Joined: 18 Dec 2005
|Posted: Sat Dec 29, 2012 11:49 pm Post subject: Masters of the Universe Classics: Granamyr
|Greetings fellow He-Fans and She-Ravers,
I am really happy to be able to bring you this review. As I mentioned recently I got hit by a scam artist and lost a lot of money so as a result I have to put my buying of new figures on hold for a while. However, I am still able to do trades using extra figures I already have in the hopes of keeping up. Still, I figured this guy would be out of my reach, but on a whim I put out an offer for a trade to see if I would get any reaction. Low and behold, it worked and thanks to "Motu_maniac" at He-Man.org I have acquired and present to you GRANAMYR!
:insert theme from 2001 here: Just the white mailer box gives you a scope of how big this item is. It is the biggest item in MOTUC so far. (The upcoming Castle Grayskull will be larger) Before we get to the actual figure (beast?) a little background on the character. Granamyr is the creation of Larry DiTillo, and I do mean his creation. Larry was a major contributor to MOTU having written several episodes for both the Filmation and 200X series and he is responsible for many of the best episodes and thus establishing the background and characteristics of many major characters. (Larry wrote "Secret of the Sword" introducing us to She-Ra!) He wrote the episodes introducing Granamyr into the MOTU storyline, however this was not simply a case of him putting his touch on a Mattel creation.
Larry DiTillo had actually created Granamyr as a roleplaying (i.e. Dungeons and Dragons) character and then brought him into the Eternia setting as a challenge that He-Man could not overcome by fighting. ("Granamyr does not fight humans, Granamyr wins.") That's not to say Granamyr was a bad guy -far from it. Grumpy and a bit self conceited perhaps, but good of heart. ("Am I not the wisest creature in all Eternia? Do I not know magics that were forgotten before humankind ever walked this world?") In all fairness, he had reason not to like or trust humans. ("It has been a thousand years since I last spoke with a human. I found them vain, greedy, warlike, untruthful.... and quite ugly.") In later episodes we get more of the background and learn of how dragons and humans were pitted against each other leading to all out war. So we can't hold it against Granamyr that He-Man had to prove himself.
Granamyr went on to appear in a few more episodes of He-Man and even one of She-Ra, firmly establishing himself as a popular recurring character and one the fans wanted to see in figure form for some time. He even made one appearance in a mini-comic, though that was just an abridged adaptation of his introductory cartoon episode. What makes it stand out is Granamyr looked much more withered with age and, more importantly, he was green instead of red. This led to the vote at SDCC over which color the figure should be and red, thankfully, won by a landslide. While there are fans who would prefer to have him green, I am very glad he was made red as I think this is his more familiar and iconic look, not to mention original. If you prefer him green that's okay, but do not claim it's his original look. The comic, published in 1984, is based on the cartoon, aired in 1983, so red is his original color.
Granamyr comes in a fully closed box which, like the Wind Raider, features beautiful new artwork by Rudy Obrero -the man responsible for much of the great box artwork in the vintage line as well. This makes the box itself a piece that fans are going to want to hang on to. Fortunately, it's very easy to take him out of the box without damaging anything. Very good as the artwork curves around the sides and top as well. But why a closed box instead of a window? Because Granamyr is so big it was more cost efficient to ship him unassembled as noted at the bottom of the box.
The back of the box shows off other figures in the line and presents a bio for Granamyr in the MOTU Classics continuity. For the most part it stays very true to the Filmation continuity, however Darksmoke is not supposed to be located in the Dark Hemisphere. It is supposed to be in the Ice Mountains on the Light Side of the planet.
Now as mentioned Granamyr comes in the box in pieces. His main body is in a bag while the rest of his parts are held in two plastic trays. Unlike the regular figures though, there aren't any plastic bands or twist ties holding the pieces in the trays. There is an instruction sheet included, but the assembly is pretty straight forward. Still, he is made in such a way that he's meant to snap together and not come back apart so take care not to put his arms on backwards or something. (No I didn't do that, I'm just saying...) Now some people have reported problems when assembling him like bent or broken tabs or limbs popping back off. I had no such trouble with mine and it seems this is more a case of not uncommon, but not the normal. Just to be safe, it's recommended that you put his arms on the upper torso first so you can reach in and adjust them if need be before snapping it onto the main body. The only part that gave me any kind of trouble was the wings required a bit of pressure to lock in place.
Now those wings are a reused part as they are the same tool as Draego-Man's. This might seem a bit small at first, but it is accurate as Granamyr was drawn with proportionally small wings on his body in the cartoon. Everything else is brand new and it is a terrific sculpt. The details in the face really capture the look of the wise aged dragon. His helmet is not removable, and I've never been totally sure if the horns are meant to be part of it or are part of Granamyr's actual head poking through it. It is detailed with cracks and even dents showing a worn aged look to it. The details on his scaly skin are well done too including cracked scales, scars, and even a couple warts. His hands and feet end in long black claws, and his body contains great shading overall. The larger purple scales of his belly continue down the base of his tail and likewise the spines on his back continue on as well.
And as for scale... just look how big he is next to He-Man, and that's sitting down! Seriously, this thing's about as large as an infant. But just because he's big does not mean they skimped on the articulation. His head is on a ball joint and, though not designed to come off since no one could interchange with him anyway, it does have the full range of motion with no noticeable interference. His shoulders are only swivel joints, however his elbows are ball jointed basically combining the typical elbow joint and bicep swivel into one articulation point. His wrists are the same way allowing for a wide range of gestures. Now while his upper torso is a separate piece than the lower body, once snapped on it does not move so there is no ab crunch or waist swivel on this guy. Likewise his tail does swivel at the attachment point but no where else. You may notice near the tip there seems to be another connection point, but this does not move. His wings, being the same as Draego-Man's, are ball jointed move just as well.
The articulation in the legs is basically the same as in the arms. He has swivels at the hips, ball joints in the knees and ball joints in the ankles. This allows him to stand up and rise to his full height of almost two feet tall! For comparison look at him next to the vintage Castle Grayskull here. Now one thing about this is, he is very top heavy so he can't balance when fully standing. (He's propped against the castle here) He is clearly meant to be displayed more in his sitting pose, which is the iconic look for him, but the fact that he is capable of getting into other poses, even if he needs support to stay in them, means that I don't hold it against him. It also means he is well worth the higher purchase price.
You know on the Chinese zodiac 2012 was the year of the dragon. Fittingly we got Draego-Man, then Dragon Blaster Skeletor and now we finish it out with the biggest of all in Granamyr. I absolutely love this guy. He's an awesome character who is long overdue for a figure representation and the Four Horsemen nailed it. I can understand the higher price being a deterrent,(it was the whole reason I thought I was going to miss out) but if you can afford him I highly recommend him for your collection. As of this posting Granamyr is still available, but is marked almost gone so get him while you can. Due to the high cost of producing this guy (much like the Wind Raider) it is unlikely we'll see him again once he's gone. If you were holding out in hopes of a green repaint down the road, I think you're going to be out of luck. (And remember we STILL haven't seen a flocked Panthor!) So good luck, Good Journey, and remember:
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