MOTU Classics.Com:
Wind Raider Review (26 Pics!)

After three long years, Masters of the Universe Classics finally has its very first vehicle. The Wind Raider is a slick toy and looks fantastic on the shelf (if you can fit it in there). The only downside might be that it could end up being the line’s only vehicle.

Since I primarily collect 6” figures, I don’t end up reviewing too many vehicles. While I love vehicles (& playsets) in toy lines, I don’t really mind. They can be pricey, they take up a lot of space, and the neighbors tend to look at me funny when every Christmas when I take my fleet of Arctic Joe vehicles out into the snow (kids would sure come in handy, I’ll have to talk to the wife about that…).

Despite those reservations, I still buy a vehicle when it catches my fancy, mostly GI Joe Airplanes and Tanks (I still need to get around to reviewing that Crimson HISS), and I was happy to pick up the MOTU Classics Wind Raider.

To be completely upfront, I never had the original Wind Raider. I was but a wee tot when the He-Man line started and I didn’t find my way to MOTU until closer to halfway through the life of the line (explains Rio Blast & Snout Spout being among my favorites, doesn’t it?) The Wind Raider toy, being released relatively early on meant that it was foreign to me. I knew the vehicle from the show of course, but I have no real special attachment to it over say the Road Ripper or Roton.

But not having the original (or ever seeing one in person, come to think of it) doesn’t really dampen my excitement over this one. This is one of those times where I’d be hard-pressed to find something the folks behind the scenes at Mattel & Four Horsemen Design overlooked. The whole package is just that good and, not to get ahead of myself, this is a damn fine toy.

That early declaration of awesomeness even covers the box. It’s our first non-window box, but that’s more than okay with me because of fantastic artwork in its place. The art was done by Rudy Obrero, the very same artist who painted the original years ago (are those Wind Raiders with evil pilots I spy back there? Hmm?).

The new art features the Wind Raider in battle (fleeing from a battle?) against a handful of Rotons. It’s a pretty spiffy way to introduce the vehicles to the line and one that I’d like to see maintained should be there another one. The back of the package is similarly done well with a renaissance-esque blueprint of the Wind Raider detailing its many features (though there are some lame names back there). I don’t normally keep the boxes from this line, but I don’t think I can throw this particular one away. That’s a success for the packaging department.

If there is any fault with the box it’s only that it makes you question how much money you spent when you hold it in your hands. The Wind Raider is, to use the simple term, huge – a wingspan nearly a foot-and-a-half long with a body to match, but the packaging team at Mattel outdid themselves by cramming it all in the box. It has to be the most efficient packaging job I’ve ever seen.

Once you get it out of the box and assembled (the wings & rudder need to be attached and the stand assembled) you’re looking at one of the best toys of the year. I know that I’m prone to gushing on toys I really like, but you’re going to have to trust me on this one. If the Wind Raider had come out on schedule, you’d be seeing it on the top toy lists for 2011. I mean, it wouldn’t knock Scarabus out of the Number 1 spot on my personal list, but Vikor would have had some stiff competition for my favorite MOTUC item in 2011.

After you have everything put together (and, if you’re like me, realize that you have absolutely no room for it), you can start to take in all the little details. The design and sculpt is what really sets this thing apart. There’s the right amount of paneling and rivets without the sculpt looking busy, or worse yet, “hyper-anime”. Continue to Page 2

49 thoughts on “MOTU Classics.Com:
Wind Raider Review (26 Pics!)

  1. The Wind Raider was one of a small handful of MOTU vehicles that I owned as a kid. Their lack of detail due to the stickers and overall fit due to the figures’ bulkiness put me off them. That said, the beautiful box art (my favorite part of the original line) and sculpted work done on this piece is a huge step forward from the vintage days.

    1. That’s what I gathered from the pics. I love that it’s bigger and better, but still no spot for Battle Cat to hang off the back…

  2. Great review and a great toy. Yeah I am not sure why 79 hours to sell out of a toy is not fast enough for TG. if you sell out of the stock in less than a week, how is that not a success? Some of things Mattel say boggle the mind. Do you have any idea what the number sequence on the bottom left corner of the box means (Duncan 12-06-22- etc…)? I read that is is an Easter egg from Mattel of some sort.

    1. I’ve been wondering about that little date code, but haven’t come up with anything. Has Eternia ever been given a timekeeping system?

