Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Snake Rattlor Roll (Oct. '12)

Now that MotU Castle Grayskull is finally reviewed, I feel like I can get back to the main toyline!  Picking back up where I left off, it looks like we're in...2012?!  Dangit, how did I get so behind?!  And why do I feel like I need to do these in order??

Ah well, no matter.  The task at hand is to look at yet another interesting common theme with these figures:  The fact that they somehow manage to line up some of my classic favorites on my birth month.  I loved the heck out of Rattlor, when I was a kid, and the MotUC version came out in October, my birth month!  It's not a complete trend, technically, but I count a lot of them in this theme.

2009 saw Scare Glow planned for October (duh) but a set back in the release schedule had him come out in November.  BUT....he was supposed to come in October, so I still count him (plus: Teela ended up coming in October, and she was highly anticipated, since I grew up with absolutely no female figures, and she was always sought after, when I was a kid).

Next, in 2010: Roboto came in October!  I mean, a glowing skeleton planned for the October before, then a robot with a clear torso in the next?  That's two perfect Alexx figures two years in a row!

Then 2011 brings Flipshot, a big favorite from the New Adventures toyline and one I had lost along the way (save for his jetpack) so I was SUPER looking forward to him (and he's awesome).

Finally, here we are in 2012 - er, uh....here we were in 2012, with Rattlor!  I'll hit the others later, but the trend continued with either old vintage favorites or highly anticipated figures in October.  Funny how that works out!

WHOO BOY, did they put some love into this guy!  All the paint apps are back in force and the figure pops!  As usual, they've taken out action features, but they saw fit to at least add in the "rattling" feature that the old toy had, even if it's not as loud.

The body of the vintage figure had some loose plastic inside, allowing him to rattle when you shook him.  They compensated by making the tip of the tail hollow and adding some loose plastic in there!  So now his tail actually rattles, though, as I said, it's not super loud.  Still appreciated, though!

And dang man, look at dem paint apps!  Apparently this was an expensive one, due to those paint applications on his arms and legs.  When you're costing out a toy, you've got to consider new parts (which need new molds, which are expensive) and how many paint applications you're going to add.  Rattlor was (at the time) all new, but his body was offset with the creation of the Snake Men set.  According to the brand manager, though, each little scale was a separate application, bringing this guy up to cost pretty quickly (which is why they cut out an accessory, but we'll see that further down).

One thing that's a little screwy are the eyes, though they're not terrible.  I think the vintage one had slightly curved snake-pupils, but they curved the heck out of them, here.  Gives him an interesting vacant stare, but I DO like how he's sort of more snake-like than the rest.  You know he's aware of you, but you can't quite tell where he's looking....I like it.  Though, I don't think I've ever seen a snake with eyes like that!  Perhaps I'm wrong?

A classic item among most of the Snake Men is the snake staff - almost all of them came with their own personal colored staff.  I don't think I gave the staves much thought, back in the day - in fact, I don't think I liked them much, and pretty much only had King Hsss use his.  Nowadays, I like the idea that Hsss gave his most trusted generals a staff that was somehow connected to his own staff, giving them each a piece of his power.  Not too much, of course....but enough to allow each general to perform some powerful magic that they might not be able to perform otherwise.

Rattlor's vintage staff was just that reddish color, but now they made the center staff a golden color, which is awesome!  I would have liked some more color on the snake, but the paint apps on Rattlor himself probably killed that idea (we did get a neat golden eye on the snake, at least!).

On a historical side note: The staff resembles the Rod of Asclepius, which became our symbol for medical stuff.  Asclepius is a Greek god associated with healing and medicine 'n stuff....which is crazy, since these Snake Men are around to wreck up the joint.  Where did the staff originate, within the story, eh?  MAKES MY BRAIN BOIL, IT DOES.  I love it.

He holds it as you might expect, though, holding it with both hands is tough, but....you can manage it if you believe.  Sadly, since Rattlor is SO painted, his reddish color from his hands kinda wipes off on the staff.  You won't see it while it's in his hand, of course, but that kinda stuff always bothers me a little.  At least, somehow, you can't see where the paint has come off his hands.  Just seems to be a little residue.

