Joined: 18 Dec 2005
|Posted: Sat Nov 29, 2014 11:34 pm Post subject: Masters of the Universe Classics: Battle Ram
|Greetings fellow He-Fans and She-Ravers,
well it's been a long time coming but it's finally here. Years ago (I can't even remember exactly when) the Four Horsemen sculpted a Battle Ram in scale for Masters of the Universe Classics as a way to pitch the idea to Mattel of adding vehicles to the line. Mattel gave the idea a try, but decided to go with the Wind Raider as the first entry instead. While the initial run sold out in just a couple days the reissue sat on the site for months on end and Mattel declared the idea of vehicles for the line failed. Fan demand pressured them though and while at first they said it would be too expensive to do they later caved in (perhaps encouraged by Castle Grayskull sales) and made the front Sky Sled part of the vehicle with the mold made to possibly get the back half later. Now at last they have come around and released a full Battle Ram vehicle for the line.
And it is big! The Battle Ram comes in the large window box style packaging but this box is much wider than previous released items. The vehicle is fully displayed within along with the exclusive figure included. There are star blurbs on the package detailing many of the features. The missile is actually behind the vehicle and not loaded in the package.
Like the Wind Raider, the back of the box shows off a blueprint like artwork detailing many of the features and presented as if this was drawn up by Man-At-Arms himself. There isn't a bio card for the included figure, but we know all about Duncan already. I mean do we really need a whole bio to explain why he wears his hair in a topknot under his helmet?
On that note let's go ahead and take a look at this new Man-At-Arms figure before getting to the actual vehicle. This could be called "Multi-Genertation Man-At-Arms" due to his design. He's pretty much the same figure as the initial release except he now has matching armor on both arms. He also has the Keldor shins done in his armor's orange and feet in brown. These features are to match up to how he appeared in the Filmation series.
His head however is 200X in design. For the first time we now have an unhelmeted head for Duncan featuring his hair up in a top knot ponytail as it appeared whenever he took off his helmet in the MYP cartoon -and by extension the 200X comic book.
So with a little head swapping you can have a Filmation and a MYP Man-At-Arms. (especially when you add the large blaster from the weapons pack) It must be noted though that the pegs and heads seem to be slightly different sizes. As a result the unhelmeted head is rather tight while the original MAA head is a bit loose on the new body. Not bobble head spinning top loose but noticeably more so than a standard figure.
For weapons he comes with the same mace and small pistol as the first release Man-At-Arms and also the silver mace like the Palace Guards had. He still has the same armor back where you can clip the weapons on to, though the silver guard mace doesn't fit as well.
Now for the actual vehicle. You may have noticed that while the back blueprint showed and mentioned the griffin motif head on the front sky sled part, the one in the package looked different. For the most part this section is the exact same as the Sky Sled released last year with Sky High (yeah it was called the Jet Sled, but I pointed out then how that was wrong) but they changed the head. It's a new molded piece glued onto the sled in place of the griffin head. This design is of a snake head and harkens back to the Filmation series where, if you look closely enough you'll see, the Sky Sleds used by the villains had a different snake motif look than those used by the heroes. In the original artwork they were also supposed to be green but that difference didn't quite make it through to the final show.
So what Mattel and the Horsemen have done here is provided a product where if you missed out on the sled last year you still can get a full Battle Ram now. They even matched the color up just right. However if you did pick up that set you can swap it out and have the full heroic griffin motif Battle Ram and a snake motif Sky Sled for the villains.
Either Sky Sled attaches to the back end forming the full Battle Ram vehicle. They actually clip in so it won't fall apart and instead stays in one piece until you deliberately separate them. When I first detached the snake sled it gave some resistance but nothing broke and once out I found I could easily remove and reattach either sled with ease. Basically this was like how some figures have super tight joints out of the box that once you get them moving the first time they work fine. In its entirety the Battle Ram is quite a large item for the line. Something I noticed was that at first there seemed to be too much distance between the front and back ends when attached, but this proved to be an optical illusion due to the size. Once a driver is placed in position you can see that it is the right size. The vintage had this too, though not as much since it wasn't as big as the Classics version.
The back portion is all new and like the front sled features highly detailed designs. It takes what were easily damaged stickers on the vintage and instead has them as sculpted on, and thus three dimensional, details. The wheels are hard plastic and roll freely with no problem. The missile launcher actually works though the missile is a softer plastic probably for safety reasons. Another thing to note is that on the vintage the trigger was a lever on the side, but on the Classics it's a button right above the missile.
A new feature though is the back now has a control panel with handles for a rear passenger. More importantly is there is now a small foothold on the back that the vintage did not have, thus making the back end work as an independent part better. A great feature is that it has two different sets of foot pegs to hold figures. The larger ones on the outer edges are the size for most standard figures, while there is a set of thinner ones towards the center that can accommodate smaller feet like those of the female figures or the small holes in the Keldor feet- which the included Man-At-Arms has.
Next to the vintage vehicle you can really appreciate the scale difference, while also noting how well they captured the look of the vintage toy while improving the details. I mean look how faded and torn the stickers are on mine after thirty years! (I also could swear I had the missile around somewhere but can't find it now) I've mentioned before how I've always been more into the figures and beasts than the vehicles, but that said I still like them and when one is done really good I'm very impressed. This vehicle was done really good and I am very impressed. It makes for a great addition to the line and really my only complaint is the high price tag attached. I understand it being pricy due to the sheer size, but still feel it shouldn't cost quite as much as it does. (but I'm hardly a financial expert)
The Battle Ram got taken down from Mattycolletor during the Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale so check again after the sale ends as I'm fairly sure it'll be back up available then. Until next time, Good Journey.
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