Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Toy Review – Masters of the Universe Classics Shadow Beast By Mattel

I waited a very long time to open this guy. I even tried to unload him on eBay at one point. It’s not that I don’t like the Shadow Beast, it’s just that in the cartoons there were a lot of Shadow Beasts and I like to have at least four of any kind of character that there are multiples of. Vipers, Stormtroopers, zombies, Daleks; whatever. I need four to feel complete. I didn’t think it would be practical to buy four Shadow Beasts and I certainly didn’t want to spend ninety more bucks on them, let alone however much it would have been with secondary market markups and shipping. So I decided it would be easier to just sell the one that came in my sub.
But I didn’t want to take a loss on it. I listed him for about $36 – a reasonable price given shipping and whatnot. I figured somebody out there would want to build an army of horny monkeys. Er… horned monkeys.

No such luck. I didn’t see one sell for over twenty bucks thanks to the Great Subscription Glut of 2011. Everybody had MOTUC subs last year. Tons of people had more than one; some upwards of three. So every single figure that was offered in the sub last year is readily available for MSRP or less. Mostly less.
So the other night I got drunk and bored and decided to go ahead and open this guy, Battle Armor Skeletor, Adora, and Sy-Klone. I only got through the first two before I got bored with opening figures and taking pictures, so I might still try to sell the latter two. Lord knows I don’t want to end up selling Sy-Klone at a massive loss like I did those wretched fucktards Clawful and Snout Spout.
First Glance: Gygor is on the bottom shelf of my MOTUC setup with the other big guys and my variants, so I don’t see him all the time. That’s why I was somewhat surprised at how big the Shadow Beast is. He’s big. A big, horny monkey. I like him.
Sculpt: This guy shares a lot of parts with Gygor, but has enough to distinguish himself as much more than a repaint.
Shadow Beast has the same hollow rotocast body, along with the plastic arms and legs. The arms are ball-jointed at the shoulders and have single pivot elbows. The shared parts are nicely hairy and bulky and all of the joints work very well. You’d think the change in mediums from torso to limbs might be an issue, but they look great together.
The new parts are the head, hands, and feet. Those may not seem terribly significant, but they make a huge difference, even when Gygor and a Shadow Beast are next to each other.
The head is ugly and awesome. I love the brutish, mean face underneath that almost regal unicorn-like horn. It’s just shy of being cartoonish and works tremendously well. The hands and feet are thick and primitive clawed things. They look great and really add so much to making this guy different. I especially like how much further the Shadow Beast’s feet extend out of the furred legs compared to Gygor. The wrists swivel and the feet are on what are essentially ball joints.
Design: The Shadow Beast paint is about as basic as you can get, and in this case it works. He’s a whole lot of brown with some fleshy colors in the right spots. The claws on his hands and feet are dark and help bring those extremities out more.
The face is detailed very nicely. The fleshy tones are just right and the eyes are just glistening with evil. I kind of wish the horn was a slightly different color, but at the same time it matches the claws, so it works.
All of the deco on my figure is great. I don’t have any blotches or bleeding.
Accessories: The Shadow Beast comes with a big ol’ honkin’ club that looks amazing. This is one of my favorite MOTUC accessories now. The sculpt on it is fantastic; with the bark on the outside and the wood grain at the cut portions looking great. I love the little stumpy part sticking out of the one side. It gives it a more natural look and a whole lot of character. The spikes look mean and managed to be sharp enough without breaking any of the painfully restrictive US toy laws.
Packaging: The Shadow Beast comes in the standard, large beast packaging. I am a big fan of the Masters of the Universe Classics packaging and this window box in particular. Everything has a very uniform look regardless of size and I love the look of full MIB collections even though that’s not my thing.
Overall: Once again, the Four Horsemen did a great job reusing parts to make a new figure. I’m definitely glad I went ahead and opened the Shadow Beast and I really dig him on the shelf. Once I get the Gryphon I might even just make some kind of Beast Man display. If you like cool, big figures or happen to collect monkeys (or monkey-like figures, I guess) you need a Shadow Beast in your collection. There’s not a thing I would change about this guy.
5 out of 5
You can easily get a Shadow Beast cheap on eBay, and BBTS might even have them marked down. I know they got stuck with a TON of 2011 MOTUC figures. My big problem now is going to be resisting the urge to buy a couple more.



  1. I almost got this guy when he was on amazon for about $24 (with free shipping). The only thing that kept me from getting him was that I already had a Battle Cat, and he has sat in his box since I got him. Sure I've taken him out a few times and admired him, but I have nowhere to display these larger creatures, so I knew Shadow Beast would just be relegated to living in a box in my closet. Anyway, he does look cool, and I'm glad you like him.

    Also, I got Stinkor and Slush Head in today. I have only opened Stinkor, he was a must-have figure for me when this line first started. The backwards forearms on Stinkor bother me so much more in person than they do in photos. I now completely call BS on Matty's story that they did this on purpose, because if there actually is somebody on a design team that thought the forearms looks better, or even decent, being swapped; then they need to get their ass chewed out.

    I love Stinkor, and was very much looking forward to getting him; but the backwards arms, blue plastic accessories that have zero paint apps, and the fact that the 200x head has a very off-center white stripe, have me strongly considering putting him up on ebay.

  2. Dude, Stinkor tore me apart. My review will be up Monday. Oddly, the forearms bothered me not at all. Lots of other issues, though.

    1. I'll look forward to your Stinkor review. Overall he just feels like a cheap figure to me. However, I really like Slush Head, so if you open him I'll be interested in your thoughts there too.

      I did go ahead and swap the arms and paint new stripes on Stinkor. I'm not a customizer, so all I had was some cheap acrylic paints from walmart, but I'm happy enough with the results. The off-center stripe doesn't bother me so much just because that could easily be a variation in the way his fur grows (kind of like your punch-drunk Thunder Punch He-man?). Maybe later I'll decide to invest in some quality paint, but I'm just not really wanting to go down that road.