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MOTUClassics.Com:
Swift Wind Review

This review was originally published on December 19th, 2011.
A large part of the delay in getting my MOTU Classics Swift Wind review up is because Mattycollector didn’t bother to ship my November order until December, but I’ve been a little hesitant at taking a look at this brightly-colored unicorn since he arrived. This will be my first horse review.

I think some of my hesitance about reviewing Swifty is that I’m not sure if he’s a figure or a vehicle. It may sound silly, but Battle Cat, and subsequently Panthor, made the leap to being individual figures in the line. They’re just as much fun on their own as they are rides for our favorite characters.

Swift Wind doesn’t quite feel that way. It’s not a knock against the figure, a horse simply shouldn’t be as articulated as a giant cat, but his status as a horse does leave me feeling a bit more like he’s window dressing, a ride for She-Ra, a vehicle. And I haven’t reviewed many vehicles here at IAT (I can only think of one off the top of my head in the last three years). It left me unsure of what metrics to use in this review. Do I look at Swift Wind and measure him to Battle Cat? Do I simply look at how well he works as a steed? I don’t know. I still don’t right now. This review might be more blathering than usual. Just a heads up.

Last year, Mattel spent a fair amount of time promoting a fan vote between “Royal White” and “Classic Pink”, the two decos of the original Swift Wind toy. In retrospect, it was a little odd when you think about it because, unlike the vintage MOTU guys, the She-Ra branch of MOTU Classics really tends to draws inspiration from the cartoon designs and forego replicating the original toys. White (thankfully) won the Swift Wind vote, but collectors didn’t get an upgrade of the Royal White Swift Wind, but rather Swifty as he appeared in the cartoon itself.

For my money, I’m glad Mattel/Scott/Four Horsemen made that call. While I understand that some collectors have attachment to those original toys and would like to see those designs updated, that’s not what I’m looking for with MOTU Classics. The last thing I want out of any MOTU figure is just to see the vintage toy get an unimaginative upgrade. With Swift Wind though, there was another component – this is his iconic look. The original toys, which would surely make cool Classics, simply can’t replace his cartoon design in my eyes. In fact, if I’d been collecting Princess of Power toys as a kid, I can only imagine annoyance at why Mattel didn’t make Swift Wind match the show in the first place. In a way, this feels like righting a decade’s old wrong, but I’ll understand if fans of the original toys disagree. I’d moved off to Ghostbusters & G.I. Joe by the time She-Ra was hitting store shelves.

The sculpt here is… a horse. The most impressive thing about it though is the size. He’s much bigger than I expected – about 8” tall and a foot-and-a-half wingspan. This guy is going to take up space, so be prepared.

The horsemen have sculpted horses before, and this latest iteration is just as well done as the horse that served as steed to the Headless Horsemen many years ago. Clearly the Four Horsemen know their stuff when it comes to animal sculpts and that’s showcased yet again here (and while more horses are surely in our MOTUC future, I long to finally see their talents applied to a Winged Victory in the DC line).

The detail work on the wings is superb, as are the small anatomical details of the horse, and the gear he sports. I did have to laugh at the… uh, windswept main there. Swift Wind & Marzo are gonna have to hang out…

The saddle & mask are removable, which moves Swift Wind closer to a version of his non-powered self, Spirit, but the bridle piece is glued in place (and covers some unsightly articulation). Also, any Spirit-form is also prevented by the slots where the removable wings snap in. I imagine there will be non-unicorn horses in our future, but I can’t say that I’m really down to pay another $30 ($35?) for a regular Spirit version should that come up. The saddle clips-on similar to Battle Cat’s armor while the mask if held on through simple friction similar to Panthor’s helmet. The mask is surprisingly snug, owing to the great engineering put into this figure. Continue to Page 2

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26 comments to MOTUClassics.Com:
Swift Wind Review

  • Brainlock

    What other MOTU steeds are there?
    I balked at this one before, but now hoping to snag him later to repaint for ML Black Knight, Valkyrie, or a possible Winged Victory custom, as you suggested, or even a steed for WW/Diana or Hex (custom Pegasus & Perseus/Belepheron?). If they don’t attempt to change up the tack for WV in the DCU line, then they’re throwing out a chunk of change for us completists. I’d imagine WV being the quarterly BAF following Shining Knight, if it did happen. (After Rita, of course!)

