Point Dread and Talon Fighter comes with Teela action figure, you put it together. From Mattel!
You know, no other line elicits the nostalgia for me like Masters of the Universe Classics. It is not a blind nostalgia, mind you, and I require the figures to be as good (if not better) than figures out there in the market today, but man — MOTU has always been my bag. This far into the line, it is really great that we are still getting excellent figures, not to mention vehicles and playsets. With this release, you get all three of those things: a figure, a vehicle, and a playset, and that is a heaping helping of new MOTU. So, as much as I would love to wax nostalgically about this set, there really is not a whole lot of time because there is a LOT to cover, and this feature required more pictures than any other I have written in a long time. Okay? Let’s get going!
So… a lot of things have been said about this set already, and the comments and discourse have run the gamut from very positive to… not at all positive. That is to be expected because there is a lot of stuff going on with this release, but some of the early pictures we saw from this set sparked in-depth discussions, and we are still a few weeks away from this set’s release. Speaking of which, I *think* this is still due for an October release, but I am not completely sure as it has not been announced yet. We are still missing a sale price too, but I would imagine that information will be coming very soon. At least I hope so because we are all wondering what it will be, and since all we have at this point is speculation, much of it has pointed to an approximate $150 price tag.
Now, to start off, I want to mention something I usually skip with MOTUC — the packaging. This set comes in a giant box, and there are some smaller boxes and poly bags within that hold all of the pieces, including the Teela figure. Everything is well-packaged and while the set requires assembly, there is nothing mystifying about the process and everything comes together easily. My main reason for bringing up the packaging, though, is the exterior box art — it is absolutely beautiful. Maybe even more so than the contents themselves, the art on the outside of the box hits you right face with a giant wave of nostalgia.
Once again, Rudy Obrero has composed a beautiful piece that fits right in with his previous works from the Classics and vintage lines. I love that Mattel continues to hire him to work on this line, and his dark compositions and fearsome action really bring out that original savage side of MOTU, and it all works so well. I have said it before and I will say it again: I REALLY hope Mattel will consider releasing his pieces as posters because I really want them all to hang in my toy room. Additionally, Mattel also included those famous line drawings of figures and playsets in the line, all done in red. Again, this should get you right in the 1980s feels because I remember staring at the back of the vintage Castle Grayskull box for hours admiring the art. So the packing for this set is absolutely exquisite.
Moving on, I want to talk about the three main components of this release on their own terms. So, let’s start with them individually and then bring it all back together at the end. To start, let’s look at the best part of this set: the Talon Fighter vehicle. I got my Talon Fighter second-hand from a cousin as a kid, and it was something that I really coveted because it was a flying vehicle, it could fit two figures, and it was enclosed. I know that last part is kind of strange as far as a noteworthy component, but I really like(d) vehicles that could close up with the figures inside, they always seemed safer are more battle-ready. So things like the Turtle Van, Ecto-1, and the Talon Fighter were always favorites.
This baby is BIG, and by virtue, completely awesome. I first saw this in person at SDCC back in July, and I could not believe how large it was then, and it seems even more impressive now. For all intents and purposes, it is just as long as it is wide, and both measurements come in at about 17 inches. It fits the required two figures comfortably, but if you use two female figures in the back seat, this baby can actually sit THREE figures. It has some serious heft to it as well (that has implications that I will get to in a moment), and even though by measure it really isn’t any longer than the awesome Battle Ram, this feels a lot bigger in hand. Now, I have heard some people say that this is “too big” and I completely poo-poo that argument. 100 percent. Invalid. This is sized perfectly, especially in comparison to the proportions of vintage vehicle. If it makes Castle Grayskull look too small to your eye, well, that is a Grayskull issue more than anything else, and, really, it is very close to the vintage proportions. Anyway, you have to attach the four cannons, the RADAR dish, the hatch, and the wings, but all of those things come together easily and then stay put nicely.
Like always, the Four Horsemen and their stable went nuts with the sculpt and design of this, just like they always do. I am always a “figures first” guy, but as far as vehicles go, MOTUC is pretty much flawless. I think I would put this just below the Battle Ram and above the Wind Raider in terms of how much I like it, but it is a very close second. All of the vintage details are there, and then some. The head, wings, feet, and weaponry are all very well done, and again, they are very faithful to the vintage, while still being an obvious modern upgrade. The sides have a lot of technical fabricated detail, and the underside continues the “bird” theme with the sculpted feather motif. The back had a lot of newly sculpted detail with the exhaust ports and circuitry, so it is a shame that most people will have this portion facing the wall, it really should be show “in the round.” Oh, and the “handle” of the vintage toy has been removed, but I think most people will welcome that.
