Buzz-Off Review

If I had any misgivings about the overall look of the figure, the paint really didn’t help. His head is molded yellow and painted brown, which is fine if the paint meets the neckline. Mine doesn’t. Plus, the brown stripes in the relief area across his chest weren’t filled in well on any of the figures we received here at IAT. And, perhaps most maddening, the forearm color doesn’t match the biceps! Some sloppy paint is going to happen, but when pieces don’t match… that blows. Sorry, Matty, you draw a QC spotlight this go ’round.

Articulation is pretty much what you’ve come to expect. Ball joints at the head, shoulders, and hips. Swivels at the biceps, waist, and thighs. Hinges at the elbows and knees. Rocker ankles and the ab crunch. The shell around the chest doesn’t really hinder the ab crunch and the head has some decent range (if you tilt his head to the side, you can get a really inquisitive look out of him). The wings are on fully-functional ball joints and they’re great like I said before. The extra tendrils are also ball-jointed and can be displayed or tucked behind depending on if you want to look at them or not.

Buzz-Off includes a recreation of his original axe accessory with a nice updated paint job and an updated version of his MO2K long axe. I like both, but I’m probably going to favor the long axe for the display. I think it’s a more unique piece and it goes better with his motif. I should add that the pincers can hold both weapons very well. They pretty much snap right into place.

Overall, how can I not say that this is another great figure in a line of great figures? I mean, the sloppy QC on the paint withstanding, it is a cool Buzz-Off figure. But I keep going back to that “something more”. I said earlier that I imagined exactly what Buzz-Off was going to look like before he debuted (well, I will admit that I did imagine him coming with two heads, but I digress). I don’t want to be able to do that. I want to be surprised and blown away like I am with Bow or Vikor. I want the Four Horsemen to take a vintage figure and not only update, but innovate on it. I want to look at Buzz-Off and have him be a true Classic unto himself and not just an update of a classic figure.

Haha. That sounds appropriately vague for this vague thing I’m feeling, but it’s true. I want to love Buzz-Off for what he is, not just because he reminds me of a toy I had when I was a kid.

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35 thoughts on “MOTUClassics.Com:
Buzz-Off Review

  1. First off, great review as always! Love that custom Buzz-Off, too!

    Secondly, that “something extra” or wow factor that you couldn’t predict…it’s certainly doable and you gave some great examples of upcoming figures that have it in Bow and Vikor. Man-At-Arms and Trap Jaw are further examples. Being able to not only switch heads out on MAA, but also store ALL of his weapons on his back was outstanding. With Trap Jaw, you get an absolutely amazing figure (and let’s face it, nobody could’ve predicted that mess behind the iron jaw…YUCK!) that can actually double as Kronis, thanks to the second arm/head combo. I mean, there’s your WOW factor! Some figures are costed in to have it, some aren’t (as Matty would say).

    I’m thankful for the modern touches we did get with Buzz-Off, and while I lament the lack of a second head, I can’t really think what I would’ve done differently with the figure.

    1. Thanks! I was a big fan of some of those “faker” designs on that MVC cover, but Evil Buzz-Off stood out among them.

      There’s maybe not too much more that could’ve been done with him, but there are a few little things like new arms to make them more visually compatible. A modern head like you mentioned. And the boots – I surely never thought about this as a kid, but as an adult the dinosaur boots are just weird in general (and weirder on a bee man!). We need an explanation for them in the bios. 😀

  2. I am in total agreement with the review.

    Cool enough replica of the vintage figure (which was absolutely one of my childhood favorites, too!) but NOT what this line should be about.

    Like Vikor, the 4H must be allowed to break free from their shackles!!! LOL

    Seriously though, with the bucks now in place, Mattel could hire basically ANYONE (or do it in-house) if all they want are copies of the old figures. It’s serious under-using of the best in the biz, and it’s a shame.

    Anyway, great review as usual, and great last shot in particular! 🙂

  3. Great review as always. Question… i didnt see a review for the Great Wars pak. I wanted to see the review with the store again LOL

    1. There will be a Great Wars Pak review! The store is just time consuming and I’ve been busy with the holidays and the onslaught of DC Classics. I’m planning to have it up in January. 😀

  4. you know though, we were so friggin excited back in the day that we overlooked some of the early warning signs, like mr stratos there. he was a great relief to get back into the motu groove, but holy crap is a he a straight re-up. even moreso than buzz-off. maybe that’s the problem, the longer sellout times, even then, of the straight up re-articulation of the 80’s smooth and featureless designs, figs like zodac, stratos, and now buzz-off, maybe somehow that didn’t get the point across. what more do we have to do? the fastest sellout times are generally the figs w/ the most “new” details… maybe we need a line graph or bar graph we can show the mat-tards so we can back our claim that the re-ups take longer to sell through… then maybe we’d start getting more “new”

    1. The only problems with doing the graphs would be that we have a lot of missing information. We don’t know inventory levels – even relatively – has everything since She-Ra been produced at her level? Plus, the WSOD has different effects in different months too (which also involves what else is for sale). If we could control for those, it’d be easier.

