Joined: 18 Dec 2005
|Posted: Tue May 08, 2012 11:36 pm Post subject: Masters of the Universe Classics: Swift Wind
|Greetings fellow He-Fans and She-Ravers,
When Mattel first started offering select figures in the Masters of the Universe Classics line year round we got He-Man and Skeletor plus their steeds Battle Cat and Panthor. Later She-Ra was added to the year round list. So it's only natural that we now get year round availability for her steed; Swift Wind!
Swift Wind comes in a big window box with the same Grayskull brick design standard for the MOTUC line. Just like the She-Ra figures, there is a Princess of Power logo sticker on the bubble. The back of the box shows off other figures available in the line, all Great Rebellion or Evil Horde, and gives us a bio for the character. Once again they went with a vintage toy version picture that does not match up to the more cartoon style of the Classics figure.
Frankly I got nothing bad to say about the actual bio though. This is pretty much the story we've previously had established for Swifty so there's nothing to complain about. Even the part about crossing over from Etheria to Eternia fits as they'd have to do that regardless of if Etheria is inside Despondos or not. (NOT!) And of course wherever She-Ra goes Swift Wind will follow. I have to admit I always pictured the ultimate story end going the other way with He-Man defeating Skeletor then going to Etheria to help end the war there, but I don't hate the idea of Hordak trying to take Eternia and She-Ra coming over to help stop him.
Looking at the figure itself the first thing you will notice is that he looks like he came straight out of the cartoon and almost nothing like the vintage toy. Like many Princess of Power characters, Swift Wind's design was changed for the cartoon and he became a white horse instead of pink. In fact Swift Wind was originally planned to be a female steed but became male for the cartoon. The color choice is a good one with a strange story behind it.
When MOTUC started Mattel did not have the rights to Filmation characters. They did uncover a style guide that showed most of the POP characters in their Filmation style designs. Since this style guide was Mattel's property it gave then the loophole needed to use these looks. Apparently this did not cover Swift Wind though. So at the SDCC panel they let attendees vote on if he would be pink like the first vintage toy or white like the Royal Swift Wind variant. White won by a large margin. It wouldn't be exactly like Filmation colors but it would be as close as they could get.
The real confusing part about that was Mattel had said that any character they owned the rights to they could do in any color they wanted. So they didn't need Filmation rights to make Queen Marlena's green dress, yet somehow they were still banned from Swift Wind's colors? At any rate around the time he was being put into final product Mattel got the Filmation license and the vote was just overruled and they went with Filmation colors knowing that's what most fans wanted.
Swift Wind is quite a large animal, which he had to be with the figures in this line standing 7 inches. Swifty is about 8 inches tall and he has a massive wingspan on 18 inches from tip to tip! The detailing is quite impressive with attention given to muscle structure and the veins. Add in the various points of articulation and you can see the Horsemen really paid attention to the anatomy of a horse when sculpting Swifty here.
So let's talk build and articulation. Swift Wind's wings are on ball joints and plug into holes in his sides. The have a full range of movement or can be taken out. Now unfortunately that leaves holes in his side. Also his neck armor does not come off so you can't really get a full Spirit out of him. I do wish they had included some pegs or something to fill the holes so we could make him into Spirit, especially since his description says "Spirit becomes magical flying unicorn."
Swift Wind has articulation joints at the hip/shoulder, knee, and ankle in all four legs so you can get many different poses out of him, though you may need to experiment to find a good pose and keep him balanced. He has joints both at the neck and head which can really add to bucking poses. His tail is ball jointed and very sturdy plastic so it can aid balance in bucking positions as well. Now one thing to point out is a number of people have reported receiving Swift Winds with either two left or two right front legs. It seems there was a mistake at the assembly line and the parts got mixed up. Unlike with King Hiss' reversed shoulders this is not something that everyone will get, and also it won't cost Mattel to fix it for reissue -they simply need to pay closer attention when assembling. Odds are if you get him now he'll be okay but even if he's not, to me it's not super noticeable.
Swifty's mask is designed to form fit and sit on his face. It stays in place very well. You can turn Swift Wind upside down and it won't fall off, yet when you want to remove it you can just pull it off no problem. I actually like that there's no reigns or bridle. Just as in the cartoon, She-Ra doesn't force Swift Wind to do anything. He carries her because she's his friend and he's glad to help.
Of course he still has a saddle, but that's a matter of safety for She-Ra and comfort for them both. (Bareback is less comfortable for both rider and horse due to lack of support and padding and can lead to fatigue faster) Just like with Battle Cat and Panthor, the saddle connects with a peg on the bottom of the strap and the seat has groves which help fit to She-Ra's skirt, or a male figures loincloth, better. Even Teela with her stiff skirt can still sit in the saddle. Really anyone who can spread their legs apart enough to straddle the horse will fit.
I am very pleased with how Swift Wind turned out. He looks fantastic and it is wonderful to give She-Ra her beloved steed. I do wish something had been done to allow him to be displayed as Spirit. It would be fairly easy to do for a later release but, unlike the difference between Battle Cat and Cringer, Spirit is basically Swift Wind without his armor and wings so it may seem like a wasted slot. At any rate though, as far as just Swift Wind goes this is great and is a must have for any She-Raver.
Swift Wind is available now on Mattycollector.com and has been added to the year round availability list. Until next time, Good Journey.
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