Joined: 18 Dec 2005
|Posted: Sun Aug 09, 2015 9:22 pm Post subject: Masters of the Universe Classics: Rotar vs. Twistoid
|Greetings fellow He-Fans and She-Ravers,
Time to take a look at this year's SDCC exclusive item for MOTUC. And if it seems like this review is a bit late that's because I just now got these guys in hand. I'll come back to this point later, but suffice to say they sold out before I could get them from Mattel and I had to turn to the secondary market to get my hands on them. I say them because it's a two pack of probably the most obscure figures from the vintage line; Rotar and Twistoid.
Rotar and Twistoid were pretty much the last figures released in the vintage line and as such they are relatively unknown outside of the dedicated fan base. So it made sense to have them as an out of sub exclusive pack. They come in the same window style box we've seen for other multi-packs in the line fully showcasing the figures within as well as their accessories. One thing to note however, is that the package design team messed up and reversed the character names on the front of the box. They are correct on the back though as well as the bio card.
Both bios are on the same card with kinda small print so I took pictures this way to hopefully let you read them easier. The bios stay pretty faithful to the vintage mini-comic story, which was about the only media they appeared in since, as mentioned, they came out at the very end of the line. Rotar being yet another victim of Man-At-Arms' tendency to turn injured people into bizarre looking cybernetic warriors rather than just give them proper medical treatment. There's often confusion around Twistoid regarding if he is part living or pure robot. His description says cyborg but the bio says purely robotic, which was a point in the mini-comic as Skeletor pitted him against Rotar gloating that as a robot Twistoid would not get tired like Rotar. He was right on that point and Rotar only managed to win the fight by grabbing Sssqueeze and throwing him into Twistoid prompting Skeletor to complain, "He cheated! Only evil warriors are allowed to cheat!"
While Twistoid is another character to get offed in that whole Second Ultimate Battleground deal, I must admit having him reborn as a Roton is a unique and interesting twist. (no pun intended) Even if it means mentioning that stupid Skeleteen again.
Upon removing the figures from the package the first thing you will notice is that, unlike the vintage figures, they have legs. The vintage figures were basically like Beyblade or Spin Masters or any of the other lines featuring basically tops that smash into each other to fight. Needless to say, this really made then stand out among the line and caused several fans to take a dislike to them and feel they didn't fit in. Over the years a few fan drawings have popped up giving the guys legs to change them up, and so when the figures showed up they included swappable legs for each of them. Rotar uses the standard male buck legs with He-Ro's loincloth piece and Snout Spout's boots while Twistoid is yet ANOTHER use of the Trap Jaw lower body.
I'm not a fan of the legs for these guys and I'm not alone. Most other reviews I've seen have voiced a distaste for them. First off, the legs themselves just don't look right. Rotar's a bit better being the more human like, but Twistoid's proportions are out of sync. Not to mention the reuse of those Trap Jaw legs. Some have suggested Multi-Bot legs would've been better, but I still think the torso is too oversized to use with existing bucks. Now those other reviews all went on to say "but I'm happy for those fans who wanted them." Sorry, but I for one am actually NOT happy for those who wanted them! That may make me seem a bit selfish, but hear me out here.
First and foremost giving legs to these characters completely defeats the entire idea behind them. It's okay to not like the figures and still be a fan of the line, but by taking away what makes them unique you defeat the purpose of them existing at all. People who wanted these guys to have legs were simply not fans of the characters (or at best trying to appease others who weren't fans) and that being the case, why pander to them? Okay sure the legs are removable, but making them wastes time, resources and money. There's the other thing, how much did it cost to have these extra parts made? How much cheaper could the set have been sold for if they had not included the parts that there's no reason for the characters to have other than trying to appease collectors who didn't want them in the first place? You either like the characters or you don't and if you only like them when they've been changed so much they are no longer the characters they were then you still don't really like them. No these legs should not have been included. At the very least they should not have been placed on the figures in the package thus leaving MOC collectors with wrong looking figures.
