The first set of Insecticons to be released, these guys had a slight edge over the competition with the fact they came as a set instead of individuals, so there wasn't a year long wait from first to last.
This is perhaps the best of the Badcube bugs for one fantastic feature: he changes color during transformation! With some clever panels, the gray robot chest becomes a bluish purple thorax for the bug mode.
Claymore... Shrapnel. Nice in both modes. Nothing spectacular about the transformation, but
just a really nice representation of Shrapnel.
Kickbutt... Kickback. This gluttonous grasshopper is a solidly built figure. A simple design that works really well.
- Overall great designs. Hypno's color change is brilliant!
- Some elements of the design are a little too blocky and could use a little refinement, especially Hypno's legs and all the bugs' waists.
Fanstoys Quakewave... Shockwave.
The first Masterpiece-style third party figure, this is the guy that started it all for many collectors,
myself included. Before Quakewave, most people thought the third party scene was just cheap knockoffs and dollar store junk. Fast forward several years, and the third party scene is rich and full of life.
While not perfect, Quakewave set the future precedent found in all Fanstoys figures and many other third party product: A solid build full of diecast, complex transformation, and a hefty starting price!
- Solidly built. A real laser pistol has less metal in it!
- Light up eyes and gun.
- Legs not accurate to any version of Shockwave.
- Partsforming cannon into backpack.
Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics He-Man, Skeletor, and Battlecat
One of my earliest toy fixations was the Masters of the Universe toys. I had nearly all the original toys, but soon moved on to Transformers and video games. When I found out Mattel was releasing a definitive collection of the original toyline, I jumped on it to snag my favorites. These have far more articulation than their 80's predecessors, but keep much of the same design charm of the old toys.
He-Man: Really looks great. Nice, hard plastic, tons of detail, including slight shading over muscle, to really sell the idea that he truly is the "Most powerful man in the universe!".
Skeletor: Where would He-Man be without his classic foe? This is one of my favorite figures.
Following the same overall build as He-Man, Ol' Skullface really looks amazing with the two-toned
armor, and of course, his sorcerer's Ramstaff. Really a great design, but my particular figure suffers incredibly weak ankles, and loves to topple over.
Even so, I can't help myself but to do the silly Skeletor cackle every time I pick up the figure.
Battlecat. He-Man's faithful companion, sidekick, and form of locomotion all in one, Battlecat is a
testament to skills of the sculptors. So many tiny details, and such raw power put into the sculpt, that he really comes across as menacing, with or without his helmet. A huge leap above his original figure, this terrifying tiger is fully articulated. Neck, mouth, limbs, torso, tail, paws... just phenomenal.
- Great sculpts. Great modern takes on classic cartoon characters. Battlecat's unmasked face is scary!
- Articulation good.
- Skeletor has a floppy foot.