  3. That’s really amazing, Noisy, and it shows shamefully how Mattel has their head up their bottom, ya know?

    I won’t rehash the nonsense of “when a sell-thru isn’t a success” but there’s something wrong when it seems the MAIN gauge is the time of the sell-thru.

    Thing is, there’s just a huge lack of sense. They could have made the Sky Sled instead, it was smaller, less material cost, all that stuff and it was ICONIC to the cartoon for both good and bad guys. I suspect that would have gotten them their ‘sold out in hours’ they seem to crave. Plus they could re-use the tooling for the Battle Ram, which because of the common use of the Sky Sled by itself, I’m sure everyone would have ‘double dipped’.

    And the whole whiny “well, we can’t repurpose the tooling boo hoo hoo” is nonsense. How about MAKE MORE for those that missed out or have DEFECTIVE ones? What’s wrong with a deco change and make an ‘evil’ Wind Raider? or a ‘non-canon’ Royal Custom or Duncan Special? If they can do those ‘vanity’ figures by god they can slap a big-a** cross on the front for Randor or a Ram’s Head ‘hood ornament’ for Skeletor.

    Anyway, I think the thing that surprises me most is they included a stand for the WR. And it poses. They really didn’t NEED that you know, nor did they need the opening hatches, so something clearly got snuck past the beancounters, and I approve. 🙂

    1. The main gauge might be time, but there’s also the “it’s too hard!” factor, as well!

      I refuse to let anyone forget how the Legion 12-pack sold out – faster than the Wind Raider (twice) – but making future 12-packs would be “unlikely”: “it was a HUGE amount of work for one item and it is difficult to allocate that many resources to a small run item going forward”, they said.

      So upsetting, all these answers…

      1. Yeah, you know, about that!

        Granted, in the current economy, putting out a $200 toy is pretty risky so I don’t totally blame Mattel’s caution, but dang that thing went FAST.

        I’m assuming a fair amount went to the scalpers.

        Holy crap people are selling the figures ONE AT A TIME?! I should never ever look at eBay.

        anyway, I think one of the reasons the LSH pack sold out so fast is, everyone feels Matty just has no commitment to actually finishing ANY team so since this is pretty much the core LSH people jumped, figuring this was the swan song for the DCU.

        which means if they DID do another 12-pack it would likely be mainly re-pops, such as a ’60s Justice League set or Justice Society. and being mainly re-pops (what, call it 70/30?) it probably wouldn’t sell as fast.

        I’d think some 5 or 6-packs would do better. METAL MEN COMPLETE FTW! 🙂
        And there was a second run? huh? is that just a super uninformed seller?

      2. That’s really a good point too. The more I think about it though, I think the 2012 vehicle just morphed into Granamyr and we’ll get something nice in 2013 unless the subscription attrition is particularly bad.

    2. I’d definitely be down for at least one repaint or rework in the form of an evil version or a Water Raider, particularly if will help grease the wheels towards a 2013 vehicle.

      Than again, we could all be overreacting. Granamyr is really the 2012 vehicle…

      1. yes, he rather is… but they sure haven’t latched on to that idea as a press release statement, so expect scott to jack this very phrase in self-defense in the coming months. cuz IAT IS a trendsetting locale for all things motuc.

  4. It’s a well done vehicle, but of a butt-ugly design. It’d be like making a good model of a Ford Fiesta. Sorry, I know a lot of people have love for it, but from a design standpoint it’s really unappealing.

    1. I actually like the design – except for the open cockpit. I’m not suggesting a bubble top, but if it were a large ship with hundreds of crew and the cockpit area was just a raised bridge, I think it’d be a pretty sweet ship.

  5. Additionally, I would have REALLY loved to see the Four Horsemen’s take on the Wind Raider. And by that, I mean their updated design, as opposed to a nearly straight rehash of the original. I think it would be AMAZING.

      1. Brace yourselves. The Spectormobile is coming! He will also have a Horse to ride. Probably Dark Pink with a Curly Light Pink hair but it will be forced to wear a TMS costume… It’s name will be either Chimicherry or Cherrychanga.

        1. you know, you guys are really going to be kicking yourselves if he steals this idea, won’t you? cuz he will, because it suits his modus operandi. seriously… and because you’re discussing it in a public forum, you won’t be getting a taste of the spectormobile either, just like you missed getting a taste of BA faker (which i seriously think IAT was entitled to.)

