Review > Grizzlor (Masters of the Universe Classics)

I never owned Grizzlor as a kid. I do recall thinking that, like Moss Man and Panthor, there was something uncool about the fact that he had fabric parts. Fur, flocking, and fabric clothes were always a turn-off to me as a kid, I think because it made the toy seem perishable. Flocking could wear off; fabric could tear or get filthy; fur could fall out. Plastic, on the other hand, was forever (or so it seemed to a kid, anyway).

And so I’m fairly sure I was never interested in Grizzlor, and though I recall seeing him in friends’ or cousins’ collections, I don’t have a lot of nostalgia attached to the character. However, I’ve re-familiarized myself with Grizzlor, as with many MOTU characters since the advent of the 200X line ten years ago (remember, the announcement came in 2000, even if the figures weren’t on shelves until 2002). And now I think he’s kind of cool.

That mostly comes from my love of monsters. Grizzlor is a big, hairy, classic-looking monster, and while the fur may have turned me off as a kid, as an adult I find it charming. Yes, on one level he’s a ridiculous furball with hair like Cher and the face she would have if hers weren’t 90% polypropylene, and if you can’t roll with that, you’re probably not going to like him.* But on another level, he’s a really fun addition to Masters of the Universe Classics (MOTUC).

Packaging: It’s the same packaging we’ve seen on MOTUC since day one, but this time we do get a nice “Evil Horde” sticker. I wish these were cardboard placards inside the bubble so that they could be collected, or perhaps an actual sticker could be included inside.

It’s worth noting that Grizzlor’s head hair looks absolutely ridiculous on card, due to the way the bubble fits around his head. As JVS3 noted on the Roast Gooble Dinner podcast, Grizzlor looks a lot like a Troll doll–or Don King on his worst day. The hair is somewhat covered by the big MOTUC logo, but that’s hardly comforting for MOC collectors.

Design & Sculpt: In his vintage toy incarnation, Grizzlor was truly a big furball–he looked a bit like those novelty Koosh balls with faces and arms from the 1990s. The 200X “Staction”–an action figure-sized statue–updated the character, minimizing the hairiness and making him look more like an actual warrior–or a Wookie, or perhaps Ookla from Thundarr the Barbarian. The Staction also came with a bevy of weapons: his trademark Horde crossbow, sword, a machete, an axe, a dagger, and six crossbow bolts. MOTUC Grizzlor is based primarily on the vintage figure, with a little bit of the Staction thrown in.

In terms of sculpting, much of Grizzlor is a re-use from earlier figures–the arms and legs are from Beast Man and Chief Carnivus, while his boots are from Hordak and Keldor. [Note: a commenter below points out that the boots do look different from Hordak’s, so they may be a new sculpt. Mea culpa for not checking more closely.] Grizzlor’s face is new, obviously, and I think his hands might be new–they look different from both Beast Man and Carnivus.

The face is glued on, but it was originally designed to be removable, as the Four Horsemen sculpted a second face in the style of the 200X Staction. Unfortunately, Mattel decided not to include the second face, disappointing many fans. Personally I don’t like the 200X head–I think the yellow headgear makes him look like a contestant on American Gladiators and diminishes his beast-like nature, like a horse with a bridle. But obviously it would have been a nice pack-in for fans, and it’s a shame Mattel didn’t give it to us. (Still, I’m happier with the extra weapons.)

The face sculpt is very reminiscent of the vintage figure, which means it of course resembles any number of other 1980s B-movie monsters like Critters or Hobgoblins. While definitely old-school, it has a lot of character.

As for the fur: as other review sites have noted, it’s sort of a big furry potato sack that’s sewed around his body. I think it looks good, though; the color and texture of the fur works for me, anyway.

The harness is removable, and can hold all his weapons–but I’ll discuss that more in the Accessories section, along with the loincloth.

Plastic & Paint: The figure is mostly molded in brown plastic, but there are some paint applications on the face, bracelets, fingernails, and boots. The paint apps are satisfactory for the most part, though the white on the teeth looks just a tad sloppy.

There is a stray bit of yellow paint on my Grizzlor’s arm–not something that annoys me all that much, but worth noting.

Articulation: Grizzlor features the standard MOTUC articulation: ball jointed head, ball jointed shoulders and hips, swivels at the biceps, wrists, top of the thighs, and top of the boots, and hinges at the elbows, knees and ankles. The side-to-side “rocker” movement of the ankles is minimal on my figure, but on the bright side, the forward-and-back aspect of the ankles are nice and tight (which seems to be a common thing for the Keldor boots–it’s the He-Man boots you have to watch out for).

