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MOTUC Castle Grayskull
“Manhole Cover” Review

One of the coolest things about toy collecting in recent years is the rise of fan creations that can be used to better our collections. There has surely been customizing as long as there has been toys, but the last few years have been a golden age of sorts thanks to technology that has brought online collectors closer and closer together.

I think one of the very first times I ran into a supplemental fan creation was for the MO2K line nearly ten years ago. I was able to pick up a custom-made Fisto sword for the MO2K figure. It was sweet. In the years since, I’ve picked up quite a few hand-casted items from various customizers or third party companies, but mostly for other toy lines: extra accessories for my Joes, Shapeways add-ons for my Transformers, sometimes even whole original toylines. Turns out, there’s some really good stuff out there not coming from the handful of big companies.

But I haven’t added much to MOTU Classics and for MOTUC Week, I wanted to highlight two particular items that I simple love. The first of those may seem deceptively simple, but as soon as I saw it – I knew I had to have it. It’s a Manhole Cover for Castle Grayskull.

If you’ve got any interest in the Castle, you probably know exactly why I think this is brilliant, but if not, allow me to explain. For whatever reason, the powers that be at Mattel or the 4H or maybe just Toy Guru himself want you to be able to fly the Wind Raider or the Jet Sled inside Castle Grayskull. I don’t really get it, but hey, an extra feature is an extra feature, right?

Well, sorta. What this means for the Castle is that there’s a big ol’ unsightly hole in the floor. You might think, well, I’ll at least have the flight stand post to plug in there, but no, that’s not included. To make this feature work, you have to have the flight stand and not want to use the base included with the flight stand. Whatevs.

Enter BadVermin over at He-Man.Org. He’s put together this great piece, a dual-sided manhole cover to, literally, fill the void. I he piece is handmade and hand-painted and it looks gorgeous as a result. I don’t have the Castle to place it properly yet, but that’s okay because I might need to time to pick a favorite side. The rusted metal side is great and makes perfect sense, but the worn wood side is so very well done. I imagine this piece will get flipped over a lot when the Castle eventually arrives. And, just in case you’re worried that it might not fit, as you can see in the pics, the manhole is perfectly sized to fit in the base of the flight stand, which unless Mattel screws up should be the exact same size as the port in the Castle’s floor. Let’s cross our fingers on that one, Matty.

Either way, I’m super excited to have gotten in on this piece. It was $10 plus shipping and not having that giant hole in the middle of my Castle will be well worth the ten bucks. The manholes are made to order and are still available as of this writing, but you will need to be a He-Man.Org member to get a hold of BadVermin and place an order.

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33 comments to MOTUC Castle Grayskull
“Manhole Cover” Review

  • Here’s a picture from He-Man.Org showing what the Castle’s included floor will look like:

  • Izdawiz

    You have the nicest man hole I’ve ever seen.

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  • Thanks for the extra pic ’cause this is the first I’d heard of the hole in the floor. I guess an updated version of Point Dread and the Talon Fighter is out of the question if Mattel wants us to fly around indoors? Bizarre, indeed.

    I remember the first custom piece I picked up was SpyMagician’s Zodac sword a few years back. Whatever happened to Spy Monkey Creations anyway? I hope they’re still putting out cool stuff. ;)

    I signed up for Castle Grayskull so it looks like I’m gonna be registering over at the Org if I want a complete playset. Ten bucks ain’t a bad deal for this sort of item.

  • Sweet product and great review!

    Shame about having to be a member of the Org. They won’t let me join because of my free e-mail accounts.

  • is it just a rumor that the hole gets no covering up? can’t imagine that there’ll be nothing from the 4HM themselves that’d be covering the hole up.

    • As far as I know, Mattel hasn’t made mention of a cap. I don’t understand the whole point of putting the flight stand there anyway, but I think Mattel assumes we’ll plug the Wind Raider in here and toss the black circle aside. I don’t get it.

      • it would have been awesome if they included the clear part of the stand so that those of us who own both the wind raider and sky sled could have the option of displaying both at the same time —

  • Rodimus

    Someone should recommend he set up an account on Matty Collector so people who aren’t on the Org can place requests. I’m another of those people who can’t send a request.

  • great review… I never heard back from this guy

  • I’m waiting to see where Dayraven takes this…

    • dayraven

      hey, if you’re into manholes, this is clearly the superior manhole on the market. last week, i tried stinky pete’s manhole emporium and grill, and they were terrible. the food smelled food that was 36 hours older than eaten, and the manholes will covered in slimy grit and grime. it wasn’t pretty. and there was inexplicable hair everywhere.

      the week before i had tried miley’s hole enchilada, and the place was bleached white and shiny, but it had a very septic plasticy smell and i just felt like i really, really wanted to be anywhere else in the whole. and despite my repeated testings, i couldn’t find a manhole that fit correctly, i was either in there so tight it made my eyeballs hurt, and let me tell you, miley didn’t care for that one bit, or i was in the other hole, trying to get the man hole filled, but the walls of the opening were just hugely spaced and distended, like some real shenanigans had just burst the place wide open and no man hole cover would ever be enough again. plus, there was no gluten to be found anywhere, and i’m just very pro-gluten. ;)

      nope, when you have 10 bones burning a hole in your pocket, and you desperately crave some manhole, this is the first, last, and only name in manholes you should remember: BadVermin. anything else would be… uncivilized.

  • ero

    The better, simpler, cheaper solution is to simply leave the bleepin’ floor in the box. There’s no need for it. The vintage castle was perfect in this regard. I wanna fold mine up and go whenever I want, and I don’t need an odd floor insert getting in the way! :D

    • IMO, this is sort of jumping the gun a little bit — but to each their own I guess. At $10 it’s a very reasonable asking price for what looks like a great quality item! Personally I think I’d hold out to see if Mattel does include anything to plug the hole — or if it’s just “as is” —The floor piece is nice because it adds to display space and of course unless you want to have the Wind Raider or Sky Sled just hovering around on the inside of Grayskull you will need something to plug the hole. I guess I would hope they’d include something here — but then again this IS Matty, so logic does not necessarily dictate their actions.

      • ero

        Oops, I see how this could easily be misread. I’m talking about the separate green floor. I think this little plug that is being reviewed is a fine and aesthetically pleasing solution for the WR hole. I was simply saying that the problem is altogether avoidable by throwing out the separate floor piece and keeping your castle old skool. :D

        Respect to the customizer!

  • BadVermin

    Thanks for the great review!

    Besides the Org, I can be reached at: badvermin@comcast.net

  • He-Mullet

    Manhole cover toy review and no Pic of a TMNT Head peeking from a manhole?
    BAD NOISY!!
    All jokes aside, that Manhole seems pretty cool. Luckily I’ll have no Grayskull so I don’t have to worry about characters falling down holes. Hopefully future Grayskull Owners will enjoy this thing!

  • TimH

    Maybe it’s the fridge? In undeveloped societies, people store food in holes dug in the ground due to the natural insulation and constant temperature.

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