This review was originally published on November 30th, 2011.
I’ve been really busy this season that I had forgotten about Snout Spout when he arrived yesterday (it didn’t help that Mattycollector took a week to ship him). This figure is one of my favorite childhood toys, but I can’t say that the Classics version is one of my favorites today.
The original Snout Spout was a later figure in the line, debuting in 1986 a couple years after the cartoon had ended. He did appear in Princess of Power a handful of times, so he has some Filmation cred and ends up being a character that could conceivably occupy a spot in both the Vintage Toy & POP rosters. I have no memories of POP as a kid, but I did have the figure and I absolutely loved it. Snout Spout is among my favorite MOTU figures keeping company with guys like Faker, Scareglow, & Sy-Klone.
I don’t know what it was about the vintage toy that I enjoyed so much. The colors? Orange is a favorite. The elephant head? It was so crazy it worked. The fireman aspect? Surely. I still lament the lack of a GI Joe Firefighter sub-line (so obvious, Hasbro), Hot Spot & Inferno were fave Transformers, and I got a lot of play out of Inferno from C.O.P.S. too.
Anyway, it’s probably all of those and I’m sure the water-squirting feature was part of too (Kobra Khan is another vintage favorite). And everything that I loved before is duplicated here… almost exactly… so what’s not to love?
I’m aware that I just spent a good chunk of my Man-E-Faces review talking about how I wasn’t as happy as I could be with the figure because he wasn’t vintage enough (he was pre-vintage, really) and now I’m going to point out, roughly a week later, that I’m not as happy with Snout Spout because he’s seemingly just too vintage. Life’s full of contradictions like that.
Sculptwise, Snout Spout got what the vintage figure called for – new boots and gloves, new undies, the harness & backpack, and that giant elephant noggin. The boots and gloves are new to the figure, but I could see them getting some re-use in the 30th Anniversary line or maybe for another character that could use a little more detailing. The new boots feature the “hidden” ankle peg that debuted with Vikor.
My favorite thing about the harness, I’m not going to lie, is that it covers up the nipples. I’m not against nipples, but I have to wonder, when nearly all of the figures are wearing clothes, why Mattel hasn’t found some development money to make a non-naked torso. The harness itself is pretty much a fully-realized update of the original with some minor details changed. Similarly, the loincloth is a straight update of the original.
The backpack got a little more love than the rest of the ensemble,. It’s a nice update of the original but the dimensions have been refined a bit, the “thrusters” are fully formed instead of being implied like the original toy, and ol’ Snouty picked up a MO2K pressurized tank on the side somewhere along the way. Pretty cool. The pack is removable, but the pegs are small, so take caution when popping it on or off.
Ultimately, though the head is generally what is going to make or break the figure. While I think it could’ve used a little more MO2K love (I loved the updates to the staction’s head), I’m at least happy that this Snout Spout doesn’t look sad. I’m fondest of him looking out from under his brow so far, because he looks pretty pissed (and based off that bio, shouldn’t he be?). The head does feature a lot of little details, but the irony is that almost all of them were present on the original (the exception being the rivets down the trunk).
Articulation is standard for the line since it’s mostly He-Man under there. I love the new enclosed ankles because they’re tighter. The design of Snout Spout’s head allowed for some excellent range on his neck articulation and that has been one of the happier aspects of the figure so far. The trunk itself is made of a bendable rubber, but it’s also painted. Whenever I move it, the paint bunches up a bit and gives me pause. The material feels durable and I’m not too worried about it so far, but I don’t expect to get too much play out of this particular feature lest I start putting cracks in the paint. More worrisome are the ankles, however. They’re internal like Vikor’s, but they’re not sturdy like Vikor’s. It’s not as bad as the He-Man boots, but it’s not good either. Continue to Page 2