Saturday, May 29, 2021

Action Figure Review: Clamp Champ from Masters of the Universe Origins by Mattel

   I still haven't managed to acquire the Masters of the Universe Origins deluxe Battle Armor He-Man and Battle Armor Skeletor but I did get Clamp Champ and Ram Man from the second series of deluxe figures. I was pretty excited for both of these releases and I'm starting with Clamp Champ because, sadly, I had the vintage Clamp Champ as a child but sold him at some point when I was getting into Star Wars: POTF2 and was selling off many of my other old toys. I remember picking him out when I was pretty young from a department store and loving him, especially his claw weapon. The vintage Clamp Champ has become a rather expensive figure these days and I now have every other Clamp Champ released except the vintage one. Someday. I'm super happy to have this one, though, as he definitely hits most of the same beats as the vintage figure. He's also quite nicely accessorized. The deluxe figures come on a larger card with alternate portraits and more weapons which is pretty cool. Let's check out Clamp Champ after the break and see if he's still as "gripping" as the vintage toy...

The Facts:

Height: 6 inches

Articulation: Swivel/hinge ankles, boot swivels, swivel/hinge knees, ball jointed hips, waist swivel, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel/hinge elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, and a double ball jointed head.

Accessories: Armor, Techno Clamp, small clamp, 2 interchangeable portraits, 2 interchangeable left hands, and minicomic. 

Non-Scalper Price: $20 dollars

The Positives:

* Along with Ninjor, King Randor, and Scare Glow, Clamp Champ was part of a set of 1987 figures that was intended to be rather cost effective by reusing bodies and armor from earlier figures. Other than a new head and weapon, Clamp Champ was a repaint of Fisto from the waist down. I'm guessing that's probably true here, too (Fisto is just starting to hit and I don't have him yet). Clamp Champ looks really good and has a great color scheme of blue and silver with some red. I like it. The armor is flexible so there's no fear of breakage, either.

* I haven't loved all of the regular human headsculpts in Origins but I think Mattel did a pretty nice job with Clamp Champ. He looks just like I remember the vintage toy with a very strong, determined expression.

* Mattel included a second portrait in this one that shows Clamp Champ grinning. This doesn't look like a happy smile, either! This is an intimidating "I'm in the middle of battle and getting the upper hand against the Snake Men" type of grin which makes him feel even more ready for action.

* The MOTU Origins figures are built like the vintage toys but with modern articulation. While their bulky frames make the articulation a bit clumsy, they do feel like an evolution of the vintage line. Imagine what you would get if you mixed a vintage figure with a MOTUC figure. They're quite fun to play with and they feel very sturdy.

* They're also modular and can be easily separated to make your own lazy boy customs! 

* Clamp Champ comes with two interchanegable left hands. If you want a figure closer to the vintage figure then you can use the open palmed left hand. If you want Clamp Champ to either be a lefty or to be able to carry both of his weapons at once then use the grip. It's not a big thing but it's a welcome feature that makes the figure just a bit more versatile.

* Clamp Champ's Techno Clamp was one of the most complex accessories in the vintage toyline with a clamping feature that actually worked by pressing the button on top. The Origins version works a bit differently but still has a nice, useful action feature. The Techno Clamp itself is pretty large, possibly a gadget that could be used as a shield as well an an offensive weapon, and it has a lot of detail that fits in with other pieces of Eternia technology.
* Push the silver button on top and the red pincers spring out to capture an enemy. You can move independently if you want, although what you'd do with one pincer is beyond me. Maybe use it as a sword type weapon? It's a simple spring mechanism and the pincers don't retract automatically but it's quite fun. 
* Clamp Champ's second weapon is this cool smaller weapon that originally showed up with the NECA Clamp Champ staction in 2005. I'm glad to see Mattel borrowing some of the details from that line and along with the Rise of Evil Kronis and Keldor it's cool to see a little inspiration from the 200x series.

 * The deluxe figures released so far all come with the same minicomic: "Battle Armor Reborn." It's a nifty little comic that features the four recent deluxe figures as well as Randor, Marlena, and Skeletor's robotic hover knights. The art is quite good and it just adds a nice little something to the overall package that mimics the vintage releases.

The Negatives:


* My only negative is that Clamp Champ's right boot has some seriously sloppy paintwork on it.

   Clamp Champ really impressed me! I like the character but I wasn't sure that he would really feel like a deluxe release, especially since build-wise he's a pretty standard looking figure (basic body, standard armor), but he comes with a lot of goodies. I like the inclusion of the alternate head and hand and having two weapons, especially the massive Techno Clamp with it's clamping feature, really makes him feel like the $20 dollar price tag is warranted. While these guys are intentionally old school looking Clamp Champ's extras do make him feel like he can go toe to toe with another other $20 dollar action figure which is kind of the current standard price point for that size and scale at mass retail. He's an Epic figure with a lot of play value!

If you're a fan of Clamp Champ you'll also want to check out my reviews of the Masters of the Universe Classics Clamp Champ and NECA's Clamp Champ staction.

For more Masters of the Universe Origins figures check out the following:


No comments:

Post a Comment

What'chu talkin' 'bout?