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MOTUC Review – Clawful

Due to a shipping SNAFU with digital river, Clawful arrived during SDCC and I didn’t get a chance to snap pics until now.  It’s kind of funny because I usually get my figures within a couple of days of release because I live in California, but this month I had to wait a week and really overreacted to the delay.  I actually got a little bit angry about it, which is not something that happens to me often with toy delays.  I apparently need my MOTUC fix on schedule.  Click through for more Clawful pics!

Bio

Clawful-Warrior With the Grip of Evil

Real Name: Pronounced through a series of claw clicks

A member of the Karikoni, an Eternian race of crustacean warriors, “Clawful” as he was known outside of Orkas Island, became a core member of Skeletor’s Evil Warriors after he saved Beast Man’s life from a Seclapoid attack. Clawful’s hard shell protects him from both extreme heat and cold. Under a spell cast by Evil-Lyn, Clawful’s dull wits were enhanced turning him into a keen warrior and strategist. He fought alongside Skeletor, leading a battalion of Skeleton Warriors during the Second Ultimate Battle Ground. Clawful uses his dreadful claw to work his evil will!

The bio seems to be trying to reconcile the tougher more commanding Clawful of the Filmation series with his moronic personality from the 2002 show.  I do like the Evil-Lynn reference as it makes me think of the 2002 episode ‘The Island’ where she had to help him understand the clicking language of his people.  It’s one of those comedy moments from that show that actually worked for me despite the fact that I hate the voice characterization for Clawful from that show

Anyone else really want some skeleton warriors for your Clawful to lead?  I love super articulated skeleton figures, so the mere mention of a battalion of Skeleton warriors in the MOTUC line has me doing the happy dance.  That’s gotta be another troop builder pack coming up, right?

Accessories

Clawful comes with a bright green mace and a shell shaped shield.  The mace is similar to the one Clawful had in the original line, thankfully without the wierd handle guard since the MOTUC claws can actually hold weapons.  I find it interesting that this mace is different from the one that came with the Eternian guards as it is slightly larger and has a unique crab tail pommel.

This Clawful is the first to come with this shield and while I’m all for new additions and tweaks to the line, I don’t really love this particular item.  I think he looks a little to busy and a little too red whilst wielding it.  Conceptually, I think it’s a pretty cool item, but not really great on Clawful if that makes any sense.

Sculpt

This is pretty much exactly what I wanted to see from a MOTUC Clawful.  He’s got the huge red claw, but it’s not dragging on the ground.  The monster body sculpt has some great transitions between the scales of the neck and shoulders to the smooth biceps that work beautifully here with Clawful.  I love the texture on this guy, especially the way the chitinous texture of the over sized claw transitions to lighter texture up his forearm.  I know a lot of fans don’t like the vintage figure because they see a ‘man in a crab costume’ more than a crab-like monster and I think the 4H put those concerns to rest convincingly.  I think they did a fantastic job paying tribute to the original figure while making him more monstrous.

The headsculpt is one that seems to polarize people as well.  I feel like the majority of comments I read have been negative, many feeling it’s too cartoony.  I can see that point and think that the main issue is the black scales that look like thick eyebrows, but I still like this version a lot.  There is a lot of improvement to the original figure’s head here, with better proportion to the body, an elongated jaw line and more detailed texture and tooth sculpts.  Looking at the Clawful design for 2002, I really don’t think he would be much different in MOTUC form.  Maybe he’d have smaller eyes and slightly more pronounced teeth?  I think if they had done a dark wash on the red ‘eyebrow’ scales, it would look a little less cartoony, but it does not bother me enough to want to customize it.

I really love the way they did the armor here as well.  The added shell detail on the back is very cool and it’s really clever that they worked the armor plugs into the the organic shapes of the shell design on his back.

Articulation

Clawful sports the usual MOTUC articulation and it’s not really hindered by any of the new pieces here.  The larger claw is articulated with a spring hinge that snaps closed.  That’s a pretty cool feature, though I was slightly disappointed that the claw did not open wide enough to fit around He-Man’s neck.

Paint

I’m so glad they did a faded red airbrushing on Clawful’s shoulders and his right forearm to help ‘sell’ the transition between his red and brown parts.  Little touches like that make the figure for me.  Like I said before, I think a more subtle paint application on his eyebrows would have helped tone them down a bit.  I did have a slight issue with the teeth on my Clawful.  The white paint doesn’t always hit all of the teeth sculpt, so they look less defined than they should.  The way my Clawful is painted, it’s hard for me to tell which teeth are pointing up and which are pointing down.  I also wonder if a more subtle paint application would have worked better here as well.  The stark contrast of black mouth and white teeth does stand out as a bit simplistic.

Despite my few paint quibbles, Clawful met my expectations for a MOTUC version of this character and he feels more like the Earl Norem version of Clawful than anything else.  He’s a cool monster.

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