Doc Thomas Reviews > Cy-Chop (Masters of the Universe Classics, Mattel)

Note: The following is a review by Doc Thomas, and does not necessarily reflect the views of Poe Ghostal. You’ve been warned. –PG

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Cy-Chop is the absolute most balls-to-the-wall bizarre action figure in this whole shambolic Masters of the Universe Classics mess. And it IS a mess – between the toyline and the hype and the problems with Digital River and the problems with not-all-inclusive subscriptions and with customer support and and WSODs and reuse and quality control and every other stupid thing that has gone wrong with the whole line it is a CRAZY mess, and there is no disputing that. I have said frequently that long after MOTUC is over we’ll be looking back at it as one of the best action figure lines ever, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t completely fraught with avoidable nonsense and things worth getting up in arms over, especially considering the premium we pay on these figures.

So here’s Cy-Chop, and he’s weird. I mean, he’s more than just weird, he’s COMPLETELY BIZARRE, and there are a lot of reasons why. There are a lot of reasons to like him, and a lot of reasons NOT to like him. Let’s try to break this down, shall we?

cy-chop-bio-motuc

Cy-Chop was designed by Mattel designer Terry Higuchi as his entry into the 30th Anniversary sub-line of MOTUC, which was to be some kind of celebration of Masters of the Universe in ways I’m not really clear on and have never really been clear on. It meant we got the amazing Fearless Photog finally, as well as a bunch of other new figures of new characters that might or might not fit into MOTU. I’m not really sure – as an “anniversary” line, why didn’t it feature some big characters we already know and love? For example, Ram Man would have fit ideally into this line, and perhaps making him slightly more expensive would have made sense for an anniversary sub-line and allowed for more tooling. But, instead, Cy-Chop, a Six Million Dollar Man by way of Frankenstein who fights alongside the Horde in the endless incoherent MOTU mythos made up on the fly. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not actually opposed to any of that – I really like the idea of this part-dude-part-machine character with massive scissors fighting alongside Hordak – that completely makes sense to me. (I’m also not opposed to stuff being made up as it goes along, as well as it’s taken lightly and has some kind of editor.) From Poe’s bio discussion I completely agree that “Scythor” would have been a much better, less ridiculous name for the character, but that’s assuming the intent was for him NOT to be ridiculous. As it is, well…

It’s no secret that the entries into the 30th Anniversary Line / design-a-character competition had to be created from existing parts (something I thought was a disgustingly cheap move on Mattel’s behalf, but anyway) but none of the 30th Anniversary figures make this more apparent than the blatantly Frankensteinian Cy-Chop. The combination of clearly mismatching parts with a schizophrenic color scheme make him look completely ridiculous at first glance – even the standard red-and-black Horde logo is now orange and gold for unfathomable reasons – but taking that bio into account, I actually don’t mind the look.

One important reason for this is that, unlike many of the 30th Anniversary figures, I can absolutely see Cy-Chop existing in the classic 1980s line, whereas I can’t see celebrated figures like Castle Grayskullman nor Draego-Man fitting in. Not that those figures are bad, far from it, they’re excellent, and they completely work as adult collectibles  whereas Cy-Chop would make an excellent MOTU children’s toy, complete with arm swinging action feature and spring-closing blades. I think people forget just how much the original series centered around the action features, with most of the characters defined by them, thus overlooking how quickly an ’80s Draego-Man with its wings would just break, or how limited a Castle Grayskullman would actually be – what action features would these guys even have? As adult collector figures, yay, but for the ’80s line? I’m not sure I’d bet on it.

Plus, with Cy-Chop’s exposed guts, kids would love him, kind of like how we adored the creepy blooooooood inside Mosquitor. It’s gross and awesome, and completely makes sense. I can even picture him in the POP cartoon, wherein his hilariously over-sized blades would be completely ineffectual, as most kid’s cartoon weapons prove to be. And, for as little as I care about the MOTUC bios I like that Cy-Chop’s gives him some context and explanation, and I kind of dig the idea that he’s been built and recruited into the Horde, where his mechanical bits fit in alongside Hordak.

Cy-Chop comes in the same standard MOTUC packaging as the rest, with the additional 30th Anniversary insignia, which will suit the MOC collectors for line consistency.

His sculpt and paint, is…well, let’s start with the bad. The absolute worst part of the figure is the head, which features a reasonably interesting knight-helmeted-martian sculpt complimented by flat, boring silver paint that has no highlights or detail. It’s crap. If this thing had some kind of screaming skull head, or had been painted to look more Frankenstein and less T-1000, or had ANYTHING INTERESTING GOING ON it would have been great – instead, it looks like an unfinished prototype. For this figure – one of only six in the “special” 30th Anniversary line – for the premium cost with shipping, this is UNFORGIVABLE. Only the eyes are painted, and they look like garbage. Why blue instead of red? Why the predominance of blue, just like Sir Laser-Lot? WHY DOES HE NOT HAVE AN AWESOME SCREAMING SKULL INSTEAD, MAYBE ONE THAT IS ON FIRE?! HOW AWESOME WOULD THAT HAVE BEEN?! Regardless, his plain silver head matches his plain silver neck which matches NOTHING else on his body, making him even more of a mismatched super-strange mess.