Accessories: Hoo boy. This is where Grizzlor is way ahead of the pack. He comes with a removable loincloth, a removable Horde armband, an axe, a machete, a longsword, and his trademark Horde crossbow.

The loincloth is a reference to the 200X Staction. The skull shape on the loincloth was a reference to the Four Horsemen logo, and it’s reproduced here. [Evidently the Horsemen have stated that it is not a reference to their logo–myth busted!] I know a lot of fans don’t like the loincloth, claiming it doesn’t really work with the thicker body of the vintage Grizzlor. I see their point, and I’d been assuming I wouldn’t want to use the loincloth when I got him. But after messing around with the figure a bit, I decided I liked it; rather than looking wrong on the thicker body, I think it defines the figure’s shape a bit more, giving him the illusion of hips and making him look just a tad less like a giant furball.

Contrary to what a few reviewers have said, the crossbow is not identical to Hordak’s–it has a slightly different head, as you can see from the pic. It’s still in the same green/teal color of the vintage figure’s weapon. It also has some minor paint apps.

While the crossbow is neat, what I think most fans are excited about are the other weapons. They’re all silver, with some darker silver highlights here and there. Each one looks great, and every weapon can be snapped on to the harness on the back. As you’d expect, the weapons are a bit less detailed than their Staction counterparts (this review at Dork Dimension has a good comparison pic), but that’s because they’ve been “Classics-ized” by the Horsemen.

This was a brilliant way to work in some 200X features to the figure, and hey, who doesn’t love getting lots of accessories?

Quality Control: There have been reports of significant fur shedding on Grizzlor, but I haven’t noticed it on mine. I guess that doesn’t mean it’s not happening, but it’s not like the fur is peeling away in my hands.

Overall: As I said in my introduction, I don’t have much nostalgic fondness for Grizzlor, and I tend to hate fabric on toys, so I wasn’t particularly excited for him. However, he’s won me over with his furry charm. The fur of Grizzlor and the flocking of Moss Man gives one’s MOTUC collection a welcome variety of presentation (unlike, for example, rows upon rows of DCUC figures with the exact same bodies–which is less the fault of the toymakers than the superhero designers).

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*I thought about going with a Robin Williams joke here, but hirsute references to Williams seem both passé and not necessarily obvious–when was the last time we saw Robin Williams with his shirt off onscreen? I can’t think of any modern celebrities who are well-known for body hair…maybe a pro wrestler?

Comments now closed (21)

  • Grizzlor is hands down my favorite my MOTUC figure. I just love the guy and his accessories are amazing.

  • Do all the MOTUC Grizzlor crossbows have the handle angling forward? 'Cause mine does.

    I guess it won't surprise anyone that I prefer the 200X staction a lot. I really love the way the 200X version's hair forms a mane around his head–like a lion. The MOTUC and vintage figure have "Albert Enstein" ("Yahoo Serious?"), eltrocuted-looking hairstyles.

    I also don't like the MOTUC version's "wittle paws," which are definitely new sculpts.

    Plus the gear on the 200X version give him real body shape, so he doesn't look like a furry potato–again, like the MOTUC and vintage figures.

  • Call me a slave to nostalgia, but I love the furry potato look. I tried the look with the loin cloth, but for now I prefer the vintage look. The inclusion of the extra weapons is nice though.

    My Grizzlor's right bicep swivel was very loose. I was going to overlook it, but I knew it would really bother me and that I couldn’t. Finally, I wrote to DR and within days I got a shipping notice for a replacement.

    I think what made MOTU so distinctive from other lines was how unusual each figure was. Even though a lot of the earlier figures all shared the same parts they still managed to be unique. I loved the flocking on Moss Man, Roboto’s gears, and Trap Jaw’s arm cannon, etc.

    It never occurred to me that Mattel was cutting costs by using the same parts, I just thought it was cool you could pull the arms off and give ‘em to other characters. How many of you had Trap Jaw with two arm cannons, or gave Jitsu’s hand to Fisto? It allowed for a certain level of customization which other lines didn’t.

  • I wasn't that excited on Grizzlor until he arrived. Then I remembered about all the cool weapons he came with and I knew I had to open. Glad I did, he's on the desk and actually is really cool once the fur gets tweaked. (I feel for the moc collectors, mine looked like Flock of Seagulls hairstyle in there!)

  • Finally. I been anxiously awaiting the next review. I think PoeGhostal.com has made me an addict. 🙂

    A few comments.

    1. Grizzlor's boots are not a reuse of Hordak's, unless the bottom piece of Hordak's is removable by the Horsemen before they cast it.

    2. The hands are indeed new as Deadman Walking pointed out. It's also worth noting that they are a departure from the original vintage version. I suppose they are indeed a pure 200x addition to this figure so he can hold his 200x weapons.

