I wasn’t excited when Buzz-Off was revealed at SDCC. It was odd, because he was one of my favorite toys growing up. I loved his colors. I loved his wings (though I did lose one along the way). He was great. Classics Buzz-Off really brings back those memories, but, truthfully he elicits them a little too well.
I’ve been really conflicted about Buzz-Off since he arrived on Monday. Heck, I usually have these reviews up the next day and here it is four days later already. I want to like him, and there are certainly many reasons to do so, but I fear he’s becoming a symbol of something about MOTU Classics that I’m starting not to like.
I want to see some innovation. Some imagination. I want to see the Four Horsemen be utilized. I look at Buzz-Off and he looks perfect. Exactly as I imagined he would look – mostly Whiplash, the right new pieces to simulate the old new pieces, and a touch of MO2K throw in. But I find myself wishing for that ephemeral something more. Something that I couldn’t have imagined. Something hat I could get excited about that doesn’t stem from nostalgia.
I blame Bow & Vikor for this whole mess really. I mean – look at those guys. They look fantastic and I find myself more excited for “She-Ra’s Special Friend” and the “He-Man from the North” than I am for my childhood favorites – Buzz-Off, Roboto, Sy-Klone, etc. That’s just wrong.
So I look at Buzz-Off and I just wish there was a little more “Four Horsemen” in him like those other two guys seem to have. The 4H have proven themselves fantastic creators and I can’t even imagine the cool stuff they could do with these figures (even while reasonably ensconced in the buck system) if they were allowed to stretch their own imaginations. With Buzz-Off in-hand and seeing Sy-Klone’s debut, it feels like MOTUC has moved into this area where the 4H touch is lessened on the toys I had as a kid. That kinda stinks. I’d like to be amazed & nostalgic instead of just being amazed by some and nostalgic for others…
In any case, I don’t want to hold any of that against Buzz-Off here. And I’m going to try my very best not to…
(Editor’s Note – I couldn’t track down my MO2K Buzz-Off for this review, so I substituted one that I knew the location of – a custom of the evil Buzz-Off hinted at on one of the MVC covers.)
As I briefly mentioned above, we’ve seen most of Buzz-Off before, back in August, when Whiplash introduced this new scaly buck. I do like it quite a bit. The extra detail on the shoulders is welcome. The extra torso piece simulates the original chest well and adds depth. Heck, I think it looks even better here on Buzz-Off than it did on Whiplash.
And Buzz-Off does have some bits that are new/unique to him. New forearms/pincers, a new head, and a new backpack (with wings!). The pincers and forearms are well done. I’m particular grateful for the forearms as they help Buzzy to get some distinction from his buckmates. The head is… okay. I didn’t really think of Buzz-Off as having a balloon head when I was a kid, but looking back – he kinda does. That’s been fixed for the classics edition and it looks much better this time around. I can’t quite make out the expression on the figure though. He’s somewhere between inquisitive and complacent. Kinda like how I feel about him, so maybe I’m projecting.
One thing that did surprise me is how much I really love the wings. I loved ’em as a kid and I do enjoy having two of them again. In fact, my misgivings with the figure do drop considerably when he’s posed with those wings flared out. Not only do they look great, but they move great too – they’re connected to the “backpack” piece via ball-joints and can be placed in just about any direction. That hint of MO2K also comes into play here as two tendrils have been added to the bottom of the “backpack” to balance out the wings.
Ah, the helmet. The bane of every kid that had vintage Buzz-Off. It didn’t look that great and it didn’t really stay on. Mattel has definitely rectified the latter – this one stays on great. The former? Eh. It certainly doesn’t look as bad as previous versions and it does have some nice little extra details that match the wing “backpack”, but the “eyes” are still enlarged enough to let that familiar silliness creep in. It’s okay, really. I mean, he is a giant bee guy. Maybe silliness is called for? Continue to Page 2…