Growing up in the ’80s, I could argue that it was the best time for an explosion of awesome toys and TV—Thundercats, GI Joe, Bravestar and Transformers, to name a few. But at the top of my list was He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.
Back then, I had pretty much all the action figures: Trap Jaw, Hordak, Man-E-Faces. The one thing I didn’t have was Castle Grayskull, the anchor for the whole storyline.
Fast forward to today. I’m a little older. I’m a little wiser. I’m starting to get hair in weird places, man (to quote Wayne from Wayne’s World), and I still yearned for the Castle. That’s when I stumbled across Mega Construx’s Castle Grayskull.
I recently became a fan of Mega Construx (Mattel’s answer to LEGO). My son, Mikey, is a massive Halo fan and has a few of the Mega Construx (MC) figures.
What I like about the MC figures in general, is their articulation. Unlike LEGO, they move at the knees, elbows, head, hands and feet, allowing for greater manipulation and posing for photos. MC bricks and buildings/vehicles, etc. are pretty much identical to LEGO, but MC seems to have the rights to different franchises.
*Talking about the bricks, if there is one thing I find frustrating it’s the locking mechanics of the pieces. Although they’ve made a “carbon copy” of the LEGO brick, MC doesn’t seem to hold as well. More often than not, structures fall apart with the slightest bump. Many of their sets are more intricate and detailed (Halo spaceships, Call of Duty tanks, etc.), but it can be annoying when a piece randomly falls off.
That being said, I am still a huge fan, and the MC figures are the game changer for me. Slightly taller than a LEGO Minifigure, they have more points of articulation. Because MC closely resembles LEGO, the characters can be seamlessly mounted on LEGO and have the same hand proportions to grip LEGO pieces.
Now for the Castle Grayskull set.
It comes with six characters: He-Man, Man-At-Arms, The Sorceress, Skeletor, Beast Man and The Goddess.
The actual Castle is a BEAST! 3,508 PIECES! The completed set is 7.5 x 24 x 14 inches. The instructions are in a 176-page, A3-sized book (16.5 x 11.7 inches when closed).
It took me a good couple of hours over five days to finish this build, so yes, it took me a while, but it gave me a great sense of achievement—like completing a 3,508-piece puzzle (PS: I hate puzzles)—and some pretty tired, sore fingers. (But I’m sure you’ll agree, this is an excellent way to pass the time during the COVID-19 pandemic, right?)
But my hat goes off to the designers of this piece of ’80s pop culture history. The accuracy and details are indeed something to admire here. Memories come flooding back as you go over the layout of the interior. The throne room, dungeon, elevator and computer terminal bring back feelings of nostalgia from my childhood. But to finally have Castle Grayskull in my possession is a very satisfying feeling. It’s something I’ve wanted since I was young, and to be able to make it was pretty neat.
In fact, I was so taken with the set, that I got the Wind Raider and the extra figure pack set that has a lot more of the characters. And while I was at it, some Game of Thrones sets, too.
Now you might be asking, why Mega Construx? Well, I’m glad you didn’t ask. I’ve wanted to try my hand at stop motion for a while, and after watching some super talented guys on YouTube, I’m keen to give that a go. In my upcoming posts, I want to document how that process goes and see if I can do it, firstly, and secondly, share some thoughts and tips along the way.
Till then, here’s a brief video review of the Mega Construx Castle Grayskull.
I ❤️ a great photo 📸 out the box ideas 💡 & awesome toys 🤖• and if I make you smile 😊 AWESOME 😎 • #gibbosimaginationstation