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Masters of the Universe Classics: Sky High with Jet Sled

 
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Lord Skeletor
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Joined: 18 Dec 2005
Posts: 571

PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 10:55 pm    Post subject: Masters of the Universe Classics: Sky High with Jet Sled Reply with quote

Greeting fellow He-fans and She-Ravers,

Well normally I announce this at the end of the review, but today I'm going to state it upfront because I feel the need to vent a little on the subject before getting to the actual review. Sky High with the Jet Sled is sold out on Mattycollector.com so you're going to have to check the secondary market for it. What's the big deal? Aren't these things usually sold out by the time I get them in hand to review anyway? Well yes, but normally they sell out within the first two days, this item sold out the day before I got mine. The real kicker is I ordered it through Early Access and it took two whole weeks to arrive! Normally my orders arrive in about 8 days tops, so you see if it had shown up on time it would've still been available when I reviewed it! Making mattes worse is the so called tracking number didn't track. Newgistics never updated the info, and frankly even when they do they never give an estimated delivery date plus they jump all around the country before arriving. Not to mention that Newgistics charges more than just going to the Post Office -yet they deliver through the Post Office. Seriously Newgistics ships it all over before transferring it to your local post office for delivery. Why can't Matty just have a direct business shipping with the Post Office? You know it can be done, they advertise about it all the time! Normally the delivery is made within slow but tolerable levels (say 8 days) but when stuff like this happens I ask myself why I put up with it. The sad answer is the only alternate shipping options are 2 day shipping which costs about as much as the figure itself! The thing is Matty used to offer UPS standard shipping. It was cheaper, faster and had better customer service than Newgistics. They dropped UPS entirely, fans complained so they brought back the 2-day UPS option but not standard. It's dumb things like this that cause some collectors to give up on the line. It has to stop for the sake of keeping things alive!



Okay let's get on with the review. Sky High and the Jet Sled come in a window box package, similar to the kind used for things like army builder packs or Battle Cat, however it does seem a bit thicker than those. I honestly have no idea why the wording on Jet Sled appears italicized on the package. Something to note though is this vehicle is traditionally called a Sky Sled. Once again trademark issues forced them to go with a different name, but the problem is there already was another mini-vehicle in the vintage line called the Jet Sled. Since this sled is also the front half of the Battle Ram vehicle why not call it a Ram Sled or something?



The back of the box shows off other figures in line and while it doesn't have any bio or blueprints for the Jet Sled like we saw on the Wind Raider, it does feature a bio for the Sky High character. You might be asking, "Just who is this Sky High?" Well if you look at the picture on the bio card.... that's all we've ever seen on known of Sky High up until now. Similar to the mysterious vehicle drivers who got made into the Fighting Foe Men, this unknown pilot appeared on a vintage artwork poster flying the Wind Raider. No name or anything was given for him. The name Sky High has been floating around the fan community for a while, usually credited to customizer Joe Amato, and now Mattel seems to have adopted it as the official name. (making some fans clamor that Joe deserves recognition from Mattel for naming him) Since we had no previous info there's nothing to fault in the bio here. I even actually like the real name they gave him.



Let's look at the figure before we get to the vehicle. Sky High is mostly a reuse of old parts with just his head and armor being new. He has the Roboto loincloth piece, standard shoulders and biceps, the Hordak gloved forearms and hands, and under the armor he has the flat ab torso. He uses the Trap Jaw legs and boots, and at this point I'm starting to agree that this mold is getting used a little too much in the line. Since we've never seen his legs before they could have gone with pretty much any leg sculpt and had it work. Granted a thicker on like He-Ro's may have made fitting him in the Wind Raider harder, and let's face it, why would you make the Wind Raider pilot and not have him able to fit in the Wind Raider? The paint colors are very nice and the details on his armor's emblem are well developed from the limited view the poster gave. It resembles the wings and eternium locator hood ornament from the Wind Raider overlapped.



His only accessory (not counting the sled) works in two ways. It can be fit into a clip on the back of his armor thus looking like glider wings attached to his suit as they are designed to look like the Wind Raider's wings. Sadly they are also colored like said wings and thus, in my opinion, clash against the darker blue, black and red combo of the figure. I think if they had been done in red like his chest emblem they'd look a lot better.On a side note the clip almost looks like it can be removed from the armor but it does not come off. I even took the armor off to see if it could be popped out from within and, while it's a separate piece than the rest, it is permanently attached. The device is meant to double as a weapon though and can be held in his hand at the center making into a strange bladed melee weapon kind of like a Klingon bat'leth. Again though the colors make it seem off. Interestingly though it doesn't look so bad when on his back as he's sitting in the Wind Raider, though I think that's because of the position making it almost look more like part of the vehicle than the figure.



Now on to the vehicle. A few years ago at comic con the Four Horsemen showed off a prototype for a Classics version of the Battle Ram vehicle. This was never signed off on by Mattel though, they had made it to pitch the idea of adding vehicles to the line. While Mattel did agree to test the waters with a first vehicle they chose instead to release the Wind Raider. Well according to them the Wind Raider did not perform well enough to warrant future vehicles. (That's the official word, most fans point out the initial run sold out in three days -if that's not good enough than the bar is set WAY too high) Mattel claims they have been looking into ways to get us the Battle Ram though since the prototype sculpt is already made, but state cost issues keep preventing it. (They've never given a satisfactory answer to why they can't do a pre-order campaign like they did for the, more expensive, Castle Grayskull) Still they did give in a bit and gave us the front half in the Sky Sled. Or Jet Sled as they're now calling it.