What really makes me crazy is that you can see all over Cy-Chop EXACTLY the parts reused and from what figure – for instance, the belt from Trapjaw, complete with the loops, which so importantly held the extra interchangeable pieces, but here just look like nonsense, complete with the screaming neon orange color. Why?! Sure, the orange and gold (a GOLD Horde logo?!?!) matches the technological crap on his forearms, but then why is his upper arms and lower half all Sasquatch, taken from Beast Man? It makes no sense and doesn’t look good – just odd. Fortunately, the eyes aren’t drawn to this nonsense, rather than to the over-sized scissor-weapons, which are preposterously huge. They’re stupid, but the GOOD stupid – exactly the stupid I expect from Masters of the Universe. They’re big and over-sized and impractical and I can ABSOLUTELY see them in the ’80s cartoons, either alongside Skeletor or fighting with the Horde against She-Ra. Despite their size, they don’t make him top-heavy, and they can be used for a few neat (albeit COMPLETELY IMPRACTICAL) poses. These are the one thing I think makes complete sense for this figure, and nearly sell me on liking the thing. Like Trap Jaw’s interchangeable attachments these can be removed and any of Trap Jaw’s/Horde Prime‘s/Roboto‘s etc bits can go on him instead, though I don’t see why you’d want to do this aside from brief curiosity.

Cy-Chop features the standard MOTUC articulation and no accessories, although the raw size of his blades make up for this; unlike many of the MOTUC, I don’t feel shortchanged getting no extras for Cy-Chop. After all, it’s not like he could hold them anyway! Adding interchangeable parts for the wrists would take away from the fact that he is a scissor-man, not an interchangeable-arms-guy like Trap Jaw, but the fact that one can switch parts with that guy is pleasing. The other “gimmick” we have here is the clear-chest piece with the guts inside, but it’s much better in theory than execution – I’d have liked more detail and organs inside rather than the fairly plain cog-and-sausage that we got. It’s still kind of cool, but not the heights I’d want for the cost. Not that a McFarlane BLOODY EXPOSED HEART and WOMB or some crap would have been fitting, but compare what we have inside here to the awesome clockwork insides of Roboto to get an idea why I feel shortchanged.

Overall, Cy-Chop is a completely bizarre action figure. As much as I like him in concept and his big ridiculous blades, his strange slapped-together sculpt and awful paint don’t hold up to close examination. I want to reiterate how annoying the overall orange-and-teal color scheme is; this toy might have looked amazing with different colors, much like the similarly and rightfully maligned Sir Laser Lot. He actually looks pretty terrific displayed alongside the other Horde toys, something I wasn’t expecting especially given his nonsensical golden Horde logo, and I’ve had a lot of fun playing with him – perhaps more fun than a lot of MOTUC recently – but this doesn’t make his flaws any less inexcusable. Neither the best nor the worst in the MOTUC line, he’s dead average, right in the middle.

111/200

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Comments now closed (21)

  • I'm sorry but I couldn't get halfway through reading this review. The overly hateful tone just really turned me off. We're what, 3, 4 years into this line? Do we really need to start off reviews with all the bad things about the line? I think we've all come to accept that that hit or miss QC, crappy (at best) service from Digital River and questionable character selection is the norm for this line. Constantly bringing it up isn't going to change anything. That kind of negativity is only going to further sour people on the line and turn them off visiting sites like this.

    • What bothers me is that doc thomas has the time to rehash all the problems and time to type in Angry Caps – but not do research of any kind about the toy. Terry has mentioned several times in interviews and the RGD podcast that the design of this toy is an homage to Micronauts, Transformers, and Henshin Cyborg with the intestines. Which if you’ve ever seen the toys, explains it. Step down off the soapbox and do the research first.

      • Daaaaaaaaamn man, you're so right! If only Terry had written a THOUSAND PAGE NOVEL about the design that I could have read ahead of time, so I'd have known ALL the facts about the random character included in the subscription that I bought months before he was even announced as being part of the subscription!! That way I'd be able to know EVERYTHING instead of just trying to enjoy it as a toy or part of the Masters of the Universe or like whatever! BOOM!

