I wasn’t sure which toy to review today but then I came home from work and found 5 brand new action figures had arrived in the mail; so today’s review will be hot off the presses. I had one package from BigBadToyStore that contained my wave 3 Beast Saga figures and another from Matty Collector containing my October He-Man purchases. Since I just reviewed a Beast Saga figure in my last post I figured I’d go the He-Man route today. New figures are available on the 15th of every month at mattycollector.com and October’s figure was the snake-man Rattlor. I also ordered an older figure that was being made available again for a limited time, King Grayskull. The Grayskull figure is pretty cool but he’s technically 4 years old and I figured you guys would rather hear about the brand new figure so here he is: Rattlor.
You may recall that my September mattycollector purchase was a snake-men 2 pack. That set consisted of 2 nameless snake soldiers that were created so collectors could pad the ranks of their Snake Army. King Hiss is said to lead a massive snake army after all and it can be hard to imagine that when you only have a handful of snake men figures. The 2 pack was great but I was surprised that we received such a pack when there were still so many “name” snake characters that had yet to receive a figure in the Classics line. Up to that point all we had was the aforementioned King Hiss and Kobra Kahn. We were still waiting on Snake-Face, Squeeze, Tongue-Lasher and most importantly Rattlor. Well luckily the lack of Rattlor was rectified a mere month later. Mattel has also announced that Snake-Face is planned for an April 2013 release but there’s still no sign of the others.
The Snake Men concept was added to the MOTU mythos a couple of years into the line. Kobra Kahn the mist spitting snake man was already a member of Skeletor’s evil warriors but he was originally just a random one off animal themed character like Mer-Man or Beast-Man. It was only after Mattel introduced King Hiss into the line that a back story was created and the snake men were retconned into the MOTU story. It was said that Hiss and his Snake Men ruled Eternia many years ago and created Snake Mountain to serve as their base of operations. However all but Kobra Kahn were banished into the void after a long battle with the elders of Eternia. Most of this was explained in the mini comics that came packaged with the figures as the Snake Men were released too late into the toy line to appear on the cartoon show. Rattlor and Tongue Lasher actually ended up on He-Man’s sister’s show, She-Ra: The Princess of Power. There they served as member’s of Hordak’s evil Horde and both were bumbling idiots as that was pretty much how all henchmen were portrayed in the cartoons.
The Snake-men finally got their chance to shine in the 2002 relaunch of He-Man and the Master’s Of The Universe. The Snake Men theme was trickled in during season 2 and by season 3 the Snake Men had completely taken over the role of arch nemesis to the masters. Skeletor and his evil warriors only appeared in a few episodes that year. The 2002 Snake Men were ruthless and were shown eating people on multiple occasions. Rattlor was bulked up substantially and he was made the general of King Hiss’s army. I loved how rattlor was portrayed in this series, far from a bumbling clown; perhaps one of the most competent villains on the show.
The 2002 figure that was released to coincide with the new show was also a vast improvement over the original. I loved the muscular, angular design. Though I will admit he looked much more lizardy than snakey with the added bulk. Unfortunately I never acquired the 2002 era figure myself. I never owned the original either for that matter. So when he became available in October as part of the Classics line I jumped at the chance to own my very first Rattlor figure. This figure reuses a lot of the parts used to create the orange Snake Man from the 2 pack which makes sense. How many body types can an army of Snake Men really have after all? And yet you would barely be able to tell that these figures share the same arms, legs and lower torso because the changes made to the other parts are so drastic. Rattlor features a brand new upper torso. This was done so that he could have his trademark rattle tail. Though unfortunately it doesn’t actually rattle like the tails of past releases. The head is also brand new and it is awesome. The open mouth and fangs look great and the scales flow very naturally into the neck and body. The extending neck (along with the rattling tail) was the signature move of past Rattlor figures. A twist of the waist would extend the neck that was hidden in the torso. This resulted in a stiff unnatural neck, especially on the vintage figure. This version has a snap on extending neck piece that you can choose to add or not. It’s not as graceful as past versions but it looks better and allows for better movement.
The paint job on this guy is absolutely killer. the yellow and blue stripes against the dark red give him a very unique look and he immediately catches your eye on a crowded toy shelf. The paint job on the eyes, yellow with a red slit of a pupil, makes Rattlor look full on crazy. He seems to be looking everywhere and nowhere at the same time. For accessories he includes the obligatory spiraling snake staff and an arm band that features the Horde logo in case you choose to display him with that group instead of with his fellow Snake Men. Another fantastic addition to the Classics line. Great job Mattel. 8 out of 10.