Life In Plastic: TOY REVIEW: Ceratus (Masters of the Universe Classics)


Lots of characters got some pretty dramatic design updates in the 200X He-Man cartoon.  But even among them, Whiplash was one of the most dramatic.  The weirdly cartoonish or incongruent elements of his design (like the eyebrows or Buzz-Off’s torso) fell out the window, replaced with a believably reptilian ogre-beast.  The new Whiplash was part gator, part troll, and part ankylosaurus.  Much like Clawful, he looked genuinely intimidating (but then he spoke, and you realized what an idiot he was).  He had one of my favorite designs, and the 200X Whiplash figure is one I kept.  Sadly, his MOTUC figure reverted back to the vintage design, what with its muppet eyebrows and all.


Ceratus hails from the 200X cartoon (if it’s not obvious by his less-than-cheesy name), and happens to be Whiplash’s brother as well as the leader of the Caligar people.  His figure was one of the first announced for the 200X sub, and because it represents Whiplash’s cool modern design, it got a fair amount of press.


Shortly after the Great Unrest ended the Caligars and Speleans returned to their kingdoms to find their homes had been destroyed while they fought with Miro on the overside. Blaming each other for the destruction, both species were plunged into a war that would continue to ravage their kingdoms for decades. It was not until the threat of Skeletor and King Hssss emerged that Ceratus, leader of the Caligars, put aside his differences with the Speleans and joined Randor’s new Eternian Council. In addition to serving in this political group, Ceratus also fought as a member of the Masters of the Universe during the Second Ultimate Battle Ground. Leading a battalion of Caligar warriors, Ceratus fights for the freedom of Eternia.


That mostly covers material from the cartoon, but it’s more than good enough for this guy.  We now have several members of the Eternian Council, and Ceratus has actually been mentioned in a bunch of bios before!



Same as before, same as after.  MOTUC packaging is a neverending vortex of sameness.


SCULPT: ****

Ceratus, much like the other 200X figures, utilizes a basic torso with a rubber overlay glued on top.  He has plenty of other new pieces as well, likely afforded because this figure saves torso money.  His detailing is astounding, giving him a reptilian, troll-ish appearance.  Ceratus’s hide is really well-textured, and his face is immensely expressive.  The Caligars were one of my favorite races on the cartoon, and Ceratus is an extremely accurate representation of one.


Also, he’s got earrings – earrings!  Actual metal earrings.  In any other figure, they would be sculpted flat againt the ear, just little raised details to be painted gold.  On Ceratus, they are actual metal dangly parts, and that is exceptionally fantastic.


However, Ceratus is not without his flaws.  The rubber overlay on his torso just isn’t as seamless as with the other 200X figures.  it flares out a little on the sides, and tends to beglued unevenly on his back.  My figure looks like he is wearing a loose turtle shell, thus turning him into a relative of Bowser, the King of Koopas.


PAINT: ****

Although Ceratus is painted differently than  his brother – his green is less bright and more ‘realistic,” the paint job is fantastic.  It’s got more than one shade of green, which gives him a lifelike texture, and plenty of good applications for his spikes, bony ridges, and even the bright azure armor.  His eyes are particularly expressive, as well.



But as I just said, there is one odd issue.  It’s not pictured here, but Ceratus is a totally different shade of green from his brother, Whiplash.  That wouldn’t normally seem like a problem, except that Whiplash came with a 200X head – one which does not match his body, but would theoretically look great on Ceratus.  Because of the vastly different shades of green, though, that is not the ase, and Ceratus’s body is not a good home for Whiplash’s head.



For the most part, Ceratus has the same articulation, with all its hinges and swivels, as any other MOTUC figure.  But he can be rather cumbersome in a few ways.  Though his skirt does not restrict his legs much, his tail really holds him back – it sticks straight down.  His shoulder spikes and armor overlay also liit his arm movement a little, and although Ceratus has some pretty good poses, he is more static than many MOTUC figures.


Ceratus’s tail is on a swivel, just like Whiplash’s – and the limited articulation hurts him more than other figures, because it is supposedly integral to his fighting style.  You’ll be hard-pressed to get Ceratus in a decent tail-whipping pose, or even letting him squat or bend his knees without hunching over.



Ceratus comes with some sort of weird bone axe-staff thing.  It looks cool and vaguely shamanistic, but your guess is as good as mine on the weapon front.  He can hold it like a pick, or an axe, or even grip it in reverse, but it still seems odd and awkward.  It is reminiscent of Renegade Predator’s weird spiky thing.  But I guess that’s just a facet of fictional warrior cultures – they make weapons no one can use properly.


It’s not precisely an accessory, but Ceratus also has a tail.  It comes detached in the package, though once you plug it in it ain’t coming out.  Just like Whiplash, Ceratus is part ankylosaurus, and has a pretty vicious-looking club at the end of his tail.


VALUE: **1/2

Digital River has a weird shipping estimate thing going on where you pay roughly the same in shipping as the figure itself, thus making the value awful for this line.



Although he is mostly sturdy, be careful not to damage Ceratus’s earrings.  Also, if youa re buying on the secondary market, try to find one with his overlay glued on straight.



Ceratus sold out on Matty, and his secondary market price may or may not go high.  It can’t be as expensive as Whiplash, though.



Of the 200X figures so far, Ceratus has the most problems.  His armor flares out in the sides and often has huge seams on his back.  His tail is awkward.  He can’t pose his legs very well.  And yet, he is a really good figure, up there with a lot of the greats in the line.  Mattel really went above and beyond with this mini-sub, and it has felt more valuable than the main!



Of course, the big elephant in the room is the one not photographed.  He really, really, really looks nothing like his brother in the same line.  MOTUC Whiplash doesn’t even share a texture with Ceratus, and his 200X head isn’t even the right color to swap onto Ceratus’s body.  The thing is, instead of making Ceratus look out of place, it actually pushes Whiplash out a little bit.  You really need to track down the 200X Whiplash figure if you want to pose the brothers together, even despite the scale difference.


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