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Vault Review: MOTU Classics
Rokkon and Stonedar

Another SDCC has come and gone, and with it we have another MOTU exclusive.  With the rush to fill out the vintage roster before the line ends, the powers that be chose to plug the slot with Rokkon and Stonedar.  I have some mixed feelings about this two pack.  The last couples of SDCC exclusives have sounded great on paper, but were a little lacking in practice.  I kind of feel like the Comet Warriors are continuing that trend.

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Rokkon and Stonedar’s sculpts are pretty much lifted from the original line. There are some “Classics updates” that allow for the reuse of parts, like the arms and legs, but all of the newly sculpted bits seem to be heavily influenced by their vintage counterparts.  There’s nothing really wrong with this, but I do find it disappointing when a character hasn’t been expanded upon at all for the last few decades.

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Both figures’ chest plates are attached to their rocky back armor (Or is that their skin?), while their arms and legs are covered with more rock pieces that can clip on and off.   I think I actually like the naked look most since it allows them to hang out on the shelf as unique humanoids, and you don’t have all that clunky limb armor taking up a bunch of space.

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I do really like the head sculpt on both figures, but I think Stonedar is my favorite.  Rokkon just looks like a normal dude with silver skin and a Tron helmet.  On the other hand, Stonedar’s facial proportions are a bit off.  His brow line is heavy, while his nose is small.  His mouth is also jutting out a bit, almost like he’s doing a duck-faced selfie.  All of these traits combine to make him feel much more alien than his counterpart.

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Mattel did retain most of their action feature, allowing the figures to bend down and transform into comets.  They need a little help though, so each figure comes with an extra stony shell piece that encompasses them from the front.  I couldn’t quite get Rokkon to fully submerge, so there was always one piece of his body popping out a little bit.  This is probably just my error in transforming though.  Other than that, I have to say the effect works pretty well.  Continue to page 2…

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22 comments to Vault Review: MOTU Classics
Rokkon and Stonedar

  • great review bud! some lol pics too

  • As a kid, I could never figure these two out and kept confusing one with the other. Nice to see that they retained most of their action feature since there’s nothing much you can do with them except to display the pair as Turtle Man and Turtle Boy, weird aliens from a faraway (and wacky) place known as the Nineteen-Eighties.

    I passed them this July but might look around for the duo if there’s a discount sale at Matty’s around Turkey Day like the one they had last year. I could only picture getting this set at Black Friday.

  • Bigbot

    It still bothers me that Man-E came out the way he did. No way they do him right now.

    Great review and pics. I passed on these guys because they looked to clunky with the armor on, and off. Sounds like I made a good choice, but I too may be swayed if they’re out on Black Friday.

  • Jon

    Those belly guns really are kind of phallic.

    • Brainlock

      [Insert Conan O’Brien’s SNL “nude beach” skit with Matthew Broderick.]

      in all seriousness, these look okay, but for the garish 80s color choices.
      also, what do the rocks look like from the back side? it seems all I can find are the same front side pics.

    • dayraven

      you know, i hadn’t noticed it until playing w/ the figures a bit, and the first one turned to shoot another character, the motion made me realize he was swinging a giant chest wiener, and then i couldn’t unsee it. now, they hold their guns, and will never use them as chest wieners again.

      • Lemmy

        When they’re facing each other, it does look like some strange mating is going on… Try and not see that this NFL season when players chest-bump each other!

    • Bigbot

      I like how He-Man, the guy who runs around in just a loincloth and boots, is uncomfortable with those chest guns.

  • Paul

    Nice review! I would have liked to see some full body shots of them without their stone pieces (or “naked” as you said), but maybe that’s just my own perversion.

    Given there is so much sculpted detail on their bodies, have you ever thought of doing some panel lining on MOTUC figures? I’ve only done it on Transformers or other various mecha, but I’ve never done it on a “human” figure.

  • Great review, pics, and comics, as always, especially the Grizzlor one. I’m very happy to have these guys in the collection, but not ecstatic. Vac-metal spinning gun dishes and Granita in the set . . . that would’ve made me ecstatic.

  • Cythagen

    I was ecstatic when these were announced as SDCC exclusives, but I admit that my excitement wilted a little after getting them in hand. The Trap-Jaw parts don’t bother me in the least, but each figure had something that knocked it down a peg.

    With Rokkon, it’s the face. Nothing really *wrong* with it, but it lacks character of any kind. I had the vintage toy, and if memory serves me (though it very well might not after 20 years), the new mug appears to be nothing but a slightly up-scaled copy. Even a little half-smirk would have gone a long way in granting him some personality.