    The original Grizzlor as two open hands and I wish he had those here, but that's my personal preference.

    3. The Four Horsemen called into the last Roast Gooble Podcast (#25 I think) and stated that the loincloth skull design was not meant to be a reference to their logo.

    Good review as always sir. I'm can't wait for the Buzz-Off review now.

    I love this figure, and it's funny, Grizzlor was about the only 200x design I wasn't crazy about. I even took the removable weapon rack off of my motuc version to complete the original look.

    Vintage all the way with Grizzlor!

  • Definitely one of my favorites from the line so far. I never had him as a kid but my cousin and a couple friends did so I was well aware of his furry goodness. I finally bought the original figure much later of course to add to my vintage MOTU collection, and this version holds just as honored of a position in my MOTUC display. Great review!

  • @Thrawn: Thanks for pointing out the thing about the loincloth and the boots. I haven't quite caught up on RGD yet, and I didn't look closely at Hordak's boots. Bad reviewer!

  • I wasn't going to get Grizzlor. I had no interest in him at all. However after seeing the advance reviews I reluctantly decided to buy one. I figured if he arrived and I didn't like him I could sell him off or use him for trade bait. Once I got him in hand I changed my mind and decided to keep him. The fur is going to be a dust magnet and I need to get some kind of enclosed case to keep him clean. But he's a really dynamic looking figure and looks good on my shelf.

  • @Poe: It's probably that the Master Hordak boot has the "Metallic thingie" as an add-on to save time on sculpting (with the Parts reuse thing and stuff.) Probably the same thing applies to the crossbow. They're identical except for the head and tailpiece… The master probably has swappable pieces in order to make the subtle differences.

    Now How dare you bust myths without explosives!? Adam and Jamie are disappointed.

  • I thought Grizzlor looked silly as a kid, and he still does. To your point about fur and hair, my peers and I all considered those design elements that belonged on girls' toys, and avoided them like the plague.

    I commend the 4H for a design that does perfectly update the original, but in this case I think thy missed an opportunity to improve the classic design. I always thought Grizzlor's tribble-esque appearance was due to manufacturing limitations of the 1980s, and had Mattel the ability to give him form they would have, like in the staction. In the vein of reproportioning the vintage figures, as this line has done, a reproportioning that potato sack would have made him more appealing to me.

  • this is a great figure by my meager estimations, but it does prove that a buck system line, while cost effective, doesn't really fly for an "adult collector" line.

    why? cuz i think this is clearly a case where a larger base body could have helped make him a very distinct presence… for example, if you lengthened the abs a bit, and widened his lat spread, then the fur potato sack could be fit around the upper torso (and i'd have used elastic in the hem) before the abs were popped in, and you could have a full retention of articulation, a furred torso, yet sculpted fur abs and a visible waist to make the figure look viably brutish and imposing. i think separate heads w/ the liefeld wrestling gear face and the vintage face should have been minimum buy-ins at this price point too. but obviously, i'm a tard. 😉

    and honestly, if mattel could focus group us, personally, i'd advocate losing the horde crossbow unless it fired. up, i like missile launching toys, and i admit to my bias, but really, doesn't here feel like they get a value for their dollar w/ static crossbows? wouldn't all of us trade that big clumsy "mechanical" weapon for another sword, or a spear or a bonus head? that's my griff, the mechanical weapons (note the distinction from electronic weapons) should friggin WORK! just like honestly, the millenium he-sword we got, SHOULD HAVE opened! it's a mechanical device!! when we get snake armor he-man, the sword blade better open! i can not believe that we're getting denied things in 2010 at 30 bucks a pop that were included in 2002 for 10 bucks.

  • I like Grizzlor, but for some reason I haven't found myself posing and goofing off with him much. I've got no attachment to the previous versions, but I was looking forward to him. The fur is a great thing to make a figure stand out in a line full of identical builds.

    The fur and loads of gear and display options make give him the kind of value I want in a collector's line. I don't necessarily want the crossbows to shoot anything, but I'm not a huge fan of the size, which certainly makes them look like the giant spring loaded accessories we often see. The crossbows are a bit heavy for an elbow thay isn't super tight. Can't complain though, since it's got a place on his back and there are 3 more weapons!

  • "Ookla from Thundarr"! I would love to see really good figures from that show! I know they were done a while back, but they were "meh".

    Imagine the Horsemen doing the three main characters in the MOTUC style…

  • Got my Grizzlor the other day, he's awesome.

    Like you Poe, I never had him or nor wanted him as a kid, and I still think the vintage figure is my least favourite member of the Horde, but his Classics figure really impressed me. Excellent review.

    (BTW, you've got his crossbow upside down on the backpack.)

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