Review > Leech (Masters of the Universe Classics, Mattel)

The two boys stood knee-deep in the swamp, ignoring the thick mud that sucked at their legs. They were too amazed at what they were looking at.

Before them lay an enormous body. It was vaguely anthropoid in shape, but far larger than a man. Its features were rough and wrinkled, like those of an ape, and a stubby horn protruded above its brow. It was curled slightly on its side, its huge arms tucked beneath it. It was obviously very, very dead.

“Procrustus!” exclaimed one boy. “That’s a Shadow Beast, isn’t it?”

“Sure looks like it,” said the other. “But…what happened to it?”

One of the boys, gathering his courage, grabbed a stick and poked at the creature’s face. It didn’t move, but its face shifted slightly, revealing empty sockets where its eyes had been.

The boys shuddered in horror. “I wonder how it died,” said one.

The other boy frowned. “Look at its face. It’s all…shriveled up. Like an old plant…or…”

The boy never finished the thought, for at that moment, something grabbed both of them around the legs and yanked them beneath the murky water. A few bubbles, popping at the muddy surface seconds later, were the only sign they had ever been there.

As a kid, Leech was one of my favorite He-Man figures. Like King Hsss, Leech hung around my toy box for years after I’d given away most of my other Masters of the Universe toys. His appeal, I think, lay in the fact that he was a big green monster with sucker hands and a fun suction action feature. He also had a really unique sculpt, which was rare among He-Man figures and may have been part of the reason I didn’t mind using him with other toy lines.

Capturing the big, rotund look of Leech in Masters of the Universe Classics, which makes heavy reuse of existing parts, was a tall order for the Four Horsemen. They actually had less to work with than the original sculptors, who were able to create an entirely new figure.

One could argue that it was a bit early for Leech and that he might have been better served as an exclusive down the line. I think that might be partly true, but that doesn’t mean I’m unhappy with the result here.

Leech gets a lot of new parts, including his heads, hands, forearms, and feet, as well as the large plastic section over the torso. From a sculpting standpoint, I think the Horsemen did a great job in keeping the character in MOTUC style. No, he’s not as detailed and badass as the Staction, mostly because it strongly follows the original design, but you knew that was going to be the case.

Some reviews have said he looks like a goofy B-movie monster, and I both agree with that and think it’s a positive thing, as I love goofy B-movie monsters (I think he kind of resembles the Horror of Party Beach).*

Sculpting-wise, the only major changes I would have wished for are sharper teeth and alternate hands with folded, webbed claws instead of novelty flying discs.

Other reviews have said Leech looks oddly ill-proportioned. I think part of that may be because the vintage figure had such stumpy, bent legs. Most reviewers seem to pose Leech with his legs extended to their full length, which heightens that ill-proportioned look. With his knees bent, I think some of that goes away.

One a side note, a few reviews have said the plastic of the head feels “cheaper” than previous figures, but I’m not sure that’s the case. It’s possible, but I’m wondering if it’s simply the result of the plastic having been spread more thinly across the narrow jaws and ears. A solid round head will naturally feel more durable. But I could be wrong–it’s possible they went with the thinner plastic because it took the sculpt better, or, as has been implied, as a cost-saving measure.

Leech not only gets the standard MOTUC articulation but a bit extra. He’s got a ball jointed neck, ball and hinge shoulders, hinged elbows, a hinged abdomen, a swivel waist, ball and hinge hips, swivels at the top of the thighs, hinged knees, and swivels at the top of the boots. He also gets ball and hinge wrists and ankles, which are a very nice touch that add a lot of posing freedom.

Leech comes with two accessories, his Horde crossbow and a soft plastic net with suction cups. The net is presumably a nod to the vintage figure’s action feature. The crossbow, which clips to Leech’s wrist, has a different head sculpt than the bows of Hordak or Grizzlor.

In sum: I’m a Leech fan and I’m happy with this figure. It’s exactly what I would have expected from a MOTUC Leech. Some interchangeable hands would have been a nice touch but don’t ruin the figure. I understand why some other reviewers have been critical, and every opinion is valid. I can only call ’em as I see ’em.

[raven 4]

Where to Buy:

* If I want a truly horrific leech-based monster, I’ll go with TMNT’s disgusting Bloodsucker, who creeped me out even as a kid.

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  1. Demented-Plague

    I'm no Leech fan, but this figure actually grabbed my interest more than anything. I've never been a big fan of MOTUC (and I was SLIGHTLY, very slightly disappointed with the lesser number of snakes on King Hssss) and yet I find myself intrigued by this update. If anything I'd have preferred it if he had a mouth that's more closer to that of a lamprey (almost like the Staction version) but the sculpt they chose for this update isn't a deal-breaker in my eyes.

    Other people's reasoning by calling him goofy-looking or corny actually surprises me as I would've thought that such an argument would be brought up in a line like MOTUC which admittedly can sometimes border on being goofy-looking or corny (no offense to anyone).

