Joined: 18 Dec 2005
|Posted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 8:04 pm Post subject: Masters of the Universe Classics: Wind Raider
|Greetings fellow He-Fans and She-Ravers,
The Masters of the Universe line has always been known not only for memorable characters, but also for it's unique vehicles as well. Well the first vehicle has arrived for the new Classics line and it's something as a no-brainer that it is one of the most iconic vehicles from the series; the Wind Raider.
The Wind Raider's white mailer box has the words Battle Ram Chariot near the bottom. Somewhat confusing as this is the name of another vehicle but there aren't any in the works at the time. Opening the white mailer we see something new and awesome. Instead of the usual window box, the Wind Raider comes in a closed box featuring artwork! Box art was very prominent in the vintage line but severely lacking ever since. The best part is this artwork was done by none other than Rudy Obero, the artist who did the vintage Wind Raider, and many other's, vintage box art!
Seriously, look how cool this art is. You've not only got He-Man flying the wind Raider, but Skeletor, Evil-Lyn and Beast Man are attacking in Rotons while Man-At-Arms mans Castle Grayskull's guns and Teela stands guard below. If I had anything bad to say it would only be why does He-Man seem to be flying away from the battle? But since he's firing his guns we can assume he's fending off some other evil warrior out of view. Now how often is just the box worth displaying on it's own?
On the back of the box there's no usual bio card. Instead we get the vehicle equivalent of a bio with a full artwork of a blueprint sketch for the Wind Raider. Details of the vehicle are pointed out with explanations of their features and the look is completed down in the corner where the blueprint is signed by Duncan with a series of numbers below his name that I assume is some kind of Eternian dating system.
Another great thing about the blueprints are the nods to the cartoon with the features containing items from the show. The wings are photanium, the fuel tanks are plated with cordite, the grappler has an electro rope, and the formerly unidentified ornament on the front is now labeled an eternium detector. All of this is so cool you almost forget to open the box and check out the actual vehicle!
This thing is pretty big as it has to be in order to hold the 7 inch figures of the line. It measures about 16 inches and like the original there's not much assembly required. Just pop on the wings and tail and you're good to go. The wings do rotate around when in and move in unison. Although it is still rather lightweight, the vehicle's plastic feels much sturdier than the vintage which is a very good thing as the vintage toy was notoriously fragile. Seriously, do a search on e-bay and you will find dozens of vintage Wind Raiders, either by themselves or in collection lots, but only about 1 out of 10, if that, will be undamaged.
This is a stock photo. What's left of mine is in such bad shape I'm too embarrassed to show it. This does lead to another point. All the details are fully sculpted and painted on! The vintage toy used decal stickers that wore off, tore and faded over time. The look of the vintage decals is perfectly recreated, but these ain't going anywhere!
Every little detail is attended to. Check out the control panel. One other thing to note here is the placement of the control handles. When the Wind Raider was first unveiled at comic con it had the handles on the outside of each side. Fans pointed out this was backwards and were assured it would be corrected for the final product. Well it was, however the blueprint art on the box shows the control rods sticking out still. Were the fans wrong but listened to anyway? It does make more sense for them to be on the inside of the cockpit. Also on the front box art you can't see them so it would seem they are on the inside there.
A brand new feature on the Classics Wind Raider is each side has a hatch that opens up showing detailed engine parts inside. This is a neat detail and you can have it displayed with someone working on the engine if you want or just showing off all the compartments.
Like the original toy, the Classics Wind Raider has a grappling hook attached to a line. The line can be wound up just like the vintage toy but turning the device on the front, now labeled the eternium detector. However the more detailed design is longer and hits the cockpit when turned normally. Solution?
Raise it. The wench is only activated when the detector is lifted into the raised position. Up here it clears the cockpit and the winding device will pull the rope back in. Unlike the vintage toy which was purely manual, this version features a spring loaded action feature. Yeah there's irony for you. The vintage line was known for it's action features and didn't have one while the Classics line is usually lacking action features but does have one.
Showing some real cleverness, the trigger button is disguised as one of the bolts on the vehicle's front so as not to detract from the sculpt. Something to note though is it won't launch far when the rope is wound up. It just kind of pops out, but when the rope is out and loose it will shoot good. The string is good and secured so you won't have to worry about it flying away and getting lost. Also the trigger holds it good and doesn't tend to fire on it's own like many of the spring loaded weapons of the 200X line did.
There is some good detailing on the underside as well. The vehicle has three working wheels and glides across fat surfaces very well. There are three things in the middle which I think are meant to be some part of the vehicle's flight generators as it is meant to be a flying ship. The one in the center has a hole where you can plug in the display flight stand.
The stand features the MOTUC logo on the base with an arm leading to the plug. It snaps on good and tight allowing the Wind Raider to be displayed as if in flight. Furthermore the top is articulated allowing for a variety of positions. You can point it up like it's taking off, down like it's landing or dive bombing an enemy, or in a banking flight pose. It also turns so you don't have to move the whole stand. This makes for a great display piece.
The Wind Raider is one of the most commonly used vehicles in media for MOTU appearing in both the Filmation cartoon and the 2002 MYP series. Admittedly there were some differences as the vintage toy was a single person vehicle (There was no toy in the 200X line) while both cartoons, and many other media forms such as comic books, showed it large enough to hold many passengers. It was common in Filmation for Battle Cat to be sitting in the back seat! While the Classics version is still a one man vehicle, it is a fantastic sculpt and looks great. I really think this is a fantastic item for any collection, and I'm not even that big on vehicles normally!
The Wind Raider will be available as a reissue on Mattycollector.com starting July 2. How well it sells could determine the future of vehicles in the line so don't miss out. Good Luck and until next time, Good Journey.
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