        • That’s the type of attitude that makes all the legitimate arguments at the beginning a moot point. No one expects you to know everything, but c’mon. You are the one taking the time to write on the internet about CyChop, not me. Rather than something relevant to the toy, you’re ranting about stuff the readers know already. No one is forcing you to. Take five seconds and look up a little background. It would have been faster than the rant, Scott being a liar is pretty blatant at this point to everyone. And it’s pretty obviously a Micronaut head. I’m a casual MOTUC fan and I heard all the background / influences multiple times, podcasts, forums, SDCC, etc. and i didn’t even sign up for the 30th sub. Maybe you should remember why you enjoy the line so much instead of focusing on the snark. Thats why Scott/Mattel dont take complaints seriously. If it all sucks SO BAD that you have to lash out in megabrah fashion, then maybe you should BOOM move on, save yourself the headache.

        • Seriously, who cares what the inspirations for this figure were, when in the end they were used so very poorly as to create this mess?

        • Alright, I apologise – you actually do have a point. I shouldn't have begun the article listing off some of the problems with the line, as it starts everything on the wrong foot, and in particular I missed the Microman/Micronaut homage. Though I still think the review is fair – I'm going from the perspective of a casual MOTU fan, who's watched and read stuff from every incarnation and read all the bios and so on, and even knowing the inspiration for the figure I still don't think it's great. One question might be why there should be a Micronaut homage in the MOTU line, in particular an anniversary line celebrating 30 years of the franchise?

          Despite this, I did say that I find a lot to like about the toy, and that MOTUC is one of the best toy lines of all time, so I'm not completely down on it – I have my opinion and I did support it across the (at times, overly snarky) review.

    • We shouldn't have to "accept" the many problems that come with getting these toys. Mattel should be fixing these many issues and fans should continue to hammer that point home. Then maybe Classics can survive a few more years. I don't take legitimate criticisms of collecting these awesome figures as a "hateful tone". A new fan who sees this figure and wants to collect this line will have to discover those bad experiences the hard way.

      • First off, the line will last regardless of what panic they’re trying to induce. Second, Posting about all the problems doesn’t – and hasn’t – fixed anything. I can stand around my car all day complaining about the bad oil filter, it aint gonna get it fixed. Still no My Sub page; still bad DR; still the worst QC; Scott still lies (just can’t talk about it on the org); no EU distro center; Please tell me Of something legit that got fixed by fan support online. Even the Frosta gift, not done because of online posts! Really, the only way any of the problems will change is if fans put their money where their mouth is. plain & simple. Everyone at the Org pissed and moaned about QC until SDCC, then it was all “you’re not a real fan unless you sub… twice”. And the lack of support for EU fans and the lies they were given this year… Matty played the Org and all the fans hard. I have zero respect for the sites who are doing free adverts for Mattel with the Q&A, the castle drive, etc.if you’re “new” on this line at this point and dont know whats up, then you have a lot more wrong with you, you’d have to be brain dead to not know the issues. I think *actually doing something about it* is far better than complaining online for the hundreth time, which obviously hasn’t worked for what, 3-4yrs now? Seriously, if you’re going to write about the liar Scott, the QC, DR, then stop typing the review, and stop buying them and causing the problem to continue. Every review/write up/ forum post/ comment does nothing but give free PR to Mattel. I for one am just tired of reading people complain without doing anything other than buy Scooter a new car and a ticket to a promotion at Mattel. Do something. By buying any at all says “I support this.”. I think the only guys who have actually stood up for themselves are Emiliano, Poe, and Sallah from Motucfigures. Everyone else is a chicken. Complaining online has not fixed a single thing- the only thing it has fixed that I can tell is Snake MAA’s getting Roboto parts. Wow, big acomplishment there. Let’s keep complaining constantly, I’m sure they’ll blow us off until SDCC when more promises get made, and everyone is suckered for a fourth year straight.

        • "First off, the line will last regardless of what panic they're trying to induce."

          I don't think so. Mattel is a big company with a lot of money and I just can't see them allowing something this tiny and insignificant to continue WITHOUT something changing. I suspect a lot of the reason for the line's existence was to retain trademark ownership on a lot of things in the hopes that Hollywood will one day construct a horrible movie that brings in hundreds of millions of dollars.

          But once the last of the biggies are completed then Mattel's trademarks will be locked in for another (what is it, seven years?) we'll say length of time and they can cease selling product under those names. At least until it's time to renew the trademarks again.

          (I think seven years is wrong. But it's not forever and there have been times when someone steps in and secures an abandoned/dead trademark without paying the original holder. Battle Beasts, for example.)

        • Doesn't NOT complaining about the problems make things even worse? If fans did not complain we would still have Black plastic and 2014 would have more obscure characters. Octavia isn't coming with bendy tentacles because of the problems with Snout Spout's trunk. The only thing Mattel seems able to change are the figure materials, parts and paint.

