Poe’s Review > Slush Head (Masters of the Universe Classics, Mattel)

Cryogenics was in its infancy when Walt Disney’s head was placed in storage.

For the most part, we’ve long since entered the era of Masters of the Universe Classics featuring characters I scarcely know and am unable to write long winding review-essays about. I never watched The New Adventures of He-Man, and the only toy I owned from the line was Optikk.

So everything I know about Slush Head I read on Wiki Grayskull. Evidently he was the second-in-command of Flogg, the leader of the Evil Mutants with whom Skeletor allied himself in New Adventures. Of course, this being a He-Man cartoon, Slush Head was a complete idiot who often ruined his leaders’ plans.

Also: what the hell is Slush Head? A slug? A lizard?

Slush Head was one of the more notable figures from the NA toy line (here’s his vintage figure), primarily thanks to his special feature – his helmet was filled with water, or rather, the saline/water solution that was often used back in those days (and seems to have turned a disturbing shade of green twenty-three years later – or was it always green? I don’t know). From the little research I’ve done, it appears his arms weren’t bendies even back in the ’80s.

Throw your bionic claws in the air like you just don’t care

As with all MOTUC figures, Slush Head is a mix of old and new. The only new parts are the armor, pelvis, and head, which just goes to show you how a little creative mix-and-matching can go a long way toward making what appears to be an entirely new figure. Slush Head also incorporates parts from Icarius, Whiplash, Skeletor, and Mer-Man.

One thing I’ve noticed with MOTUC as opposed to DCUC is that while both lines re-use a ton of the same parts, MOTUC almost always adds enough differences in the mixing and matching, paint applications, and small bits of new tooling that the each figure looks pretty unique. One of the reasons I quit DCUC, on the other hand, was that I just got tired of seeing the exact same two or three body sculpts with a different head. That’s obviously partly due to the character designs (how interesting can you make a muscled-up human wearing nothing but skintight spandex?), but Mattel could have sprung for a few more base bodies of different heights and degrees of muscled-up-ness earlier in the line to give it more diversity.

Booty made in China

The Doctor Octopus-like robot arms come separate in the package and must be plugged into the backpack. The male socket ends have a rectangular shape, presumably to make sure the arms stick up in the air (if the plugs were round, the arms would no doubt slowly slide to the ground every time). It’s a shame Mattel couldn’t work out some sort of ratchet joint so that the arms could at least be posed at different angles.

Unlike the vintage figure, the left (Slushy’s left) tentacle is articulated at the joint. Unfortunately, due to the angle it’s difficult to make him grab another figure.

“OK guys, let’s lay down that bass track just one more time…”

Now, as for the bendy question: if Mattel were capable of doing things like companies were able to in, say, the 1970s-1990s, then there’s no reason at all we couldn’t have gotten bendy tentacles. However, Mattel has proven they are incapable of doing it right (exhibits A, B), so it’s probably just as well.

There’s a removable plug on the back of the helmet so you can fill up Slush Head’s helmet with water. I didn’t bother, as I generally try to keep my toys free of liquids. Unfortunately, it seems that the necessity of hermetically sealing the helmet cost us any head articulation. Whether or not a anthropomorphic gastropod-reptile hybrid has or even needs the ability to turn its head is not a discussion I’m willing to have right now. Still, I wish he could turn his head. I feel like they could have worked that out.

Incidentally, the head is part of the armor, and there’s no peg on the neck to plug into the head.

“Good, bad, I’m the guy with the gun. Er, axe. Axe-gun. It’s both.”

Slushy’s one accessory is the “trident spear gun and saber axe” (according to the bio – see below). The vintage weapon was clearly designed to be held as either a gun or an axe, but for some odd reason, whoever fabricated this one made the barrel of the weapon more rectangular than round. He can still hold it like an axe, but it’s an odd oversight.

Articulation is standard for a MOTUC figure with the exception of the immobile head.

Though I have no nostalgic connection to Slush Head, in terms of character design I find him to be a suitable addition to  MOTUC. The execution is a bit more mixed; as great as the water-tank head and extra arms are, the figure is almost as notable for lack of head articulation and bendy arms. The end result is a fairly standard figure for this line.

111/200

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Bonus Bio Discussion!

Slush Head™ Bio

Real Name: Kalamarr

This grotesque, scaly, web-footed creature from Denebria’s stinking Quagmire Swamp had his head permanently encased in a plateelium dome full of the swamp’s foul waters. He carries a trident spear gun and a saber axe, as well as two huge mechanical tentacles for grabbing and crushing his foes. As a petty thug and pickpocket, Kalamarr bounced in and out of Prison Starr throughout his youth. Just when he began getting his life in order, Skeletor® arrived on his quest to overthrow the Horde Empire. The promise of riches and power were enough to sway this mutant moron and goon squad member to Skeletor’s evil ways.

Thank Procrustus, a henchman who wasn’t brainwashed into joining the bad guys.

“Kalamarr” was Slushy’s name on overseas packaging, so evidently “Slush Head” didn’t translate well. Of course, calamari is a Mediterranean word for “squid,” which doesn’t really seem applicable here since Slushy is green, scaly, and lacks extra arms, but whatever, it was probably some sort of half-assed reference to Star Wars (specifically Admiral Ackbar) anyway, just like everything was in the 1980s.

The Prison Starr (typo or deliberately misspelled for trademark purposes?) is from the UK comics.

It’s odd the bio goes out of its way to state that Kalamarr was starting to “get his life in order” when Skeletor shows up. I’m imagining Kalamarr sitting down with a job counselor: “All right, so your head is encased in swamp water, you have two mechanical tentacles and you’ve listed your previous occupation as ‘petty thug and pickpocket.’ Well, since this is the Horde Empire and most sentient beings are murderous demon-spawn, this actually makes you one of the most promising job seekers I’ve met in a long time.”

I find it amusing the bio refers to him as a “mutant moron.” So far we haven’t gotten much sense of a narrator in these bios, but this smacks of a bit of editorializing, no? Anyway, not knowing much about the New Adventures storyline and caring even less, I’m fine with this bio’s description of the character.

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