          1. I don’t care much about the Spectormobile (which could reuse part of the Windraider mold…) but I DEFINITELTY WANT to see Chimicherry or Cherrychanga made… Some friendly small horse enthusiasts from Rhode Island might get a kick out of that…

            1. “the team up everyone wanted!! Mattel and Hasbro combine their powers to offer… MLP x MOTU !!! SEE! My Pretty Pony as sculpted by the Four Horsemen-a natural fit one must admit! SEE! He-Man and Skeletor with ‘cutie marks’ tampo printed on their thighs! SEE! Applejack FINALLY get her !@#$#@ correct cowgirl hat!!! A SDCC preview night retailer only exclusive so you ain’t never gonna get one, fanboy HAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!”

              I’m gonna lie down now, I think the people are coming to take me to that nice, clean, white padded room… 🙂

              1. If I could get a set of 6 Swift Winds, I’d Paint them as the Mane 6 and Have Spector Ride Pinkie Pie… Don’t get me started on the lack of a correct hat for AJ…
                Seriously speaking MOTUC Bow Kinda has a Cutie Mark… The infamous Heart-On his crotch…

  6. Jealous of you guys for having your stuff I’m still waiting on my Dec order. why oh why I didnt order demo in second shipment to save a few bucks i will never know.
    Great review tho!

  7. Just had a brain flash. One way to recoup some of the costs for WR, take that stand (which clearly has it’s own tool), make a series of adapters that plug into the end of it, and WOOSH now you have a way to display Swiftwind in flight! Or Battlecat leaping!

    Naaaaaaaaa. makes too much sense. :/

    1. that is a great idea… so clearly you don’t understand logistics.

      i said it in the thread where we collectively ranted about the “sell-through time” but i’ll say it again cuz i like to read my own script almost as much as io enjoy the taste of my own urine… if the line is supposed to be a subscription-based line preferably, then why are they determining successes based on the day-of sales rates? shouldn’t it automatically have failed their success measure by not being included as a sub item?

      1. I’m very curious about some of the things that get dropped casually in some comments, about how they can’t do this or that because they have to lock down what’s to be done each year. That sounds like some kind of legal boiler plate, some protection against being charged with mail fraud or maybe to prevent credit card billing challenges from members. Yet they rigged that bizarre ‘double billing’ for the 3-pack of the Star Sisters. Seemed they were able to cludge THAT into the system pretty darn quick, huh?

        I still can’t believe what Poe (and likely others) have gone thru, shipping back defective product and getting not a replacement but a refund. Granted, thank goodness that refund seems to have been prompt and not a 6 month ordeal but still! Maybe when they get enough defects in the warehouse they’ll go through them all and ‘frankenstein’ some complete WRs and offer them up as ‘scratch and dent’ sale items. Oh crap, THAT makes too much sense too, doesn’t it? Recoup some of the costs by making some whole toys out of random defects. Heck, maybe even fax the factory and run off some more parts. NO! NO! Stop! I keep trying to come up with solutions instead of just saying too bad, so sad, no Wind Raider for you! 🙂

        clearly I’m a waste of time and utterly clueless about what it takes to run a company and stuff. 🙂

        Actually, OK, I think I grok the circular logic that Matty used to dub this less-than-successful. Since they had never done a vehicle before, they had no baseline. Lack of a baseline led them to put its sales numbers/time up against, not an average, not the other expensive beasts, not an actual accounting of Return-On-Investment, or even taking into account the time of year and what else was up for sale, no, I expect they just took the fastest selling figure and used that as the baseline for performance because that’s the optimal case.

        And it REALLY irks me that TG keeps dangling Ram-Man as an example of “we can’t do that because of this”, whenever he has to say “you didn’t buy enough fast enough”.

        Heck, I’m starting to believe we’ll NEVER see Ram-Man. I mean it.

        1. I’m almost positive the Star Sisters being split up was due to a limitation of DigiRiv’s system. They’d already authorized us all for $20 back when we placed the sub order, so the first part of the order was simply Mattel closing that original authorization out. I really doubt that the “easier on you” deal was anything but PR spin.

