Vault Review:
MOTU Classics Clawful

Apparently Stay Puft is so damned big that our SDCC orders won’t even begin shipping until the 9th. Which makes me wonder who we’ll get first, Marlena or Man-E-Faces? Oh well, at least we’ve got Clawful here to keep you MOTU fans happy. (There’s also that mysteriously aloof Weapons Rack, right Noisy?)

I was never really a big fan of Clawful as a kid. Looking back on it, I think part of my problem with him is the ambiguity of exactly what Clawful is. With his fleshy skin and shell armor, Clawful looks more like a guy cosplaying as a crustacean Mexican wrestler than an actual crab. And what’s with those bushy black eyebrows? Whether a crab monster or lucha libre, that’s just not right.

The original cartoon didn’t help much either since that version of Clawful had no large claw, wore different clothing, and had a head that looked more like a lizard or dragon. Very confusing indeed. It wasn’t until the 200X series that Clawful began to take on a definite crab-like appearance. If it wasn’t for the new cartoon, Clawful’s species issues might have remained a mystery forever.

Clawful’s design is heavily based on his original figure, although the 4H did take some liberties. Instead of the He-Man type buck they used the scaly body used for Whiplash. They also chose to go with the bumpy legs and forearm. This feature definitely gives the character a more consistent crab-like feel over the original toy. This body type also blends more seamlessly with his armor, making the shell appear to be part of his body rather than a fashion choice.

The most disappointing thing about this figure is his lack of a Classicized 200X head. The design of the vintage head is so different from the MO2K version that I expected them both to be included, like what they did for Whiplash. Unfortunately the figure debuted with only one head. This might not have been as big a deal for me, except for the fact that the MO2K Clawful never received a toy. An alternate head on this figure would have gone a long way in making up for that mistake.

Clawful’s most distinguishing feature, aside from the eyebrows, is the giant claw on his right arm. There may be no action features in the Classics line, but luckily for us a lot of the design choices tend to have a very action-feature-y feel to them. With the aid of an internal spring, this new hollow pincer clamps shut automatically with a very satisfying clacking noise.

One thing I was a little sad to discover is that his pincer wasn’t made to be compatible with Roboto/Trap Jaw. My hopes for a metallic robot claw to appear in a future Weapon’s Pak were dashed.  Continue to page 2…

22 thoughts on “Vault Review:
MOTU Classics Clawful

  1. Nice Review!

    Clawful is a very cool figure overall, but I wish he had a more merged style head than the vintage head. Other than that, I like him.

    1. Thanks Mose.

      Yeah, even a merged style would have been better than just straight vintage.

  2. i am apparently in the minority in that i like the new shield better than the vintage mace. for one, i love the blue serrations that could easily give him a slash attack w the shield, and it gives him a one-two attack style where he can parry or slash w/ the shield, and use that bio-mechanical twist to build momentum for a claw bitch slap or lunging pinch. the mace is kind of counter productive when you have one fist that’s a huge carapace sledge.

    that said, i do have two small complaints. the first being, the claw doesn’t open as far as it ought… you can barely get it on a guy’s wrist… it should open enough to grab a face or neck. the second being that the claw pops off, for those who don’t know, to remove the armor. BUT the peg that the claw pops onto is VERY soft on mine, soft enough that i would not advise taking the claw (and hence, the armor) off. it is definitely much less stable than the legs we’ve seen so far for roboto or trap jaw. i don’t know if it’s a QC thing or a deliberate use of a cheaper plastic (i’m sure you know where i lean) and it reminds me once again that even when mattel wins, they lose. to gaff on clawful’s claw is just unforgivable.

    1. His claw should definitely open wider, and lock in place once opened or something. They gave it a half-assed action feature…why not just go all the way and give us a small button to work it with, or at least have it open wider?

  3. Maybe I’m just blinded by nostalgia, but the vintage head freaking rules. Best thing about the figure.

    However, I wish Mattel wouldn’t have cheaped out/maintained this stubborn anti-200x stance, and had included a 200x head so Clawful wouldn’t be getting the undeserved hate and disappointment from some for merely not having it. The vintage head sticks with MOTUC’s M.O. (updated versions of classic representations) and was really the only option. He’s the best MOTUC in awhile to me….truly awesome!

    1. To clarify, don’t direct your hate for the missing 200x head at poor Clawful (bless his heart). He can only give us all that he was given by his creators, Mattel. Direct your hatred there.

      1. I have to agree, I think Clawful is perfect. I think its unfair to hold the lack of a 200x head against him. He might not be a very exciting character, but he’s one that I’m glad to have nonetheless.

  4. Excellent review, as always, on one of my favourite fictional characters ever. (I had many pet hermit crabs as a kid, and of course, one of them had to be called Clawful.)

    I agree with the points that his claw should’ve been designed to open wider and he should’ve come with an addiitional Millennial head, but I’m also thrilled because of the unexpected spring-loaded claw and because this is the MOTUC figure I’ve been waiting for since the line started. Actually, I’ve been waiting for it since 1984, since the only version of him I could find back then was the cheesy rip-off Skeletor-legs Clawful that didn’t look as cool. Now I’ve finally got a Clawful with the correct legs, and it only took me 27 years.

    Okay, so that’s now slightly more than half of my most favourite MOTU characters that have been made or announced to be released soon. While I’ll continue to collect the rest with gusto, I most eagerly await Two-Bad, Spikor, Mantenna, and Horde Trooper!

        1. That looks much better. Thanks for the pic.

          Also, love that 200X Havoc staff. Wish Mattel would do one of those too.

  5. I just get Clawful yesterday and I really like him! I see there is some kind of incompatibility between the two accesories. I like the shield but it is kind awkward to use a shield and a weapon in the same arm. In my opinion you can pose him with the shield or the mace but not both. About the head, it´s fine for me but not great.

  6. I love Clawful from the neck down. I hate his muppet head. The 4H failed in that respect. Mattel failed as well. Just get rid of the eyebrows and he’d be perfect.

    I also agree that his claw doesn’t open wide enough.

    He’s still a cool figure though.

  7. Clawful was one of the first figures I didn’t own as a kid after dropping the line. He’s also the first one that made me regret it. I loved everything about him, including his name. But the Muppet comparison is spot on. Whenever I look at his mug, it reminds me of Bert somehow. An evil Bert, to be precise. Like that thing he did with his eyebrows whenever Ernie ticked him off. LOL! Excellent figure otherwise.

  8. Another cool review that you made of Clawful. His shield & back piece really makes this figure stand out!!

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