In 2003 Mattel launched a line of 7″ scale figures featuring Batman and an assortment of villains and allies, all of varying degrees of quality and complexity. This line then began to be alternated with waves of Superman figures, before finally giving way to the DC Universe Classics line: Mattel’s answer to the competing Marvel Legends figures, and a series that would become legendary for inspiring customer frustration. It seems we’ve now come full circle, and Mattel’s once again has a collector-oriented line focused entirely on the residents of Gotham City, entitled “Batman Unlimited”. I was heavily invested in all the lines that led up to this one, buying almost every single figure for around six years, until I eventually had to sell the bulk of my collection. Even though I do still have a modest shelf of Batman toys, thus far the Unlimited line has not really piqued my interest. The figures are expensive, there are only around three released at a time (taking any and all fun out of sifting through the pegs at the store), and I generally just try to be a little more careful with my purchases these days. Today, however, “responsible” lost a critical battle with “fanboy”, and I walked out of Target with a brand new figure based on pre-crazy Frank Miller’s magnum Batman opus, The Dark Knight Returns.
Rattlor is one figure that I’m not entirely sure I remember having as a kid. He seems really familiar and yet unfamiliar. I know I had King Hiss and Tung Lashor and liked both of them a lot, but I probably just remember Rattlor from their packaging and minicomics. Well, I definitely have him now, but this time he’s bigger, has more articulation and a better paint job.
It’s good to finally be getting a core member of the Great Rebellion in MOTUC again. It’s been a while. So far there’s been 3 versions of She-Ra, Bow, a trio of one-episode-wonders, and a horse. Frosta has been my most anticipated She-Ra character and one of my most anticipated MOTU characters overall. Could be because she has a decent design with a color scheme that doesn’t make your eyes bleed, or that one amusing episode where she’s pawing all over He-Man while he looks pretty uncomfortable about it. Either way, I like the character and wanted a 7″ hunk of plastic that looks like her. So how did she turn out?
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Why aren’t there more accessory packs these days? Back in the 80s you could buy packs of weapons, armor and equipment for your figures or vehicles. MOTU had them, G.I. Joe had them, and (personal favorite of mine that doesn’t get talked about much these days) Wheeled Warriors had them. The 3rd (4th if you count the Weapons Rack) such pack in MOTUC is the Great Unrest Weapons Pak, which is the first one to include newly tooled accessories instead of just redecos. A number of items that were cut from figures due to cost this year have been included in this pack, as well as some fan requested items.
I’ve been wanting to review some older figures, and with Halloween coming up, I thought Scareglow might be a good choice. Scareglow was one of the later figures in the vintage line and didn’t get produced in the same numbers as earlier figures, so it’s pretty hard to find now. I didn’t even know it existed until more than a decade later. With its glow-in-the-dark feature, it’s exactly the sort of thing I would’ve loved though. Scareglow is now updated to Classics standards, so let’s see how it turned out.
The Snake Men didn’t get much exposure in the 80s. They were the focus of a couple of comics, and Rattlor and Tung Lashor showed up in the Filmation She-Ra series at times as members of Horde and other times as Skeletor’s goons. The 2002 Mike Young Productions cartoon featured them as the main villains of season 2 though, and King Hsss had an army of unnamed Snake Men warriors at his command. So an army-builder 2-pack of Snake Men seemed like a great idea for MOTUC.
I didn’t have the regular Skeletor when I was little, with Battle Armor Skeletor filling that role. That was a cool toy, but once I got Dragon Blaster Skeletor it became my favorite variant. He wore armor with a dragon clinging to his back, with the same water spitting action feature as Kobra Khan. It was great! However, under the armor was just a regular Skeletor, so after I found some accessories at a garage sale, he was also able to become my regular Skeletor. Now he’s back with the usual MOTUC update in detail and articulation. He lost the vintage figure’s action feature, like most MOTUC, but with a new mix of parts, you may be able to armor swap your way into your own preferred version(s) of Skeletor.
A couple of the MOTU big names have been held off, dangled in front of fans like a carrot. Ram Man is the one everyone asks for, and he’s finally coming next year. The one I’ve been anticipating the most is Mekaneck. I’ve previously said Fisto was probably my favorite figure as a kid, but Mekaneck was a close second. I loved his action feature, a mechanical neck that extends when you turn his waist, but it left him in an awkward pose. The 200X figure featured the same action feature with the same problem. So he stood to benefit greatly from a MOTUC update.
Designed by DC Comics’ Geoff Johns, the 4th figure in the MOTUC 30th Anniversary line is Sir Laser-Lot. As with The Mighty Spector, this was the character Johns submitted to the 80s Create-a-Character contest. This is another one that didn’t go over well when it was revealed, but personally I am digging it. It looks like something straight out of the Filmation cartoon or vintage toyline. (It also reminds me of the Axe Lord Armor from Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, which amuses me.)
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