      But anecdotally? Six hours for Buzz-Off isn’t that impressive and hopefully that meant something and TG noticed.

    2. I’m not so sure this particular issue is a factor on the sell-thru times. It seems many of the things Noisy speaks of aren’t really seen at the proto stage, it’s not until you actually have them in hand these things are really noticed.

      I’d like to suggest a starting point for this kind of discussion, to wit: EVERY original MOTU figure is SOMEBODY’S most favorite figure and has that key nostalgia pull. Witness Noisy and Scareglow. 🙂

      But just because every figure is someone’s favorite, that doesn’t automatically that every figure is going to sell huge numbers. There is a sorting process that goes on, some figures obviously have more love than others, that’s just normal. Ram-Man will probably sell much faster than Snout Spout.

      The early slow sell-through on some figures are likely due to the poor advertising and at that point Mattel may have been still thinking of production runs in ‘firing days’ and not pre-selecting a target number. (honestly, I much prefer that idea, of having no set number but a set time period to order-thus preventing the insane mad scramble. If people keep ordering right up to the close of the window that’s a bonus). Once Mattel decided to create ‘targets’ in order to streamline their logistics things started to go nuts.

      Add to that scalper fever. I am convinced that many of the ‘giants’ got bought up by scalpers with visions of making huge bux because the vintage figs are rare and/or nonexistent.

      So, I’m just not convinced that bitching and moaning (valid tho that may be) about sculpts is impactiful on the sell-thru times.

  5. I agree…’s definitely the figures with new little innovations here and there that really make a Classics figure what is. When it’s a straight up copy of the classic, that kinda does kill it.

    1. Sy-Klone was one that really bummed me out. I mean, he was an excellent candidate for just a simple hybridization between the two styles and even that didn’t happen. I’m sure he’ll be a nice figure when he gets here, but it seems like such a shame.

  6. I couldn’t agree more with your review. I wasn’t too excited for this figure when he was announce, but once I had him in hand I loved him for what he was. However, Roboto, Sy-Klone, and Buzz-Off didn’t wow me as much as Marzo, Adora, or say Grizzlor.

    Buzz is definitely lacking that intangible wow factor. He comes close, but it’s not there. I really do think he needed a 200x head and swappable hands. I think that’s all it would have taken.

    1. He really does come close. I literally struggled with how to present this review because he was right on the precipice. He’s well done and slightly underdone.

  7. Glad to see that we’re on the same page.

    Nowadays, I’m more excited about characters who aren’t from the 80’s MOTU, like POP (they’ll be based upon the style guide, something we’ve never seen in toy form before), NA (fans love improved figures–see Bow, King Hsss’ human form and Optikk), MYP characters and concept characters (totally new characters). In comparison, the general MOTU characters are the vintage figures with modern articulation and better paint–no new elements or innovations to them.

    1. God I hope so. I don’t see why we can’t have Classic versions of both vintage and 200X looks.

    2. Mattel management fail.

      Unless they release a 2nd Buzz-Off down the road.

      But unless it’s got more than just a new head, that’s milking the fans too much for my taste. :/

    3. Hey, CB! Thanks for stopping by!

      I imagined that you had done the second head (that extra parts bin at your studio would no doubt make a grown man cry) and it just didn’t make it to the collectors.

      If Mattel does get around to putting that head with the figure someday, hopefully Mattel will let you guys do more with the rest of the figure too.

      Like Lay Ze says, just the new head might make me feel like crap for buying it! LOL

    4. y’know, thinking of Mattel’s “licensing” answer in terms of why a second head wasn’t included, it does make me wonder:

      they’d really honestly market Buzz Off with this ridiculous-looking vintage styled head over the MO2K head? Really? They honestly think kids are gonna bite on the happy looking bumblebee? R..really?

    5. Thanks for dropping this HUGE bomb on us CB…
      URRRRRGH!!! This is what pisses me off to no end… The ONE character who Truly needed his 200X head IS Buzz-Off. The 4H MAKE IT and Mattel says “No…” I want to kick the happy sack of the one(s) who denied me of my 200X bee head.
      I did buy Buzz-Off, more out of habit than by wanting him. No offense to the 4H’s work, but Vintage Buzz-Off’s head sucks! The 4H recreated the suckitude of the source material flawlessly. Hopefully I’ll like it better once I have it in my hands.

