I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO HERE, PEOPLE.
I have almost every Masters of the Universe Classics figure and toy I want. As of right now I am missing Zodac (who I just the other day realized I don’t own somehow), the Roton, and of course my holiest of holy grails, Wun-Dar.
If you’re new here, Wun-Dar slipped through my fingers a few years ago because I decided to go eat right before getting to the toy vendor that had one. Which he sold to someone for a ridiculously low price right in front of me as soon as I got back.
I haven’t eaten since.
I have tons of figures. I have a Wind Raider and a Griffin and the two giants. I have a huge drawer full of all of the weapons packs that I really shouldn’t have bought but I just had to have He-Man’s weapons in green or some asshole’s whip that I don’t even remember right now. I have Castle motherfreaking Grayskull.
How can I possibly pass up Snake Mountain?
Teased years ago by Matty and then resurrected and teased over the past year or so by Super 7, Snake Mountain truly feels like the final piece in the Masters of the Universe Classics puzzle. It’s that last significant playset from the vintage line that screams for modern representation. It’s where Skeletor and his doltish minions sip tea and gaze into scrying tables to see where Teela poops.
It is, in a word, essential.
It is also six hundred gotdamn dollars.
And I’ll be honest – it’s the “plus shipping” that probably chaps my hide the most.
As someone who gladly plunked down five hundred dollarinos for Hasbro’s Khetanna Sail Barge, I am coming to this game fairly spoiled. Because not only was shipping included with that badass, incredible toy, I was able to recoup some of my money by selling the exclusive Yak Face figure that came with it for $200(!). It turns out the $13 Vintage Collection version is just fine with me.
But let’s take a realistic look at Super 7’s Snake Mountain playset.
It is freaking massive. Like the Sail Barge it is 48” long. Let me just tell you right now – that is a buttload of toy real estate. Unlike Hasbro’s product, though, Skeletor’s lair is a whopping 36” high at its tippy-toppiest point – the outcropping of stone on top of the gateway. So for size alone this is a much larger item than the Khetanna, bringing the $600 price point into a reasonably comparable perspective.
Beyond the sheer size of this toy, it has a lot going on. Super 7 did not skimp on features or accessories in my opinion.
It doesn’t include a figure. Let’s go ahead and get that out of the way. There’s no tongue-in-cheek nude Skeletor with a Battle Cat rug or even just some variant that we haven’t seen before. And I’m okay with that. Matty’s habit of including figures with vehicles always annoyed the heck out of me because I never wanted the figure.
Granted, Castle Grayskull didn’t come with a figure, either.
What Snake Mountain does come with – and this is important – is Skeletor’s Bone Throne and scrying table. When this playset was first being talked about, it was suggested that these were somewhat pricey items and that they could potentially be considered extras and offered as a sort of expansion pack or something.
Fortunately they’re included and they look great. It might make the $600 (plus shipping) a tougher sell, but at this point I think it’s best for Super 7 to throw all of their Snake eggs into one basket. So to speak.
The detailing of this playset is amazing. I feel like the Four Horsemen really went out of their way to make use of every square inch of space and to eliminate hollow “toy space” wherever they could. The sculpted monster faces and the “horrifying dungeon creatures” do a nice job of concealing what is basically the backside of the mountain.
It also has they defining element of any great playset – a trapdoor.
As for the front, it has everything you could possibly want and it’s all gorgeous.
There is a functional, scaled staircase that actually runs from the bottom right of the mountain all the way up to the gateway on the top left. There’s even a little rope bridge that goes in front of the pleasingly translucent lava falls.
One of the critical things about Super 7’s pictures is the use of Classics figures to show the immense size of Snake Mountain. Without these guys standing around it might be easy to underestimate.
The sculpt and paint on this toy are phenomenal. It’s an image worthy of the side of a 70s van and I have to say I think it’s much more impressive visually than Castle Grayskull. Bad guys do tend to get the coolest stuff, though – right?
From the pointed talons to the artery-like vines to even more monster faces, this thing is an ominous edifice of evil. It perfectly captures the vintage playset while paying appropriate tribute to the Filmation Snake Mountain.
I do have to acknowledge the fairly large crack running along the front on the right side by the staircase. It’s pretty bad, but I have to imagine it will be addressed prior to release. Or at least, I need it to be addressed.
The bottom line is that Snake Mountain looks amazing and, if the final product lives up to what has been promised, I think it’s probably worth $600. Shipping is pushing it, though, as that’s likely to creep up on a hundred bucks.
Another thing that has to be compared is Hasbro’s incredible care in shipping the Khetanna.
There was an outer carton, an inner carton, a retail box, and an absolutely insane amount of care in packing the toy into the retail box. I’d say there are modern toys at Walmart right now that have less engineering involved than just the packing carton for the Khetanna. I know some folks had issues with damage to the retail box, but mine arrived pristine and in mint condition. Considering how terribly many of the items that get delivered to my home seem to be treated, this is no small miracle. And Hasbro’s care in packing and shipping the Sail Barge gets a lot of credit for that.
Packing and shipping that was included in the cost.
Snake Mountain is, as I said, much larger than the Khetanna. Not only is shipping going to be prohibitively expensive for such a large item – I just paid sixteen dollars for Super 7 to ship seven small action figures weighing a total of less than two pounds – but Super 7 needs to be one hundred percent on the ball in the care they take in packing these. They can’t just pack them like normal retail items and then throw them in a shipping carton. And while I adore Super 7 and pretty much everything that they do, I’m gonna need some reassurance that they understand this.
When I started writing this article there was no way in hell I was going to sign up for Snake Mountain. But now, after typing out all of these words, I’m not so sure. It’s a ton of money, but there is a six month payment plan available.
If Super 7 can provide their customers assurance that this item will be given premium treatment every step of the way and that customer satisfaction is their #1 goal with this offering, then I might just have to consider selling a kidney after all.
I mean, my collection won’t be satisfyingly complete without it, will it?
Well, this and Wun-Dar.
DAMN YOU WUN-DAR!!!!!
For slightly more info check out Super 7’s website, which I’m sure will lay out all of the details on May 1st when the preorders go live.
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