          The fans aren't getting suckered. Mattel is taking full advantage of MOTU fans who are so desperate to finish their vintage MOTU lineups that they will endure Mattel's endless crap to do this. "Buy the sub or you won't get Ram Man". People will complain endlessly about Mattel practices, but I think fans would rather take their last chance at getting a Mantenna figure with possible QC problems than no Mantenna at all. Frosta had backwards gloves, but that's the only Frosta that fans will get. If MOTU were more relevant to mainstream like Transformers, Star Wars or G.I. Joe, then I think fans might be more of a mind to resist buying the first figure of a character that Mattel produces. Unfortunately, if Classics does end, this could be MOTU's last hurrah for a very long time.

          Out of the people who have publicly stood up to Mattel, how many major or notable Classics fans have actually quit the line and not brought a figure since? I know of a few podcasters such as Chris Vint and TFG1 Mike, but many complainers still collect, but with less enthusiasm.

          Some people do come late to the party and ARE that ignorant about the line because they haven't been around toysites since 2008. Not everyone who jumps on board MOTUC frequents toy boards, keeps up with every Q&A or understands why Mattel doesn't go back into production on older figures.

  • Possible 80s Action Features for the 30th Line:
    Photog: Lens zoom
    Draego-Man: Floppy wings like Buzz-Off for Pseudo-wing-flap action and since he's a dragon a "fire spark action feature liek Saurod
    Sir-Laser-Lot: Light up chest and weapons (with light up hands as well)
    Cy-chop Spring Loaded Scissors
    Castle Grayskullman: Spring Loaded waist would suffice (worked for He-Man, MAA, etc.)
    Spector is meant to have a popping Lightsaber arm…

    IIRC his silver head and clear innards are based from Japanese toys from the time Microman and something else…

  • i know people hate on Laser-lot and Spector, but to me this was the biggest disappointment of the 30th anniversary sub. just looks like it's slapped together from other figures with the ugliest head they could have chosen. I was so disappointed I never even opened him.

  • I recognized the Microman homage with the head without having read any background info on the design. Thing is, I thought the silver headed micromen figures looked goofy, as does this figure. This guys design is pretty weak, compared to other entries in the MOTU line. If the Transformer influence noted above was stronger in this figure (think Frenzy or Rumble with their wacky pile drivers), or even a Prime/Bruticus/Soundwave-esk mouth guard — Tha'ts a design I would put my money behind.

    As for the reviews tone, I totally missed (initially) that it wasn't written by Poe. By the time I reached the end, I was really confused – thinking "Why is Poe so angry? It's just an (admittedly weird) toy."

    I really need to start reading the full headings on this site before each article. 🙂

  • I'm clearly in the minority, but I really like Cy-Chop. I don't consider him any more "slapped together" than figures like Horde Prime or Draego-Man, whose execution relied heavily on mixing and matching very distinctive parts from various pre-existing toys, nor do his colours–while not especially Horde-coordinated–seem any more out of place in this line than the decos used for Sy-Klone or Gygor (neither of which are personal favourites). He pops on my Horde shelf, and I like that. And as someone who invested a lot of money and interest in Takara's more recent Microman offerings, I like the blatant homage that Terry was aiming for. In a series that's been influenced by everything from "Conan the Barbarian" to the Wild West, what's so wrong with a little wink at one of the most influential toy lines in the entire action figure industry?

    • What I do find kind of amusing is that the one thing Doc really likes about him–the oversized scissors–is the same thing that a lot of haters and fence-sitters say bothers them the most about this figure. The over-all consensus is that a line like MOTU (and MOTUC by extension) allows for a bit of absurdity when it comes to character designs and gimmicks, yet everyone appears to have their own set of criteria for exactly what kind of choices fall within or outside of those lines. Personally, I'd say that what's good for the goose is good for the gander, but I'm quite certain to be in the minority for that, too. At the end of the day, I'm spending roughly $30 a pop on these toys, and I WILL find something to like about each one of them.

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  • I like my Cy-Chop – after I essentially got him for free with all the BF/CM discounts, after I replaced those three sizes too big scissors with Spymonkey goodness, and after I replaced that stupid head with the Skallox head (Green Lantern wave, DCUC).

  • My only issue with half of the line… *cough*Spector, SLL, Cy-Chop*cough* (with Amaro's latest set CGM to an extent) is that these guys require various degrees of Customization to be "cool" or be more "motu-like"
    I've seen people swapping biceps on SLL to give him a more armored look, using pieces form other toys to make him more knightly. I've seen Cy-chop with chains, cloaks, Spare Horde Prime hands, smaller scissors, swapped legs that make him feel more like an actual Character than some weird custom…
    Heck! I removed the Deadpool head on Spector and gave him a custom head made form a spare Guard Spector head and now I love him.

    Personally I would have loved Cy-Chop if he had been a giant for the Cosmic Enforcers to fight (Think Power Rangers)

  • Pingback Spotted Online – 16bit.com Reviews Masters of the Universe Classics Cy-Chop

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