Review > Wind Raider (Masters of the Universe Classics)

Masters of the Universe Classics was born in July 2008 with the King Grayskull San Diego Comic Con exclusive. The line proper started in December 2008 with the release of Beast Man and He-Man. The first “beast” was Battle Cat, released in February 2010; and now, three years into the line–three years!–we have the first vehicle, the Wind Raider.

I’ll admit I expected the previously-revealed Battle Ram to be the first vehicle–and also hoped it would be, because it’s my favorite (with the Talon Fighter coming in a close second). The Wind Raider is actually pretty low on my list, but it’s one of the more iconic vehicles and owing to its simpler design, I’m sure it was a lot cheaper to produce for this toe-dipping exercise.

Why do I get the feeling the Roton is the next vehicle?

The plans for this gravity-defying marvel of technology, sketched on papyrus.

The art for the packaging was created by Rudy Obrero, the same artist who painted the packaging for the original toy. (Obrero also painted one of my favorite posters of all time–for what was, by all accounts, a terrible movie.) It’s beautiful art and a great bit of (long overdue) fan service on Mattel’s part.

It’s hard to call this collector-friendly packaging, because there’s no window to see the product (so tough luck for mint-in-box collectors) and the vehicle inside is held in by some cardboard parts that aren’t going to be easy to replace.

(click any pic for a larger version)

Once you’ve got it out in the open, though, it’s a thing of beauty. It’s very similar in design to the original Wind Raider of course, and if you hold it in your hand without a vintage WR nearby, you can be forgiven for thinking it seems like it’s the same size. The Four Horsemen made the MOTUC figures the size they are so that adult collectors would still get that “chunky” feeling of the vintage figures, and the Wind Raider was similarly scaled up–check out this comparison pic.

Obviously the new Wind Raider has a lot more details in both the sculpt and the paint applications. Parts that were stickers on the vintage toy are now tampographed on. UPDATE: Poester Dark Angel writes in regarding the various decals:

Poe, after reading some comments on he-man.org and examining my own very closely, the Wind Raider does no sport tampos, but some kind of decals, similar to the dampen and slide type decals that come with some model kits. Thus, they require some kind of sealant to maintain them and prevent chipping/peeling/discoloration with time. You want a sealant that is acrylic-friendly due to the “soft” (or rubbery) plastic parts (basically. all the yellow parts). I used Krylon Matte Finish 1311, which is archival safe and can but used on plastics. Spread the word!

 

The handles kind of get in the way of the controls.

Mattel could have gotten away with just making a fairly plain vehicle and I think most fans would have been satisfied. In this instance, however, they went the extra mile and added a few play features. Like the original toy, the “anchor” at the front shoots out, and can then be wound back up by turning the “skull” on the hood. I even went ahead and made a goofy Youtube video to show this function in action:

 

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HztDIk6exug&w=480&h=360]

The wings can be rotated 360Β° and the rudder can move back and forth. Incidentally, the rudder is separate in the box and has to be attached, and it does take a bit of force to get it on. [Update]Β The wings come separately and also have to be attached.

Finally, there are small hatches on either nacelle that can be opened to reveal what looks like missiles:

Just storage, I guess, since there's nowhere for them to shoot out of.

One non-caped MOTUC figure can sit comfortably in the seat, with both hands held on the grips. The grips are a bit rubbery so it’s not difficult to get the hands on.

Duncan's obsession with the Green Bay Packers extended even to his vehicle styling.

Finally, the Wind Raider comes with a fantastic stand. It plugs into one of the “turbines” on the bottom of the Raider, so it doesn’t look obtrusive. The stand has a strong hinge at the top that allows for lots of great posing options. It also has wheels in case you (or a kid) just want to roll it along the floor.

As I’ve often pointed out, Mattel seems to cheap out on some figures in this line while giving others the works. The Wind Raider is one of the latter cases. At $40 45, it’s expensive but not too far from what you might expect to pay at retail for something of this size and complexity. All the moving parts and action features, along with the great stand, give it a ton of value.

As with the best products in this line, it’s not just a great collector’s item, but an amazing toy.

UPDATE: It was pointed out to me that there are supposed to be two small guns on the underside of the vehicle, to the left and right of the front wheel. You can see them in Michael Crawford’s review. Mine doesn’t have them, and they’re not in the box.

So, Mattel quality control strikes again. They weren’t so necessary to the design that I missed them, but now that I know they’re not there, I’ll be requesting a replacement. For this (and what sounds like a lot of QC issues), I’m docking the Raider a half-point.

