Vault’s been pulling all the MOTUC duties so far this year, but Jitsu called out to me as I was looking across the pile of unreviewed toys today. He’s an interesting figure – in some ways I love him, in others not so much. Come to think of it, that might be why Vault’s been reviewing all the MOTUCs lately.
I didn’t have a Jitsu as a kid, but I still have a lot of affinity for him as Fisto’s nemesis. I think that association, shared by many, set me up to have higher expectations for the figure. Fisto was downright amazing. If I had had time to write up a Best of 2012 article for IAT (you guys think March is too late for one of those?), then Fisto would have been in my Top Five. And I don’t I mean Top 5 MOTU, I mean Top 5 figures overall for the whole year. Fisto was a great example of what I want Classics to be – a solid vintage update with great accessories that let a collector customize the look of the figure.
I really hoped that Jitsu would receive the same treatment. Jitsu has a fantastic MO2K Staction and I would’ve loved to see those elements make their way onto the figure – the red-eyed, long ponytailed visage might have been “too MO2K” as alt heads go, but I was sure that costume details like the belt could’ve easily been included. That “Ultimate” Jitsu took up residence in my mind over the year between his reveal and Fisto’s.
So when Jitsu popped up as a mostly vintage figure, I wasn’t too blown away. There is a staction influence – the two kama blades (I think that’s what they’re called; hold that thought for the accessories section), but overall Jitsu just doesn’t give off the “ultimate” feel. And, I already know what most will say to that – Fisto was a misnomer. Jitsu is much more in-line with the other figures and I’ll keep that in mind as I put the rest of this review together. I mean, it’s probably not fair to compare just any figure in the line to one of the best ones…
Anyway, don’t think I’m hating on Jitsu. It’s true that I’m often less fond of the Classics figures that lack and modern touches, but Jitsu has plenty to offer. One thing I did enjoy was the snippet in his bio – he rules Snake Mountain during the New Adventures time period. That’s pretty cool and gives me a good sense of his characterization in the new bios. It’s a shame we can’t get media for all these time periods.
But that’s the bio. What do I like about the figure after I’m already a few hundred words in with mostly nitpicking? Well, there’s the head sculpt. It might be a tad small, but it’s fantastic and it was probably the most fun thing to photograph this time around. The level of detail makes it a really cool piece and it’s a great companion sculpt to Fisto.
Under the head, Jitsu features the standard MOTU buck, needing only the new armor and his unique karate-choppin’ hand. The armor itself is a great update – I love the mix of flat red plastic and glossy red paint juxtaposed with the gold. The hand is also a nice piece. I still miss the vac-metal, but it looks sharp. My figure does have a strange deformity in the plastic. You can see two small indentations on the wrist in some of the images. I’m not sure what caused those holes, but it’s not a big deal.
I’m still a little disappointed that Mattel didn’t make either of these hands (Fisto’s or Jitsu’s) compatible with the Trap Jaw, Roboto, & the gang. I know that I can’t hold that against Mattel – it’s a completely extra and superfluous thing, but it woulda been cool. As it is, I can swap the gloves on these two figures (and on any other basic figure if I remove the hand) because they were both made for the same fit, slipping over the basic arm. Continue to Page 2…