|It's a bug, man. Or it's a bug-man. Either way, it's a significant change from the original Buzz-Off, and most definitely an improvement. Includes a helmet and a projectile-firing staff. Worthwhile with a few "but"s. Our sample was $9.99.|
While not exactly a beloved, classic, or memorable character, Buzz-Off was given the royal treatment when it came to updating him for the modern age. Rather than looking like a Mexican wrestler in a bee costume with no pants, this time around he looks more like an anthropomorphic insect.
While there's no mistaking this figure for anybody else (assuming you're familiar with the original series of toys), he's such a different looking character that it's hard to imagine him any other way. Well, except maybe for a way that involved him falling down less.
Buzz-Off is a minor character in the Masters Universe, popping in at time to lend a wing or to war with Stratos' home kingdom. He really doesn't offer a lot of "zing" but he is brightly colored, striking to look at, and nicely jointed. The end result? A nice toy.
The most striking element of the toy is its wings which, unfortunately, pop out without a hitch. The brightly colored, unpainted translucent yellow appendages are movable and are not tied to any mechanisms, meaning you can position them any way you please. As they are attached via ball joints, they're easy to pop right back in should the wing attempt to make an escape.
As the figure is sculpted to look like he's wearing a helmet, it's a little odd to see that there's a helmet to wear over the helmet. Regardless, the basic head is sculpted well, if a little lacking in detail. Bright metallic green eyes seem to pop right off of the dark brown head, with a splash of Crayola-esque yellow covering the rest of the face. The actual sculpting, while not devoid of detail, is fairly clean and the end result is a more or less cartoon-like appearance. Which, really, is what the line seems to be moving toward if it wasn't there already.
Buzz-Off's body is sculpted surprisingly well, with a lot of plates tooled in there, and tons of bumps, grooves, and ridges all over his arms and legs. The almost glove-like appearance of the exoskeleton on his hands and feet make it look really quite marvelous. While unpainted, the arms show that as much if not more thought went into their sculpt than a lot of recent figures. If you have the means, take a good look-- it's really quite impressive.
The coloring of Charlie Brown seems to have been in mind when sculpting this figure's torso... or perhaps just the typical coloring of a bee. Regardless, it's a bright and cleanly sculpted torso with paint that sticks in the lines just like it should.
This figure sports the usual Masters articulation at the neck, shoulders, wrists, hips, and waist, although on our sample the neck was very loose and it was hard to position the legs in a manner so he would stand up properly. A spring-loaded waist for "punching" or whatever combat action was included but, as it's everywhere in this line these days, seems like a cop-out from having to do a real play-action feature. The important thing here is that the action feature works as advertised and doesn't interrupt in any play- or display-related matters as far as can be told.
All in all, they did the best they could and in some cases, more. A nice job all around.
Aside from his removable wings, he includes a helmet and a staff that fires a projectile.
The rocket firing axe thing is particularly nifty. The axe itself was colored in a manner that matches the figure nicely, and the (mostly) clear yellow missile seems to fit right in, looking like it was cast out of honey or something. It fits the look of the figure, makes sense as to what he might need as a weapon (a lightweight one versus a heavy one), and best of all, it travels a decent distance when fired. Not too far, but far enough that you probably won't be disappointed.
The helmet is a little silly. As silly as you can get for a flying bee man, that is. When you have a plain human head, it makes sense to include something to snazz it up a little, but when you've already got an exotic bee creature, odds are it already looks pretty cool. Other than larger, bronze eyes and some extra yellow on the top of his head, it really adds nothing. It's nice to have choices as to how one's figure will look, but in all honesty, it's pretty worthless.
Buzz-Off is in the typical packaging for all current MOTU heroes and all figures from 2002. There are no markings indicating it's a new figure or anything to make it stand out from the pack.
Other than that, it's typical MOTU packaging, with only a single, very easy to remove twist tie holding the figure to the inner plastic tray. Short of no twist ties at all, it doesn't get much easier to open than this.
Another great entry into Masters toy Universe, but not a required one. If you're looking to bolster the ranks of heroes in your Castle Grayskull playset, this is the toy for you. It doesn't have a lot of the unique, iconic elements built into a lot of other Masters characters, but it's a good solid toy that, if you can keep him standing, should look great on your toy shelf.
Reviewed and photographed by Adam Pawlus
Sample found at Phoenix area Albertsons grocery store in October 2003
Reviewed on October 9, 2003.