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King Chooblah

Masters of the Universe Classics
by yo go re

Given the way Mattel usually works, we're probably lucky this isn't just Beast Man painted white.

Once thought to be a mythical race, the savage looking Kulataks allied themselves with King Randor after Skeletor attempted to steal Eternium metal from their mines. Supplying the Masters of the Universe with this precious metal, the Kulataks helped build a new prison for Skeletor's Evil Warriors. King Chooblah later joined Randor's new Eternian Council, helping to unify the free people of Eternia against evil. Chooblah took up arms himself during the Second Ultimate Battleground, leading three battalions of brave Kulatak warriors against the Snake Men and Horde armies. Their attack was the key to defeating King Hssss and destroying the Horde war machines. Wise leader of the Kulatak warriors, King Chooblah uses his claws and great strength to defeat evil enemies!

King Chooblah and the Kulataks only appeared in two episodes of the 2002 cartoon - "Trust" and "To Walk With Dragons" - and that bio covers them both. The first half of it, at least; the second half was made up for the figure.

Actually, for the most part, this figure is just White Beast-Man: Raqquill Rqazz's furry body makes the perfect starting point for the king of the yetis, just as it was for Chief Carnivus. But Mattel and the Four Horsemen went beyond that, adding lots of new pieces to create a unique character. He has large digitigrade feet that add to his height, massive new forearms and huge claws, long fur covering his kingly genitals, and a large pad of fur that covers his shoulders, chest and back. There's a necklace molded on his chest, with a large green pendant flanked by several small animal bones - since Chooblah is the only one to wear such a thing, we can assume that's the Kulataks' version of a crown. Technically he should have a band around his right bicep, but that would have required another new piece, and we already have a bunch of them.

The head is a completely new sculpt, as well. He has a large mane or beard, but short, flat hair on top of his head. Two pointy ears poke out sideways near the top, and four bony spikes jut out of his cheeks. Judging by the cartoon, his snout should be about 50% longer, but maybe that was something they had to change to make sure it came out of the mold easily.

The figure's paint really accentuates his furry sculpt. All the white you see on him? That's paint. Looking at the interiors of the joints, the toy was molded in grey plastic - drybrush some white over that, and you've got yourself some nicely designed shadows. His skin is a light blue (though not as pale as on the show, because this makes a better contrast). The bones on his necklace are slightly yellowed, and the cord is brown. In the cartoon, his claws and horns were more of a bone color, while here they're grey.

The toy comes with one accessory, a large green staff. The animated version was designed with long, flat surfaces, like a crystal - in fact, it might have been made of Eternium, the powerful metal Trap-Jaw was looking for. That stuff was almost the same minty green color as the staff. The toy's, by contrast, is sculpted to look like wood. That can still make sense, though: there aren't a lot of trees growing in the Himalayas (or their Eternian equivalent), you know? So if the Kulataks got their hands on any quantity of such a rare material, naturally it would be given to their king as a status symbol. I mean, it's not like gold has any intrinsic value (outside of being a terrific conductor for electronics), but ancient people still made crowns and jewelry out of it because it's hard to get ahold of. The king's right hand is closed enough to hold the staff securely.

King Chooblah's size isn't even an impediment to putting him with your 2K2 figures, because he was larger than the "human" characters. He moves well and looks great, even with a few little differences from the source material. This isn't a character you'd expect to be important enough to receive a toy, but Mattel did their best work on him.

-- 09/28/15

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