Sunday, December 29, 2013

The First Ever Strong-Arm/Strong-Or Figure

Strong-Or (called Strong-Arm in the cartoon) is a figure I never expected Mattel to make.  Strong-Arm (I prefer that let's just use that one) only ever appeared in one episode of Masters of the Universe, but it happened to be one of the ones that, for whatever reason, cemented itself into my brain when I was 5.  He appeared in the episode "The She-Demon of Phantos" where he teamed up with Skeletor to enslave the planet Phantos and take the strongest metal ore in the universe for himself.  As a former miner, Strong-Arm had the necessary skills to create a new face and arm from Photanium after he was wounded in a mining accident.  He used his new arm to join forces with Skeletor in a grab for power.  In his only appearance, Strong-Arm shows off his ability to stretch his metal arm and uses it's immense strength to capture He-Man inside a photanium cell.

Strong-Arm has a truly bizarre appearance, featuring a metal head and arm, pointy ears, a blue spike mowhawk, and orange skin.  While he sort of looks like a mixup of random parts, I thought his mask was a really cool design and his bright blues and oranges add another vibrant addition to my already extremely colorful MotU Classics collection.  

Strong-Arm comes with a regular length arm, extended length arm, and Skeletor's shrinking ray.  The arms snap on and off easily, but are a good fit and are not loose once attached.

Here's a shot of Strong-Arm as I have him in my Castle Grayskull display where he's facing off against fellow glove enthusiast, Fisto. That spiked mace came with the castle, and I thought it fit his character more than the shrinking ray.

And now...your moment of zen.

Stan the He-Man?!?

Yes, that is Marvel Comics legend, Stan Lee in the photo above.  In a bizarre twist, Mattel just released a Masters of the Universe Classics figure of Stan the Man!  As far as I know, Stan had nothing to do with the original creation of the He-Man universe nor has he ever written a He-Man story, and he is.  While I find the whole situation confusing, I couldn't pass up the chance to own a Stan Lee action figure that would fit in seemlessly with one of my collections.

Dubbing him the "Cosmic Creator of Power", his bio states that Standor was one of deities who formed the Eternian Universe.  Without further delay, I give you...Standor.

Stan comes with "cosmic" armor, a removable helmet, and removable "solar glasses".

If you know anything about Stan, you know that he loves doing interviews.  Let's see how it goes when Space Ghost gets his turn to interview "the Man"!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


This is an old figure pic I came across tonight and it happens to be one of my favorites of all time, so I thought it was worth a post.  I took this picture on a whim at work (yes, I had toys at work...lots of them) with my cell phone and it just turned out to be a great picture.  The dramatic lighting, the focus, the amazing texture on the skrull's all added up to create an intimidating image of an unhappy group of skrulls.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

It's the New & Improved Grayskull!

One year ago I committed to buy the largest, most expensive toy in my collection because Mattel needed a set # of preorders to move forward with the Castle Grayskull created for their Masters of the Universe Classics collection, and if I waited to get it on ebay I would have to pay a LOT more for it.  I kept going back and forth, but as the deadline approached, I decided I could sell off parts of my overall toy collection and not be out any real, so I went for it.  I won't go into how excited I've been to get this castle in the mail because I want to keep a shred of dignity.  I'll just say that it didn't disappoint.  Let's move along now.

Mattel did to Grayskull what it did to every figure in this phenomenal toy line.  They took the original design and made it better...way better.  They kept the ability to fold up the castle into a convenient carrying case, they kept the trap door, they kept the elevator, and they kept all the cool accessories from the original all while making everything more detailed, better sculpted, and better painted.  On top of that, we got extra ledges built in for more action figure display space, 2 working hidden doors into the castle, a jawbridge that actually opens when He-Man sticks his sword in the hidden keyhole, a removable floor for the bottom floor, a built-in jail cell...they went all out.  The pictures will say it better than I will, so here they are.

