I would’ve never pegged Whiplash as the figure to trigger an uproar, but given his name, perhaps it’s appropriate. The controversy, at least this week, is a bigger story than the figure itself, but will he really be the last classics figure with a MO2Kesque head? After having him in-hand, I hope not.
If you’ve been busy this week, you might not have heard that Whiplash’s alternate MO2K* head was determined to be “200x for 200x’s sake” by Mattel management and, for now, Whiplash will be the last figure to get an alternate MO2K-inspired head – though MO2K-inspired heads can still come on MO2K-inspired figures. Makes sense doesn’t it?
* – While I do like Poe Ghostal’s use of the word Millenium because he doesn’t like the term 200x (I don’t either), I’ve never really been able to get behind it. I think it’s a great descriptor, but it’s longer to type 200x so it doesn’t work for me. Yesterday, I was reminded of another term from back in the day, that was used by Poe as well, that does works for me: MO2K (MOTU + 2K). It may not work for everyone, but I’m tired of typing 200x, so going forward at IAT, it’s MO2K.
Anyway, before I get into the meat of the review, I want to say that I love all eras of MOTU. All of ’em. My NA DVDs sit proudly next to my POP DVDs. My vintage Sy-Klone figure hangs out next to my MO2K Sy-Klone. I’m happy to let others play favorites and dis others, but I want Classics as inclusive as possible. I bought two Whiplash figures so that I could display him both ways and celebrate two great eras of MOTU. I’d like to be able to do with more figures in the future.
Above, we have the standard version of Whiplash and he’s surprisingly, minus the loincloth/crotch, an all-new sculpt. I knew most of him would have to be new, but having him in-hand really hits that point home. His armor is not removable in the traditional sense, but if you do remove it, Whiplash has an entirely scaly torso underneath. I can see getting plenty of reuse on some of the other baddies and I love the scales on the shoulders, in particular. I never liked the smooth arms of the vintage figure when compared to his chest and I think it’s these little details that help bring the overall look together.
Whiplash’s forearms and legs are also new to him, though most of this figure will see re-use as Buzz-Off. I really love his boots too. They are boots right? There’s this weird ambiguity about MOTU feet. This is particularly an issue with Whiplash as the overall design could be construe them as his feet, but their color matches only his loincloth. And if we construe them as boots with painted ‘toenails’, what do his feet look like under there? His hands are normal, so does Whiplash secretly have normal feet? Ah, the mysteries of Masters of the Universe…
Of course, his main feature is his trademark tail. It’s a separate piece that clips on to the armor (to better accommodate parts reuse, Buzz-Off’s wings will attach similarly). It’s a bit weird this way, along with the front armor, because it makes Whiplash feel like he’s in a dude in a crocodile shell, but it works. The tail itself is a hefty chunk of plastic. It’s a snug fit for his back It can disconnect from the bottom peg for deep poses, but stays in place pretty well. The detail is on it is pretty cool too. I imagine I’m going to pose one of my Whiplash figures looking over his shoulder while facing the back of the shelf. It looks that good. It features one articulation point, a swivel about mid-thigh. I do wish it had a bit more articulation, but the one joint allows for plenty of poses – some of which are simply about moving the tail to one side so that it’s out of the way.
I have to admit that the ‘eyebrows’ always threw me a bit on the vintage figure, but the 4H have translated them well on this design. The head has a rock star vibe to it because of the eye details, but that’s why I like it. In the early shots, I wasn’t sure how much I was going to enjoy this head, but in-hand, it’s got a lot of emotion to it. He looks a bit mischievous really. Like he knows something you don’t, which, considering Whiplash, is hilarious. Plus, this guy is definitely a bruiser and I can’t wait to get a Fisto to stage some epic fights.
Ah, the MO2K head. The source of all the controversy surrounding Whiplash. I’d heard from a few heads that this head was too big or an odd fit, it’s not. In person, the head is the right scale and fits in seamlessly. I also don’t think it’s “too MO2K”. If you’re not a fan of MO2K, you probably think I’m crazy for saying that, but the truth is that the actual MO2K Whiplash sculpt had a lot more detailing around the eyes, including more realistic pupils, finer teeth, and a lot of little dimples and bumps that have been removed for this “classicized” version. Since being a MO2K fan is part of my MOTU fandom, I appreciate those details on that MO2K figure and I see their absence, but certainly don’t mind it, in Classics. This head toed the ambiguous line that Mattel has set forth and I’m disappointed that they don’t see it that way. The level of detail is high, but it’s consistent with the other head and the rest of the body.
Despite the new tooling, the articulation is standard for the line plus the swivel point on the tail. The torso armor restricts the biceps a bit, but that’s nothing new. And the ankles are wonderfully tight on this new sculpt, even though his tail would provide plenty of balance if they weren’t. Continue to Page 2 for Accessories & Paint…