Life In Plastic: TOY REVIEW: BUZZ SAW HORDAK (Masters of the Universe Classics)


Aspart of the advertising run for this year’s MOTUC subscription, we were promised the snake torso for King Hssss as a free pack-in with another figure, budget allowed.  It was planed for this one, but after some management turnover, the new team apparently forgot, rebudgeted more for the figure, and now?  Hssss’s torso will be a separately-sold piece at the end of the year. There have been arguments.  We will leave it at that.  Hoooooooboy, we will leave it at that.


Buzz-Saw Hordak has always been one of the most “dreaded” inclusions in the line.  See, the vintage figure was identical to the original aside from an action feature, and Masters of the Universe Classics does not do action features.  So this was domed to be a repeat – but if they left it out, it would leave a “hole” in people’s collections.  Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.  The original plan was to give him Hssss’s torso because he was barely even a repaint, but then the new Mattel management decided to mix it up some more – in a manner of speaking, Buzz Saw Hordak has his action feature!


Okay, with that rigamarole out of the way, Buzz-Saw Hordak is Hordak with a hollow torso that shoots sawblades.  He was already a magical cyborg shapeshifter, though it sees that this transformation is extreme enough to gain a special explanation in his bio.



After King Miro and Randor returned from exile in Despondos, the Three Towers returned to the surface signaling the time when the Second Ultimate Battleground would commence. To prepare for this battle, Hordak invaded Central Tower in an attempt to steal the secret of Time Travel. But without the Cosmic Key to channel the Tower’s energy, Hordak’s body was mutated, creating a Buzz Saw Blaster which could lash out at any enemy from his chest. During their final battle, Skeletor magically drained Hordak’s essence revealing the secrets and might of the Horde empire. But in Hordak’s last breath, while he appeared surrounded and defenseless, Hordak’s buzz saw blasts were unleashed, striking out at Skeletor in a final cataclysmic blow! If not for a nearby Bionotops, Skeletor would have indeed perished and Hordak’s revenge complete.


And yes, that is how Hordak dies in the classics continuity.  Skeletor takes him down, he revenge-strikes Skeletor, and Skeletor turns into a space cyborg.



Ignore the packaging that has never changed, focus instead on the cat’s paws visible in frame.  Catsby, you’re so precious!


SCULPT: ****

Well, seeing as how this is essentially a repaint of Hordak, this sculpt should be familiar to MOTUC collectors – we’ve gotten the basics four times already!  He’s certainly one of the more original monsters in the property.  Although the original cartoon apparently thought that Hordak was a pig, it turns out his face was based on an old tribal mask, and his general theme is meant to invoke a vampire bat.  The Evil Horde is made up of “Monster” archetypes, and was even going to include a mummy at one point, and Hordak is essentially Dracula’s monster form from the Keanu Reeves movie, only done a decade before it came out.


Aside from the new torso, he isn’t totally identical to the original.  Hordak’s loincloth is a little shorter.  And… well, that’s it.  But he was well-made the first time around, and continues to be such now.


And finally, we’ve got the opening chest. After the clumsy horror that was Rio Blast, I was pleasantly surprised to see Hordak’s chest panel fit seamlessly when closed, and open smoothly.  No bulges!  It snaps in tightly, though, so there’s a good chance that you will mess up his giant bat insignia while opening it if you aren’t caredul.  The inside contains a small ledge for the buzz saw, which lets it rest out in the open.


PAINT: ****

Hordak’s paint is almost identical to the original release.  Almost!  He has black trim instead of silver on some parts of his clothing, and others are a different shade of metal.  It’s subtle, but they are not identical side-by-side. Really, those are the differences – but since the old toy was essentially identical to the original, there wasn’t uch that they could do.


His paint is also pretty good – it’s kind of thick, but accurate and slop-free.  And there isn’t uch else to say except to point out that the bone-white, black, gray, and red really support my “vampire” theory.



Hordak has mostly-typical articulation – I’ve gone over it so many tiems already that it feels redundant.  But he can take a lot of poses, although his arms are hindered somewhat by his giant torso.  His ankles are pretty tight, too.  Unfortunately, his massive collar inhibits his head a lot, and working with it to achieve a decent pose can be frustrating.


But the big thing is Hordak’s action feature!  Remember how screwed-up Rio Blast was?  They decided to fix it this time, and just sculpt a brand-new torso for Buzz Saw Hordak. While this means thathe does not have removable armor, it also gives him a new feature.  You can open his torso on a hinged trap door, and either store or display the buzz saw. This is very similar to the vintage toy, although the old toy actually launched his saw.



Buzz Saw Hordak comes with a buzz saw!  It’s actually kind of a sawblade barbell, though, with a handy little handle in the middle – accurate to the vintage figure, and he can also hold it in his right hand as a melee weapon.  It contains some real metal, which is surprising.


What Hordk does not have is his ornate staff, though he does come with a repainted crossbow – white instead of black, another nice nod to the character’s toy history.  It resembles a dragon.


VALUE: **1/2

Funny thing. Because so much stuff shipped and the shipping could be split, it ended up costing closer to the $25 it is supposedly worth.



Buzz Saw Hordak’s chest opening snaps shut pretty tightly, so don’t force it too hard when opening it.



Secondary market.


OVERALL: ** or ***1/2

I have mixed feelings about this guy.  On the one hand, he’s the most pointless variant of all.  But on the other, they went the extra mile in making him unique – under old management, he would have just been Hordak.  But the new team tooled a brand-new torso for his action feature… which also priced s torso out, causing that debacle.  But in and of itself, it’s a good figure, especially for latecomers to the line who do not have a basic Hordak.  So it’s both good and ungood, at the same time. Buzz Saw Hordak has a place in my collection, but does he have one in yours?



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