    My issue with Stonedar is the back piece. Like Vault mentioned, it makes his arms stick out rather uncomfortably. It’s also a bit more domed than Rokkon’s, and the curve forces Stonedar into a severe slouch down to his hips. The only way he can avoid looking down is to push his head back, which makes the alignment of his neck and chin look more than a little unnatural. As much as I wanted to maintain his FilMation image, I opted to pull the back plates off of both figures for my display. (Fortunately, they re-attach just as easily should I change my mind.)

    I still think Queen Marlena is Mattel’s best SDCC MOTUC offering to date.

  • He-Mullet

    Butt-flaps are the best thing ever made for them…
    http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g55/do4m/Daleks.jpg
    Some creative posing with their rock mode…

  • gnollah

    something about these two… meh. I’ve come around on a lot of figures but both of them miss the mark. And I don’t blame mattel or the four horsemen I just think the source material was poor. The originals never grabbed my attention as a kid and this update doesn’t inspire awe now. A simple swing and a miss. A good con exclusive for the people that wanted them but I’ll wait and see if I can find them cheap. If i don’t – oh well. That idea of vac-metal would totally change my mind though!

    And I don’t know the backstory on Man-e-faces but I do know that he is first in line to be removed from display. Kinda like a veteran ballplayer who knows his time is up

  • The Ghost

    I don’t mind the re-use. I think it was done well.

    The problem is the Comet Warriors are not very exciting designs. I think the “Classics Machine” did just fine in updating them from the originals. Just, much like Snout Spout (so much love for the staction version though), they’re kinda of garish, yet boring designs.

    One thing that I fount weird is the new feet used for Stonedar. I thought he would have come with the TJ feet like Rokkon does. The heel on Stonedar’s feet seems awkwardly angled. Anyone else notice this?

    • dayraven

      the classicizer is not applied equally to all figures though, and as updates go, this one was pretty damned boring. everything was put into the stoney carapace, and not much at all put into the rest of the figs… hence that odd malaise we seem to be collectively feeling on them.

      take that same classicizer and apply it to mantenna, who i think just about everyone is excited about, and he looks great… because they were classicizing from more than one source material. the cartoon-accurate, simple designs are just boring on a fig as big as a motuc, they are; you NEED textural variation, and corresponding paint, to feel like the same design is visually interesting when it’s twice the size.

    • I haven’t even got to these guys up yet — I’m so far behind!

      I agree with Ghost… the original designs are pretty vanilla. I’m not sure what the Classicsizer could have done with ’em. There’s not a whole lot that’s up for artistic interpretation here. I’m sure if the 4H were doing these for their Gothitropolis line they could have come up with something more badass, but this isn’t that line.

      I had the vintage Rokkon and Stonedar, but they never quite felt like “Masters” — just neat little figures that were roughly the same size.

  • Phil

    I am really annoyed with the paint quality. I transformed them ONCE and there’s a bunch of chips and the Grey and Blue guy’s rocks – the legs and the back of the torso – where it obviously rubbed.

    GREAT quality from Mattel’s house of cr@p again.

  • J. Lee

    These two are on my “to get list” I liked the originals. (Blame my TF fandom on some) I was wondering about chipping on Rokkon. Knew someone would do fart jokes.

    A great review, and really good pics. I can’t unsee the the chest thing now. XP (wish I.drank cause would help)

  • Lemmy

    While I understand many of the complaints I hear on these guys, personally, I love ’em! I have fond memories of Stonedar from childhood (one of my last He-Mans, as my folks called them), and am enjoying how they turned out. While the armor pieces do limit articulation while attached, they add some extra heft, making them feel more like rock-people should. I’ve also figured out the transformation (needs a little patience, thanks to multiple poa’s), and have not had any paint chipping so far.

    One more thing that adds to my enjoyment is watching my 3-year old getting more excited for them than any of my other toys! He loves these guys even more than any of my, or his, Flash figs, which is saying a lot for a kid who plays flash at all times. The other day, he told me he was playing “Flash playing with his dinosaurs”! Gotta love kids!

    Btw, I had no problem removing the back pieces on mine. They stay on firmly enough, but do come off. They’re pegged in to the softer, more rubbery armor in a similar manner to the chest-guns, if memory serves me right (not at home to check).

  • Polo23

    This should’ve been a 3 pack instead of a 2 pack with the female Rock Person added. FH did a amazing job with the design work on both of them. Cool pcs & review on the Rock People.