The cockpit is my favorite part of the vehicle, and if the Wind Raider and Sky Sled taught us anything, it is that sculpted detail will carry through where stickers used to be the norm. The inside is a treasure trove of detail, and it makes everything all the more believable. There are still some stickers present, but the sculpted buttons and controls are all just great. The front and rear dashboards, as well as the side panels of the pilot seat, have sculpted buttons and dials and control panels, all of which are very nicely painted. Now, the side panels in the back seat are stickers, but, really, that doesn’t take very much away from them as they are still very visually interesting.
Now, the dash does have one sticker for the screen, but you get to pick from three of them to display. The included sticker sheet has a targeted Beast Man screen, a traditional RADAR screen, and a screen with Orko and Cringer breaking in to say “Hi.” I chose the RADAR screen, but I love the variety and freedom of choice here, but once you choose, there is no going back, so choose wisely. Finally, there is amazing cache of sculpted tools and even a first aid kit behind the passenger seat, and it is a little details like those that make me giddy; it is awesome.
So obviously, there is a ton to love here, but if I had to pick two small nits, it is that this set has a bit of paint run in the back of the cockpit, and the airbrush effect on the bird head/neck is not done at a very gradual gradient. The latter seems like a design choice, but I sure the former is an isolated incident. Also, the hood of the cockpit feels a little thin due to being cast in clear plastic. I don’t think it is overly fragile, but if there is a weak point to the infrastructure, that would be it, so just take a little caution when you open and close it. Also, there is a big blue beam right in front of the pilot’s face, so that is kind of weird. Overall though, the Talon Fighter is pretty frikkin’ amazing and I love it.
Still with me? I said there was a lot to cover, and now I will move on to the Point Dread playset. This rugged frontier outpost has always functioned as a standalone playset, and this one is no exception. There is definitely an air of mystery about it, and just like the vintage counterpart, there are some strange proportions to the set, like some of the steps seem large enough for the figures, but some are not. There is a full-sized window, but also a very small door that would really only be big enough for an Eternian mouse. It is like sometimes Point Dread is okay up close, and sometimes it is as though it should be viewed from afar to keep the dimensions. Anyway, this was the design of the vintage set, and this one carries all of the that over.
The set has three mains components: the base, the point dome, and the Talon Fighter perch. The perch itself has been completely redesigned and now is meant to be a technology piece made of metal, instead of wood. There are sculpted tech details and a paint wash to add more visual interest to it. Also, the pegs on top snap into the bird feet of the Talon Fighter to help keep it securely in place. There is a small button on the underside of the perch that slides to release the lock to remove the vehicle. I really like this touch and it is pretty much essential since the Talon Fighter is so big and heavy. Once the perch is snapped in place, it is not meant to be removed.
The other two parts are meant to be separated, and the top of the domes snaps into place on the base. Again, it cannot just rest because it won’t support the weight of the Talon Fighter. There are little “teeth” that help the two pieces lock together. This function also translates over to the top turret of Castle Grayskull so the Talon Fighter can park up there, too. I have NEVER like this function, so I will not even consider displaying it as such, but if you decide to, there are a couple of differences here from the vintage. Again, the teeth have to lock into place, and since the top turret is offset in terms of the curve of the wall, it puts the dome at a different angle and thus offsets the window. Honestly, this does not bother me at all, in fact, I think it is visually interesting, but I can see why it could cause a lather.
Finally, the back of the dome has been reinforced with more stone wall pieces because, again, the Talon Fighter needs the support, but in doing so, it makes the playset portion around the back a bit claustrophobic. When we first saw this teased in a Matty video with Brandon, these pieces had not been added, so it made it look a lot roomier than it actually is. Some extra flooring has been added because figures don’t stand inside the back as comfortably anymore, which is a shame. Like I said, I know why the pieces were added, but I wish a different solution could have been found.
Speaking of the floor boards, they are now rounded outside of the base a bit instead of cutting off right at the line. As I said, this was probably done so that figures could stand more comfortably on it, and I have seen some comments that the sculpt of the flooring has degraded and doesn’t look up to par with, say, Grayskull. Frankly, I don’t see it, and they are fine, but you can make your own assessment on that. The set also includes an awesome little computer console that is free-standing on its own. It is a little small, but it has a lot of cool details, and the tech fits right in with what is found in Grayskull.
Personally, I think the Point Dread playset is fine, but it will be a hot topic for discussion. It is nowhere near as cool as the Talon Fighter, but it is a serviceable small play set that is pretty true to the original. Like I said, I would never put the dome on top of the Castle, but for an outpost, I am pretty happy.
Okay, the final component of this set is the exclusive Teela action figure. If Point Dread has been an active topic since the Grayskull Con, Teela talk has been furious, both in pace and tone. Meant to be “Teela 2.0” (Brandon Sopinsky has stated this is not a pure “Filmation” Teela), this figure was to bring some relief to people who have not been able to get the elusive and pricey original version. The Four Horsemen prototype images looked absolutely stunning, but as you can see, there were definitely some production issues with the figure, particularly with the non-helmet head. Now, I don’t think this figure is as bad as a lot of the internet would have you believe, but in terms of normal MOTUC standards, it certainly has some issues.
