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MOTU Classics: Castle
Grayskull Review (36 Pics!)

Out of everything on the inside though, I think I’m happiest with the removable floor. It comes apart into small enough chunks that everything stores in the closed Castle, but it looks amazing when fully assembled. It opens up the Castle to being so much more than a giant clamshell! I don’t know if I’ll really be able to display it open, but it’s a great option for those who can.

Now, this is a Mattel product so there are a few “duh” points here and there. The hole in the floor for the flight stand is just silly. I didn’t snag a pic of it, but you can find one if you Google it. The Wind Raider is just too big to be in there. It looks weird and takes up pretty much all the space. The Sky Sled does fit too, but again, why? It feels like someone loved the idea and no one was brave enough to say, “dude, really?” That said, it’s cute – I don’t mind it, but Mattel should’ve included a plug or a cover for the rest of it. Happily, one creative collector has jumped in and made a great cover, I reviewed it a few weeks ago here.

The other two things I was less than pleased with though were cost issues. The dungeon sticker is still just that… a sticker. The 4H did sculpt a fantastic grate, but it just couldn’t be included. Admittedly, I’m not sure how it would work if you wanted to put a figure in there, but the sticker just… sticks out with nearly everything else sculpted. Luckily, more enterprising collectors have crafted a fantastic grate that does fit into the dungeon with a little effort. You can find out more here. It’s a great piece, I bought one before I moved last year and I regret I couldn’t find it for the shoot. (Plus, it’s not painted. I can’t paint to save my soul).

The other is the Grayskull Robot/Armor. I plugged the hole in the floor. I bought a replacement grate. That’s all good, but the Robot/Armor being a hollow shell requires a much bigger fix. I honestly wish Mattel had skipped it for now and released it as a sub figure instead. Looking at the one-piece shell, I just know it would make for a cool figure or even just a suit (where you could pop anyone’s head inside the helmet). I still am hopeful Mattel could find a way to replace it with a full figure someday, but that seems pretty low on the priorities. Possibly, rightly so.

Overall, though. The frickin’ Castle is here! I had a blast opening this thing. It’s obnoxiously big, but I’m glad I go it. The Four Horsemen and Mattel did a great job even with those few caveats I listed at the end. It just wasn’t a toy line until it got a playset. And even though I really don’t know where I can put it, it makes me kinda wonder if Mattel could do it again. Does Castle Grayskull sate our need for a MOTU playset? Or is there a chance this giant could sit at one end of my shelves with an admittedly, not-as-iconic-which-version-would-you-do purple counterpart across the way? Wait, did I just answer my own question? Even if we don’t get another playset, the Castle is what we needed. It should’ve been the crowning achievement in the line and I think it is that.

The gallery for the Castle is 36 pics. It’s one long parade of silliness. I hope you enjoy!

Recent MOTU Classics Reviews:


For all our MOTU reviews, check out our
MOTU Classics Collector’s Guide.

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43 comments to MOTU Classics: Castle
Grayskull Review (36 Pics!)

  • Dark Angel

    So torn on this one…sigh. Oh well. Happy Everything, everyone!

    • It was an automatic buy for me as I have everything else, but I can see it being a tough buy for a lot of folks.

      • Dark Angel

        Oh, I bought it. I got in on the preorder. For all my issues with the line and how it has been run, I will not have it said that I don’t support it – even though current management seems to feel I and many others don’t support it enough. No, the issue is, the castle is ultimately a toy – and as a man closing in on 40 years old, I did not need a toy, I need an epic nerd Hummel display base. Additionally, mine at least is not nearly as sturdy as a lot of other people’s seem to be. Based on the construction and materials, I foresee it causing a lot of heartache for a lot of people in the future. But I don’t want to waste space here, or bring you or anyone else down – I wrote a long review on another message board, you can read it if you choose: http://www.unrealspawnboard.com/index.php?topic=10287.0
        I know it looks like a private board, but anyone is welcome to register and respond if they like, we welcome new blood…er, fresh meat…er…yeah.