    Nice to see some veins instead of a flat body, tho. and is it me, or do the nostrils look a bit shallow? Lips look a bit off, too.
    (we had horses growing up, and parents boarded them when we were little, until one disgruntled psycho pyro b!tch…!!! RIP Smokey, ironically enough.)

  • He-Mullet

    While I understand that this is the Iconic Swift Wind to many, my beef is with Mattel. They told the Customers multiple times that THIS Swift Wind was NOT the one we were voting for… Stick to your damn promises Mattel! Team Pink Swifty!

    I think that the non-removable bridle screwed me out of buying a second Swifty to turn into Spirit

  • dayraven

    “The mask is surprisingly snug, owing to the great engineering put into this figure.”

    i see what you did there… you naughty little seditionist.

    you know, i’m goig out on a limb here, but i’ll say it… i don’t care for the mundane vehicles characters. just in general, i like the tehno-vehicles as a principal, but i did buy battle cat, and i’m largely disappointed in him. i don’t play w/ him, he’s a mess of joints, and he’s difficult to pose. (i know, i can’t believe i said that either). i essentially get one pose for him w/ he-man mounted, and then a few expressions, but expressions alone don’t make a pose. and for a play toy, the articulation isn’t tight enough to hold a pose for a paw swipe or anything(not that he has claws that might that look cool), his leg flips around at the ankle and it looks like it’s time to call in MAA for a battle cat brain transplant. so he’s very “eh” to me… it seems lots of motucers enjoyed BC and panthor, and more power to those guys… i just wasn’t one of them. for me, he felt like window dressing, and expensive window dressing at that. he’s definitely the most articulated display base i’ve ever bought, but that doesn’t make me feel good.

    i didn’t not buy panthor for the reasoning that i feel skellie needs stuff that’s just his… so no repeat cat. he waits and gets a spydor, or he’ll walk, thank you.

    and you couldn’t have lured me into swift wind with a stolen credit card and a gallon of jungle juice. i’m sorry, that horse just screams “bi-bi boys, the misadventures of curious georgie” to me. just can’t get interested.

  • ero

    I can’t get interested, either, and I still find myself questioning the inclusion of PoP in this line. It’s just … a distraction, and as evidenced by the Star Sisters 3-pack, I think it’s hurting the line.

    • dayraven

      god help you if a small but sassy portion of the she-ravers ever hear you say that. i just finished a lengthy and ultimately purposeless discussion on another chatroom about the overall poor execution of a doll line entering an action figure line (cuz let’s get real, despite years of derision, and lots of co-mingled nomenclature, dolls and action figures really are two different beasts)

      • ero

        Ha, ha, I know, I’m taking a risk. Luckily it’s for a good cause. 🙂

        • The Ghost

          I understand your viewpoint but you’re not getting what draws a lot of people to the POP stuff.

          Sure, there’s the whole “gay icon” thing, but I’m a heterosexual, 32 year old married father of soon-to-be 2, and for me, She-Ra was always an extension of the MOTU universe. As a kid, I was actually angry that the toy line was “dolls” and clearly aimed at girls. I had the bad guys from the She-Ra cartoon (ie. the Evil Horde) but never the good guys. Watching the show, it was never something I felt as a kid as being a show aimed at just girls.

          So, for me, and many others, it is something of a “lost faction” that we finally can integrate into our MOTU collection.

          It’s not about dolls being integrated into an action figure line (and yes, I do realise the original cartoons are basically serving as advertisements for the toys themselves) but moreso an encapturing of the characters that were part of my childhood and part of the MOTU universe that I haven’t had opportunity to really get before, in a respectiful and impressive (save quality control issues) manner.

