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Rio Blast Review

The same is true for the chaps. The peg for the guns are inside the flaps. And while the ingeniously fit over the existing knee pegs, they stick out like oversized thigh-high boots at the top. Combined, it just creates a really disappointing visual.

And, of course, the armor creates articulation problems as well. The “which way to the gym” look is in full effect for the arms, the belly button pops up if you need to make use of the ab crunch, and the neck loses movement thanks to the high collar. He’s frustrating to pose too – and you’ll see that. I think I ended up just having him stand in all the pictures. Speaking of standing though, the ankles connect at an odd angle. The joint is thankfully tight, but due to that odd angle, both my Rios can be frustrating to stand at times.

The paint was one area where I was happy with the figure. I love the colors and all the little details Djordje added are painted well on both of my Rio’s. The face does need a paint that’s a little too thick, but I think the face still comes out looking great despite that. The only complaint I have on the paint is actually with the accessories – Mattel couldn’t budget in any paint for the backpack arsenal, so it’s a cheap grey plastic standing in for silver that appears elsewhere on the figure.

Rio included all of his arsenal as clip-on accessories. The aforementioned backpack that also has the big guns and targeting gear that slips over his head, the chest weapon, two pistols for his hands, and two more weapons for his knees. They’re all fine. I know some nitpicks were made about the visor/targeting array not being flush to his head, but I think it works the way it is. Technically, it looks like he can use it while still being aware of his surroundings. I like that fine. The accessories themselves are fine, it’s just how they connect that hurts the figure.

Overall, Rio Blast just isn’t up to par. I hope there are folks out that love him, or are surprised by how “good” they find him. I think there is a lot to love here, a start. The initial sculpt could’ve used a little more forethought into how Mattel might mess it up (that’s not to excuse Mattel from messing it up, however), but it’s a solid sculpt with a ton of great detail. The basic articulation is there, it’s just blocked by poor engineering. And that idea – that there’s a good figure under these mistakes is why I bought a second figure and carved him up. I cut off the armor connectors and will eventually just glue down the remaining overlay. He looked a ton better already. I did try cutting a hole in the armor to make the flip better, but it’s still just not a good fit. I think I’m just going to go all-in on my slimmed down Rio and glue the flap down. I may cut the pegs off the chaps as well, basically creating a Rio Blast that has no action feature. It kills me to do that, but I’ll keep my fat Rio Blast unaltered and guns out too. It’s not a great solution, but Mattel has left me with little choice. I just have to hope there’s not another figure this flawed in 2015.

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35 comments to MOTUClassics.Com
Rio Blast Review

  • It’s a real shame he has so many flaws. I remember when this line started I was very excited to see how this figure would turn out as I am a big fan of Bravestarr and Galaxy Rangers although I never had the vintage Rio Blast.
    Rio is a lot like NA Skeletor as they both had so much potential to be some of the greatest figures in the line but were spoiled by Mattels designs.

    Noisy your custom Rio looks so much better and I think the more it isn’t the ideal situation, gluing the flap on the custom and keeping the original with all the guns seems the best option.

  • Flap solution: flat magnets!

    I still like looking at reviews of MOTUC but i’m glad i quit and got no single MotuC figure anymore to annoy me, lol. I think the leg portion is looking really like the weakest – it has a lot of details to awe at but the overall look doesn’t make sense. A PITY! A second head with the 80ies figure’s 70ies ‘Clone’ look would have been great. That’s my Rio Blast.

    • I was thinking the same thing. They should have used magnets.
      When did you quit the line? I stopped when Teela was released but I did get Vikor but only had him a few months before selling him off as well.

    • Clay

      Magnets, or have a deeper peg on the gun with a recessed hole in the flap (and if that meant putting a hole right through the flap, it could be disguised with a bullet hole on the other side), or a Battle Armour-style swapout piece of ‘flap with gun’ and ‘flap without gun’ (still hinged at the base so it can be raised and lowered, but pops apart at the hinge)… so many options…

    • I would’ve loved to get two heads on this guy. Absolutely.

  • Alex

    I’ve been looking forward to this review. Not because I care about this character, but because I’ve seen so many people complain about how terrible the figure is, and nothing I’d seen in the few pics I have anylooked at stood out. So I was curious about what exactly was so bad about it other than “it’s Rio Blast.”

    But boy howdy, that really is a big ol’ ball of fail. And as we’ve seen many times now, this is what happens when you take a character that’s 100% dependent on its action feature and run it through the “we can’t have any action features because reasons” filter of the Classics line. This is why I can’t possibly imagine that Dragstor is going to turn out well.

    Though I do feel he need to call you out on a rookie mistake you made here. When you say “I can’t believe anyone at Mattel could possibly be happy about it,” you’re wrongfully assuming thst anyone at Mattel actually gives a damn. 😉

    • I know quite a few folks at Mattel personally thanks to this blog and I can tell you that many do give a damn. There are some that don’t too, of course.

      I do think you’re mostly right about the “no action features” as the root cause, but I feel like Treadaway & Terry Higuchi would’ve done a better job on this figure than Djordje & Ruben did. There are surely solutions out there and I think the former are more experienced in solving those riddles than the latter.

  • evilmike

    I normally absolutely refuse to modify my figures in any way I can’t completely change back if I don’t have a second one of them. But this time I really think about doing those modifications to Rio Blast. He’s really looking aweful with those construction flaws :/

    • ero

      Pertaining to my rant below 🙂 do yo have any plans to produce a vintage kit for Eldor? New vest and hood? I figure the loin cloth can come from Adam or maybe the Talon Fighter pilot.