  8. I totally agree with the points made in another great review.

    For some reason, the actual figure greatly surpasses my underwhelmed initial impressions. The huge and very poseable wings, legs, and weapons give him more substance than many of the other figures of his kind that lean more towards “upgrade” than drastic improvement. I’m impressed by how subtle the work is to make the head pretty cool when it logically should be rather dumb looking.

    I really like the figure alot, but I can probably blame some of that on low expectations and having no love for the vintage figure. Add to that no QC problems construction wise and the fact that he’s very pose-friendly with no fur or cape, and he’s a pleasant surprise for me.

    Regardless of that, you hit the nail on the head soooo effing hard it hurts. That is a great point made about the creativity of the 4H. For me, a
    fan of the artistry and clever design that goes into figures, the old “vintage vs. 200X” debate really takes a back seat to my feelings as a longtime fan of the 4H. As a fan, I’m not married to the ideas they brought to this stuff years ago, I just want them to have the freedom to be brilliant at what they do. I get that there is a buck system, vintage comes first, and I wouldn’t want to deny anyone a faithful upgrade once their favorite childhood figure rolls around. Still, my reason for getting on board here are the fantastic touches resulting from creative freedoms. Even the little things, like Trap-Jaw’s nasty mouth and Tri-Klops’s hidden eyes are so very impressive.

    Maybe it’s greedy, but I want to see more and hope to be blown away with each release! To be fair, I’ve got a Buzz-Off here that I really enjoy despite being based on a design that I don’t, and it took some skill and care to make that happen.

    1. The little things really make the line – that’s completely true. And you’re absolutely right about the skill and care it took to make this figure what it is – an excellent vintage recreation with a dash of MO2K.

      The slight negativity I felt towards it seemed out of place in light of what the Four Horsemen did do with him! I had to really think and rewrite this review a couple times to hit the right note.

  9. One thing that really bugs me about Buzz Off (aside from not getting that second head. That would have been sweet), is the tiny little pincer hands. Those things just look so ridiculous to me. I realize these figures are supposed to be updates of the originals, but I thought having a touch of “modern flair” was also supposed to be part of the deal. Having larger claws would make him look much more bad ass, rather than just looking like someone who has difficulty eating soup. Bigger pincers and a 2002 head probably would have gotten me to buy this figure, but without those, I had no problems giving this guy a pass on the 15th.

    1. A couple people have mentioned alternate/different hands to me and I could see that. I was wondering if they’d be nicer articulated, but the weapons snapped into place so snugly that I figured articulating them would have been worse overall.

      The MO2K hands were a bit too disfunctional for me, but if they could have been hybridized it could’ve turned into something cool.

  10. Good review. You hit upon my initial reluctance to buy Classics succinctly in this review.

    For me, the 200X figures were what I imagined the MOTU designs could be – awesome and individualized. The individual personality of Buzz-Off having insect hands, or an extra-large Beast Man – that is the MOTU I want.
    Classics does not give the ULTIMATE version of a character. It strikes some strange balance between every interpretation of the character, updating while remaining frozen on that (essentially) one-body template circa 1982.
    I didn’t jump into Classics fully until I saw the offerings at SDCC 2009, because it clarified what the line would be. When I saw Trap Jaw and the Goddess, I was in, because I knew I had to have those. And in looking at the other figures, I could see that Classics was something I had to collect. They wouldn’t be the 200X continuation that I wanted, but they would be an update of the original styled figures in a modern context.

    Now, I’m not surprised by the Classics interpretations of Buzz-Off, Sy-Klone, and many of the figures, so there isn’t room for disappointment. Knowing what we are going to get keeps my expectations realistic…I enjoy this Buzz-Off, even though I wasn’t looking forward to him, because he fulfills the basic minimum of what I would want from a Buzz-Off update. I’ll continue to collect Classics as long as I enjoy them. I wish they were more individualized, but I enjoy the designs enough to compromise on the body types.

  11. This review is spot on, this is how I exactly feel about MOTUC now.

    ROBOT was my favorite MOTU as a kid, I didn’t mind the reversed shoulders but they could’ve been a little more creative, then just a normal right hand, seriously the guys a robot, they could’ve done anything to update him.

    MOTUC is just adding joints to the MOTU figs I had as a kid. I don’t want them to go 200x or MYP, but I do want them to be creative. Let your imagination fly. Cause MOTUC is getting predictable.

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