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MOTU Classics.Com:
Mekaneck Review

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve reviewed a MOTU Classics. All told, Sir Laser Lot should be the next up for review, but I’m not much in the mood for laser knights as I write this. I can’t escape the primary colors of red & blue though, as I’ll be taking a look at Mekaneck instead.

Mekaneck was one of the few announcements that surprised me this year. I knew that Stinkor’s armor foretold of his arrival, but I just knew we’d see Ram Man early in 2013. And with Ram Man seeming imminent, Mekaneck seemed like the next best guy for Mattel to hold off on. All the shouting and whining that elevated Ram Man’s demand well beyond his status would easily transfer to our neck-extending friend here. But Mattel didn’t go that route. It still strikes me as odd.

On the one hand, Mekaneck’s simplicity appeals to me. He’s basically a straight vintage update. There’s not a hint of MO2K anywhere on him. The only change to him was the decision to give him matching bracers instead of the unique He-Man brace on his left arm (you can see Count Marzo sporting it on page 2). I have no opinion on that particular change, but I do find myself wishing Mekaneck had a more “tech” feel to him.

Personally, I blame Snake Man-At-Arms for this. That was a figure I didn’t even know I wanted and yet it gave me an essentially perfect Man-At-Arms figure. It will never happen, but I am not opposed to a Snake Mekaneck if only to get a tech-y body that will let me assemble a new, cooler Mekaneck. This figure is okay, that figure might be cooler.

In his “neck retracted” configuration, Mekaneck is about as basic as a figure gets. The standard body with armor swiped from Stinkor. The only new piece is the head which has caused some consternation. As is, the goggles on the helmet don’t line up with his eyes. I could see it being distracting, but I look at Mek like I do Tri-Klops; his eyes are gone, cybernetically replaced by whatever’s in the helmet.

The armor Stinkor borrowed in the vintage line is given back to Mek here, and it gets the job done. I was a little disappointed that the silver plug at the top was glued in (it was swappable on Stinkor for a bit of MO2Kness). This is one of those things that some folks see as an unfair complaint, but I would’ve had more fun with the figure if I could’ve swapped in Stinkor’s red plug or even the small tank. It’s completely unnecessary, I know, but then so was the glue Mattel paid for to ensure I couldn’t do it too.

I also think the back of the armor had something to offer too. I know Mek has nothing that needs to be back there, but why not take advantage of the socket and make a piece that would hold the club? Or, to harp on the lack of details, why not a piece similar to the back of the MO2K figure that would add a little tech to better explain his neck? I know I keep going back to that, but the basic figure just screams to me for something, something extra to have been done with him.

Now, I know this is where you tell me something was done – the neck extensions. I do agree the two neck extensions (5” & 2”) are awesome. I love the design and I love that they can be stacked (though Mattel could’ve saved some deco $ and not pained the collar blue). They really do add to the figure, particularly because the extensions still work with the ball-joint on the neck. In a giant display with all the big ticket items, the combined extensions ensure Mekaneck can be a stand out on the shelf. The sculpted detail on them is probably my favorite part of the figure – and probably why I wish it was translated to anywhere else on the sculpt. Continue to Page 2

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53 comments to MOTU Classics.Com:
Mekaneck Review

  • Ok I ahve a few things to say soo….

    #1 Great review as always bud!

    #2 I hate you for showing that pic of the 200X Mek..now I want it!

    #3 I agree 100% on the goggles..I think green vac metal would be ideal, but naything would have been better than what we got

    #4 every time you guys do a review the pics seem to get better and better!

    #5 that last pic made me laugh a lot, mainly because when I went to see DKR there was a guy in front of me wearing a freaking cowboy hat…my girlfriend was like geeez let it go already after about 3 weeks of me being like who wears a cowboy hat to the movies?
    #6 it looks like Marzo and Horde prime are holding hands..I never knew they were an item

    • #1 Thanks!

      #2 I want it too… but lighter blue, I think.

      #3 Green vac metal! I could’ve made a third inset! Doh!

      #4 Thanks again!

      #5 Who does wear a cowboy hat to the movies?

      #6 They’re just fighting over the arm rest…

  • oh and also what is he looking at in that shot of him outside? is it marzo?

    • It is Marzo, the idea for that picture was cooler than it turned out. I kinda wish I’d photoshopped in a HUD display type inset, but that would depend on how “mech” is Mekaneck. I imagine some folks just think he’s got 20/20 under that helmet.

      • dayraven

        logically, raising your neck up in the air to clear obstructions is not the same thing as gaining telescopic vision, which he mentions many times in the comics and cartoons, that he has telescopic vision… so he’s got some tech in the face mask that magnifies images for him. not that it’s a huge deal, the pic is fine as it it, marzo just needed to be a hair bigger.

        i can’t help but agree w/ you, there are a lot of little things w/ this fig that could have been done to improve his percieved value… instead, he’s a dud. you have to be a customizer or a REALLY big mekaneck fan to appreciate this vintage redux.

