For years now, I’ve looked on as my peers have had this obscene fascination with monkeys. I’ve never understood it. I’ve watched them buy monkey figure after monkey figure – I’ve even bought a few myself. I wasn’t usually impressed, but then again none of them were lemon-lime monkeys.
Gygor is representative of something I really like about MOTU Classics. I want a lot of things out of this line. It’s a tall order – I want figures from every corner of MOTU – all the cartoons, mini-comics, foreign repaints, whatever. That includes the concept stuff. While I happily await certain childhood favorites or modern takes finally realized in figure form, I love that Mattel is choosing to mine the concept figures to expand the line. I’m excited about Vikor. I’m curious to see Demo-Man. I can’t tell you enough how much I want that concept Horde Mummy to be given figure form. Gygor gives me hope that those wants can be realized. After all, a year ago, he was nothing more than an quarter-of-century old, unused prototype. And look at him now. He’s hit the big time.
Gygor’s origins are humble. A lot of Masters of the Universe concepts were brought forward from Mattel’s older Big Jim line. Moreover, Big Jim’s tiger made it into the line as Battle Cat & Panthor, his eagle as Zoar & Screeech, but Big Jim had other animals too – a gorilla among them. In vintage times, a prototype of the gorilla was put together along with some art that showed He-Man using the gorilla as a Battle Cat substitute. That figure never happened, of course, but that hasn’t stopped the team at Mattel from including him this time around. On a related note, the artwork that showed He-Man riding Gygor led many fans to put him on the side of the angels, a notion that Mattel turned on its head with the bio:
Gygor – Evil Fighting Gorilla, Real Name: Gygor
Shortly after the Great Unrest, Keldor was driven behind the Mystic Wall and Gygor, Lord of the Vine Jungle, lead an army of beast men in a series of raids against the long forgotten Castle Grayskull, believing the many tales of its great and mysterious power. It was only through the combined powers of Oo-Larr- the jungle He-Man and The Goddess that Gygor was defeated and placed in a state of suspended animation. Eventually, Hordak returned to Eternia and the savage gorilla was freed by Evil-Lyn in her attempt to bolster Skeletor’s forces against the new Horde army. Gygor uses his great strength to fight the Heroic Warriors.
As the first MOTU monkey, Gygor is an entirely new sculpt, though we already know he’ll be seeing some reuse as January’s Shadow Beast. And while some fans might’ve thought that Gygor borrowed parts from DCUC2’s Grodd, that’s simply not the case. MOTU Classics figures and DC Classics C&C’s are sculpted 1:1. As the Four Horsemen themselves noted, any similarity is simply due to their both being gorillas.
As a well-sculpted monkey, Gygor’s got all the right details. There’s obviously the full-body compliment of sculpted fur, but the exposed areas have plenty of detail too. I didn’t get a picture of it, but if you pick up Gygor, check out the bottom of his feet. This guy can leave some nice Bigfoot prints on Eternia (of course they might ask, “what’s China” when they study them).
For me, the most impressive part of Gygor’s sculpt is his size. This guy is nearly 10″ tall! I knew he was big, but I wasn’t expecting it. Sil came home after work today and saw Gygor sitting in his package (hey, I was busy today) and was surprised by his size. When Vault saw the picture below, he didn’t believe it. Gygor is huge. Makes me feel a little better about that $30 price tag.
One part that Gygor won’t be sharing with the Shadow Beasts is his screaming monkey head. I’ve noted in the past that I’m not a fan of screaming heads even though I feel conflicted about the 4H having to sculpt all these neutral expressions. It’s a waste of their talents.
In the end, I like Gygor’s head sculpt – it’s very dynamic and a great homage to the original Big Jim toy, but I wonder if they could’ve done an articulated jaw here so we could get the best of both worlds. I know it would “cut up the beautiful 4H sculpt” and that the upper jaw would have to be done differently, but I know the 4H could’ve worked it out. I was playing with my Royal Guardsman Mynothecean during the Carnivus shoot and that mouth articulation makes him feel like two separate figures sometimes. Gygor can scream to his heart’s content on my shelves, but I’ll always wonder what he does in the time he’s not raging.
I know that’s not a MOTU lineup, but since I’m talking about the cow’s mouth, I thought I’d throw it in (though I left it strangely agape for this picture). It’s interesting the range of anthropomorph’s the 4H have got going across their various work. Gygor doesn’t quite fit in with this group like Carnivus because he’s not really an upright animal. He’s just a big monkey. But he does look good with a blue cat and a pink elephant, doesn’t he? Continue to Page 2 for Articulation, Paint, & Accessories…