Joined: 18 Dec 2005
|Posted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 9:42 pm Post subject: Masters of the Universe Classics: Griffin
|Greetings fellow He-Fans and She-Ravers,
when it comes to the large scale beasts in the line we've got Battle Cat, Panthor (though we're still owed a flocked one!) and Swift Wind. So where do you go next? (besides the flocked Panthor of course) Mattel and the Four Horsemen decided to head over to the 200X beasts and present us with the Griffin!
Griffins were a new addition to the MOTU beast lineup in the 200X series as a main transport for the evil warriors. Actually Battle Cat, Panthor, and the Wind Raider were the only vintage beasts or vehicles to get updates in 200X and everything else was new. (there was a 200X Dragon Walker but it shared the name only and was a completely new vehicle) Despite the frequent appearance in the cartoon and comics there was never a Griffin in toy form until now.
The Griffin comes in the same large size window box as Swift Wind, which makes sense as he shares the wings. You may notice that mine was popped out in the package but thankfully the paint job was still okay and the plastic bands kept it from sliding around. Once removed it popped right back in and stayed put.
It's also worth noting though that there was a paint smear on the side bubble from the beak. While the figure itself does not seem to be damaged this is not something any collector likes to see and I hope it's not a regular occurrence.
The back of the box shows off other evil warrior figures in the line and has a picture of the earlier prototype of the figure next to its bio. There's no difference sculpt wise, but the picture on the back shows the Griffin with solid grey wings. This is how it was originally unveiled and going to look, however Mattel actually listened to fan input on this and changed the paint deco on the wings to better match the cartoon version.
Honestly I'm not too keen on the idea of Griffin's not being native to Eternia. It does help explain why we never see very many of them and those we do are always under Beast Man's control, but on the other hand should Beast Man control non-Eternian species? We also never saw more than a handful so the idea of hundreds being used at once really makes it seem that Beast Man's mind control is much more powerful than we ever thought if he can control so many at the same time. (Then again he may just control the alpha male and the rest of the pack follows what it does)
Now the Griffin features some new parts but is largely a reuse of parts as well, though done in a appropriate and clever way. His main body is a rehash of the buck from Battle Cat and Panthor. I'm honestly not sure if he has a new body piece where his wings attach or if they just altered the existing mold to accommodate it. Articulation wise he is the same as the cats. His jaw opens and closes, his head turns side to side, his neck moves up and down, each of his 4 legs feature swivel joints at the shoulder/hips, and ball joints at the feet. His front legs have ball joints at the knees while the back have joints at the knee and calve. His tail has a ball joint and there is an articulation point in the middle of his body, that only gives slight movement partly hindered by the saddle. His wings are the same mold as Swift Wind and have the same full ball joint movement as he did. You can see how the final paint job is much more cartoon accurate and just plain better looking.
As I said though, he does have some new parts. His tail is a new double tipped mold like in the cartoon, though thicker and more cat like than the toon. He also features new hind feet that are bird talons done in a nicely detailed design with a great paint job.
And, of course, he has a new head that really captures the half lion half eagle nature of a griffin. The lion like mane is punctuated by large feathers. The four eyes are haunting and beast like and the detailing on the beak is superb with groves and scratches showing that this monster has been through some battles and has the scars to show from it. He actually does seem to have a new neck piece that features more fur tufts. So maybe that is a new body piece where the wings attach.
The Griffin actually features a newly designed saddle that perfectly fits most of the evil warriors to ride it. Guys with capes will have trouble but otherwise most can easily fit. There are grooves to accommodate the furry loincloth as with previous saddles in the line.
Overall I'm very pleased with how the griffin turned out and I think fans of the 200X series will be glad to add him to their collections. Or for that matter more than one since, like the Shadow Beast, this is technically an army builder as there is more than one griffin in Eternia. Casual fans and/or ones only familiar with the vintage line may not be as attracted to this one, although the general cool look of a vicious griffin really makes him one that can fit in other lines as well. The only real problem I can find is he is not truly to proper scale. The griffins were much larger in the cartoon and even when dropping the "hyper anime detail" Mattel seems to dislike, he still seems smaller than he should be. Granted to be to proper scale he'd need to be outrageously big (and expensive) or the figures would need to be much smaller.
The Griffin stuck around for a while but has sold out on Mattycollector.com so you'll need to check the secondary market for him. Good luck and, until next time, Good Journey.
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