When the Masters of the Universe Movie was made, the studio realized that Orko could not be realized in their budget. They simply couldn’t create a floating little ghost-dude and get away with it. SO, instead, they made Gwidor, a budget-friendly little dwarf. The end result of this is kind of hilarious… but anyway, Gwildor created the dimension-traveling Cosmic Key that served as the movie’s MacGuffin, and he also ate a bucket of ribs. He did more than that, but this is all we need to know.
Gwildor’s status as a Masters of the Universe Classics figure was always of the “We’ll get around to it” variety. He had a toy, so he had to be produced, but nobody making the series seemed to want it. But now, here he is. Instead of churning out a half-assed mess of a figure (hiya, Rio Blast), Mattel’s people ended up producing something rather detailed – so much so, that it went over regular budget, and has been released as 2014’s 4th quarter “oversized” “deluxe” figure. That’s right, he’s got the same price tag as Modulok! There has been some friction among collectors about this – the guy is short (though not as short as the Unnamed One), so how could he justify that price tag? Mattel pointed out a detailed sculpt, complex paint job, unique tooling, and his multiple accessories, so it’s a matter of whether the buyer thinks that it is worth the extra money.
GWILDOR: HEROIC CREATOR OF THE COSMIC KEY
REAL NAME: GWILDOR
A Vejulian Gwitthrol Troll from Tundaria, Gwildor stood out among his clan for his great intellect and curiosity. Sent to study in Eternos, he attended Grimhammer University and studied under many great Eternian inventors, archeologists and magicians. Settling in a small village near Pelleezeea, Gwildor lived a solitary lifeuntil he created his greatest invention, the Cosmic Key, a device that could harness Universal Energy to open portals in space. Combined with the Magic of Central Tower, the Key could also be used to move through time itself. Hunted for his creation, Gwildor was forced to activate the Cosmic Key to escape to Earth! Eventually faking is own death, he traveled forward in time to a period when Temporal Travel was protected by powerful agents and his life would no longer be in constant danger.
The most interesting part of this (aside from squeezing in the movie’s plot) is that other bios made it sound like Gwildor died. But in this one, we learn that he merely faked his death, time-traveled to the future, and remains healthy! Good for him! So, what about the toy? Does it justify the higher price tag? Let’s find out!
As an “oversized” “deluxe” figure, Gwildor comes in an extra-special oversized blister pack, which just emphasizes how small he is. D’oh!
MOTUC had two choices for Gwildor’s look – his appearance in the movie, or his vintage toy. The fear was that he would resemble the dumpy, pot-bellied vintage toy. Instead, they based him on Billy Barty’s portrayal from the movie. This was the best thing they could have gone with, and really shows off the Horsemen’s skill.
Gwildor is insanely detailed, from his wrinkled face to his massive mane of hair to his patchwork wizard-tinker’s robes. He probably has the most detail crammed into a small space of any figure in this line, which is part of the reason for his hilariously high price. Much like Blade, Gwildor looks like he stepped off the movie screen, though I have to admit that he has even more detail due to the prosthetics naturally being bumpier than an actor’s face.
The downside of this is that he seems to clash with the rest of the line. Most MOTUC figures run the gamut from vaguely cartoonish to absolutely cartoonish, and this guy clashes pretty seriously with that. It takes some getting used to, but he does actually fit in. The contrast seems worse at first, but then seems to fade when placed against a few other figures in the line. You just have to be aware of it. The good news is, he also fits in with non-cartoonish toy lines, such as the old Toybiz Lord of the Rings figures.
Since Gwildor is an “oversized” “deluxe” figure, his paint had to justify the price. So for this reason, he has one of the single most complex paint schemes in the entire line, looking more at home with NECA’s offerings than most other MOTUC figures. Every inch of Gwildor has something going on, and his head sculpt is especially fantastic. Just look at the different shades used in his hair! Or the paint washes on his skin! Mattel went all-out with his color scheme, which is a good thing.
And then we have Gwildor’s outfit. Most of the patches, stitches, and sculpted detail on his robes remain unpainted, and the red on his shoulders is really, really sloppy. Granted, his head is good enough to be distracting, but Gwildor’s body has some pretty poor paint for the price tag.
And finally, there are the eyes. Billy Barty had a pretty famous lazy eye, and so does this figure. When he first started arriving in people’s mailboxes, a few collectors thought that they had found a paint error, but no – Gwildor has a lazy eye. It’s hilarious! And accurate! Oh, that poor dwarf. I love how they included the little detail.
Gwildor has a ball-jointed head, ball-and-socket elbows and knees, swivel wrists and boot tops, t-cut crotch, and swivels on the cosmic keys. Finding the articulation on his accessories was quite a nice surprise, and really adds to their play value.
As for Gwildor himself, his articulation is surprisingly lacking. There’s nothing majorly wrong about it, but every joint is just slightly in hibited, or a swivel where it should be a ball joint. He’s really only good for standing, but his legs manage to be hard to position correctly. It’s odd – he could have used v-cut hips since he has that massive skirt, but instead they are just floppy enough to make him prone to slumping and falling over.
One place where Gwildor does excel is in accessories… ALMOST! He really should have come with a bucket of chicken. or ribs. Or whatever he was eating in the movie. Seriously. But you can get that in the right scale, so let’s look at what he does have. Gwildor’s staff is the most “normal” of his accessories, and demonstrates a nice techno-magical fusion aesthetic. The gem-lightbulb-thingie on top could have been painted better, but overall it’s a cool little item.
The Cosmic Key is a repaint of the same accessory that came with Preternia Disguise He-Man, a subscriber-only figure that did not make very many waves. So hey, another chance to get one is great! It’s a complex machine with a suitable paint job – the flat red matches a painted tool, for example. Its design is based on the accessory that came with the vintage toy rather than the movie prop, though it takes quite a few nods from said prop. Gwildor can hold it pretty well, too.
Gwildor’s other accessoy is the “Prototype” Cosmic Key, which is actually the prop from the movie… sort of. It’s painted in red and silver instead of the movie’s blue, and it’s a lot larger than the movie item, but the shape is right. It even has a sculpted leather strap! personally, I like the proto key, and intend to use it as a random machine in a lot of dioramas. Nobody can hold it, but it stands up easily on its own.
This is an “oversized” “deluxe” figure, and thus is $35 – roughly $45 after taxes and shipping. Yes, I understand that his sculpt is complex, he has a lot of accessories, and he’s got a ton of paint, but… honestly, it feels awful.
THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR:
Gwildor is not prone to breakage, but he slumps and falls over pretty easily. Make sure he stands securely!
WHERE TO BUY:
Treat Gwildor like any other MOTUC figure, and start scouring the internet for a good deal.
Well, Gwildor has some issues – a huge price tag, poor articulation, and being Gwildor. The thing is, aside from those nitpicks, the figure is really very well-made. The level of detail in his sculpt and paint are nearly unheard-of in this line, whether it meshes with the others or not, and they really did this guy justice. His accessories are almost more fun than the figure itself, and all the rabid Gwildor fans out there (I know there have to be one or two) seem to be really pleased with the outcome. As weird as the little dwarf is, the MOTUC treatment did him justice.