Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Sssqueeze Mattel, 2015
Day #1,234: July 28, 2015
Sssqueeze Evil Long Armed Viper
Masters of the Universe Classics Action Figure
Item No.: No. CHF11 Manufacturer:Mattel Includes: Pet snake club Action Feature:Rubbery bendy arms Retail:$28.00 Availability:June 2015 Other: The Final Snakeman?
1987 looks like Sssqueeze. The garish green and purple, the open mouth, and the scaly texture work together well to create a figure which is pretty convincingly retro. He's mostly a new sculpt - perhaps entirely a new sculpt - and has an honest-to-goodness action feature. Most figures in this line don't have such a thing, so big bendy arms that stretch out to nearly two feet wide is something to note.
He's pretty much all new -it's possible his feet and the lower waist piece are recycled, but everything else seems new. The finely sculpted green head has white teeth and a red interior to his mouth, plus expertly painted eyes. The color of plastic really makes the detail pop on his ball-jointed neck. He can't bite down as was previously speculated, and there is a visible seam around his jaw. It's kind of in line with some of the gross-out toys of the time. The color is carried through the entire body, and Mattel did a bang-up job of separating the bendy green arms from the other green plastic. In case there is any obvious difference, putting bracelets and a crop top between them will minimize any immediate minor differences. If you collect Star Wars you're familiar with different shades of white, a truly annoying element of the hobby.
The legs are legs - you get kn ees, boot cut joints, ankles, thighs, and hips. The green scales are perfect, the grey armor looks weirdly 1980sey in that it's next to a bright orange. The orange could be brighter, of course, as I've got a shirt that looks more or less like that. Painted stitches and rivets add to it nicely, and there are red trapezoids on the figure's loin piece. It's weird, but it works - same with the figure's halter top in a nice rich purple color. The logo for the Snake Men appears dead center, and some light detail helps bring it to life. It isn't removable, so it's better integrated with the figure's body and gives you an example of what may await us in the future if Mattel carries this aesthetic forward with future updates.
Each scaly arm is rubbery and bendable like a Gumby, with light green on the underside and scales on top. It's great. The arms have ratcheting joints which help them stay up under the considerable weight of each limb, what with their being longer than the figure is tall with giant hands at the end. He can grab multiple figures in those arms or hold an accessory in his hand. The original version was said to have a "pet snake," but this one seems to be more of a club weapon. It's unpainted and lightly stylized, looking more like something out of pre-Columbus Americas. If they left it out you wouldn't have noticed unless you had the original, as it is it just sort of gets in the way. It's not bad, but given the giant arms the accessory really doesn't add to the already great figure. It doesn't hurt it either - but it's not like it can swivel around and grasp Sssqueeze's arm either.
This is one of the better figures as it allows Mattel to show off considerable growth since the line started lo those many years ago. By bucking the system, we get a figure that's distinctive and colorful while still fitting in with his reptile peers. He also crushes them. With the giant arms he's going to be a weird fit in my already messy display of these guys, but at least he'll stand out. There's no ignoring anyone this brightly-colored or distinctive, so even though he may not be the most fabulous of the original Snake Man designs he certainly commands my attention now that he's here. It's way better than Snake Crush Skeletor, who aped the bendy arms about a decade ago.
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