Joined: 18 Dec 2005
|Posted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 8:17 pm Post subject: Masters of the Universe Classics: Snout Spout
|Greetings fellow He-Fans and She-Ravers,
The November sale was announced and no MOTUC reissues were on the list. When asked Toyguru said there may be a couple more coming, but they only had a "small handful of older figures" left in stock. Since I likewise have only a small handful of older figures left to review I figured I might as well go ahead and do them. So let's take a look at Snout Spout.
Snout Spout comes in the standard MOTUC blister card package with the back of the box showing off other figures in the line and giving us a bio card for the character. I really don't have any problems with this bio. Some parts like the Laser Gate and "renegade Masters" bring to mind parts of the new continuity I don't like (e.g. Etheria in Despondos) but within the contents of the bio itself it's not really an issue. Pretty much everything here is taken straight from the vintage continuity, particularly the UK comics. The fact that they mention he was one of three athletes harkens to other yet to be released in the line characters. It very likely is supposed to specifically be Dragstor and Extendar.
Snout Spout was a character that many fans consider to be rather goofy looking. Well, yeah he does have a big elephant head and the colors of his outfit don't seem quite warrior like. To be fair though, Snout Spout is not really supposed to be a warrior but rather serves as a firefighter. In that regard, the color scheme actually seems appropriate. The detailing on the head is quite well done, bringing out the cybernetic aspect of the design better. The look in the eyes almost inspires pity for the poor guy that Hordak did this to. The ears are apparently a separate piece and have a slight wiggle to them, but not enough to make me think this was an intentional extra articulation point.
The figure is made up mostly of the standard buck. He does feature a new gloved design for his forearms and hands, and also sports new boot pieces. I really like these new boots. They have the full range of standard articulation and the design is one that would look good on future figures. (Maybe Sea Hawk?) His loincloth piece is made of an extremely soft rubbery and even stretchy material.
Snout Spout's armor comes in two pieces. There is the harness which slips over his shoulders and the backpack attaches via very small pegs on the back. It should be noted it can be tricky getting this on and off due to the way the pegs are. The design of the pack is like the vintage one and you can see how they even sculpted in the details of the plug where you filled the water on the vintage figure and the button that activated his squirting feature. Much like Optikk, I feel these blend into the design of the backpack and look fine. They don't stick out and disrupt the overall sculpt.
Now of course the Classics figure does not have the water squirting feature. Mattel attempted to make up for this by adding articulation to the trunk. It was a good idea in theory, but ran into an unforeseen snag some months later.
The trunk was made of a bendy material so it could be posed turned and twisted like King Hiss' snake arms, however the material used was different. They used a soft foam like material which does not hold up over time. It was fine out of the box but after a few months of being held in a turned position the material gives way and cracks open. At first it seemed this only happened to those who kept it posed way up supported by the pronged end of his axe. I only had mine slightly turned to the side at the tip and did not have any breaks at first, but as you can see, eventually even mine cracked. Mattel came out and said they were surprised by this as the material was given endurance tests, but they have said they won't be using it again. The downside is they apparently won't be using ANY bendy material in the line again. So Slush Head's tentacles ended up not bendy and the upcoming Octavia's won't be either. Despite the fans repeatedly pointing out that the material used for King Hiss has had no problems, Mattel says they don't intend on using it either. They'd rather go with no bending than have another quality issue pop up.
For accessories Snout Spout includes his fireman's axe. Like the vintage figure the end features prongs designed to hold up his trunk, though as I just pointed out this is likely to lead to the material breaking so I don't recommend it. Snout Spout also includes a second new accessory. When I first saw this I was concerned that we were seeing a return of the pointless, not fitting the character, clamps that were everywhere near the end of the 200X line. Turns out though it is meant to be a jaws of life device, so it actually does make sense for a firefighter to have. Furthermore the Horsemen have stated that it is designed to resemble an elephant's head. I've seen reviews in the past that point out the features as seen above with the articulated jaws forming the tusks, however I think that's not right.
Turn in over and the elephant head becomes more prominent with the jaws forming the ears and a much bigger trunk. Since Snout Spout himself has no tusks this seems the more likely intention. I guess it works either way, but I see the face much better this way.
Snout Spout was a character that I actually really liked as a kid. For some reason the elephant headed firefighter seemed like a cool idea to me. As an adult I do admit it is kind of goofy, but I still like him. You can really see how the Classics version captures the vintage figure's looks right on.
There was a big difference with the 200X staction version. Apparently the Four Horsemen knew how many fans felt about Snout Spout and decided to toughen up his appearance. He came off much more cybernetic looking and also a lot more hardcore and even mean looking. This actually makes sense when you remember Hordak made him this way. It's logical Hordak would choose to have him look more threatening. Many fans felt the Classics version should have leaned more this way, but I feel he wouldn't have fit in as well with all the other vintage inspired designs that way.
Snout Spout is a character that came out very well and captures the essence of the vintage figure perfectly. If you weren't a fan of the vintage figure I can see you not being particularly interested in him, and the issue with the trunk can be a deterrent. I still think he looks good in a collection I'd simply advise not fooling around with the trunk. It won't break if you don't bend it. Meanwhile you can also get a couple extra and slap human heads on them to create an Eternian fire brigade for Snout Spout to lead.
Snout Spout is sold out on Mattycollctor.com and I don't think he's coming back anytime soon, so check the secondary market. Good luck and, until next time, Good Journey.
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