Joined: 18 Dec 2005
|Posted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 4:46 pm Post subject: Masters of the Universe Classics: Rattlor
|Greetings fellow He-Fans and She-Ravers,
For being the smallest faction figure wise, the Snake Men have been getting a lot of attention this year. We've had Snake Man-At-Arms, the Snake Men army builder pack and now the general himself: Rattlor.
Rattlor -and yes it is Rattlor and not "The General" as he was labeled in 200X due to trademark issues- comes in the standard MOTUC blister card package with the Snake Men logo sticker on the bubble. He's packed in with his neck down, or rather off, and his staff laying before him. The back of the box shows off other figures in the line. specifically the other Snake Men, plus Hurricane Hordak for whom there is a connection as explained in the bio.
I can forgive the real name to a degree. Since he is basically "General Rattlor" we can argue that Rattlor is his surname. On that note this bio is largely taken from the 200X background for Rattlor, even though the figure is vintage in design. In the vintage storyline Rattlor was just another Snake Man warrior and not super special. In fact, he was more often depicted as less intelligent and often played second fiddle to Tung Lashor. In the 200X storyline Rattlor was made far more menacing and beefed up to King Hiss' right hand man. Personally I think he was chosen because he has the least goofy sounding name compared to King Hiss' other warriors. In fact, I could be wrong, but I believe Tung Lashor, Sssqueeze, and Snake Face were only named once when they first appear in the cartoon and then their names were never said aloud on screen again!
Going by that personality though I find it VERY hard to believe Rattlor would abandon his king for Hordak. While I can believe Khan would manipulate Hiss against Rattlor, I think the more likely response to this would be Rattlor just up and killing Khan then working his way back into Hiss' graces. With Khan out of the way that would not take long. Obviously they wanted to address the issue of Rattlor being shown as a Horde member in the Filmation cartoon, but they probably should have stuck with the vintage explanation. More on that later.
For now let us look at the actual figure. Rattlor, like many figures in the line, goes back to his vintage design for the new figure. I, and many fans, feel this was a good move particularly in the head as this one actually looks like a rattlesnake. The 200X version, many felt, looked more like a dinosaur. Indeed, when he first appeared on screen in the cartoon I was thinking, "who is this?" it was only when they showed a closer view of his tail that I realized it was Rattlor. (then they went and said his name aloud ten seconds later)
The sculpt of this figure is quite impressive with a lot of detailing in his scales. While we technically saw the arms and legs first on the army builder Snake Man figure, it was clear from the start that these parts were sculpted to be used for Rattlor and the generic soldier was just a way of getting more use out of them. This time around the scales are painted up with his unique pattern and it looks fantastic. You can see a lot of work went into this guy. While the solider used the standard buck torso, Rattlor has a new unique scaly body which, of course has his tail down the back. It's somewhat similar to those of Whiplash and Draego-Man, with a swivel joint about halfway down. The tip has his signature rattle on the end, which kind of appears to be another joint, however I could not get mine to turn. I'm not sure if it's not meant to swivel or if I just had a really tight one, but I was afraid of breaking it so I didn't try to force it anymore. In keeping with the past versions, and giving him a sort of action feature, the tail does contain beads inside so he does rattle when shook. Sadly this is the quietest version of Rattlor to date. The vintage one had the beads in the actual figure's torso and had a nice loud rattle. The 200X version had the rattle solely in the tail but it made a louder sound than this one. The rattle is there but it's not that big.
Rattlor's other feature of course was his extending neck. On both the vintage and 200x versions there was a button on the figure's back that, when pressed, caused his neck to spring out. This was based on real life rattlesnakes and their ability to lash out quickly. Of course real rattlesnakes don't actually grow longer necks, they simply are able to go from a coiled position to an extended position and back super fast. For the Classics Rattlor figure the extending neck is handled in a manner much like Mekaneck. An extension piece is included that can be fit between the head and neck peg. A nice thing about this neck is it has full scale details and blends into the body perfectly.
For a weapon Rattlor includes his snake staff. Just like the vintage figure, it is the same mold as King Hiss' staff but painted in colors to match with Rattlor better.
Rattlor also includes a Horde armband, which I believe is the same mold as Hordak's and Grizzlor's. On those two however it came on the figure and, due to the shape of the forearms on said figures, was difficult to remove. For Rattlor, it comes unattached in the package, but his arms are sculpted in a way that it can easily be slipped on or off allowing different display options.
As mentioned earlier, Rattlor was depicted on the Filmation She-Ra series as a Horde member. Behind the scenes the reason he and Tung Lashor appeared as Horde members was the He-Man cartoon had ended so Mattel used the She-Ra series to portray new figures coming out. (Why they didn't just have the Snake Men as a non-Horde threat for She-Ra to face I don't know) There was an explanation given in the mini-comics that those two had managed to escape imprisonment in the Void and went to work for Hordak as they had no where else to go. Once King Hiss was freed they left the Horde and went back to him so the episodes where they work for Hordak simply take place before Hiss was set free. This did carry over a bit into Filmation as in the vintage mini-comics Skeletor and the Snake Men often worked together and Rattlor did make a later appearance in the Christmas Special working for Skeletor instead of Hordak.
It may or may not be worth mentioning that, for subscribers, Rattlor was shipped with a sticker sheet featuring a new designed faction logo. This is mainly for fans who would rather have the Great Rebellion as the logo instead of Princess of Power. Again though this is more for Mint on Card collectors. Notice how one is extra large for Swift Wind's box. As far as I know though, this is a one time deal and future packaging, like the upcoming Netossa, will continue to use the Princess of Power logo sticker. There is also one Time Agents logo sticker for The Mighty Spector. Why bother with this one I don't know as there aren't any other Time Agents getting figures. At least they altered it. When it was first shown off the logo had Spector's face in it. The final product instead has the spade symbol. I said it may or may not be worth mentioning as this was only included for subscribers. If you bought him on day of sale, it was not shipped with it.
In a side by side comparison you can really see how the Classics Rattlor takes after the vintage version and how radically different the 200X design was. All of the Snake Men were pretty different in 200X actually and if I remember correctly the Four Horsemen were only behind the redesign of Kobra Khan. Mattel came up with the others and the Horsemen just sculpted them. There was going to be one measure of 200X influence though.
Classics Rattlor was going to come with a version of his 200X armor. This was actually tooled, but got cut due to high costs. Mainly it was paint deco costs. The figures are painted by hand and they have to do the detailing on each one of those scales. That's a lot to put into him. Again though it was tooled so hopefully it can be released somehow in the future for those who want it. Meanwhile I think Classics got the extended neck look down better as 200X wound up curved downwards too much. It was more like he was trying to headbutt his enemies than bite them.
Overall I am really happy with how Rattlor turned out. I think this is one of the best sculpted and painted figures so far and perfectly updates the character. He looks great alongside his Snake Men brethren and helps fill out the ranks with more of the main characters.
Rattlor is sold out on Mattycollector.com so check the secondary market for this guy. Good luck and, until next time, Good Journey.
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