Review > Clawful (Masters of the Universe Classics)

Clawful has always been my go-to guy for terrible Masters of the Universe names. Along with Two-Bad, nothing reminds you more that this is was a toy line aimed squarely at young children than a name like Clawful.

I never owned Clawful as a kid, or even knew anyone who did. The character could have been pretty cool but for one glaring problem: a ridiculous, cartoonish head.

Clawful’s Classics figure is one of the more straightforward designs, based closely on the vintage figure; there are no discernible touches of the Millennium version.

Except for the head, lower left arm and the torso armor, Clawful is made from pieces we’ve seen before on other figures. The head is just…so damned goofy. The red skin, giant eyebrows, and cartoonish eyes always make me think of Animal. This is probably the figure that suffers the most from the baffling decision not to have any Millennium-style heads.

The paint applications are a mixed bag–they’re great on the torso armor, but mediocre-to-sloppy on the rest of the figure. The head looks particularly bad, with the thick, gloppy paint on the eyebrows and the uneven white on the tusks. But credit where it’s due: it was smart to make the pupils indentations in the sculpt, so that the painters know exactly where to put the black dots. This prevents any potential derpage.

The best parts of the figure are the torso armor and the giant claw. The torso armor is made from a pliable plastic and has a really great paint job, with a nice wash that would have looked even better if the neck and head weren’t so bright. It’s theoretically removable; you can pop off the back part off the pegs quite easily, but good luck getting the “vest” part off without removing the arms, at least at the biceps.

Like the vintage figure, the claw has an inner spring of some sort, because it snaps closed when let go. While a cute feature, I would have preferred a ratcheted joint so the figure could easily hold large accessories or be posed with the claw in an about-to-pinch look.

Clawful has the usual MOTUC articulation: ball joints at the head, shoulders, and hips; hinges at the elbows, ankles and knees, as well as the abdomen (though it’s usefulness is negated by the solid plastic torso piece); and swivels at the biceps, wrists, top of the thighs, and top of the boots. The claw swivels at the base of the claw and obviously the claw itself is hinged. The ankles are technically “rocker” ankles with side-to-side movement, but my Clawful doesn’t have much range in that regard.

Apparently Mattel broke the budget on the claw and the torso armor, because the only accessories Clawful gets is a green mace and a shield. The mace is the same one we’ve seen on other figures, but with a new lobster-tail-shaped end. The shield is similarly lobster-inspired and is a nice addition, but what would have really sealed the deal with this figure would have been that Millennium head.

Overall, Clawful is a very average figure for this line. It’s puzzling how figures like Vikor, who was based on a concept sketch, get tons of new tooling and accessories while a vintage favorite like Clawful gets a very minimal update. On the other hand, a lot of that is owing to the simplicity of the design of the vintage figure. Still, the lack of an optional Millennium head was a flat-out blunder on this particular figure.

[raven 2.5]

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Pic of the Day > Z.O.M.B.I.E. by nanoFatato


Odds ‘n Ends > TMNT & More


  1. Thrawn

    I'm with you 100% on this one Poe. I hate Clawful's Muppet Vitnage head. Him, even more than Buzz-Off needed a 200x head.

    Terrible decision by the 4 Horsemen and Mattel. Just terrible.

  2. I don't have the MOTUC version, but I did have the original Clawful when I was a kid and he was and still is one of my all time favorites. Cartoony head design FTW!

  3. ADPriceless

    I felt the same as you did in your review – I was really disappointed with the goofy vintage head when I received Clawful.

    Since then I have managed to purchase an awesome custom head from Kevin Kosse which suits my 200X leaning tastes (I also snagged a great Roboto from him to replace the awful Gizmo Duck head we got).

    I agree it seems strange that some figures come absolutely loaded with accessories while others get stiffed – there doesnt seem to be any logic to it.

  4. Honestly I'm really glad about the dissenting opinions–I thought Clawful was rather average, but it seems many really liked him.

    Hopefully future readers will go through them as well as reading my review. In a way, you guys are helping me provide a much more well-rounded review, so thank you 🙂


    The review is definitely on point. Clawful’s head is too close to the vintage look. Whiplash’s head is a damn good example of a vintage look with efficient liberties taken to update a figure’s look. The same, unfortunately, can’t be said for Clawful.

    The ratcheted claw idea would’ve been cool but not having it isn’t a deal breaker for me. The claw looks great and is nicely sized. If the tones used on the “shell” were carried over to the claw I think it would’ve made it stand out better.

    The shield looks cool but IMO he doesn’t need it with the natural shell he has, especially the claw. A second 200x head could’ve taken its place but I would’ve preferred an alternate bladed weapon of some sort.

    Solid review, the Muppet head just needed the proper tweaks to better gel with the other Classics.

  6. RocketPunch

    I love this figure. He looks like he stepped right out of one of Earl Norem's vintage paintings. One of my favourite figures from 2011, no doubt about it.

  7. Dead Man Walking

    A disappointing figure. He does have two 200X touches though: the previously mentioned lobster tail like mace came from 200X, and the back part of the shell is much closer to 200X Clawful than the original.

    • MegaGearMax

      The gradient on his arms is also 200X. Now he doesn't look so much like a guy in a suit.

  8. Mysterious Stranger

    I don't know that a 200x head is really necessary. The vintage head would work if they had tightened up the sculpt. If the eyebrows and fangs were sharper and the facial expression a bit more menacing I think he'd look good. With a few tweaks and much better paint applications this head sculpt would be much better.

  9. ero

    Man, 2.5 Ravens for this thing is insane! He's one of my favorite MOTUCs, front of the shelf, and I have next to no nostalgia for the figure. Nothing wrong with simplicity, my friend, and I view the lack of any 200x-ness on this guy as pre-emptive payback for the terrible, terrible things they've done to my nostalgic favorite, the forthcoming Fisto. The oversized sword holder … I can't even … I just can't.

  10. "Apparently Mattel broke the budget on the claw and the torso armor, because the only accessories Clawful gets is a green mace and a shield. The mace is the same one we’ve seen on other figures…"

    Actually, Clawful's mace is a unique sculpt. If you look at the end of the handle, it features a fanned lobster tail design.

    • I mentioned that later in the review. I'm not sure whether the entire mace is new, or just the tail-end. My hunch is the latter, because otherwise I would imagine the Horsemen would have souped it up more.

  11. morey

    i like him, and the head just reminds me of old-school gamera, so i'm ok with it, but yeah another head would've been nice too.

  12. The_Fun_has_been_Doubled

    I painted the Eyebrows head and it did wonders on him… Although I wish I had an unpainted head just to pair him up with Vintage head Whiplash and make Bert and Ernie Parodies with them.

  13. I'm really happy with how Clawful came out. Yes, its very simplistic, but its a perfect update. A 200x head would have been cool, but I'm not going to hold it against the figure

    • Zach S.

      I agree 100%. He's one of my favorites in the line by far.

    • Newton Gimmick

      Yeah Clawful was my favorite guy last year and in fact, what rekindled my interest in this line. While I wouldn't have opposed a 200X head, it would have just went into the big box of unused parts anyway, so I don't mind Mattel skipping it so much.

    • A 200X inspired head would not have looked any different from the head that is already on the figure. The 200X Clawful head looks just like the Classics head here, only with more detail. But since the Classics style is about simplifying, it would end up looking just like the head we already got, I bet you anything.

  14. ridureyu

    He just seems too little like a crab monster and too much like a guy in a cheap convention costume. If not for nostalgia, I think the MYP design would have gone over much better.

  15. Aw, I was hoping for a Clawful/Zoidberg picture!

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