Now, because of the paint apps, Rattlor doesn't come with much beyond what he needs.  One small extra is sort of a homage to the cartoon:

It's a little Horde armband!  He was apparently part of the Horde, on the She-Ra cartoon....for some reason.  I assume they didn't have time to work in the whole Snake Men theme, from the toys, so they shoved them in where they could.  I appreciate the extra armband, but I probably won't keep it on there....it scares me.  I don't wana pull it off, later on, and have it bring some of that lovely paint with it, you know?  It may never do that, of course....but I don't want to take that chance.

Beyond that, Rattlor has the only other item he needs: A neck extension!

Rattlor's vintage action feature was a "strike" action, like a snake darting out to bite.  There was a button on his back that popped out his neck!  It was SO COOL, folks.  So cool, in fact, that I had apparently deemed it necessary to clutch the toy to myself so fervently that my mom never noticed I had it, one morning, on the way to kindergarten.  Sometimes these little stories just stick with you, ya know?  I vividly remember bringing Rattlor with me to kindergarten on accident (barely even aware that I had him in my hand, myself) and the teacher being confused as to why I brought him on a day that wasn't show-and-tell day.

There was probably a good 50-50 on the amount of time I spent actually using the feature to hit things and the amount of time spent just popping his neck out because "he-he, look at it!"

Naturally, they couldn't recreate the feature, so Rattlor works like Mekaneck.

I've come to terms with the no-action-features thing, though I totally would have sacrificed the torso joint on this figure for that feature.  With that in mind, the swap-out neck thing works as intended!  It looks good and his articulation allows him to pose like he's striking, so I'm happy!

I mentioned that his paint applications didn't allow for many accessories: One in particular was cut, but added to a later weapons pack.  I was gona wait to cover it in said weapons pack, but it was the most recent one, and I wanted Rattlor to have all his looks in this one review - SO THERE.

This armor is from Rattlor's 2002 figure, dubbed "The General", at the time, because they lost the rights to "Rattlor."  Rattlor wasn't much different in 2002 beyond the armor (and some armor on the legs and arms) so the addition of the armor on the MotUC figure pretty much gives you mostly the same look.  (The biggest difference from the 2002 figure is the bulk of the body and design of the head, but you won't be getting that short of a brand new figure).

Personally, I like it!  Gives him that "General of the Snake Man Army" look (I also added the hand axe, just because).

It fits really well...once you get it on.  And it is a bitch to get on!  The back of him is a bit bigger, because of the tail, so you have to stretch the two straps under his arms and PUUULLL them up under the armor to plug them in.  The actually plugging also needs some force.  It's annoying as hell, but might be made easier if you soften up the armor under hot water.

Like I said, though: Once it's on, it fits well and looks awesome!  I always love having options, 'cause I like doing before-and-after looks for characters - this being for his time with the Snake Men and the armband being for his time with the Horde (there's a story in the bio cards that says the Snake Men were all killed by the Spell of Separation, but I've spared some of them in my own personal story).

With the recent addition of Tung Lashor, I have all the Snake Staves together!  It's funny how something I didn't even like, back in the day, has become a favorite thing for me now.  Just the idea of King Hsss making three other staves for his most trusted generals.  What happened to the staves after the Snake Men were destroyed?  More importantly, where is King Hsss's staff - the one that powers the other three?  I love that kinda stuff!  Relics lying around somewhere, waiting to be found.

Overall I'm pretty dang happy with Rattlor.  He looks amazing, comes with what he needs, and I have no trouble putting him in action poses and generally messing around with him.  He hits all those important nostalgia points, but also brings new things to the table as a fine MotUC figure.

I'd say this guy is a solid buy with or without nostalgia.  He'll make any display POP with color, and he's certainly the most "snake" among the Snake Men.  Top score!


  1. Ooooohhh!! Rattlor and Hissa HAPPY OFF up in this mess!!


  2. "These snakes is slithering. With dollar signs in they eyes. With tongues so reptilian".

