Thursday, January 5, 2023

Wrapping Up 2022: Mekaneck and Ground Ripper from Masters of the Universe Origins by Mattel


   We're into the new year and I've still got three or four Masters of the Universe Origins figures to review. Today I'm checking out a special two-pack of Mekaneck and the Ground Ripper. I'm honestly surprised that Mekaneck didn't come out earlier since he's such a memorable figure with a very basic design, especially in MOTU Origins where he doesn't retain his vintage action feature. Like the Masters of the Universe Classics version of Mekaneck, this one has a removable head and a neck extension piece that pops on. The Ground Ripper (which is the name Mattel now uses for the vintage Road Ripper) also doesn't have it's vintage ripcord action feature; it just rolls around. Why did Mattel pair these two together. I'm not aware of a vintage two pack or gift set with these two (there was a set with the Road Ripper and Battle Armor He-Man) but there was some cross-sell art with Mekaneck on the Road Ripper. Maybe that's the inspiration? They're also both 1984 releases for the Heroic Warriors. They're finally in MOTU Origins, so let's check out this set after the break...

The Facts: Mekaneck

Height: 5 3/4ths inches

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

Accessories: Neck piece, armor, and club/ telescope.

The Facts: Ground Ripper

Length: 9 1/4ths inches

Articulation: Rolling front and rear wheel.

Accessories: Two headpieces.

Non-Scalper Price: $35 dollars


* The vintage Road Ripper is on the right, while the Origins version, the Ground Ripper, is on the left. What's different? Not much. They're quite similar, really. The Origins version is a brighter green than the vintage toy, the stickers have less of an edge, and, of course, the new one doesn't have the ripcord feature of the vintage toy.

The Positives:

* Since he doesn't have the neck extending action feature of the vintage figure, Mekaneck is a pretty standard figure. He's got the basic body used for He-Man and many other figures and the armor he shares with Stinkor. It's basic, sure, but there's just something I love about Mekaneck's color scheme. That bright, bold red and blue, mixed with some silver highlights, is just really pleasing to the eye. 

* I'm a doodler. I'm not very good, but I dabble in doodling. One of my favorite things to doodle is Mekaneck's head. Why? I have no idea. I think it's because I love the angular shape of his helmet and his funky goggles. They're mirrored here, which is a nice touch.  I imagine that Orius is usually a pretty happy, go lucky guy, but when he slaps on that pointy helmet he's now Mekaneck and he's all business. 

* I always expected that Mekaneck would be a deluxe release with a functional extending neck but here Mattel took a page out of the Masters of the Universe Classics playbook and gave the figure a neck extension piece. It attaches onto the neck and the head pops on top. It's nicely detailed with lots of wires and circuitry, like the neck of the vintage toy, and it does allow Mek to retain all of his articulation.  

* The MOTU Origins figures are built like the vintage toys but with more 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!

* Mekanck includes his battle club which also functions as a telescope. I can't remember where I first heard that his accessory is supposed to be a telescope but, when I did, my mind was blown and I'd never be the same again. The club-e-scope has an ornate exterior, a handle that functions as the eyepiece, and a hollow end on top. He can also hold it up to his eye. See the last picture in the review for an example. 

* And here's the Ground Ripper, the second half of this set. I'm guessing Mattel lost the trademark rights for the name Road Ripper (there seem to be a few other products using that name), so the Ground Ripper it is. It really looks nearly identical to the vintage toy, just molded in a brighter shade of green plastic. All of the stickers are here (and pre-applied) but they look a bit simpler and brighter than the vintage stickers. Not worse, really. Just different. 

* The front of the vehicle/ headpiece has the really cool style of a dragon or a griffin or something. It's just a fierce looking design element!

* You can actually swap out the headpiece for another option which resembles a... I'm not sure, really. It's very cool and very MOTU-ish, but I'm not sure what it is. A robotic lion? 

* The back of the Ground Ripper resembles the rear of the Battle Ram (a vehicle we strangely haven't gotten in this line, though I'm content with my MOTUC Battle Ram) with lots of sculpted and sticker details for your figures to mess with. 

* The seatbelt is adjustable and can hold most figures securely on the seat. The figures fit just fine, though they don't necessarily look like they're really driving or piloting the Ground Ripper. Of course, they didn't really look like they were actively manipulating the controls on the vintage vehicle, either. 

   Mekaneck with the Ground Ripper is a really Great set, especially considering the fair price. Yeah, Mekaneck doesn't have his vintage action feature, but Mattel handled it just fine and I imagine many collectors probably prefer this to an action feature. The same goes for the Ground Ripper; I wasn't eager for an Evel Knievel ripcord styled feature on this but I would have liked something where the vehicle pulled back and zoomed forward. Still, the vehicle retains most of the charm of the vintage toy and Mekaneck looks excellent riding it. 2022 was a good year for MOTUC

If you're a Mekaneck fan check out my reviews of the 200x Mekaneck, the M.U.S.C.L.E. Mekaneck from series 3, Pack D, the NECA micro-bust of Mekaneck, the Mega Construx Mekaneck from the Battle Ram, and the ReAction Mekaneck.

If you're looking for more of the Road Ripper/ Ground Ripper I've also reviewed the Netflix series He-Man and Ground Ripper set and the Eternia Minis He-Man and Ground Ripper.

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


  1. Hm, without the action features these ones just don't appeal to me. I was never a big fan of Mekaneack but his neck feature was fun to play with. And if they gonna do it with an addon piece at least include a couple of them so make his neck a decent height. Like the Mega Construx mini-figure has two and some folk have bought multiple Battle Rams (the set he comes in) and added all the extra neck pieces to one Mekaneck to really enhance his one unique feature. :P

    As for the alternate 'head' for the Ripper, it does resemble one from early concept art where the Ripper was red and the front was pretty narrow. Check the Battle Ram blog article on the Road Ripper. :)

    1. Man, I even read the Battle Ram Blog entry on this. I do think you're right on that. It's an odd looking "head" for the vehicle for sure. An extra neckpiece for Mekaneck would have been nice, like the MOTUC version had, too. And I do wish the Ground Ripper could pull back and drive forward, but, to be honest, I'm not going to be playing with it like that very much anyway.

  2. I like the Ripper. I could see customizing it with some different paint schemes.

    1. Yeah, definitely. Rob pointed out the red concept for the vehicle from Battle Ram blog, so you could use the alternate head and paint it red for a nice "prototype" custom.


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