What kind of horse is that? I’ve never seen a horse like that before! And never will again, I fancy. There’s only one of him and he’s it. He’s the horse of a different color you’ve heard tell about! In fact, he’s a horse of several different colors and this winged steed does not hail from the Land of Oz, but from Etheria – beautiful planet of the dark dimension of Despondos. The mounted cat club that has been going on on your Masters of the Universe shelf for awhile now is about to get a healthy dose of equine equilibrium as the powered-up version of Spirit (Adora’s noble steed) is ready to fly into your collection next month. Yep, Swiftwind, She-Ra’s noble Pegasus companion is going to step in and take his rightful place amongst the ranks of his pal Battle Cat and that wily Panthor. In what is yet ANOTHER reason why Masters of the Universe is so cool is that we now have a giant white unicorn with wings that is proudly adorned in the brightest blues and yellows and pinks and he fits in just perfectly with talking green tigers and lemon-lime gorillas. And in what is yet another reason why MOTU Classics is so fulfilling as a toy line is that we have them all now when, just a few short years ago, I was praying just to get Whiplash. We’ve come a long way, baby!
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE hearing about and seeing new MOTUC figure reveals just as much as the next person but maaaaaaaan does it seem like forever since we first found out we would be getting Swiftwind late this year. I was at the Mattypalooza panel at SDCC 2010 and the energy in the room was great when we were told we would get to decide on the color of Swiftwind with a ticket vote. I was very pleased that the reception was so welcoming and I took it as the first sign that MOTU fandom as ready to bring EVERYTHING under one cohesive umbrella. I mean, I have been an ardent supporter of PoP since the onset of the line, but I was glad to hear that my fears about general acceptance were unfounded. For the most part.
Speaking of the fan vote, I always knew that I wanted Swifty to be white, but since we learned this year that the rights to the FilMation, ahem, stable of characters was secured I am over the moon. See I, and I would fiercely contend the vast majority of MOTU fans have always wanted Swifty in his FilMation deco. It is by far the most recognizable and it is definitely the most important version of him that has never been done in toy form before. You see, the vote at SDCC ’10 as for the color of the horse, NOT the deco. There seems to be some confusion surrounding this, but I never took it as anything but the actual color of his body and NOT a deco, but maybe that is just me. I can comfortably say though that If FilMation Swiftwind was available for vote back in 2010, he would have won by a landslide. So, Mattel and Horsemen made the right call with this, this is the version of Swifty that is the most popular and since he has been coveted for over 25 years, it is great that we are getting him in the Classics line.
Those talented Jersey Boys went all out with this figure too, and rightfully so. Swiftwind is every bit as important to She-Ra as Battle Cat is to He-Man and since I hold the twins on equal footing, I am very pleased that the plastic incarnation of the alter ego of Spirit is every bit as good as a realized plastic horse as BC is a plastic cat. I remember talking with Eric Treadaway back at Comic Con and he noted that between the Gothitropolis Raven, the Sorceress and Swiftwind he had really had a chance to hone his feather sculpting skills as of late. I have to say, it really shows too. After the initial intake of Swifty’s striking color palette, the next most noticeable thing about him is his wings. They are massive and insanely detailed and if you look at them with any kind of discriminating eye you can tell that there were no sculpting tricks or shortcuts used here – every single wing has been uniquely sculpted and there is not one that is exactly like another. It’s like snowflakes up in here!
The wings attach to the body via a partial ball-joint and the the insertion points are designed so that you cannot put the wrong wing on the wrong side. The wings are easily removable but they stay in place firmly once attached. I know there were some early samples that were shown at shows that had a white plastic disc in the joint, but I am happy to say that the final version has a matching pink disc. The wings get a pretty nice range of movement, especially considering just how massive they are. I wish that they could lay down just a *bit* closer to the body when they are down, but it is not a huge deal. I will tell you this though – you WILL need more room to display Swifty than you are probably anticipating, he is really very large.
For the body sculpt itself, I can honestly say that he is the most articulated and detailed 1:12 horse I have seen. Now, I realize that there are not that many horses in this scale out there, and while the old Toy Biz Lord of the Rings horses look great, unlike them, Swiftwind is not hampered by an action feature. He looks, well, like a horse. I mean, he has pink and yellow and blue wings, but if you lose those and the mask, this is a nice looking sculpt of horse. There are lots of little details in on the head around the eyes and nose and he has veins showing on his legs and even details on the underside of his hooves. His mane is sculpted with a flow to it so it certainly looks like he is in motion, either up in the air or at a swift trot.
For articulation, he probably has as about as many points as you can give a spindly-legged horse. He has great range motion in his head and neck which gives him a lot of expression. There are hinges at the top of all four legs that move back and forth movement and hinges at the knees and ankles. He even has a partial ball at the base of his tail so he can show Hordak that he is a real horse’s ass. He can be posed in a basic stand, rearing, trotting and with his legs slightly tucked under him in his signature Filmation flight pose. He is not quite as posable as Battle Cat, but he is not really a fighting animal. I think that you will be able to get all of poses you will want, but that is okay – he is A LOT bigger than Battle Cat.
He has his standard bridle (not removable) as well as the saddle (which has a button closure on the bottom) and his mask. Now, the latter is interesting as it is the mask, but the unicorn horn is also attached AND it is held in place by a pretty powerful magnet. I think this is a great direction as it does not require any altering of the sculpt to the head or the mask. All the parts are painted very cleanly and vibrantly – Swiftwind is brining A LOT of color to your shelf.
The last thing is that Swifty will be shipping alongside Bubble Power She-Ra and the two go together perfectly from a functional aspect. The whole original point of the once dubbed She-Ra 2.0 was so that she could ride on Swifty, and they nailed it. She-Ra has the right range of motion in her hips and legs and the saddle is designed so she that can just naturally. Some of the most iconic MOTU images are of He-Man on Battle Cat, Skeletor on Panthor and She-Ra on Swiftwind. We are now three for three.
As a PoP fan, I am very glad to finally have Swiftwind, and the one I have always wanted to boot. I think most fans are going to be very pleased with this figure, especially since the new and improved She-Ra is coming at the same time. The great part is that we also have a nice base for a future Spirit figure, but I also hope to see a FilMation Arrow horse for Bow. We are going to have a string of great PoP months coming up and I am glad that Swiftwind will be leading the charge. The MOTUC line is starting to get incredibly diverse, and I cannot wait to see what is next up for our equine friends. Swifty and BP She-Ra go on sale at Matty Collector on November 15th.
*Thanks so much to Toy Guru, Danille, Rhobyn and the team for sending Swifty along – better than Pony Express. Stay tuned – we have another MOTUC ariel ride coming up, and it is AWESOME.