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Mattel: Masters of the Universe Classics Tuskador

The theme for Mattycollector products this year has been “right on time” — if “right on time” means “quite late.” Since there have been multiple delays throughout the year, then “late” has become the new normal, meaning Tuskador is right on time, being as fashionably late as he is. Follow all that? I hope so, because that was a long-winded way of saying November’s Tuskador figure should finally be making his way into our homes as we wind our way towards the end of December. At least, those of us in the U.S. Oddly enough, he arrived the same day as December’s figures, so at least the last month for Matty was right on time, literally.

Okay, enough of that.

Tuskador is a large fellow, with a large package. Meaning his blister card was larger than the standard figure. For the price of these plastic dudes, it’s quite satisfying to get a nice hefty chunk of toy every once in a while, and Tuskador fittingly gives Ram Man a run for his money in plastic consumption. Tuskador is heavy and takes up more than his fair share of real estate, and that’s without the addition of his waaaaay overcompensating tusks.

Tuskador comes from the New Adventure years of He-Man, which means for many he suffers the most egregious sin of “not fitting in.” I don’t know what MOTU those people have been following, but a guy with gigantic tusks jutting out of his chest definitely fits into the overall MOTU aesthetic for me. There’s really no other toy line from the ’80s that a guy with nippletusks would fit in so perfectly than this line.

I am admittedly ignorant of any personality behind Tuskador. Where Ram Man — the other big guy of the line  —went from slow-witted to dumb depending on the medium, I don’t know if Tuskador is supposed to be dumb, smart, average, or what. I’m kind of tired of the cliché of the big guy being slightly less intelligent, so to me he’s a bright guy. He can be whatever I want him to be. He’s clearly an individual. This is a guy who decided that his main power set was going to revolve around nippletusks, and absolutely nobody was going to talk him out of it. I absolutely respect that. Anybody can walk around with horns. It takes a unique man to go with tusks.

Tuskador shares some parts with Ram Man, but there’s a lot of new sculpting here. His legs are new, and obviously his head and chest armor are all new. What there is of Ram Man is either hidden or a different color, so it’s not like you’re looking at him and thinking he’s Ram Man cosplaying as Tuskador. In other words, this is all smart reuse, and seamless to the new bits.

The New Adventures figures have all had a very prominent futuristic element to their designs and Tuskador is no different. There’s a lot of tech details and elements that give off a science fiction vibe. It’s faithful to the original toy while pumping in a bit more detail. I dig the color scheme here. Blue and gold has a very futuristic, almost regal vibe.

His helmet is removable, and has a very nicely sculpted and expressive head underneath. I don’t know how accurate it is to the cartoon, but I like the bit of flared nostril he has going on, like he’s always about to charge at something. He has a blue headpiece/helmet that’s kind of like the old-timey football helmets before there was so much brain damage that people decided they needed more than strips of leather protecting their battered coconuts. Tuskador looks like he would be murder on the field.

Hut … hut OHGODRUN.

Since Tuskador’s entire shtick is based around tusks, he fittingly comes with two pairs of them, which means you get to have an option as to how you want him portrayed. The long ones that prevent anybody from ever giving him that consoling hug he needs are accurate to the original toy. Those had some kind of rotating gimmick that allowed him to trap somebody in them. The shorter tusks are more along the lines of the cartoon, mainly so the animators wouldn’t riot. I like both of them for different reasons. To me he walks around with the short tusks but then when he gets battle-ready they elongate, like Wolverine’s claws, or Ron Jeremy’s … lower tusk. Try and get that image out of your head.

They plug in and out easily due to the soft material of his chest armor, so there’s no danger of breaking off the pegs on the tusks. While there’s no action gimmick, you can grab somebody in his tusks and party like it’s 1990.

I’m probably going to keep the short tusks as his default. That’s not out of displeasure for his longer ones, it’s just … they’re so long. It’s like trying to parallel park a bus when you’ve only got space for a Prius. You just know if he turns around too quickly he’s scattering people like bowling pins, and then someone puts their hands on their hips and says “Oh that Tuskador.”

Then everyone shakes their head and laughs until the freeze frame and the credits roll.

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