Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Rio Blast Review

No Rio, we riot!

Well we did get Rio Blast, but can we still riot anyway?  This is a tough one for me because I generally want to find the good in most things.  Unfortunately Rio Blast may be the worst case of a Masters of the Universe Classics figure transitioning from prototype to production.  All of the engineering issues we have run into this year have cropped up on this character along with a couple of new ones.  Is it possible I’m being too dramatic?  Maybe.  But, I think Rio hit me the hardest because he was probably the one figure I was looking forward to most this year.

I guess I can still look forward to Tung Lasher, right?  Right?

Masters of the Universe Classics – Rio Blast
Release Date: 08/15/2014 (Monthly Subscription)
Price: $25.00 ($27.00 non sub)
Title: Heroic Transforming Gunslinger

So much potential.  Ruined by a fat suit.  Not only a fat suit, but a barely functional fat suit.  I’m going to get right to the overlay and put it out there that they should have just done a new torso for Rio Blast.  He’s almost better shirtless because the vest makes him fatter, makes his shoulders too large, the overlay rides up his neck, and the front flap doesn’t even close.  It’s like engineering decided to tackle Rio Blast four hours before vacation, and then just passed it off as good enough.  I understand that a new torso may not have cost out (how many hundreds of figures use this male torso?), but they didn’t even try to make his front flap tab in.  It just hangs down.  No hole or indent.  Nothing.  Seriously?

Mattel has beaten me down throughout the years.  So much so that I’m almost accepting of the budget being an excuse for something missing.  But the problems with his overlay are so much deeper that I assume budget only came into question when they realized they couldn’t go back and do it over.  Or maybe they didn’t want to, and this was what they intended to give us.  Who knows what the thought process is with that chest piece?  It’s just such a shame that a cool character like Rio Blast got screwed by bad decisions.

So past the whole chest part Rio comes with a whole load of accessories to emulate his vintage action feature.  He has guns that plug into his knees, chest, wrists, and a giant cannon for his back.  I refuse to believe the same person who worked on his chest also figured out the knee gun feature because it’s actually very impressive.  They didn’t have to make concessions to articulation because they just took two brown plastice pieces and plugged them into the knee pin holes that were already there.  When they are up they look like they are part of his chaps, but when they are down they hold the guns.  You can even pull them off if you don’t want them at all.

Mattel MOTUC Rio Blast

The wrist guns look good and the hands are pretty much built around them being in place.  The tubing from the backpack plugs into the top of his gauntlets.  The backpack is mostly fine but does have one issue.  The visor is the same silver color plastic as the rest of the accessory; which is a jarring look.  I would never have expected them to put a clear piece there (not to say it wouldn’t have been nice if they did!), but painting it blue or black to create the illusion of glass would have made a world of difference.  To his credit the figure does come with a ton of accessories.  Being able to mix up what parts to display at any time is pretty fun … it also helps to take my mind off that fat suit.

Mattel MOTUC Rio Blast

Rio Blast is a figure with an amazing sculpt that was also ruined by lazy design decisions.  There is no getting around how badly they dropped the ball with his overlay, and it unfortunately overshadows all the good that is there as well.  He’s a great figure from the waist down, arms out, and head up.

I’m a two-time subscriber so I had no choice in recieving Rio Blast.  Even if I was subscribing I would have still bought him; a Masters of the Universe cowboy is awesome and even with the problems I’d feel like my collection would be missing something without him.  I also have a bit of a doctor complex where I think I can fix him.  I’m going to try and trim the sides of the overlay, lower the neck, and possibly put a hole in the chest in an attempt to improve him.  I could screw him up in the process, but worst case scenario is that I just have him go shirtless forever.  I’m willing to live with that option.

Mattel MOTUC Rio Blast

If you don’t want to grab Rio Blast from Matty you can always try Amazon!


6 thoughts on “Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Rio Blast Review”

  1. When I subscribed this year, I thought “if we get Rio Blast it will be worth it.” I was really looking forward to him and Tung Lashor the most.
    I typically really watch my language in comments, but I’m just going to come out and say it: this figure is a piece of sh*t.
    I thought New Adventures Skeletor looked fat, but this guy is so much worse. Add on top of that the chest flap that won’t close, the thigh chap pieces that can’t sit flush, the flip up visor that sits too high to cover his eyes. This is a lazy, lazy attempt to translate the 4H’s work into a functioning action figure.
    If I had got this guy in my hands before I had subscribed for 2015, then I probably would not have wasted my time or money because I am worried it’s this type of crap that is going to just keep coming down the pike throughout 2015.

    On top of that, my Rio came with two left feet, so I called CS to get a return label for the exchange, but the email they sent me says “Flutterina.” Now I’m not sure if I should call them back and try to get a new label, or just send him in with this one. Are Matty and DR smart enough to realize that they need to send me a new figure that matches what they get back from me, or are they going to go off their label?

  2. And he looked so good in the prototype! It’s amazing how much the design team dropped the ball on this figure. I’ll hold out some hope for next year since they laid off the guy who brought in the fat suit design … maybe the new guy will care a little more (people have said the old dude was pretty lazy, but who knows if that’s true or not).

    Such a shame though, Rio Blast was one of the big ones I was really looking forward to. Gonna put him under the knife some time in the next couple weeks and see if I can trim him down a bit. It would probably involve glueing the overlay to the body because that thing is just a giant mess. Ugh.

  3. I’m also mixed on this guy. I’m not seeing the fatness issue that others have with him, but I never had any other version of the character so I must be viewing it more like a thick combat vest or something. This wrong perception is thrown off by the techno-details under his chest flap looking like part of his clothes rather that the interior of a cyborg chest.

    A hair dryer and some bending got the chest flap to look a bit better when closed, at least on the corner that’s supposed to rest flush with his life preserver. I’d argue that despite the clever knee attachments, the design guy botched the thigh flaps, too. I think they’re supposed to hug his legs tighter when closed and can’t because of the huge pegs for the guns.

    Other, milder complaints come from the backpack coming off a bit too easily and the reused thigh pieces giving him an insane amount of muscle definition through his khaki pants. It certain lighting, he looks like he’s got nude legs and then that buttoned crotch flap becomes extra provocative. SEXY.

    Overall, I’m glad to have him because I do love every one of these stupid things. Rio was one of those guys that I considered impossible during those early MOTUC days where they seemed to recycle the same 7 parts over and over. To the me of 3 years ago, he’s a tremendous success. To the me who is still blown away by other somewhat recent ambitious figures figures like Mantenna and Modulok, I think they could have done better.

  4. Pingback: » Why I Jumped Ship On MOTUC

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