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Snout Spout

Masters of the Universe Classics
by Shocka

I really don't understand Masters of the Universe fans. Despite the fact that the lore is so spread out across numerous different media - each with their own unique canon - fans get uptight over nearly anything that they feel is an affront to their own personal version of how things should be. Case in point: the opposition to technology in the MotU world. Apparently, to a large portion of fans, He-Man and friends live in a world of only swords and scorcery, opposing the fact that the Royal Palace of Eternia is full of advanced techology, of which Man-At-Arms' character is built upon, as well as much of the vehicles and accessories and everything else surrounding Eternia. To my mind, this grand mixture of all different kinds of styles - and ways in which one can decide what they want and don't want out of the series - is something that makes Masters of the Universe unique and engaging. But to others it's a reason to get angry and kick up a fuss over any small concession or change to their beloved franchise (which doesn't have any concrete foundation in the first place).

A peasant from Etheria, Jaxton was one of three athletes abducted by Hordak and cast into his experimentation matrix. There, like the others, Jaxton was grafted with cybernetic parts giving him both amazing powers and a bizarre form. After crossing through a Laser Gate to Eternia with The Evil Horde, Snout Spout escaped and joined with the renegade Masters of the Universe. Self-conscious about his appearance and called "Snout Spout" for his abilities to blast water from his cybernetic trunk, Jaxton often feels that everyone is always laughing at him. But when the Snake Men slither out and enemies attack, Snout Spout blasts them back with a super jetspray!

Consider Snout Spout, a very contentious entry in Masters of the Universe Classics. He's a humanoid futuristic mechanical elephant. Weird? Sure. Any more or less weird than an oversized bumblebee, a guy made of moss, or muscled wizard with a skull for a face? Absolutely not. Perhaps fans' ambivalence to the character is because he's not as familiar as many of the other characters, not appearing in the original Filmation cartoon outside of the odd She-Ra cameo. The original was a great toy, though, with a groovy water-squirting action feature from his trunk and neat balljointed hips, which were very impressive for the time. Because of the action feature and the "fireman axe" accessory, he came off as some kind of robotic-elephant-fireman, though honestly you can take his character to mean or do whatever you want, because nothing about these characters is set in stone.

The MOTUC version of Snout Spout has a very similar sculpt to the vintage figure, overlooking the 2005 ministatue and modernising the design to fit with the other MOTUC. And it's a great sculpt - the main body is shared from the other MOTUC but he has his all new head, which looks very awesomely like a robotic elephant, and then new forearms, hands, boots, pelvis and feet. The Four Horseman have done a great job bringing that vintage look forward into the present - he looks superb and has excellent paint applications all over, with a wash complimenting the orange body. His armor is removable in two parts - the silver harness and red backpack, which would have been used for the action feature, held together nicely with clips.

There has been plenty of contention about the poseable trunk, which shares the foam-like material from DCUC Swamp Thing and Mr. Stay Puft, with a lot of people's toys degrading over time. Although mine has seem limited play, it has started to crack, revealing the blue underneath. This is very disappointing, and the only solution is not to handle the trunk too much. On a better note, the articulation here is as impressive as we've come to expect, sharing the standard MOTUC articulation without any loose joints. Your mileage may vary, of course - I've never had any problems with Snout Spout taking a dive.

Snout Spout has two accessories - an upgrade of the fireman's axe from the vintage toy, and a new "combi-tool" - aka the Jaws of Life. This fits his weird fireman persona and otherwise looks like another weirdo MOTU weapon in the weirdo MOTU world. It's painted well and is also articulated, making it all the cooler.

Ultimately, I really like Snout Spout - he's just the kind of MOTU strangeness I can get behind and he looks good alongside his kin. I've currently got him displayed with the She-Ra toys from MOTUC, helping to fill out the ranks against the Evil Horde and fitting in since that was the cartoon I'm familiar with him from. It's sad so many fans took issue with him - usually, in situations like this, if you're opposed to a character or toy or anything ever you simply don't buy it, but with the case of MOTUC many have subscriptions, and there's no way to opt out of characters you don't want. Regardless, I don't see how you could dislike this guy - he's bizarre and awesome and exactly what you want to add to your collection.

-- 07/02/12

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