  • Ian

    Awesome review! Love the realtor story to describe the castle. Crowning achievement of Mattel. I hope they do another but intil then this is awesomeness.

  • This damn castle. I kind of wished I reinstated my preorder that Matty canceled at the last minute for no reason. But I’m just not sure it was worth the headache. Buying toys shouldn’t require so much work on my end… But every time I see it, it sure does look swell. Great (and funny) review.

  • mrArticulate

    Fantastic photos! (But then they always are!) Thanks for the fun Christmas day read!

  • Lem

    Second time I have to let this thing pass.As a kid I had lots of MOTU but the castle was way over budget for my parents . Now I collect MOTUC and have a full set of figures released so far but had to pass on this … in Argentina if you want to buy the castle even if you buy it on your own or from a reseller you need to pay 1000-1300 dollars for this …. the box looks great though.

    • Bloody hell, that’s an obscene amount of money, mate!

    • Lem

      Yes , regular figures now range between 60-100 each , and that’s for regulars susbscription-only you can expect to pay twice and if it is a core character .. more . I was kinda hoping they would wrap it up on 2014 but looks it ain’t going to happend and now knowing I missed the castle maybe it will be time to pick main characters .. a real shame after collecting for more than 5 years ..

    • That’s crazy. I’m sure I don’t have the resolve to be an overseas fan at those prices!

  • Sandman

    Merry christmas and congrats on the castle, IAT guys!

  • Polo23

    Awesome pics & review.

  • I love playsets and ‘play environments’ and such like. I love vehicles. I’m very happy they got this made, and someday I hope to own one. It’s a shame the future seems so bleak for MOTUC, I could see Matty being able to repop this every Christmas and creating add-on sets to really maximize the ROI, buttttt they won’t.

    I think I’ve figured out the concept between the flight stand hole in the floor. What if the thinking is some people may choose to use the floor parts SEPARATE from the Castle, as a display diorama stand? That would work, right?

    Another excellent review. You know they’re a good job when I come away saying “gee, I want that” 🙂

  • Outstanding review of an outstanding product! Loved it!

    When Star Wars effectively packed it in back in 1984/1985, my childhood then centered around MOTU, until that ran out of steam in 1987. But I was collecting MOTU since late 1982, watched the cartoon, subscribed to the magazine, saw both movies, acquired almost every toy in the original line.

    You talk about “Who doesn’t know or remember Castle Grayskull, even if they can’t name any of the characters?” Well, my mother is now 81, and she put up with my MOTU-mania for all five years of the vintage line. When it arrived, I assembled this MOTUC Castle to get a good look at it while she was taking a nap in her chair. When she woke up, she saw this big verdigris-coloured thing in profile sitting on the floor. “What’s that?” she asked. So I turned it to face her, and she immediately came out with: “Oh! BY THE POWER OF GRAYSKULL! I HAVE THE POWER!!!”

    Yeah. Castle Grayskull is a cultural icon par excellence, no doubt about it.

  • Excellent work on the awesome pic gallery. I was pretty sure that Digital River would screw up my preorder from October of last year, and sure enough, they did. After two to four tries at charging my card, both they and I gave up on this sucker.

    It’s still great to know that all of you who got yours are enjoying it immensely. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone here on IAT. 🙂

  • J. Lee

    Oh how wish had the space for this sweeeeeet giant.

    Great review and pics a laughed a little two loud on the pink greyskull and the eyeballs is too funny.

    Oh my goddess it really is freaking huve.

    Oh and Merry Christmas everybody.

    • Thanks, J! I still don’t know where I’m going to put it!

      Hope you have a great new year!

    • Brainlock

      oh damn! the eyeballs! LOL
      I saw someone on FB did an “origin” of …Oculus? (?-gold armor dude) It was his eyes that they planted in the castle sockets, here. I don’t recognize these peepers, but it’s still hilarious!

      who wants to do a pic with googly eyes next? 😉

  • He-Mullet

    did somepony say Brownies?
    My sides hurt from laughing through this review…

  • Blot

    Between the Castle, the Spider Gremlin, and Metroplex, this sure has been the year for the impossible being made possible, hasn’t it?