    Everytime I see you post about Snake-men, that comes into my head, I also have to browse ebay and online stores for the 2-pack and then remind myself that I don't really follow MotU at all.

    However, Rattlor looks ace but he's shown up already by DAT TUNG-LASHOR, seriously do a post on him asap. Are you getting that friendly lizzzard-man figure?

    1. No need to follow MotU to get the Snake Men pack! I think that is still one of my top favorite army builders from MotUC so far. There was, perhaps, more customization in the Palace Guards pack, but the Snake Men bring a lot of unique flair, and hell, I'm just prone to like the villain figures best.

      Rattlor is my favorite 'cause of the nostalgia, but DAYMN did they blow Tung Lashor out of the water! He may be one of THE best of the entire line so far, with just the right amount of new details vs classic ones (mainly the thinner body). I would get to him sooner if I hadn't tied myself to doing these in order. And yes, I did get Lizard Man! He's way cooler than I thought he would be, and he doesn't even have the ab-crunch articulation! I think he works so well because there's nothing getting in the way of the rest of his articulation, and he's already slightly hunched forward, which is how I would have him anyway.

  3. What? Another review? So soon? And a snakeman to boot? I must be in heaven. Either that...or I shouldn't have licked that postage stamp I found in the parking lot.

    I could never decide which snakeman I liked better - Rattlor or Tung Lashor. They're like Bebop and Rocksteady..

    I love this figure so much. The colors, the sculpt...every thing. It's also kind of neat because I have all three generations of Rattlors; my old vintage one, 200x, and this guy.

    Each and every time Rattlor comes away with an amazing figure.

    Lucky S.O.B.

    1. WHAT?! You mean you're not supposed to lick the parking stamps?! BUT HOW ELSE DO YOU SEND PARKING MAIL?!

      Anyway, yes! I'm gona get back to my regular Tuesday posts, though I'm trying to do more in between. I really want to dig into MotUC and try to catch up, though I'm super, ultra, mega behind.

      Yeah, it's tough to choose! Rattlor has a lot of nostalgia for me, but I had Tung Lashor when I was a kid as well, so he's got a similar feel. I remember him most for his action feature, and how I nearly ruined it every time by messing with the tongue so much.

      I never did find the 200X Rattlor! Then again, the amount I didn't find far outweighs the amount I DID find. That line was a terror to collect. I don't think I've even seen the 200X Rattlor in person - not even overpriced in a comic shop! The local comic shop DOES have plenty of Snake Men stuff from 200X, but all the repaints of the main heroes, as per usual.

      Some people had suggested that Mattel just make an accurate 200X Rattlor and make him a separate character....I almost agreed, honestly. I would have at least liked to see them sculpt a 200X head for him, and I like the armor on the arms and legs of the 200X version. In the end, though, I'm happy with the 200X armor on the Classics figure.

  4. Snake Men were some of my favorites as a kid - my pal down the street had most of 'em as hand-me-downs from his older brother. The last one that Mattel is making was my favorite - Sssqueeze - but since we didn't know his name, we just called him "long arms." Yeah. I actually still have that original Long Arms, after having borrowed it from my pal and then learned one day that he'd sold all of his MOTU stuff in a yard sale. "He won't miss this figure," said I. I remember several years later thumbing through action figure price guides trying to figure out Long Arms' real name.

    Rattlor was a favorite too, and I think we actually knew his name. The pal had a few of the old minicomics lying around, and Rattlor might have been pictured on the back. I have a vintage one in pretty good shape and it survived the Great Vintage MOTU Culling of 2010 Or So. And I, too, never found the 200X version nor any figure from the Snake Men part of that line...

    1. For some reason, I didn't really think much of the Snake Men, back in the day. I liked the individual figures for their action features, but they were never more than random monsters (except for King Hsss, who just oozes story ideas). I'm certainly looking forward to the finished Sssqueeze, in MotuC, but the only time I ever held the vintage one was at the dentist's office (they had a toy box). And man, I should make a special post for the "totally not my toys because someone left them over my house when I was little" stuff.