So let's get those legs off and put on the proper lower top halves. Take care when doing so because a lot of fans are reporting them to be very tight and concerned about breakage. I found mine a bit tight but got them off fine. With that done let's talk articulation. Both figures use the standard torso, though the one that can detach from the waist, but each of them has the armor glued on over the buck so it doesn't come off. Also while they do have the mid torso ab crunch, it doesn't really work when they have the top bottoms on. Of course it doesn't really need to then. The heads are on ball joints and an interesting note is how they both have helmets designed in such a way that the back kind of looks like a face in and of itself. Sort of a masked face with visor covered eyes but it's a neat feature.
Ball joints at the shoulders, swivels at the biceps and wrists and normal elbow joints. Of course the removable legs also have the normal articulation with the ball jointed thighs, standard knees and ankles, and swivels at the boot cuts. They can of course swivel at the waist with the legs on, though not when plugged into the top bottoms, but again they don't need to there.
They each come with a stand to hold them up since they cannot balance on their top points. Now the vintage figures did have stands, but they were designed so that you had to balance the point on the stand's tip and, needless to say, they just plain didn't work. Thankfully the new stands are made with holes in the top so the figures can sit in perfectly. What's more is the stands work great with the vintage versions! So finally I can display my vintage versions upright instead of lying of their sides! But then what about the Classics versions? No problem as they also include "battle" stands like the vintage figures. To use the battle stands though you need to remove the tips from the top bottoms which pull right out. Mattel probably should've included some kind of directions sheet as this is not mentioned anywhere on the package and the split point is virtually invisible when the tips are on. Take note though you do need to have the tips on to use the normal stands, but they need to be off to use the battle stands.
So let's look at them individually now. Twistoid is, in my opinion, the cooler looking of the two, but the villains usually are. He uses the Roboto shoulders but otherwise is all new parts with blocky robotic arms ending in clamp claw hands. The hands have extra notches inside to help him grip on to his weapon, which is a long scythe like polearm. His battle stand features two swinging orange blades that are pretty loose and free moving despite him not really being able to spin the base itself. Part of what makes Twistoid look better is his paint job and details which create a very alien robotic look. His green face features snake like slit pupil eyes and is part of what leads to confusion over if he is a cyborg or purely robot. (again story wise he apparently is supposed to be pure robot)
Rotar, being more humanoid, uses more standard buck for his arms with the gloved forearms and hands. He includes his red weapon that's part axe and part ball and chain like the vintage figure. The axe/mace is a slightly softer plastic thanks to the "chain" but works well and fits in either hand. Rotar's battle base features three disks that work both as blades and as gears. They are interlocked and can spin actually allowing Rotar to twist around when plugged in and the gears are spun. However this base can also double as a sword like weapon and has a hilt to fit in his hand as well.
In comparison to the vintage figure, Rotar really came up improved in proportion. The vintage, being all one solid piece head and torso, seemed a bit out of scale. Like his head was too big for someone who was once a normal human. With the free head the Classics is much better scaled. The paint job is also a vast improvement.
Twistoid, being an alien robot, seemed less out of proportion but I still think his appearance improved for the Classics, as it should be since that is the norm for the line. His arms are much better detailed particularly in the claw hands. I've gained a much better appreciation for both of these characters seeing their new looks. I'll admit back when I first became aware of the characters existence in the vintage line I was one of those fans who felt they were kinda goofy and not that great. Add in the fact that the vintage figures just really didn't work and they were so low on my like list that I actually had them killed off in my canon. I regret that now but the fan-fiction was already written and shared online so it's kinda hard for me to back track at this point.
At any rate though the figures are nice to have and I feel do fit in to the line well. Still I do feel releasing them as out of sub exclusives was the right way to go since they won't appeal to everyone, though conversely I again say the inclusion of the legs was a pointless unnecessity. Mattel really upset fans though because they did not have an Early Access sale for these guys despite having done so in previous years and, more to the point, stating they would in the subscription sale pages. It's possible they chose not to due to low stock numbers though since the set sold out very quickly on sale day (thus it may have not survived an Early Access run) nevertheless it still feels like a broken promise and a badly timed one too since the 2016 sub sale is going on at the same time and this could hurt those sales by creating anger and distrust.
It's possible the set may show up again during sales like Black Friday as previous years' exclusives have, but in the meantime you'll need to turn to the secondary market and hope for a bargain. I managed to get a good deal, but many are already going for more than double the initial sale price. Good luck and until next time, Good Journey.
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