NIGHT STALKER

The final creature to be released by Mattel in the Classics line was Night Stalker, Skeletor's evil armoured battle steed. It's a great model in many ways, and a fine tribute to the original toy, but it also follows the trend of the Classics vehicles in being too big for the figures it's meant to accommodate.

Fans of the vintage MOTU will remember the original Night Stalker had articulation only in the tail and guns. That's been addressed beautifully in the Classics interpretation. The legs are jointed as might be expected. The clever part is the interlocking neck sections, which allow quite a lot of movement.

The horned helmet is a nice touch and adds some extra style to the evil mechanical steed. The colour scheme is pure vintage - just as it should be. Visually, Night Stalker is everything I hoped he would be. He looks great.

But he's not perfect. The size of the model becomes a problem when you put a figure inside, and the problem is worsened because there is no seat. How did that happen? Adding a rider involves propping the figure in a weird half-standing, half-reclining pose that looks awkward. It's not as bad as the Talon Fighter problem, but it's still an issue.

My appreciation for this model outweighs my criticisms, and I have to say that overall Night Stalker is one striking figure. I can imagine Skeletor commanding his troops on a battlefield from atop his evil steed. Hopefully Super7 - the licensee for MOTUC from 2017 - will reuse the mould and bring us Stridor, the heroic equivalent.

I haven't included Jitsu in the photographs below, but he's often portrayed as being the owner of Night Stalker, and I'm sure that tradition will continue. I suppose sticking Jitsu on top of the mechanical horse might deflect attention from his tiny squashed head. Make sure you have Night Stalker in your collection.