loosely in the hole provided in the fist.  It has a dark coloration on the handle, which is nice, and for the record it fits snuggly on that clip on the back of the figure.

IMG_0462

And here is the classic team from Filmation.  It seems like Ram Man, Orko, Teela, and He-Man found themselves in a disproportionate amount of episodes, with Man-At-Arms featured somewhere as well.

And just to humor that new Bio story…

IMG_0466

Anytime we can use Draego Man is a fun time!

So how do I rate this figure?

I feel like the basic figure plus the packaging deserves all 5/5.  The alternate head (no-neck) issue is a problem, but it isn’t how most people will display Rammy.

Opening this package hit that special note…rarely hit anymore.  The feeling of opening a vintage figure fresh from the store.  I just want to say thanks to Super7 for doing such a fine job in that department.  The nostalgia is thick here, and if you like MOTUC, you should get Ram Man or look into getting more of their classics offerings.

I hope they put out more ultimate editions.  If they put out an ultimate Fisto, I’m the first guy that is going to sign up to buy!

The SpartanNerd rates Ultimate Edition Ram Man from Super7 at 5/5.  Do you agree or disagree?  Let me know in the comments!

Rio Blast…SpartanNerd Unboxing and Review (Masters of the Universe Classics)

I ordered Rio Blast during the big MattyCollector sale, really you can’t beat free shipping on what are normally expensive figures.   But these were marked down really low, and I just couldn’t help it!  (Ting Lashor, Squeeze, Rio Blast, and Battle Ram).  I mentioned in my Squeeze review about how I got Rio Blast as a kid…

I have some history with the vintage Rio Blast.  I used to get the Masters of the Universe magazine as a kid, and this was where I most often saw the character portrayed.  He never made it into the Filmation cartoons.  BUT he has a definite “Bravestarr” vibe, being a futuristic cowboy.

So many fans are put off by that.  But come on guys.  Skeletor has NINJOR.  So the good guys get their off-brand character.

Rio Blast came in a brown mailer.  He is carded on the regular Masters of the Universe Classics green brick packaging.  The backside of the box shows off several figures.  (Total excitement about Ram Man coming my way from Super-7!)  And Rio Blast gets a bio.

img_9635

img_9636

Just light commentary from the SpartanNerd here.  There is no mention of  Rio Blasts life choices.  Many fans were rooting for Mattel to make this figure homosexual.  I’m glad they left that detail out. Leave it up to the fans.  It’s up to us anyway, right?  MY childhood version of Rio Blast is he is actually Duncan in disguise!  Doesn’t anyone else see a resemblance?  He has such a cool name that it overpowers that Man-at-Arms ness.  But don’t you think this weapon system is something like Duncan would build?

Onto the review.  The box comes with all of this.

img_9642
Rio Blast can stand just fine on his own.  He has all of the articulation of the other figures.

img_9641

But he has two trigger hands that can’t actually hold any gun.  (I tried several, including some non-MOTUC).

What a fantastic sculpt! Check out the Spurs!

img_9640

His knee pads clip on with little bumps kind of like the visor for Flipshot.  ( Too bad I can’t find the visor right now).   They don’t hinder the articulation any.  Rio Blast has excellent paint.  His guns, however could use some more detailing.

Here is what Rio Blast looks like all armed up.  I don’t remember the hoses on the vintage figure.    The backpack plugs into Rio Blasts back.  The guns pull up and overhead just like the vintage one.  You insert the hand guns in these little holes on the underside of his arm. The torso gun fits on the shirt flap.  And the knee guns fit on the knee pads.

img_9637

Space Toy vs Cowboy Toy…

The only stupid thing about this figure is what’s going on with the chest area.  His shirt has a huge hinge, and that is for that flap to fold down for his torso gun.  But the flap never can rest flush against the body.  This is an inelegant solution to the torso gun problem.  They made a “Buzzsaw Hordak” for MOTUC..and he has a cavity in his chest for that buzz-saw.  Why didn’t they use the same torso piece for Rio Blast?

img_9638

My backpack’s overhead seems a little bent. Some people have pointed out that Rio Blasts eyes can’t see straight though the visor. It’s true, they don’t line up.  But I’d like to think of it more like a HUD, where it is just there for reference instead of something he has to use.

img_9644

Most of the time, I won’t have Rio Blast in full arsenal mode.  He will look normal, wielding only one weapon.  But there are times when he might be fighting the Griffin or Megator, when all guns out is going to happen!

How do I rate Rio Blast?  For me, Rio Blast is kind of like Mosquitor (who I don’t have from MOTUC, or in vintage anymore 😦   )  Rio Blast was an awesome figure for me as a kid, and this version of him only falls short in the chest-gun department.  Some people have said they don’t like the newer hairstyle he sports in this version, but I do.  It pays homage to the vintage. but looks updated.  I think this might be one of the finer sculpts of a figure.  His pants and hairstyle make it work.

Besides the chest issue, the only other thing to improve would be add a cowboy hat!  (I’ll have to see if I can find one that fits him.)

I am going to give Rio Blast and his pants (with SPURS) a 4/5.  He loses a solid point because of the lack of ingenuity surrounding the chest gun.  That hinge is unforgivable, and that the flap doesn’t clip tight to the armor is clunky and wrong.

But he has a great sculpt.  He stands well.  He looks like his vintage figure in both modes.  Rio Blast can’t lose more than one point.

THE SPARTANNERD RANKS MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE CLASSICS RIO BLAST A 4/5.  Do you agree or disagree?  Let me know in the comments!

 

 

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!