Joined: 18 Dec 2005
|Posted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 6:09 pm Post subject: Masters of the Universe Classics: Castle Grayskullman
|Greetings fellow He-Fans and She-Ravers,
Well the 30th Anniversary of MOTU draws to a close and with it the sub line featuring all new characters. So then let's look at the sixth and final figure from the special line; Castle Grayskullman. No you didn't read that wrong. This is not a review of the MOTUC Castle Grayskull playset. (it's not even sculpted yet- and it's unlikely I'll be able to afford one when it does come out) This is about Castle Grayskullman:
The 30th Anniversary line started out with the winner of the previous Create a Character contest from the 80's; Fearless Photog. Bookending the deal it closes with the winner of the new contest; Castle Grayskullman. He comes in the standard MOTUC blister card package with a special star blurb declaring his creator and winner of the Create a Character contest, Daniel Benedict.
The back of the box shows off other figures in the line and presents a bio, with a new piece of artwork, for the all new character. As I understand it Mattel did stay fairly close to Daniel's original idea for the character, a golem like embodiment of the Castle's power created to turn the tide for the heroes in their darkest hour. However, Mattel did make some changes and additions, the biggest being the death of Stratos. as I heard it Daniel says he did not write that part and does not approve of it. But there's nothing he can do about it because that was a condition of the contest. Mattel became the owner of the character and can alter the bio to whatever they want. In fact all entries became Mattel's property whether they won or not! This is why I chose not to enter the contest myself. I did not trust Mattel to treat my creations with proper respect. I do a fair amount of writing, both fan-fiction and original works, and as a writer I am very attached to my creations.
All right looking at CGM out of the package he is a mixture of old and new parts -as was required by the contest guidelines. Frankly this guy has a bit more new tooling than I was expecting. His torso, biceps and legs are the standard male buck. He utilizes the Whiplash shoulders with the scales presenting the brick like appearance of his body. His forearms, hands, shins, and feet are all new molds which continue the green brick appearance as though his body is made from the same stone as the actual castle.
Grayskullman's head features the skull visage of the castle in a humanoid warrior, complete with the crown. He also features long hair that is a mixed color of Grayskull green with He-Man blonde yellow. The hair doesn't get in the way turning left and right but is stiffer than usual and blocks backwards a bit. It looks brighter in the pictures than it does in person, but I still feel a bit darker would have been better. Overall the paint job on this guy is very nice with proper amounts of shading giving him a dark ominous look. One part I do wish had been done differently is the large teeth on the sides which are painted white. I think they should have been left the same color as the rest of the skull.
Now while I do believe his chest armor is actually meant to be his stone body, it is removable and is a softer plastic so it doesn't block his mid torso articulation too much. Of note though, his furry loincloth is a stiffer plastic than we've seen recently. In the center of his armor is an skull shield emblem. This design is seen again in his shield and is modeled after the coat of arms seen on the vintage Castle Grayskull jawbridge. The shield is designed with a clip so it fits onto either wrist, though it does work better on his left arm due to the position of the clip.
Also included are twin swords, that also draw their design from the vintage Castle Grayskull playset. In this case they are modeled after the ones seen on the flag. Even the colors are drawn from the flag as one side showed blue and green swords while the other side showed purple and brown. So the figure comes with one sword from each side. The swords each have a great metallic paint job and do a great job of capturing the look from the vintage flag.
So that's it. The 30th Anniversary line has come to a close and it went out with a pretty cool final figure. Did Castle Grayskullman deserve to win? Well I didn't see all the entries, so I can't fairly answer that question now can I? I can say he is a really cool design and I'm happy to add him to the line. Overall I'd say he's my third favorite from the 30th series. Draego-Man is number one of course, but I actually place Fearless Photog as second. I know a lot of fans will disagree with that assessment, but I think it's because I actually have a bit of nostalgic attachment to Photog. While his figure was never made before, I knew of his existence, so I felt like he was part of the MOTU mythos already.
Castle Grayskullman went over very well with the fan base as he sold out the fastest of all the 30th Anniversary line figures. If you want him you're going to have to check the secondary market and be prepared to pay inflated prices as he is quite popular right now. Good Luck and, until next time, Good Journey.
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