Joined: 18 Dec 2005
|Posted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 10:38 pm Post subject: Masters of the Universe Classics: Clamp Champ
|Greetings Fellow He-Fans and She-Ravers,
While we wait and pray for confirmation that 2014 is a go we continue to look at the rest of 2013 (which I have managed to arrange to acquire about 98% of at this point) This one is a character who, while I wasn't waiting anxiously for, at the same time I was expecting sooner since he didn't strike me as one that required a lot of new tooling. At any rate let's take a look and see how he stack up. Here is Clamp Champ.
Clamp Champ comes in the standard MOTUC blister card packaging. The back of the box shows off other figures in the line, most of them somehow connected to the character through the bio; which as always is presented on the back of the card as well.
I don't really feel one way or the other about the real name, but the story brings up elements of the new continuity that I don't like. Most of them have been mentioned before, mainly the Duncan permanently becoming a Snake Man as that was never intended to last more than a few episodes. Clamp Champ was depicted as a personal bodyguard to King Randor in many of the old stories so that's in line, but he was never depicted as someone who would take over as Man-At-Arms. One story from the MOTU magazine had him coming in to take Teela's place, but that was a result of Randor deciding Teela had long since earned a promotion but thus needed a new captain. No mention is given in the bio toward his apparent heightened senses from the vintage line. They also make no mention in this particular bio of the major plot point that Clamp Champ ends up killing Man-At-Arms -a move that was stupid on multiple levels both in and out of story. (he stabs Duncan with his clamp -why did he not simply capture him?) I was going to do a whole series of joke pictures on this subject, but now seems an inappropriate time to make jokes about someone getting away with murder....
Let's not discuss that, and instead move on to the actual figure. Clamp Champ uses the standard male buck for his whole body as did the vintage figure. The vintage figure was part of the later, made with almost no new tooling waves and his real claim to fame was the fact that he was the first and only black character in the toy line. Sure we had seen other black men on Eternia in the cartoon and comics, but none existed in toy form until him.
His other feature was his weapon from which he draws his name. The vintage giant clamp had a red button that caused the claws to spring out and clamp on when pushed. They would then retract when the button was released. (You may sometimes see pictures of the vintage one with the claws stuck out but that's just a broken/jammed spring) The Classics version here has no spring mechanism, but the claws are articulated so you can move them out for the look you desire. His other weapon is a smaller clamp based on the one from the 200X version. This one is just solid plastic and does not move.
The vintage figure simply used the Fisto armor repainted. Instead of doing that for the Classics, they molded a new armor and added the detail of his backpack from the 200X version. The thing about that which doesn't make any sense is that the 200X version had tubes running from the backpack to the clamps implying is was some sort of hydraulic control system for them. Since there are no tubes on the Classics version, the backpack becomes a pointless piece. There's also the factor that the armor leaves a section of his lower back uncovered.
Clamp Champ's face sculpt seems more in line with his vintage figure, at least in the hair. However his forehead seems to carry a wrinkled brow making him look much older than I believe he is intended to be. The face sculpt seems familiar as though it is based on some celebrity, but I can't quite place who.
As I mentioned, Clamp Champ's vintage draw was the ethnicity of the character far more than his actual appearance or even his gimmick weapon. Overall, he's not the most exciting character and now with several other black characters in the line he looses some of his uniqueness. They obviously tired to beef him up in the story to make him more appealing, though that of course had the opposite effect as his killing Duncan angered fans, particularly since it was depicted as so unnecessary. That said, the Horsemen really did a good job updating the figure and presented a well done sculpt.
It might have benefited more form further 200X inspiration. At least in some tubes to make the backpack work better. Though to be fair the staction had tubes also running form his belt to his boots which made no sense at all. Most fans do agree the 200X version did make what was a rather plain character look cooler though. Of course he needs his stand to remain upright as the clamp is so heavy it pulls him over otherwise. The Classics version is able to remain up while holding his clamp out.
Clamp Champ is one of those figures who there's nothing really bad to say about the figure, but he's not super exciting either. It is certainly nice to get an updated version of him to have in the line though. He's not one of my favorites, but I don't dislike him either. The figure was the monthly Cub Eternia figure for July but ended up having no day of sale stock so only subscribers got him. If you want this figure you'll need to check the secondary market. Like Fang Man, he's getting marked up due to his limited status, however Fang Man has been coming down in cost lately and so far I've seen Clamp Champ going for only a slight markup in the majority of cases. Good Luck and until next time, Good Journey.
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