Land Shark! Land Shark! Land Shark! Of all of the very memorable Masters of the Universe commercials from the 1980s, this is the one I remember the most, and I could not be happier about this iconic vehicle being back.
It has been a whirlwind of a month for me and MOTU Origins. At first, I wasn’t in. Then I was in for Mer-Man. Then I was in for the 8-back. Now, well, I am all-in, and frankly, I am having a lot of fun. Of course, the aforementioned Mer-Man is my favorite piece from the line so far, but I gotta say, the Land Shark is probably right behind him. Not only was it one of my favorite vehicles as a kid (I was and am still all about the bad guys), but we never got an update of this ferocious ride in Classics, so this is my first Shark in a long time.
Origins is a line that I have bought into because it brings completely different feels than Classics. MOTUC will always be my definitive collector MOTU line, and gave us some amazing modern updates on the originals that fit where are are in the action figure evolution. Origins though, it is more about going back to MOTU as it was, rather than bringing MOTU to now. The size, proportions, colors, and designs are ingrained in the vintage, and the updates brought in are more like flourishes, rather than a full modernization. So there is a quaintness to that, but in the best way.
This new Land Shark fits that form really well in that, there are detail and quality updates to be sure, but this walks and quacks the same as it did in the 80s. I mean, I have not had a vintage Land Shark for some time, but my somewhat hazy memory tells me this is just like it was. The guns tilt up and down, the thing is seemingly steered via the same handles, and yep, the shark mouth opens and closes as you wheel it along. The formula for Origins isn’t rocket science, it is just that, for the most part, it is being executed well, and the Land Shark might be the best vehicular example of that execution yet.
I appreciate that all fo the decals are already applied when this comes out of the box, so all you have to do is snap the left treads and gun into place — easy peasy. I mentioned the opening mouth, and it chomps and chomps as you chase down the Heroic Warriors, but if you want to display it with the mouth open, you need to have the wheels in just the right spot. I also struggle a bit with keeping both hands of a given figure in the grip position while piloting this beast, but you might not be as concerned about that.
Oh, and as you can see, you can reasonably cheat a Classics figure into the seat without any modifications. The sitting pose isn’t completely natural (I have seen that some people are taking off the the lower parts of the legs below with knees to accommodate), but I think it looks fine. You obviously don’t get the right scale compared to the other vehicles from the Classics line, but if you are okay with the Shark being a slightly compact design, then you should be all good. Hey, he might be evil, but Skeletor can care about the Eternian environment, too. He still has to live there.
This is a fun update, and if you are going to get just one vehicle (thus far) from the MOTUO line, I would make it this one. It is starting to get out there on shelves both real and virtual, so be on the lookout. You can, of course, order your from BBTS, and you will be singing, “Land Shark! Land Shark! Land Shark!” in no time.
*Thanks again to Mattel for sending this Land Shark along for feature.