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