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