        2. and it’s suspicious that some figs are, when asked if a change can be made, “in production” a mere month or month and a half before their sale date, yet at other times, “the line is planned a year in advance,” and “it takes months to ship by sea from china.” yeah, right… if your currier is the east india trading company. the excuses are all over the place, and i suspect, as you do steve, that they include a legalese self-preservation statement to prevent us from retaining lawyers.

        1. Exactly so. This way they can use one stand and refresh it with new clips for any new beasts that would be logical to fly or leap. If they did a Sky Sled that could have a disguised mounting hole built in so they could reduce packaging and not include a separate stand for that.

          Hey, Noisy? If you want, feel free to put that in an “Ask Matty” if you feel like it. I’ll predict the answer now:

          “That’s a terrific idea and we’ll look into it but it’s not something we could do quickly as the tooling for a vehicle has restrictions” or something in that neighborhood. 🙂

            1. Hm, who do we know that does custom castings, who responds to the interests of his customers, who knows how to do cool stuff in translucent colors.. hmmmm. if I only had a secret banana, maybe I could think of the name. Naaa, nobody would buy it, why would anyone ‘monkey’ around with such a crazy idea? ]:)

  8. I’m to get mine tomorrow (ordered it with Demo-Man) so thanks for these excellent pics to tide me over!!!

    1. At least you saved on shipping! My Star Sisters, Demo-Man, and Pete Venkman are all showing up in the same week with separate shipping for each. Yay!

  9. Excellent review and fun pics, as ever! Trust me, Noisy, you didn’t miss much by not having the original W.R. It was a bit too small on the whole, and the wings were tiny and frequently broke. And to be honest, it looks like the wing assembly on this version may be a little delicate, as well. At least the original W.R. had a decent length on the anchor line, though! I’m with you 100% on the length of the new version’s string. I’d say another foot-and-a-half would be adequate. If anyone can figure out a way of taking this thing apart and making such a fix, that would be outstanding.

    I’ll never understand how some companies assess their economic modelling. Marks & Spencer used to sell a marvellous “Fragrant Crispy Chicken” Chinese ready-meal dish, of which they’d get in one crate a week, with eight units in the case. If you weren’t there when the meals were going onto the shelves, you’d be S.O.L., because they’d sell out within a couple of hours; they were that good and popular. So, instead of thinking “We sold out 100% of the week’s stock in under two hours,” they thought “We only sold eight in one week, so we’ll discontinue it.” Even though they only SENT eight units per week. Makes me want to beat seven shades of Hell out of marketing and logistics people on principle, and I can think of a few specific examples after reading all the above comments.

    Steve: Genius idea on the stand adapters. Too dman good to ever see the light of day, I’d wager.

    1. One other thing: did anyone else’s Wind Raider box say “Battle Ram Chariot” on it? I thought that was a bit odd.

      1. I believe that’s done to protect trademarks or copyrights. They have to put out something with the name on it. I think the Demo-Man boxes say Snake Mountain if I recall when I glanced in the box today correctly.

  10. I had the original as a kid, but I don’t think I had the holiday clearance sale stuff yet where I finally pulled the trigger and jumped into this line to convinve myself to buy this. Heck, the Sisters probably won’t be here until next week. (No, wait, it’s already in KS! Must be a rush order! perhaps by this wkd? also hoping DCUC w20 gets here from ETC today! hint hint!)

    I remember the original basically being a green boat with wings, so they got taken off fairly early. I think I kept the rear foil on most of the time. The bottom was smooth, as was the control panel (which you mentioned), and there were no hand grips. The other main difference was the grappling hook was pegged onto the front, not a launching missile as it seems to be now. And yes, the hood ornament was the retractor for the line.

    I’m kinda wishing I had bought this now (damn you! lol), and Hunter Knight has mentioned he bought ten, seven for his store, the rest for personal use (incl a custom?). So I might bite on that if I decide to change my mind. My original MOTU stuff was lost in the “Storage Unit Incident” and lost to the four winds of the ass who bought it (some stuff found in local flea market, and I know the TJ/JLA lot was sold on ebay, thanks to someone on …RTM pointing out the auction, which included one mod I made.)

    I do agree that there is potential for a couple unique variants (Evil, Royal, Sea Raiders) and the flight stand could be modified for the beasts. They could even sell that separately like the other base stands, at this point, but wait, there’s that “logic” thing, again! LOL

    and gotta love that “Duncanco”!

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