        • Brainlock

          yep. when you think about it, how would you survive having only your neck infected with techno-organic virus? You wouldn’t. It would be your whole head, and by extension, control of your vital organs, or only infect some other limb(s) like Cable. This makes the techno limbs make more sense. heck even the color variations for 2002 Mek LOOK better than this dull, if patriotic, version.

        • Fire King Xi

          I’m not even a He-Man fan (Thundarr is where it’ at), but I’d say Mecks is about 95% perfect. A little green pearlescent paint on the glasses, and fixing his head so the helmet sits lower is all that’s needed to finish him off. I might give him backpack but that’s a really low on the to do list. Compared to how much work Stratos needed and how hopeless Zodac is, Mecks’ adjustments are a cake walk.

          • I don’t mind Sratos or Zodac being plain, but Mek just needs more mech.

            • Fire King Xi

              Stratos was terrible. I could never figure out why he was wearing socks. Wouldn’t a flying monkey want to feel the wind flowing between his furry toes? And then there were the hands. The guy literally couldn’t hold a weapon to save his life. Now that those two issues have been resolved and he’s been flocked I think he’s a great figure.

              • Beedo Sookcool

                Yeah, I never liked Stratos’ slipper-socks. Considering the way the buck system works, why couldn’t he have been given Beast Man feet (which would actually save money!) or, for Vintage Cardback joy, Skeletor feet?

        • There is a vintage simplicity that will appeal to many, but he just doesn’t do it for me.

          As for Marzo, he’s out in the yard. This is Mek’s review. 😀

  • It’s ironic that I once found unpainted plastic bracelets to be cheap cost saving measures whereas now, I can’t understand why Mattel paints over the figure instead of molding the bucks in separate colors.

    • Toy Guru explained that it was cheaper for Mattel to run a bunch of common parts all at once, months in advance, then to do shorter specific-figure runs. Black was chosen because it was the most neutral. Apparently, the money saved by doing a huge run of black body parts offsets the costs of having to paint said parts in the specifics colors. Who knew?

      That’s also why Mattel’s response was initally wonky. To them, this was a paint issue. They see the problem as the figures not being left to dry long enough before assembly. They didn’t see it as the durability issue that collectors have.

      • He-Mullet

        It’s friction!! Moving parts + Paint = paint chipping… Mattel will deny it, but that’s the truth… painting over black… that requires more paint… idiots!

        • The paint $$$ is saved by the low cost per unit of the giant run though. I hate it, but I do understand how it saves them money.

          And I have to admit that none of Mek’s joints are rubbing the paint off, but friction plays a long-term game…

      • Tekwych

        Black plastic will always be a HUGE cost savings. Black plastic is made by mulching all the leftovers, trimmings, and floor sweepings for reuse. Just a bit of dye, far less then actualy coloring a batch, and almost no virgin material makes for VERY low cost figures.

        • Brainlock

          Actually, I doubt they would use “floor sweepings”, due to machine oil and other contaminants that could be inadvertently added to the mix. I’ve worked with a “raised” magnet machine in a previous job and things like that could ruin a batch of the plastic fairly easily. There were also some colors that were verboten from the regrind barrel, usually metallics and neon. (and trust me when I say some of those paints are NOXIOUS, esp the neons!)

          but yeah, some things people will let slide, but if parents see how easily the paint chips and are aware of the whole “lead paint” drama, then Mattel is not exactly making some wise decisions, even if they are trying to cut costs.

        • I think it’s still virgin plastic, but it is the cheapest color to do to be sure.

  • The Ghost

    I look forward to my Mekky arriving soon. My biggest grip is that blue collar on the neck extensions, meaning you can’t join them for a super long next extension without it looking stupid.

    Anyone know if it’s easy to mod them?

    • The pieces are molded in silver/grey plastic, so a little acetone to remove the blue should be all you’d need to do. You might want to add some silver or grey paint to match the rest of the neck a bit better.

  • Beedo Sookcool

    Excellent review and pics, as usual!

    I was thinking of painting my Mek’s goggles metallic green when he arrives, but I love the idea of mirror-stickers. I’ve got some ReproLabels sheets I may be able to use, so thanks for passing that idea along!

    And for the record, in my younger years, I used to help out with catering at a local (local when we lived in North Canton, OH) church hall for weddings. And there was usually amongst the crowd a skinny guy with one of those necks that looks like it has an elbow in it, who not only wore a cowboy hat indoors, but also when he was seated at the head table. So the phenomenon of people without tatse and manners is more widely spread than you guys might initially think.

    On another side note, do you think there might be Snake Mekaneck (in the manner of MO2K) and Snake Teela figures possible down the line? I’d go for those as quarterly variants!