  • TSR

    also, your last panel made me think of the Sealab episode about the robotic shark movie, Tinfins: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JoShDwTNbnM

    • manekochan

      “Let’s get this party started!”
      That and the evil clone episode were the only two episodes I really enjoyed of that show. It’s almost a pity that they were some of the first ones I saw. They set the bar so high…

  • Motorthing

    Yikes!

    I am SO glad I’m out of this Line now. All it has to do is make it to my cherry-picked Ram-Man (that sounded a lot more normal in my head…) and then I never need concern myself until they finally break the last Taboo and go 3.75″ like Thunderkitties…..

  • Fire King Xi

    1. That was a lot of blathering.

    2. Bridles go on the horse’s head, not over the chest. Like so…
    http://www.localriding.com/image-files/bridle-double-2.jpg
    The chest piece is simply a bit decoration or armor.

    3. Any pics of Swifty with Khaleesi, err..BattleGround Teela? Can she sit on the saddle well? No Horse for She-Ra in my universe. Once Swifty gets a new coat of paint (pink armor and rainbow wings do not sit well with me) Khaleesi, the barabrian queen, will be getting herself a new ride.

    • Blathering? And then a picture request? You need to work on your sugar/vinegar there. 😉

      Thanks for the tip on the horse gear, I’ll get that fixed. When I get home I’ll snap a pic with BG Teela and post it. I’m not sure how well her hip artic will work, but it could be good!

      • Fire King Xi

        That was supposed to be in a “sarcastic font”. I’m sure I’ll figure something out when ever I get ole Swifty. 🙂 😉

  • Battle Catman

    The last picture on the first page is my favorite because it addresses one of my chief complaints about Mattel. Look at She-Ra and Wonder Woman. If I didn’t know both those figures were sculpted by the same guys and released by the same company, I wouldn’t have believed you.

    At the same time, Miss Marvel’s legs look a little tubby compared to Lady Jaye’s. And Black Widow just looks great.

    Am I saying Hasbro makes better women than Mattel? Possibly. Their MOTUC women are some of my favorite female figures (BP She-Ra would be the damn near perfect if she had Teela’s rocker ankles), but GI Joe and Marvel Universe women are cheaper, easier to find, and easier to customize.

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  • manekochan

    I’m really surprised at how bright those wings are. I mean, dang. I think my moniter will explode. Also, the neck and head joints are very well hidden from most of the angles you chose in the photos. I honestly thought it was a solid piece until near the end of the article.

  • Beedo Sookcool

    A great review of a superbly-sculpted horse, with excellent photos. As expected, of course.

    Mine arrived with a huge smear of blue paint on the neck. Easily scraped off, I thought. Then I tried to assemble the wings. And broke one of the internal brackets in half on the first try. Two weeks later, and I’m still waiting for Matty Collector / Digital River to deal with my complaint after two calls. I hope the one I sent to my girlfriend (who loved MOTU and PoP when she was a kid) along with both versions of She-Ra doesn’t have similar problems! If and when I get a replacement for my broken Swifty, the broken one is probably going to get its empty sockets plugged and turned into a Spirit.

    I could possibly see an Arrow or a Crystal Swift Wind further down the line, but I’m not sure if I’d go for them. Still, love the “Stridor” foreshadowing of the last panel!

  • dayraven

    i’d love to see a horse-commparison review of some of the mounts that have come available for 1/12 scale in the last 20 years. mcf produced several, toy biz cranked out 2 (is that right?), and now we have shifty… swifty, i mean swifty… 😉

    • manekochan

      Both Vault and Noisy have the Headless Horseman box set(though one of them may have a broken hoof if I remember correctly) so maybe we can see that one with Swiftwind.

  • polo23

    What a B E A U T Y!! Best looking figure in the 2011 class & 2nd best to the Wind Raider! All 3 of my Horse legs are correct so I’m good. Can’t wait for Arrow & Storm to be designed. Excellent pics & review! 2012 can’t wait!!