Vault Review: MOTU
Classics Clamp Champ

Poor Clamp Champ, rounding out the end of a toy line seems to be his fate in life.  Not that the Classics line is over just yet, but Scott seems to be preparing us for the inevitable with nearly all his posts lately.  At least Clampy made it out before it was too late, and he’s a pretty good figure.  Unfortunately there are a few annoying issues that keep him from being great.


Let’s start with the sculpt.  Clamp Champ’s body takes us back to the standard He-Man buck with no real frills, just like the vintage figure all the way down to the boots, bracers, and loincloth.  But the Horsemen did pull out a little 200X flare with his armor.  Instead of a straight repaint of Fisto’s chest plate, the 4H took that same basic design and gave it a little techno twist with some circuitry.  They also sculpted a “Classicized” version of his Staction’s backpack onto the back of the armor, which is also a very nice touch.


Even though I love all these details, Clampy’s armor is also the source of my biggest disappointment.  The armor was sculpted too short.  If the figure stands up straight, a large gap exposes the figure’s midriff.  To cover it up, the figure has to hunch forward unnaturally.  I know this may seem like a small quibble, but it really bothers me that a technologically advanced man like Clamp Champ, who serves the king of Eternia, can’t find a shirt that fits properly.


Clamp Champ’s head sculpt has got to be one of the more expressive human faces in the entire line.  Similar to the original He-Man face, Champ’s appearance seems to change depending on the angle you’re seeing it from.  I really love these subtle differences in his look, and I wish more figures could pull that off.


Being made of a He-Man buck, Clamp Champ’s paint job is pretty simple.  Most of the figure has been molded in dark flesh, with his boots and crotch done in black.  These darker colors really make the red and silver highlights stand out nicely.  The metallic blue and teal of his armor also looks really great on the figure, even if it doesn’t match anything else.  Continue to page 2…

17 thoughts on “Vault Review: MOTU
Classics Clamp Champ

  1. I never understood this guy’s function back in the day. All I remember was seeing him on closeout as the line was folding. I thought he was a cool looking figure with a typical MOTU wacky moniker. Who knows, if they had gotten the weapon right, he might have been called Pincer Prince instead and ended up as Clawful’s opposite number.

  2. I’m not that familiar with him, but isn’t he the successor to Man-At-Arms?
    I think I’d only get him to add a bit of…is there really any way to say that without coming off a bit racist? I mean, I don’t recall any POC in the classic 80s series, then only a couple randoms in the 2002 series and barely Duncan’s mentor at that. Then this guy’s opposite was the only *confirmed* Eterni-Asian on the planet. I don’t think Ninjor ever removed his hood, and not touching Evil-Lyn’s Simpsonized colouring.


        1. Melaktha was the Royal Archaeologist who precipitated a couple of adventures, including the whole Shokoti thing. Slightly grouchy (Considering he had Stanlan for an assistant, who could blame him?), but always up for an adventure, and a world-class expert in his field.

          Kothos was Evil-Lyn’s mortal enemy, a wicked, power-hungry sorcerer who Evil-Lyn eventually turned into a sand-slug. Plus, he looked and sounded like Sydney Greenstreet with a sore throat. (Another one of John Erwin’s great voice characterisations.)

          After some time underground (literally), Orko changed him back to human form (not knowing who he was) and he went looking for revenge.

          After a LOT of collateral damage, He-Man convinced Kothos that revenge was a fruitless pursuit (helped by the fact that Evil-Lyn had set his flying palace on a collision course with a mountain), and he reformed on the spot, vowing to help people form then on.

  3. Great review, etc. I know I keep saying the same thing over and over again, but you guys keep churning out consistently high-quality reviews, photos, and comics.

    In defense of the Vintage CC, his weapon didn’t look like a couple of shearing blades, as they had a raised lip around the edges of the prongs. Granted, this was probably for Health ‘n’ Safety reasons more than design choice, but it was closer to a clamp than this updated version.

    1. i knew his weapon would aggravate you. those are pincers, no two ways around it, they’re not even kinda clamps, not on the modern toy at least. this is one of those little things that’s not actually little, and i support your psychosis on matters of this ilk.

      and brainlock… there’s nothing racist abouting wanting more racial diversity! it’s fine to say, this line has very few black people, even fewer asians, no indians at all, and, if we play out cards right, one middle easterner coming up… that’s beyond sad. it is worth note that the mini comics had a better racial spread, but only by a little… and don’t even get me started on etheria… might as well have been hitler’s playground.