  • Mysterious Stranger

    I love this thing. It was, in my opinion, well worth the $300 I paid for it (preorder with shipping and tax). My only concern is the elevator. It is really tight and holds its position well but I can see that loosening up with repeated use over time. The string and gargoyle hook of the vintage Castle was a great way to secure the elevator and I kinda wish they had done that here, or something similar.

    Aside from that (and not including a plug for the Wind Raider stand) this is as close to perfect as it gets. I was originally going to unpack it, play with it for a bit, make sure everything was in there and it wasn’t broken and put it back in the box and out into the garage. But after opening it I had to keep it out. It’s currently under my customizing desk so I can pull it out and play with it whenever I want to.

    SO. MUCH. FUN.

    • I think it’s definitely worth the price! I mean, I would love it even more if Mattel realized they could sell at least a portion of the line at TRU or somewhere, amp up production, and bring the cost down, but I digress…

      I didn’t think about the elevator, but you’re right, it could definitely wear over time. I’d forgotten about the gargoyle hook! It is a ton of fun though. Even just to look at. LOL

  • BP

    Love Beast Man’s reference to the 80’s commercial “I know all about that trap door”

  • Brainlock

    wow, it’s a Who-mas Miracle!
    I apparently checked in shortly before you posted this? then assumed you were too busy with the holidaze to post, anyway. also, I was too sick to care.
    (wait, no, that would have been Who-mas eve? I dunno?)

    LMAO at #20, the back door. My sister just bought a “new” place (~70yo) and has the same problem. She already had to bust out one window to get back in! I would have had them ask about the plumbing and heat, too. LOL
    (seriously, almost a week without regular water because she just HAD to change the shower head!)
    (also, potential ghostststs. they told her previous resident died in here, then phone/net guy tells me he drank himself to death. guess who gets his old room? yay. good thing I have several real ghost peeps on speed dial. Even if E is too tall/wide to get thru the front door! Even I have to duck & sidestep!)

    This does look like a great piece, but I can’t see paying over $200 at retail for it, maybe 225-250 online, tops. Space is also an issue for me, right now. storage is over-packed and I’ve been frozen out of ebay until I pay them. Then again, I don’t have either of the previous versions, either, so I can live without it. As for being the “key piece” to this line, I’d probably agree, but your collection also contains another “very identifiable base”: The Hall of Justice! I’d probably argue the Death Star for SW, as well. (blame Dan’l Pickett for sharing his Xmas morning pic with that the other day! LOL)

  • zupahman

    man i was expecting a 4 page review. C’mon LazyDvl5 ! 😉
    Just kidding. i had so much fun setting this up… my wrkplace is now a battle diorama.
    I’m happy with this, i’d rather mattel get to vehicles before going for Snake mountain or any other Dio’s

  • Jon

    Aaron Eckhart is such a good realtor, LOL!

  • Ian

    The manhole cover and dungeon kits are awesome.
    I finally got the weapons rack on Matty.
    Hoping for more custom kits. Expansion walls would be great to make it bigger.

    It is the centerpiece of my collection and display. Voltron and Ft. Max just stare at it in awe.

  • BP

    How did you attach Optikk’s eyeballs into the sockets? On my castle, I can lay one in the right socket and it’s fine, but the with the left, it keeps falling out

  • dean

    This castle is amazing. I really wish I felt it was worth the total cost of admission. In no way can I argue how cool it turned out. Just more moolah than I want to give for it. Fantastic work, Mattel. Truly an epic toy.

  • da man

    Love the review. With darker hair and a slighly reshaped hair, Harvey could double almost for Phil Dunphy from Modern Family. My castle is still in the box and in storage until I have someplace for it! So glad I got it…

  • […] back! Our apologies for that little too long post-holidays hiatus there. I tell ya, reviewing a Castle really takes it out of you! I keed, I keed. 2014 has been marked by being under the weather so far […]