Review > Castle Grayskull Stands (Masters of the Universe Classics, Mattel)

While everyone knew Trap Jaw and Battle Cat were going to be same-day (and as it turned out, same-hour) sell-outs, the vanishing of the Grayskull stands was something of a surprise. Of course, they are much better stands than the boring translucent blue ovals for DCUC and JLU that have been sitting on for more than a year.

While Mattel has already confirmed that Trap Jaw and Battle Cat will go back into production (and perhaps already have), on the question of a second run of stands Mattel’s rep ToyGuru wrote, “We don’t have confirmed plans right now, but with the quick sell out we will look into it.” I imagine Mattel may have been even more surprised than the fans by the sell-out, given the poor performance of the DCUC/JLU stands. If I had to guess, though, I imagine the stands will be back by the end of the year.

I only bought one set of the stands, since they’re not cheap ($12 for five stands) and I wasn’t sure how much I’d like them. Now that I have a set, I would love to have one for every hero figure I own (the villains need their own Snake Mountain-style stands, with purple-tinged stones). On the other hand, spending $120 for 50 stands may be a bit too daunting, if and when the stands go back on sale.

Each set of stands comes in a white mailer and includes five stands, twelve pegs (yes, twelve pegs for five stands–don’t ask me why), a tool for putting in the pegs, and instructions. I found the instructions confusing, particularly in regard to what the hell I was supposed to be doing with the tool, whose use looked both mystifying and a bit dirty in the instructions, but maybe that’s just me. Anyway, I had to go to the Internet and read some other reviews before I realized what the cylindrical tool was used for.

The stands are sculpted to resemble a small piece of Castle Grayskull. I know it’s weird to say this about sculpted rock, but it seems to capture the more cartoonish style of MOTUC, due to the rounded edges of each stone. The paint scheme is perfect, capturing the distinctive greenish-gray look of the castle found in most MOTU media.

The stands are sculpted so that the sides can line up with one another, but they can’t be locked together–there are no pegs to keep them attached to one another. This is disappointing; being able to lock them together would have been a fantastic added-value feature and would probably have led me to buy at least 2 sets.

Each stand has a few holes for the foot-pegs, which come in a separate bag. There are 12 pegs for the five stands–don’t ask me why. The pegs are placed into the holes with the large part down, and both the “wall” section and the figure’s feet are pegged into the smaller top part of the pegs. Be careful when pulling the figures, or especially the wall sections, off the pegs–they’re a bit soft and can be easily twisted.

I’ve tried a few different MOTUC figures on the pegs, and they all seem to work fine. I’ve read on the forums that the pegs work for 200X figures as well.

Mattel’s Mattycollector page calls these “Castle Grayskull Diorama & Stands,” but I think calling them a diorama is being charitable (they might get away with it if the stands could be locked together). Are they worth $2.40 each? Not quite; if you could get, say, 10 stands for $15, I think that would seem a lot more reasonable. But they are great stands–a vast improvement over the DCUC/JLU offerings–and I’m glad I have at least one set to display my more beloved MOTUC characters.

[raven 3]


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  1. dayraven

    that "one and done" comment makes me happy… cuz i passed. this not only leaves stock for those who wanted them more but also re-establishes my relationship w/ mattel… i'm not buying wholesale into the line, and i'm not subscribing… cuz they make DUMB decisions… like screwing over the subbers who forgot/didn't have time to use the battle cat shipping code… "you can use the coupon when he gets re-released" is a piss poor answer. why can't the damned coupon be redeemed for 8 bucks off any month's purchases? these people ALREADY AGREED to buy matty crap?

  2. Poe, do you think you can post a picture of one of these next to the "Castle Grayskull" diaorama that you sometime use for figures?

  3. Heli

    @Poe: Mattel make an inexplicable business decision? That'd NEVER happen!

  4. Croaker

    I got 12 pegs in some of my stands, but several of my sets of stands only had 10 pegs in them.

  5. PrfktTear

    I was hesitant to buy the stands at first, but I decided that I wanted to get at least one set, and I'm certainly glad I did!

    They're pretty cool, they get an A+ for sculpt and paint. My only nagging issue is that I wish they could be locked together. I guess I had assumed that you'd be able to lock them together by using the wall section.

    I wish they were a little more snug with each other, but considering they've got round edges I guess you can't say too much.

    If these ever go on sale again I think I'd get at least one more set. I don't think having 1 stand per figure is cost prohibitive.

  6. Nicholai

    While I think they looked cool I didn't buy any because of the price. The cost of giving all the figures a stand is insane. Plus, now that they sold out so fast if they do decide to bring them back (and one-shot deal is hugely dumb) I'm sure that they'd sell for the same price.

  7. Reverend Ender

    I don't like how the wall portions are only attached with 1 peg. This makes them loose and prone to rotation. I realize that in a static display, this isn't much of an issue, but I find it really annoying, especially because the sections themselves feel so wonderfully solid. Its about what I expect from Mattel, even though the stands are otherwise pretty great. I really think someone like Bizarro or possibly even Skeletor is running that company.

  8. WTF? Why would they be a "one shot deal"?

    Why must Mattel make everything be such a sought after collectible? WHAT IS THE POINT OF ALL THIS?!

    I swear, if I ever meet anyone from Mattel, I'm slapping them across the face on principle. Who on Earth makes "one shot deal" action figure stands?

    OMG, this company. I hate them so.

    Of course they'll be coming back out soon enough I'm sure, but with an increased price tag and new graphics that say "THE ORIGINAL" on them or something equally as stupid.

  9. Come on, how often did Toyguru say something which turned out to be untrue in the end? I'll believe it when I see it (or in this case, NOT see it being re-released).

  10. Replicant

    I think it would be stupid if the stands were only available once. They sold out very quick and there are a lot of people that missed out on them! It would be cool to see a series of stands for The Horde, POP,and Skeletor's minions! Why is Mattel still hesitating on this line?

  11. Poe

    I may have spoken too soon…it looks like the stands may have been a one-shot deal:

    ToyGuru: We'll look into "possibly" bringing them back, but for now we have no plans to do so. They were a bit of a one shot deal.

    Not producing these again would be, of course, a terrible business decision. Hasbro would already be pumping more out.

  12. Your review sums up quite well the reasons why I was hesistand to purchase the stands.

    Despite looking nice, I was disappointed that they don't interlock. And I wasn't keen to spend 15 bucks for 5 stands, not even mentioning the insane amount of money required to get stands for all figures.

    I still would have bought a set if it still was available in March. But when I had to decide between Battle Cat and the stands, there was no doubt that I ordered the tiger.

    I wished Mattel would pack one stand with each figure.

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