I'm developing a love/meh relationship with the Masters of the Universe Classics line. I love many of the figures, but there seem to be just as many are disappointingly "meh". As enthusiastic as I am with the line when I get a figure that I love, the meh figures just deaden that enthusiasm into indifference. The last MOTUC figure I got, Optikk, definitely falls into the meh category. After Optikk, it took me a few months before Matty offered a figure interesting enough for me to come back to the line. And here it is: Gygor, a yellow and green armored gorilla toting a seriously huge axe. I love gorilla figures so this was a great way to reel me back in. But does Gygor descend into meh-dom like many of his MOTUC brethren?
Size: 10" tall
Price: $30 at MattyCollector.com
Packaging: Boxed (within a mailer box)
Gygor has a great sculpt with a nice fur texture and that roaring countenance that you often see on gorilla figures. The paint apps are sharp and there's plenty of wonderful detailing (especially in the open maw). And the green/yellow color scheme is dynamic and fun. So why did Gygor score only 3 pacs?
I went back and forth on this, but eventually I decided that the main problem with the figure's look is its armor. It's shiny, stark black, and spiky... and way too garish. It contrasts with the figure's coloration and design in a distracting manner. I suspect that's because it was based on the vintage line's Gygor prototype. (As you may know, Gygor was never released in the vintage line but the figure did make it to the prototype stage.) The original prototype's armor looks like it was cut and pasted together as a quick "first draft", so it looks pretty crappy. Since this new Gygor is designed to mimic that first draft, its armor, like the prototype's, looks incongruous with the figure.
If you remove the helmet and arm/leg guards, the look is calmed down and seems to work better. And without any equipment at all, Gygor looks pretty good. But Gygor needs some kind of armor to tie it in with the rest of the MOTUC line, and the armor it has sucks.
Gygor has 13 points of articulation:
- Neck (ball socket)
- Shoulders (ball hinge)
- Biceps (swivel)
- Elbows (hinge)
- Wrists (swivel)
- Hips (swivel)
- Ankles (swivel)
That's a good amount of articulation for a gorilla figure and each joint has a nice range of motion. But I would have liked to see better waist and leg articulation.
Gygor's armor is comprised of lots of removable parts: a helmet, chest straps (with cape), forearm guards, and shin guards. But as I mentioned before, the armor just doesn't work with the figure's design to give it a coherent look... even though I really dig the cape and its gorilla hand print.
The axe is all kinds of awesome. It's big enough to look like it does some serious damage, but it's not so unwieldy that the figure can't easily be posed with it.
Gygor is larger than other MOTUC figures, but it maintains that top-notch MOTUC quality. The body and the legs feel like soft vinyl, so if you're looking for more solid plastic, look elsewhere. I love vinyl figures myself. Frankly, I wish the whole figure was made of that wonderfully squishy plastic.
Regardless, $30 is a pretty pricey sum for a figure that's not any bigger (and far less substantial) than the recent $18 Marvel Select Thing.
Gorilla figures are awesome, and a gorilla wielding a giant axe is that much more awesome. But Gygor has two things working against that inherent coolness.
The first is the previously mentioned and definitely uncool armor. The second is that I frankly don't know what to do with the figure. Gygor just doesn't seem to belong in the MOTUC line. Part of that is because of its size. At 10 inches tall, it's entirely out of scale with the other figures in the line. (I know that the Big Jim gorilla on which the original prototype was based was proportionally larger than vintage He-Man figures, but Gygor seems out of scale anyway. Maybe Mattel nixed that prototype because it didn't look like it belonged with the rest of the line.) Also, its realistic gorilla sculpt doesn't mesh well with the vintage MOTU-inspired sculpts of the other figures. And finally, this figure doesn't elicit those feelings of nostalgia that are so pivotal to this line. MOTUC is all about reliving the "good ol' days" with awesome upgrades of figures from the original line that keep the spirit of those vintage figures alive at the same time. This figure was never in the original line, so I have no memories of him from my childhood... hence, no nostalgia.
I do realize it seems contradictory to blast Scareglow for relying too much on the design of the original figure and not thinking outside the nostalgia box, yet also blast Gygor for being completely outside the nostalgia box. But the idea is to get a happy medium between the two: a figure that's tugs on the nostalgic heart strings but is also a substantial upgrade that's cool in and of itself. Mer-Man is a perfect example of this. Gygor seems out of left field.
OverallThe verdict? Meh. Like Optikk, I thought Gygor would be an inherently awesome figure. But also like Optikk, Gygor disappoints. That armor just sucks. But maybe more significantly, Gygor stands apart from the rest of the MOTUC line, and not in a good way. The figure is out of scale with the other MOTUCs and has no nostalgic ties to the vintage line. He's just a big yellow ape with an axe. Which is cool enough in its own right to keep the figure from tanking... just as long as you lose the crappy armor.
It looks like I'll be taking another MOTUC sabbatical. I'm seriously contemplating giving this line the boot as I can't justify spending this much money on disappointing figures. But I doubt I'll be able to resist Grizzlor, one of my childhood favorites. Let's hope he's less "meh" than Gygor.