    Down with painted black plastic!

    • Thanks!

      I don’t think a Snake Mek will ever happen after the response to Snake MAA (though it was Mattel going back to the drawing board on him that ended up making him such a kickass figure).

  • J. Lee

    Well hate to sound like a sob story but, Vintage Mekanek was one of my favs as a kid and when going thru my box before selling he had a busted leg band and to the trash he went 🙁 also think his armor was in my G1 TFs box and well that is a sobber, mice and maggots ruined those.

    Anyway, on to this review, great fun, great pics and fun humor. Glad didn’t make him a peeping tom likebsawbin other reviews. Love the last shot, never experienced something like that or the cowboy hat. Have had antall person sit in front of me as a kid. Rude people sheesh.

    Mattel should market your custom Pink haired hottie and the elbow from Teela PRICELESS

    • J. Lee

      On the 200x custom, that looks awesome. Damn man that lil bit of tech look would have made Meka pop more for sure.

  • BP

    Never mind the giant helmet. Who can sit near Stinkor in a movie theatre?

    • dayraven

      don’t open your mouth to munch popcorn, that’s for sure!

    • Bigbot

      Reminds me of that Spongebob episode where Spongebob has bad breath, and he causes everyone to run out of a movie theater they went to.

    • ungh… i’ve been at the movies and have had to move… either because someone smelled (body odor) or this other time these old ladies from the red hat lady club were there and they absolutely reeked of perfume!

    • J. Lee

      I did not notice that till now. Maybe he gets out of the stink pocket via extending his neck.

    • Hey, that pic was used with whoever was handy! 😉

      • Brainlock

        so…you keep a stanky skunk figure out for all to “enjoy”?
        or was it Mexican night and you were using him as a cover? 😉

  • He-Mullet

    I’m jamming the Stinkor dot on Mek’s back… (when my BBTS Mek arrives, cause Matty betrayed me!) I’m considering painting the wiring in gold or copper… Basically I’m gonna de-vintagize my Mekaneck! I MAY remove the paint on his hands so he can have “gloves” and I’m gonna use Metallic Green Stickers or paper to Finish his glasses…

    • Mullet you are a better man than I, if Matty had betrayed me like that I would have sold off my whole collection by now

    • The Ghost

      That’s a small, clever idea to alleviate the issue of storing Stinkor’s red dot. I currently have Stinkor addorning it while he holds the level/cannister attachment. Would much rather have him wearing the lever/cannister but was too afraid of losing the red dot. Thank you He-Mullet and thank you Mekaneck’s back hole! 🙂

    • That’s a good idea on the Stinkor plug.

      The little bit of gold on the custom I linked to really helped. Not a bad idea.

  • Polo23

    Good review as always Vault.

  • Bizzitty

    I have read your reviews for a while now and I gotta say they are great!

    Your pictures are so good and the comics always give me a chuckle!

    I really do like this Mek-A-Neck…but I also hate you for showing the 200x custom…now I’m going to have to try my hand at that one…LOOKS SO GOOD!!

    I may try to grab some silver mirror like stickers or something to put on his goggles myself…someone let me know if you find something that works well for his goggles.

    I’m not a fan of the cost cutting you mentioned either…watch them release Two-bad as two separate figures that you have to join later…and not two figures in their pre Two-Bad form…just the two halves…LOL

    • Thanks!

      Spy used some type of reflective vinyl for his and it looked fantastic. I haven’t tracked down exactly what it was, but I need to.

      Two-Bad as two halves would be kinda funny. 🙂

  • I love Mek as-is in all his vintagey goodness.

    Ironically the one change I might have made was to give him the longer Hordak/King Grayskull loin cloth. I would like to see a Moe Twookay update with the techno arms, loincloth, vac-metal goggles, etc.

    Great review though! September was a real home run what with Mek, DB Skelly, and the Snake Men!

  • clark

    I definitely agree with you that a more tech-looking body would have been better.
    Besides the lack of any paint or vac-metal on the goggles, it really looks like his helmet is sitting too high on his head. If Mek has a normal human head, it looks like his eyes are actually lined up behind the metal frame, not really being able to see out of the lenses.

  • Lay Ze-Man

    Very early in the line, I tried to rally the fans to the solution of having a “mech suit buck” that we could use for MAA, Mek, Snouty, and so on.

    Basically anyone who wasn’t really meant to be showing skin would get this buck.

    All it seemed to accomplish were turncoat 200x bashers shouting down the idea.

    • Beedo Sookcool

      Probably dismissed it because it wasn’t their idea. Wannabe, gonna-be, jealous-heart *******-eatin’ pranksters, to quote the song from Office Space. Had I known of it, I would’ve rallied behind that particular banner of yours. Damn fine idea.