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 Mattycollector.com 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 He-Man.org 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.