    I'll be one to admit, aside from Zodak and King Hssss (which I was already a fan of ever since the 200x update), it would seem that Leech could very well be the first ever MOTUC that I am actually considering in grabbing based on design and design alone. =D

    • Demented-Plague

      *would NEVER be brought up

      (just correcting my sentence there in the 2nd part of my post just to clear things up)

  2. toyman

    I loved Leech (all the Horde, really) as a kid and I think the Classics version is dead on. I'd say he's in my top 5 of MOTUC so far. Great review Poe!

  3. Dead Man Walking

    Really now? Censorship?

  4. Dead Man Walking

    I think we can all agree Leech is a goofy fuck. Just that some people love him for it, and others hate him for it.

  5. Reverend Ender

    The plastic on the whole thing is cheap feeling. The head is just rubbery and hollow-ish.

    • I don't know, I just don't feel it. But then, people said the same thing about Vikor, and I didn't really notice it there either. Maybe I have some sort of touch-blindness.

    • Reverend Ender

      Naw, Vikor feels great (twist this in your heads as you please). Leech feels totally different. I wonder if there are different batches from different factories, or if one factory used two grades of plastic or something. It's VERY obvious on my Leech figure that the plastic is different, and cheaper-feeling, than the normal MOTUC plastic.

      (Also the head sculpt sucks, I don't give a crap HOW accurate it is.)

  6. FakeEyes22

    The negative perception of Leech as a silly monster is odd to me since that’s exactly why I like him.

    MOTU is a world of archtypes. The entire Horde is funky monsters that loosely fit classic monster archtypes.

    Leech – Lagoon Creature

    Grizzlor – Wolf Man, Sasquatch, any primal beast

    Modulok – Frankenstein

    Mantenna – Any number of radioactive giant/mutant bugs from the 50s

    Hordak – with a bat logo. shape shifting abilities, and a grim dress code, this guy’s got a little bit of Dracula going on.

    Heck, there’s even those Horde mummy and witch concepts.

    You introduce a bunch of characters that have to top an existing set of evil villains, you go straight for horror!

    • FakeEyes22

      Oh yeah, Slime Pit? The Blob.

    • I think Faker makes a better Frankenstein's Monster…

    • Dead Man Walking

      Trap Jaw too. Also, at least three are vamipiric: Mosquitor (blood-sucking), Leech (life-draining), Hordak (bat-motif).

    • I can see both of them being more like Frankenstein's Monster as characters in the MOTU world, but Modulok brought the play pattern itself to the game. A kid building his own monsters out of Modulok is acting as Dr. Frankenstein himself!

      I've always thought of Trap-Jaw as a pirate type, with a weaponized twist on the old pirate amputee cliche.

      To me, Faker's "artificial man" deal takes a backseat to his part in the evil double trope.

    • Thrawn

      Dude! I totally agree with Trap Jaw. I've always seen him as nothing more than a techno pirate thug.

      I mean has the belt with the skull and cross bones and he even comes with a hook as an attachment.

  7. Thrawn

    Great review Poe. I agree with your points too. The B-movie monster look Leech has going for him has always been part of his charm for me.

    I also do not agree with the criticisms I've seen some fans make about the proportions. His proportions for this figure are perfectly fine.

    The vintage figure had a different size and thus different proportions, comparing the two isn't really accurate.

    I would have like the classics Leech to be even bulkier and to have slightly thicker arms, legs, and an even thicker and wider torso, but the one we received is fine.

    I think the head sculpt is close to perfect as well. I would have loved a 200x alternate head, but I'm very happy with the one he has.

    Basically I agree with you. I'm a Leech fan, he's the figure I was most looking forward to, and I'm so happy with this figure.

  8. Hmm that's odd.. I stored away my moc staction leech thinking it's still a very cool update and I like how it has a monstrous size that fits leech very well, but after seeing Poe's link to Michael Crawford's review site about the stactions I'm not so sure anymore, I think i've already taking a liking to this new motuc leech after reading all those leech reviews.. but I still think the teeth are terrible considering this is an "adult collector" line.. those teeth should be able to pierce! lol

    • While I know they were attempting to stay close (too close, really) to the original design, I think a good compromise to the rubbery teeth would have been to sculpt bas-relief style circular rows of teeth down toward the throat, like a lamprey. Horrifying yet effective!

    • Dead Man Walking

      While I think it's fine that you like MOTUC Leech, I am appalled that you no longer think staction Leech is awesome. I never understand how people love the 4H's work when they do an original design (Scarabus), love it when they do a design that is strongly keeping with someone else's design (MOTUC), but don't like when they do a design that is completely in the spirit of someone else's but with their own ideas thrown in (stactions).

  9. Also, I never had Leech; I wonder whether one's ability to overlook the Classics figure's inherent corniness is dependent on whether one had the vintage figure at a young age?

    • I'm sure it makes a big difference, though I'm also sure there are childhood Leech fans who are bitterly disappointed in this figure. I think the other reviews are valid–my experience was simply different.

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