      • evilmike

        Hey ero, I can so understand you! I felt that something is wrong with the Eldor figure, too! And I think it’s exactly what you are referring to. He is just not in the vintage/classics style he should be. Although I think I’m not the right guy for such a vintage kit. But I really hope someone skilled will take care of that!

    • dayraven

      evilmike, can i call you evilmike? evilmike, we have, asa fanbase need of your services, because while everyone here is pointing out the flaws in mr blast (only his momma gets to call him riolus), and there are plenty ot mention, they’re missing the biggest travesty inherent in the figure…

      he has this totally fly belt with shotgun shells tucked into it…

      and nary a shotgun, nor the hands to hold it…

      that sounds precisely like the kind of thing we rely on evilmike for, solving extant problems that the other guys kind of miss.

      anyone can fix the flaps, or the chaps, and ibentmymanthing has a more vintagy head available on ebay, so for guys like ero, whom i’ll address personally in a moment, they’re taken care of. for those of us looking to do something more creative with our rio blast, we turn to you mr dr evilmike esq. help us evilmike kenobi, you’re our only hope!

      • evilmike

        My dear dayraven, you can call me evilmike, of course. But a simple mike would be totally appropriate, too ;).

        I absolutely see Mr. Blast’s need for the right armory and I have some nice things in mind for him. The only thing I’m sad about is that he won’t be able to hold anything with his ready-to-draw-hands… So I think I will have to come up with some solutions for this, too 🙂

        • I wonder why they decided to sculpt the hand ready to grip pistols instead of making practical hands to hold something.

          • dayraven

            it would make way more sense if he actually held the pistols, but they plug into his arms, so his hands could basically do whatever.

            maybe they should have done alternate hands with the butt of the pistols in his grip, so he could deliver a quality pistol whipping ala russell in tombstone.

            “Go, on, jerk that smoke wagon and see what happens!”

    • I feel the same way! I compulsively had to buy two to do the cuts and had to wait for both to arrive so I could decide what to do.

      He would definitely benefit from your touch! 😉

  • Josh

    Any chance you can give better visuals for how you did the custom work? I’m considering it and it is the difference between keeping and selling the figure.

    • I’m hesitant to show pics because I haven’t quite finished yet – I want to glue things down so they sit better. But essentially I cut the sides of armor off completely, leaving just the ropes. On the right side there is a line to follow for the cut and on the left I followed the hose. On the back I again followed the sculpted lines and cut straight down the back, leaving just an overlay that doesn’t connect on the sides. I’ll wrap it up here soon and post pics.

  • Paul

    I’ve been “looking forward” to this review for the past couple of weeks. I wanted to see if Rio was really as disappointing as people have said. unfortunately, it looks like he is a big disappointment. Too bad as Rio was my favorite toy back in the day. I would have loved a modern styling of the original (I love how the original has a head that is now “reminiscent” of Ron Swanson). Your custom is very impressive. It solves a lot of problems, but for me, this guy was all about the action gimmick. If he doesn’t have his weapons, he’s out for me.

  • Excellent review, pics, and all that.

    Gonna take a blade and a roto-tool to mine when they arrive. Not confident in my ability to de-bloat the armour, but I’ll get those flaps sorted out easily.

    In the words of the great Thew Adams, “It’s a nightmare of discoloured flaps and compromise . . . a bit like your mum.”

    The Thew video, for context:

  • Anyone still reading? Ugh… I need a big bowl of popcorn and a few beers before I can actually read all the comments above. Perhaps later.

    Anyways, before I got Rio Bloat in hand, my biggest problem was his head. I’ve been happy to go along with 99.9999% of all the choices made on this line, but it is of my opinion that they absolutely positively got his head sculpt WRONG. Sorry if you disagree, but they really should have leaned more towards the vintage line.

    I was really looking forward to Rio. I still remember the Christmas that I got him along with Clamp Champ, Sorceress, King Randor and others. It was the best Christmas ever. As the last heroic warrior that “counted” in my book, there certainly was a lot of build-up, and I can’t help but feel let down. Hopefully Ninjor, the last evil warrior that “matters” won’t get farmed up between now and then.

    • A lot of it’s not worth reading.

      I do love the desperado look, but like you I have that part of me that is disappointed too. That’s just how Matty rolls. A figure like Snout Spout who could benefit from a Djordje sculpt and some updated love gets nothing and a figure like Rio who didn’t really need it gets too much.

  • This is one of those figures where I’m just not seeing the bloated armor as an issue. It totally is in quite a few, but his armor doesn’t look that huge to me. I mean, I see the difference between the modified figure and the original….but it’s just not that BIG a difference. To me, of course.

    The flap, though, GOOD GOD. I can just imagine Sling Blade going “Yep. Mm-hm.” and tossing it on the “finished” pile without much of a glance. They couldn’t have gotten the finished product in-hand and assumed it was okay, unless they just took a huge hit to the development budget (if that’s how things work). There’s just..ugh, SO many years of toy technology to look back upon! You – YOU – the person who worked on this – you couldn’t POSSIBLY figure out how to get that flap to close? Not a single thought crossed your mind? Nothin’?

    Ah well, once again, I can see the good in anything, and I’m still having a good enough time with him. I do want to fix the flap, though.

  • As has been noted in multiple posts that are no longer here, IAT is “my site”. This particular post has needed me to remove profanity & personal attacks for two days, so I’m going to exercise that ownership & call it. I’m too busy to monitor it tonight, so it’s just going to have be lights out on this one.