The artwork on the box is awesome!  Preorder buyers got the opportunity to vote on which characters would be featured on the box artwork out of a list of over 100 characters.  I chose some obscure ones, but of course, the most popular ones won out...and that's probably for the best.

Here's the history of Grayskull from the box, in case you were interested.

This Graykull features an extra base at the bottom.  I like what it adds to the foundation and stability of the castle, but it also keeps the castle from opening up all the way, which is making me rethink my display.  More on that later.

I love the detailed wooden accents on the outside and inside of the castle.  You can see one of the hidden doors above.

Like I said, this castle has everything the old one had plus a whole lot more.  The hole in the floor is so you can park the Wind Raider there if you want.  I don't think I'll be doing that, but it's a cool option.

In the old castle (1984 version), this robot space guy and all the computers were just cardboard standups you could put in the background.  Here they are fully sculpted, 3D pieces of the castle!  The robot is even removable!

Like the original, this throne turns to release the trapdoor hidden under the rug beside it.  It also includes a slit in the seat, so the Sorceress can sit down even though she has permanent tail feathers.

The floor really ads a nice feeling of space to the whole inside.  And check out the extra 3rd floor!  In the old castle there were just two small areas where figures could stand at the tops of the 2 towers.  This is a very nice improvement.

 That little wooden door opens up to reveal a holder for the mystic gem that comes with one of the figures...King Grayskull, I think.  I don't have him.  Might have to stick a marble in there or something.

Check out the woodgrain on those planks!  Great job, Mattel!

More amazing detail on the ladder.

Above is the view from the 2nd hidden door. This one leads out to the ledge on the left side of the front of the castle.  That ledge is a great idea, but unfortunately, it's not deep enough or level enough to stand a figure on it.  Maybe with some sticky tack or something...

Look at their faces and body language.  It's like Sorceress just fired He-Man.  He's pissed off and she won't even look at him anymore!  That's what you get for stealing post-it notes from the office, Adam!

Looks like Orko is watching Wall-E on their HD TV.  Again, all that stuff was made of cardboard in the old castle.

The castle features a built-in jail cell with a working cell door.  Looks like Beastman got busted for being intoxicated in public again.  Time to grow up, Beastman.

This laser cannon is also a vast improvent over the old one.  Unlike the the old one, these figures can actually grab the handles.  Unfortunately only the male figures have hands large enough to do so though, and I chose Teela for this picture.  Oh, well, you get the point.  The gun swivels left, right, up and down.

Here you can see a size comparison with the 1984 castle.  It was an amazing playset back in it's day, but the new castle is a vast improvement.

Above you can see my MotU Classics collection with the old castle in the display.  To use my desk space best, I opened the castle up flat.

Unfortunately, the new castle's bases doesn't allow it to open up all the way, and the base doesn't appear to be removable.  I could open it up and display the inside, but I just like the outside better, so it's staying folded up until I can figure out a better display area for this collection.

And, of course, Space Ghost like to show up in all of these posts...wait...what's that in his hand?!?

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Hallmark Ornament Collection

One of my collections that I don't think about outside of December is my Hallmark Ornament collection.  I bought myself a really cool Spider-Man ornament (pictured above) sometime in the early 2000's and a yearly tradition was started.  Some years I pick up 2 or 3, some years it's only one, but Hallmark always comes through with something worth buying every Christmas.

In the past few years, my kids have gotten old enough to love Christmas ornaments like I do, so you'll notice Mickey, Tinkerbell, Rainbow Brite and others that don't seem to quite fit are included.  This is by no means the whole collection, only the ones that had decent enough light on them to get a usable picture.

These pics won't be great quality, due to the Christmas lights all over the place, but I liked festive spirit of the pics compared to taking them with the lights GET OFF MY BACK! that under control again...enjoy the pics.

Emmitt Smith 

Tony Romo


Space Ghost



 Chewbacca (with C3PO)

 Mickey Mouse



 Rainbow Brite

 Statler & Waldorf

 Obiwan Kenobi


Captain America