      Yeah, there were a lot of vintage figures that I only knew were He-Man stuff because they were on a minicomic or the back of a package. Hell, Ssqueeze was one of them - I honestly would have thought he was from something else, if I hadn't seen him on packages and minicomics!

      As for 200X: Yeesh. I think it's the same story for most people. Collecting that line was a terror! It would have been nice to see where that could have gone, if it had lasted longer.

  5. I had to order a case of the 200x snakemen way back in the day from some online site. It came with 2 (Rattlors) one Snake Crush Skeletor, and King Hsss.

    I never got the Kobra Khan sadly.

    Oh, and yes, I love your Snakemen two pack review Alexx. The snakemen army builder pack is my favorite so far. I bought (8) of them. I also bought some of those Imaginex dinos for them to use as beasts. lol

    I love me some snakes.

    1. Even back then I didn't have a credit card yet (would have been just starting college) so I wasn't ordering things online, at the time. Would have been useful, for that line! At the very least, I DID find Snake Crush Skeletor, who has to be in the top ten in the most hilarious toys that own. I'll never give up that goofy bastard.

      I think I saw Kobra Khan at a comic shop a few years ago, but it was beyond any price I wanted to pay, and I really love the MotUC version, so I wasn't hurtin' for the guy. Still....when I see 200X stuff, it sorta calls to me. I loved most of the redesigns and the gothic flair.

      Thank you! I still go back to that review from time to time (mostly just to remember how I had the Snake Men set up, save for Hissa). And man, I never thought of the Imaginext dinos when compared to MotUC figures! I would have assumed they would be too small? Do they look good?

  6. The Imaginex dinos look good in my opinion. I think their size is beneficial. The raptors and the Saharicus (crocodile) look really neat as attack beasts.

    You can wrap a chain around their necks and put them in the hands of the snake warriors and you have a mean little attack squad. The dimetrodons looks decent too.

    You can sort of sit King Hsss on the Allosaurus and it makes a decent steed. The articulation is limited, but they're still fun.

    1. I forgot that I actually have a Raptor from that line, and man, you're right! I mean, it's a little cartoony, but not so much that I can't match 'em together. Neat!

  7. Excellent review, sir. And may I say, your photos are looking beautiful these days.

    Also, I saw your Mekaneck photos and thought, "That's a goofy figure I should photograph..." You wouldn't believe the prices he demands!

    1. Hey, thanks! They're driving me a little crazy, 'cause I have a new camera and it takes my terrible lighting and just rolls with it. Some pics are just....ah man, beautiful - while others are too dark. I have to brighten them, but then they end up too bright, or artificially bright. I really need a light box, or at least some lamps specifically for lighting. *sigh* I miss my old toy room in the apartment. Such wonderful lighting.

      I just went and checked his prices as well - good god! How the heck did Mattel ever expect anyone to get into this toyline, after the fact? It's ridiculous! Sucks too, 'cause Mekaneck is awesome. Ah well - meet 'em half way and buy the vintage one. He is still fun to photograph and his action feature will be intact, which is SO MUCH FUN.

  8. Ah Rattlor, always a fave of mine. Always one prone to paint rubbing off too. Your guy has no eyes, and mine has big brown saucer-sized nipples. But ya just can't quit on ol' Rattlor!

    Nice to see that his armor CAN indeed fit on him if you try hard enough. So far I've never been able to close both straps on him, which is a shame because he looks great with it. Oh well, I'll get it on there someday. Until then, I can dreeeeeeeeam....

    Oh yeah, and I love the shot of Mekaneck using his head like a battering ram. Really looks like there's some force behind it!

    1. So the Snake Men army builders aren't the only snakes with nipples!

      Yes, emphasis on "TRY HARD ENOUGH." You gotta shove something in there, like a pencil, to get the tabs to line up. Plus: PULLING. I before I managed to struggle it on, I was thinking of heating up the straps and stretching them a tiny bit. Haven't tried it yet, so we'll see.

      Thanks, I thought that turned out well! Now I just need to figure out how to replicate stuff like that. Sometimes I go back to pictures that really worked so I can do it again on another one....but I just can't seem to get the same shot. Annoys the hell outta me,.