CASTLE GRAYSKULL POLYSTONE ENVIRONMENT
The Castle Grayskull Polystone Environment is the first Castle Grayskull model of the Classics era (distributed to customers in May 2013). Strictly-speaking it isn't a Classics model because it is licensed product, but the styling of the packaging follows Mattel's design from the 'biography' scroll on the back to the font on the front. The model is from Icon Heroes. It is just under ten inches tall, which means it is in a much smaller scale than the Classics figures.
The design of this castle is excellent. Artist Nate Baertsch and Eric Treadaway of Four Horsemen Studios came up with an extremely creative sculpt which, for the first time in the history of the MOTU, gives us a Grayskull model with four sides and a roof. There is wonderful attention to detail in the sculpt, and the dragon spine which blends into the castle's masonry is a fantastic idea.
The castle is manufactured in China, and unfortunately the poor production standards that we've seen in the Classics figures from China resurface here. Look at the top photograph on the right and you'll see that my model has one completely unpainted eye socket. For such an expensive piece this is extremely disappointing. It's a shame that an otherwise masterful product can be the victim of such sloppy work.
Hopefully other customers won't encounter the same problem. If it weren't for this defect I would be delighted with this creation. It has wonderful new details but is a respectful tribute to both the original Castle Grayskull and the Mark Taylor sketch. Mattel's Classics Castle Grayskull is due to be released at the end of 2013 (so we'll probably have it delivered in 2014). It will be interesting to compare the designs.