The figure comes in a poly bag, which is a first of MOTUC, and it is kind of disconcerting, because it looks a bit like a clear body bag. The figure includes two heads, a helmet with a removable visor, and a Filmation-accurate sword and shield. I am not going to get into the weapons too much because the pictures tell the story, but they are both very well done, and the sword will become my default Teela weapon as I like it a lot more than the 200X-inspired version. So really, in terms of what you get, a full standard-release figure is included, so that is nice.
As for the figure itself, well, like I said, I think some production challenges befell this Teela, so it is not as good as it could have been. There are definitely some very nice parts to the figure, but the standard head and the upper body armor have some issues. The boots are reuse from the standard Teela boots and the She-Ra feet, so combined they make nice high-heeled, Filmation-accurate kicks. The arms are also fine reuse combinations of the standard Teela upper ams and original She-Ra gauntlets, so those work well too. Now, this Teela does have a functioning waist twist, something that original did not have due to the stiff bodice plastic, so that is certainly a welcome addition. Now, even though Brandon says that this is not the Filmation Teela, this figure certainly has the Filmation Teela backside, and it is instantly recognizable due to the many animation sequences use of her “jumping into action.” Frankly, I am just glad to get a Teela with a tush, so in that regard this is an upgrade for sure. The outfit is actually white this time around instead of the dirty or light grey first release.
Now, the upper body has a nice sculpt to it, but for the first time with a female figure in the line, Teela has some “fat” armor. That is to say, it is puffy and not a close fitting as it could have been, so the upper body proportion has been thrown off a bit. It is not completely terrible, but it is not nearly as shapely as the original release. Fortunately, the collar is nice and pliable so it does not inhibit the neck articulation.
As mentioned, the figure does have two heads, and the helmeted version is by far the superior version. In fact, I think I actually like it. It is pretty flattering, if not slightly elongated in the chin, and the helmet looks really cool. It is a cross between the Palace Guard motif and Dawg-o-Tor’s, so it works really well. It also has a visor that is removable, so, again, that is a nice touch. Now, while this Teela might ride in the Talon Fighter, she was never going to be the pilot for me. That was ALWAYS going to be Dawg-o-Tor because we actually got the vehicle drivers in the line, and that seat has been reserved for him since his release.
Then there is the standard “Filmation-esque” Teela head, and, well, it just is not nearly as good. The moment the figure was shown at Grayskull Con, the Internet went aflame with, well, flaming of this figure, and most of the complaints stemmed from the production version of the head. We have seen this many times in many lines, but something in the tooling process of this head went awry, and it has some issues. You can even see that the steel tool was not pristine because her very elongated chin has some rough patches to it and does not look up to the standard that we normally get.
And make no mistake, Teela has one heck of pointy chin, but that is not what is the most distracting about her face. From the profile, it looks like it has been flattened, but from the front, her face is just way too far down on her head. Like, we know of foreheads, and even five-heads, but this Teela has bit of a eight-head. Seriously, it looks like her face just slid down too far somehow, and that throws her entire look off. Now, this face looks better at different angles than others, so that is certainly a part of it, but I also believe that this sample is better than the one we saw from the German con. That one is pretty far gone, but there are some times when this one looks okay. Never really great, but if you catch the right angle, it is okay. I am not finding any excuse here, just my observation, but not ever to the point that makes this head feel up to par with what we expect in MOTUC. I hate to say, but there it is, and I think that this release will make Teela a 100 percent likely candidate for the 2017 Filmation sub now, whereas if this figure would have been perfect, there would not really have been a need.
WHEW! Thank you for sticking with me through all of this, I know it is a lot. Overall, I think this set is great, and while it is not without its issues, the Talon Fighter is so amazing. Point Dread is pretty good, but this Teela needs a mulligan, so that makes this release a bit of a mixed bag. To me, it is worth it for the vehicle alone, so it will be interesting to see if that is the consensus after the price is announced. For me, it is two out of three, but then again, I really never had any big plans for the Teela figure anyhow, and Dawg-o-Tors everywhere will likely find new value to a lot of collectors. I love the vehicles in this line, so I really hope we can get at least the Roton and Attack Trak before all is said and done so all of the vehicle drivers will have their rides. But, heck, I will gladly take the Land Shark, Dragon Walker, Bashasaurus, Spidor, or anything else they throw at us.
Again, I believe this set is still going on sale in October, so be on the lookout for news from Matty about actual timing and price. Again, I think that the Talon Fighter makes it worth it, and Point Dread is nice too, but it is really going to depend on the price. Like most things, you take the good with the bad, but it will be interesting to see if the goods outweigh the not-so-goods to make this a success with collectors.
*Thanks for checking out this long-form, and thanks to the Matty Team for sending this along for a preview!