11111/2

Where to Buy:

Comments now closed (22)

  • Are the wings removable? I think it might look better without them.

      • They fall off rather easily. I've had them break off when I knock it off the shelf, but they plug right back in again.

  • *cough* $45 *cough* other than that Awesome review… Looks pretty cool… I would've preferred the Battle Ram though.

  • Why are you wasting our time with this crap? We want more reviews of Norwegian alien figures!

    Deth of the blog!

  • Thor? Those don't come out until the Avengers movie later in the year πŸ˜‰

  • Behind Vikor, this is definitely my favorite MOTUC release this year. I truly felt like I was getting my money's worth with this purchase.

    I actually had a chance to check out a vintage Wind Raider (never held one before) and was amazed by how small it seemed! That thing was tiny!

  • Kind of broken hearted that I missed out on this. Circumstances dictate that I be on a toy hiatus for a few months, so I had to skip, but what a beauty.

  • Fantastic and really in-depth review, thanks. I don't follow the line but I read everything you put up.

    Even as a primarily Joe-scale collector, I've never really understood what the appeal of attack vehicles such as these are, either from a play perspective or a display perspective. Almost anything you could do with them would be a war crime ("Man-At-Arms, also known as Duncan Hines was arrested today for ruthlessly mowing down Beast Man…") and even if you had enemy vehicles, without specific pilots, you'd be removing characters from display. Of course, in Joe scale, they tend to provide pilots, but I have a tendency to kitbash pilots into prominence.

    Not a criticism, of course, just an observation.

    • Actually, I don't even think the Windraider has any offensive weaponry. While it looks like there are missiles stored under the side flaps, these could very well be some type of fuel cells. Also, in the picture on the box it looks like everyone is shooting at the Windraider, but the Windraider is in no way retaliating. Perhaps this is just a transport vessel. What does everyone use the hook/anchor for?

  • I always thought the turbines contoured on the fuselage shape giving it a raft like outline.Great review,Poe,Yeah,Battle Ram would be awesome.

  • I actually have Def-Con 4 on VHS! I remembered seeing the box cover at my local video store for years, finally picked it up at a yard sale…and it's terrible. Great poster, though.

  • Poe, after reading some comments on he-man.org and examining my own very closely, the Wind Raider does no sport tampos, but some kind of decals, similar to the dampen and slide type decals that come with some model kits. Thus, they require some kind of sealant to maintain them and prevent chipping/peeling/discoloration with time. You want a sealant that is acrylic-friendly due to the "soft" (or rubbery) plastic parts (basically. all the yellow parts). I used Krylon Matte Finish 1311, which is archival safe and can but used on plastics. Spread the word!

      • It is NOT your fault, they require very close examination. You know how critical my eye is and I didn't even notice until someone on the org brought it up (leading to arguments, needless to say). Still, once I knew to look, I recognise a decal when I see it, and unfortunately, one of mine already had an edge flaking – fortunately a flat edge, and it is difficult to spot the damage. Most reviews I have seen, including Pixel Dan's, assume they are painted.

  • Nice review Poe. The comparison pics with the vintage and Classics Windraider is a striking visual. Much appreciated.

    I agree with all your points on the Windraider too. I feel like I got my money's worth and it's a wonderful toy. I'm not much of a vehicle guy personally, but I would like to see three or four more vehicle -. Battle Ram, Road Ripper, LANDSHARK, and the Rotons might be nice. Other than that, as good as the windraider turned out, I'd prefer they concentrate on the figures.

  • The vehicles does have two guns on the bottom on either side of the front wheel. Poe it looks like yours is missing these? Are they in the box?

    In my world the things inside the compartments are fuel cells πŸ˜‰

    • Wow–you\’re right, there are supposed to be two guns there. And nope, my doesn\’t have them.

      Very, very annoying, and now I have to get a replacement and revise the review. VERY annoying.

      • Wow. Just wow. We didn't mean to ruin your new toy for you. Poe. And fudge me gently with a Havoc Staff but Mattel is really start to lose it on QA/QC with this line…! I'll be inspecting every item that comes into my house with a magnifying glass henceforth. Evil-Lyn and Demo-Man are supposed to be here today…fingers crossed…

        And good luck with Digital River's crap Customer Service. Am going to email you something that might help, if you haven't already contacted them…

        • I'm going to have contact customer service now, as well. This should be fun…..

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