      1. yeah, I was trying to be polite, but 80s toys were still White Men Only for the most part, plus “token” other.

        I mean, GI Joe ARAH was probably the best case of diversity in a toy line EVER.
        I never thought twice about Zap being Hispanic, then everybody wanted Doc, Spirit, Roadblock, Jinx, Airborne (Talltrees), Iceberg, and whatever handful of other non-white characters came along. except Dee-Jay. I don’t seem to recall any other non-white women besides Jinx, tho, in classic ARAH or modern versions? I think there may have been a black female Drednok in the Devil’s Due run? Then the movie made the cast international with little fuss aside from some die-hard ARAH fans. Heck, were there any gingers beside Scarlett, Snowjob, Outback, and Crankcase? hmm…okay, they had decent representation.

        also, was it me, or were all the Cobra Troops supposedly all white? We all just assumed they were disenfranchised military/unemployed, right? but wouldn’t that also include a significant number of non-whites? It looks like Cobra was the Fourth Reich in retrospect, save for Storm Shadow. LOL

  4. I freaking loved vintage Clamp Champ. I remember getting him, Ninjor & Scare Glow all at once. What a trio of winning figures they were!

    My only complaint about the Classics version is the non-removable backpack. I’m fine with it being included for the 200x’ers, but I just wish it were an optional piece.

  5. I’m disappointed in the fact that Mattel downplayed his super reflexes to non-existent in Classics Canon. Even though they are pincers, they’re physically impossible to be used as stabbing weapons as suggested in the Neitlichverse mini comics.

  6. What did Scott this time? I thought the subs were granted and there’s still a few good years ahead…

    1. Well, if we can get everyone on board for 2015, we’ll have two good years ahead. Unfortunately, the rabid “Vintage Only Or Else” and “Vintage Only And Out” crowd is way too vocal, and Mattel are pretty much committed to producing the remaining Vintage characters, plus a couple of Princess of Power, Filmation, and New Adventures characters thrown in, and then the line might effectively be kaput. Assuming 2015 even garners enough subscriptions to go through.

      After that, it’s anyone’s guess. I’d love for the line to continue a couple of more years (considering how many more characters I’d love for them to make), but I fear that may be unlikely.

  7. I really never understood this character back when I was a kid but I had him for some reason not knowing how VALUE he was. Now that I have in Classics he’s PRICELESS!

  8. With humans, Flying Apemen, Mer-men, Beastmen, Bug People, Arachnians, Lizardpeople, Crabmen, Skunkmen, Trollans, and many other actual races. A human in a different shade redundant to me as a kid. Just another human to me.

    Anyway a nice review and have to say, may do up one nu52 Teela take on how she would handle CC killing Duncan. Yeah he’s a dead man. That is if find at a nice price. Also some fun ideas for other pics. Dreago involved in one.

  9. Not being a subscriber I had to get Clamp Champ from ebay, luckily I ordered him before the prices went nuts. I really wanted him because I never got the figure as a kid and I always liked his colors, and I wanted another black guy in the line-up.

    I’m pretty happy with him. Having to hunch him over does not bother me as much as it does you. However, the little 200x backpack does bother me. Without hoses connecting it to the pincers, it just doesn’t make sense; so I wish he was more of a straight vintage update.

    However, since the backpack is non-removable, I had to justify it in my own mind.

    Now my Clamp Champ also has the 200x power sword, which he uses to be Eternia’s champion when He-man goes missing. Man-at-arms created the 200x sword as a backup for Adam, but all it does is summon the powers of Grayskull, it doesn’t allow one to harness them. Adam, having a genetic predisposition doesn’t have to worry about it, but anyone else is basically holding a giant lighting rod when hold up the sword and cry “by the power of grayskull.”

    So the backpack was created by MAA for CC to actually store and harness the power, granting him the strength of He-man.

    And that’s how my crazy brain works, if there is something about the look of the figure that doesn’t jive with me, I have to make it work somehow.

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