Mattel | MOTU Classics | Rio Blast

MattelRioBlast01Every once in awhile you get a lemon. For MOTU Classics, you can get a bunch. Rio Blast is one of the worst finished products out of the package that I’ve come across in a long time and I’d like to share it with you. I simply cannot understand how this item made it past through review, QC, and everything else in between. It’s an insult from a company that is known for shenanigans from time to time. I give you Rio Blast.

I don’t really have a problem with the subscription format, even if I have no idea what figures are included at the time of purchase. What I do expect is some kind of quality product that makes me feel like I got my money’s worth. I’m satisfied if I like even half of the figures I get and simply chalk the rest up as a sunk cost. It’s sad that I have to think that way, but at least I can sleep better. But then I get something like Rio Blast and I’m just speechless, even as I write this, on how this figure was even allowed out the door. It’s almost like they forgot so many things for this figure, that at the end of the day they just simply said “screw it, just call it a day… At least it’s a SKU.” Mattel doesn’t really help themselves by pretending there isn’t an issue with this figure, and even the people who will defend Mattel to the end are having a hard time justifying this one.

Rio Blast was a figure I never had as a kid. The character simply never caught my attention as it was too close to Bravestar, and it just didn’t “fit” in the world of Eternia for me. There was nothing mystical about him in a world where magic is science and vice versa. But when he was announced in the 2014 subscription, I was a little excited because I’d be getting a character I never had which usually makes me happy. I think even Rio Blast is embarrassed how he turned out.

MattelRioBlast02I like the head, it has some nice character to it. But that’s about the only thing I like. The rest of the figure just plain sucks, and this isn’t even the worst category. Just looking at him, he’s way too bulky with some really awful armor. I don’t know how that made it through. It doesn’t sit on the figure well, doesn’t look good, and doesn’t function. The backpack doesn’t even stay on very well so function and form are both failures. All things considered, this figure just looks bad. The sculpt is nice, but the execution is awful. I will admit when all of his guns are out, he looks pretty cool, but the rest of the time is sad.

I think this figures is the only one I have where the paint work is the only really good thing about it. The work is nice and there aren’t too many sloppy areas. The head is ok even if some areas could’ve used some extra care. But I also have to knock it for lack of paint, especially on the backpack. It just looks cheap and is made of weak grey plastic.

Ordinarily I give MOTU Classics figures an average score because the kinds of joints they use are simply outdated, and more importantly – I really hate pin-joint ankles. The score goes even lower because the armor pieces have articulated points that completely fail acceptable levels. The big white elephant in the room that has the majority of collectors upset is the flap in front. I’m going to add my 2 cents to the already obvious. To me, it looks like they completely forgot about the flap and tried to do something at the 11th hour. Why? Because the articulation point is completely outside of the armor. If the flap was intended to blend into the armor, the hinge point would’ve been a bit more set into the armor which would’ve allowed the flap to close and be more flush with the rest of it. Instead the best you could hope for is to sit over the armor. My stance is even further evidenced by the fact that the silver chest area isn’t even set deep enough for the flap. To add insult to injury, the socket inside of the flap for the guns is sitting on top of the flap and not inset. Just look at the picture on the right and you’ll see the flap in it’s fully ‘closed’ position. The knee plates work, but seems so lazily done that it just simply doesn’t help the figure even if they’re adequate. The bulk of the armor prevents the arms from going to his side and the rest of the figure is your basic limitation of the MOTU Classics buck. Of course the backpack isn’t any better as thousands of collectors have pointed out that the visor sits far away from his face. All this means is someone at Mattel actually thought this toy was good enough to be produced. Pathetic.

He comes with three gun attachment pieces, a backpack, and two laser guns. I think this figure deserved a hat if you’re going with a western theme.

As far as longevity, he’s about as good as most of the others, but he has some other glaring issues. The backpack doesn’t stay on very well, and the flap and knee pieces are bound to break off somewhere.

Overall, this figure sucks and deserves all the backlash it’s getting. This is a horrible figure and it’s no wonder the 2015 subscription barely got through. They were smart to release him AFTER the subscription sale because I’m pretty sure a lot of people would’ve passed. Outright pathetic. This is an example of when people give up or don’t care, and I blame the entire company because this figure was allowed to move forward despite it passing through many hands.

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