There is good logic in releasing the sled alone as they were used on a regular basis by both heroes and villains throughout the Filmation cartoon, while the full Battle Ram only appeared a couple times in early episodes. It is a very well done sculpt and beautifully detailed. Just as with the Wind Raider the Four Horsemen took the designs that were mere decal stickers on the vintage toy and instead fully sculpted them onto the vehicle. The design of the griffin head is more fleshed out than previously seen. And yes they apparently is meant to be a griffin, though a more traditional griffin than what has now been established as an Eternian griffin. Remember this was originally designed early on in the vintage line (I think it was actually the first vehicle released) long before the 200X griffins came into continuity. Also like the Wind Raider there is a hole worked into the sculpt so it can fit on the flight stand. Now it does not come with it's own stand but it does snap onto the stand that came with the Wind Raider. In fact it turns out this was what was actually intended for when they added the place to plug in the stand for Castle Grayskull, Mattel simply wasn't ready to unveil the Jet Sled at the time. I must note though that the sculpt does not sit as securely on the circular top as the Raider does. It works but is more prone to getting knocked off.



Checking out the control panel you can really see how much detail went into the sculpt and paint deco on this. There are some newly added details which make it more brought out in the sculpt over the whole vehicle. The handlebars were not on the vintage toy, or seen in the cartoon. You can see where the original was meant to grip to the sides of where the handles are now. The handles do make it more secure for the figures to hold on to though. Also the pegs on the back where it plugged into the rear of the Battle Ram have been redesigned so they now actually form the jet/rocket engines for the flying segment. In a real nice move for the fans there are actual clips molded into the sides so that it can be attached to the back end of the Battle Ram should they ever get around to releasing it. Splitting the two halves into separate releases might potentially be a way to get the full vehicle out while holding down/spacing out costs. On the other hand is anyone who missed out on the front half going to buy the rear? The Sky Sled works by itself, the rear of the Battle Ram not so much.



As I've mentioned before, I was never a huge collector of the vehicles however I am really pleased with how this turned out. Since the Sky Sleds were seen so often on the cartoon, it really makes a great addition to the collection and amazingly updates the vintage look. I do sort of wish it came with a flight stand as it would look best displayed in flight, however the inclusion of Sky High largely makes up for that. When the Fighting Foe Men were released many fans were hoping to get him included as well. While his release has no connection to the Foe Men, it doesn't have to and it makes good sense to have him come with a flying vehicle.



That said though I prefer to display my Sky High in the Wind Raider as he was shown instead of on the sled. He does look good on the Sky Sled though if you don't have the Wind Raider. The only drawback I can see to releasing these two items as a set is that while the Jet Sled is in essence an army builder item (meaning many fans will want multiples) Sky High is not unless you choose to make him an armored soldier instead of an individual character. Proving this point I have seen many secondary market sellers offering him alone as they bought multiple sets to get several sleds but don't need/want more than one of the character. I do recommend a set to any fan and collector though as both make fine additions to the line. Good luck hunting them down and, until next time, Good Journey.



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SharpFork
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Joined: 27 Jul 2013
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2013 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This guy looks awesome! I love these obscure characters they have been releasing! It would be really cool if they did a homage to the Fuerza-T bootleg figures.

However, I have held back on purchasing any of these figures. These are made with basically the same molds/body style/joint construction as the DC Classics figures? I bought a Black Manta figure from that line and his forearm kept popping off at the elbow joint, then I bought a Killer Moth figure and his hip joint was not fully cut so his left leg could not move at all! Basically the construction of these figures has me quite worried. They really do look great though! Are the MOTU Classics figures of better quality than the DC ones?


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Lord Skeletor
Totally Bitchin'


Joined: 18 Dec 2005
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2013 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The MOTUC figures have their own molds and there is no cross use with the DC classics aside from:

1. The mold for the birds (Zoar, Screeech, Glorybird) was also used in DC as an eagle mode packed with the Wonder Twins and later Beast Boy

2. The Batman unlimited line has a "Dark Knight Returns" Batman who needed a bigger muscular body so MOTUC molds were used for his arms and legs -again though the molds were created for MOTUC first.

I've haven't had kinds of problems you're describing with my figures overall. My Procrustus had one hand that popped out but went back in easily however it doesn't come out on it's own it must be pulled out and it doesn't seem to have happened to other people.

There will always be the inevitable one or two figures of any character who end up defective. This is why Mattel keeps a "quality control stock" on hand to provide customers with replacements in such an event. The only figures that seems to have universal quality problems so far are:

1. Green Goddess -she was made using an inferior quality plastic and tends to break and fall apart on people. The same plastic hit a few figures in other lines (contrary to some belief it has nothing to do with the translucency of Goddess) but Mattel has stopped using that inferior plastic. (Mine's still in one piece but I barely ever touch it -not one of my favorite characters)

2. Snout Spout -the soft foamy substance used to make his trunk bendy deteriorates and cracks. If you don't bend the truck it should stay together.

Again any line will have the occasional fluke and if you do searching on forums you will find list of people's past problems, but I have not experienced the kinds of problems you are mentioning with my collection so I would say go ahead and jump on the collection



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