Saturday, February 20, 2010

TOY REVIEW: Masters of the Universe Classics Trap Jaw

As a kid, my all time favorite Masters of the Universe toy was Trap Jaw. Not only did he have a funky color scheme, a cool spring-loaded jaw, and a helmet loop through which you could have him rappel down a line of string, but a mechanical arm with interchangeable weapons. Trap Jaw was the ultimate Masters of the Universe character and best represents the dizzying collage of styles and genres that is MOTU: he's a cyborg, so there's a sci-fi element to the characters but his mechanical parts are very low-tech and what we would now call steampunk; he has lost his arm and jaw so there is an implicit horror to the character and he remains one of the scarier MOTU villains; his hook arm and crossbones belt gives him a piratey appearance. When the 2002 line came out, I was not into the show but Trap Jaw was the only figure from that line that I bought. The new classics Trap Jaw was released this month and sold out in under a half hour.

Trap Jaw, giving a Power Point presentation at Digital River.

As with many of the villains in this line, his bio heavily draws on his MYP comic appearance and the 200X continuity. In Icons of Evil: Trap Jaw we are introduced to the warrior Kronis (briefly seen in the 2002 cartoon as well). Kronis challenges Skeletor and is banished from
Snake Mountain only to raise an army in an attempt to finally overthrow the Overlord of Evil. The two battle atop Snake Mountain and Skeletor defeats Kronis, destroying his arm and jaw in the fight. Tri-Klops is given the job of rebuilding Kronis into the new villain, Trap Jaw. This is pretty cool stuff and miles away from his bumbling portrayal in both cartoon series.

As with previous versions, the unused attachments hook onto the belt.

My first impression out of the package, is how much Trap Jaw resembles his vintage figure. There is really very little 200X in his design, which is unfortunate. For although I'm not a fan of the exaggerated proportions of that line, the 2002 version of the character was a very scary-looking dude and a good representation of the character. MOTUC Trap Jaw carries
over the cartoony and non-threatening aesthetic of the old line.

Sculptwise, Trap Jaw is loaded with new parts. His arms, legs, and heads are all brand new sculpts. The legs in particular, are impressively sculpted with lots of mechanical details. There is lots of great detail on the two "organic" arms, each one with lots of mechanical parts. The Trap Jaw head leaves a lot to be desired as it replicates the googly-eyed stare of the original toy instead of the more menacing look of the modern version.

I'm crazy gun arm man! Gimme some candy!

One strangely hardcore detail, is behind the mechanical jaw (not spring-loaded, by the way). When you open the jaw you can see some bloody mass behind it. This is presumably what is left of Kronis' original jaw. The alternate Kronis head is a little goofy looking with its Oompa-Loomp features and Billy Idol-esque sneer. The mechanical arm is well-articulated, with almost full mobility (the ball-joint at the shoulder is obstructed by some of the upper arm detail). Again, the arm is more of an update of the original figure with little of detail of the 200x figure (a good thing in this instance as the modern Trap Jaw's arm was ridiculously out of proportion with the figure).

Oy! Bugger off!

The paint is mostly excellent on MOTUC Trap Jaw, although I think the colors are a little too cartoony. The figure is loaded with paint accents and details, mostly in the fantastic metallic blue color that is used for the Kronis arms. These are located all over TJ and really make the figure pop. There are also some very nice (although uneven) metallic green detailing on the crossbones on his belt and the surrounding rivets.

His trademark pirate league wrestling belt.

Trap Jaw's main accessories are his three arm attachments: a gun, a hook, and a claw, in order of coolness. These are the biggest disappointment with the figure. While the gun is actually pretty cool, the hook and the claw look very puny. The claw in particular looks about as threatening as a cupholder. I would have preferred a "classicsized" version of the big scissor claw that came with 200x Trap Jaw. Sadly, none of the attatchments from previous figures are compatible with the Classics version. The figure also includes not only a bonus head but a bonus arm so that you can make Kronis, which is a pretty cool addition. All in all Trap Jaw comes with a great amount of accessories and earns his $20 plus shipping.
Trap Jaw, doing shadow puppets.

On the quality control front, I'm sad to say that my Trap Jaw has loose joints in his legs and ankles. As one of the bonus items for subscribers, Matty should send out a quarterly bottle of Krazy Glue. There was also some scuffing on the bonus arm. While my first subscription figure was shipped without a hitch, my subscription was not "entered correctly" and I am still waiting on my actual subscription figures which are MIA. Luckily, I have friends in high places (or at least places near Toy Fair).

Trap Jaw is long overdue in Masters of the Universe Classics and I'm glad to finally have him in my collection. He's a great figure who looses some points for a slavishly retro sculpt and accessories but makes up for it with a stunning paint job and extra accessories to make his alter ego, Kronis. Although he is among the line's fastest sellers, Matty promises to have him out again in the summer.

Patrick Garone
Senior Reviewer

1 comment:

boob said...

The left over tongue meat is the strangest inclusion for me. Like they thought it would be a neat gruesome detail, but really, I just prefer to keep his trap shut now.

Overall I'm super pleased with this re-incarnation. TJ has always been my favorite, and still is. So much so, that I'd like to buy 2 more when he gets re-released.

You hear that Mattel? Keep those TJs coming. Don't stop the machine until the fans say so.