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Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull Mattel, 2013
Day #820: December 26, 2013
Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull PlaysetCastle Grayskull
Fortress of Mystery and Power for He-Man and His Foes

Masters of the Universe Classics Playset
Item No.:
No. Y6763
Manufacturer: Mattel
Includes: Suit of armor, weapons, flag, He-Man glider pack, training accessory, ladder
Action Feature: Trap door, opening cell, secret escape hatch, Orb chamber, opening Jaw Bridge, elevator, etc.
Retail: $250.00 (2012 pre-orders), $275.00 (2013 pre-orders), $300.00 (December 16, 2013)
Availability: November 2013
Other: First Castle Grayskull Playset in 10 Years

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Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull PlaysetThis is it! The biggest (only?) playset for your action figures this year. And you probably ordered one in 2012, too.

Since the 1990s we've seen a lot more in the way of high-end collectibles and toys, and Mattel has finally thrown down in the action playset arms race. While I can't say any toy provides $300 worth of play value, Castle Grayskull is without question the playset/vehicle/environment/$100+ action toy of the year for collectors. The runner-up may well be Metroplex from Transformers.

Standing nearly 30-inches high, this impressive chunk of plastic was originally sold to fans via Matty Collector as a pre-order not unlike on Kickstarter. You have a shot to order at an introductory price, and enough people kicked in that Mattel could make it. (Also, pre-orders got a poster checklist of pretty much every figure through 2013.) Increasingly jaded collectors would be unlikely to support this sort of item in an "I'll wait for clearance" mindset - especially given the more limited appeal and incredibly quantity of shelf space required to stock such an item. The box is ridiculous and I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say this is one of the biggest boxes I've ever seen for an action figure toy. It's unquestionably the best non-figure item you can buy for the 6/7-inch scale line.

While more or less a modernized, upsized replica of the original toy, it's worth noting that Mattel did take the time to ensure certain.shtmlects of this item worked to be compatible with modern figures. The single most impressive detail was in the Grayskull throne - you'll notice there's a slot in the seat. This is so the Sorceress can sit in the throne without bending her tailfeathers, and this is the kind of attention to figure compatibility that I frequently don't see in a lot of Hasbro's action figure vehicles and playsets lately. It's incredibly important, so I'm glad Mattel got it right on their first and probably only playset for this line.

Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull PlaysetI could go on for pages about how the amazing detail looks or how Mattel basically nailed the project given their budget and surprisingly short time constraints, but instead let me just bring up a few of my favorite details. One: the original armor/astronaut sticker has now been fully realized in 3D. Two: there are three floors rather than two, allowing for more figure display space. Three: an escape hatch has been added, and that's a nice fun bonus extra.

What I didn't care for: One, the prison cell (a nice addition) isn't tall enough to easily get a figure in there. Acrobatics are required. Three, the flag just sort of sits there - it doesn't fasten in place. Four: the throne has difficulty holding most figures that aren't the Sorceress, so if you want Skeletor to take over the castle it looks like he's going to fall off the chair and into some pit below. Five, the place for the stand for your Wind Raider, if you don't put your Wind Raider in there, is a big ugly hole. Fans are already making manhole plugs for it, and I hope Mattel follows suit in a future Weapons Pak. It needs a cover or some other thing to plug the hole. The Wind Raider stand is also an incredibly tight fit - it's nearly impossible to remove without creating stress marks. (I created stress marks. This angers me.) The Wind Raider is also in the way of the lower level of the ship - part of me wonders if this was a corporate mandate to include Wind Raider interaction, because, really, no. Just no.

Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull Playset

I saw the prototype in person at New York Toy Fair and it was pretty impressive. Oddly, it's even more impressive now that it's in my house - the last time I felt this excited about a big playset was The Real Ghostbusters firehouse. I'm happy to see a toy that's big enough that it felt like it grew up with me - this is an amazing little item and I assume that, over time, it won't go up much because everyone that wanted one, got one. (And if you didn't it's your own fault.) I would love a Snake Mountain, but I don't think that will happen. I'd also love a Point Dread (with a manhole cover) but I'm not holding my breath. If this is Mattel's one and only Classics playset, they've largely done us proud. It's huge, it feels durable so far, and it even has an optional display handle. It's rare that a collector-level item makes you feel like a kid again, but Mattel pulled it off. Kudos to Mattel, ToyGuru, and the Four Horsemen on a job well done.

--Adam Pawlus

Additional Images

Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull Playset Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull Playset
Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull Playset Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull Playset
Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull Playset Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull Playset
Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull Playset Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull Playset
Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull Playset Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull Playset
Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull Playset Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull Playset
Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull Playset Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull Playset
Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull Playset Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull Playset
Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull Playset Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull Playset
Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull Playset Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull Playset
Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull Playset Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull Playset
Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull Playset Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull Playset
Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull Playset Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull Playset
Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull Playset Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull Playset
Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull Playset Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull Playset
Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull Playset Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull Playset
Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull Playset Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull Playset
Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull Playset Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull Playset
Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull Playset Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull Playset
Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull Playset Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull Playset
Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull Playset Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull Playset
Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull Playset Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull Playset
Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull Playset Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull Playset
Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull Playset Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull Playset
Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull Playset Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull Playset
Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull Playset Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull Playset
Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull Playset Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull Playset
Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull Playset Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull Playset
Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull Playset Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull Playset
Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull Playset Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull Playset
Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull Playset Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull Playset
Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Castle Grayskull Playset

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