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Thread: Stratos classic figure review thread

  1. #1
    Human... Robot... Maniac Spacedust's Avatar
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    Stratos classic figure review thread

    (This is intended to be a regular Friday feature, but I didn't get around to posting it yesterday).

    I'm really pleased that last week's pilot classic figure review thread, on Tri-Klops (http://www.he-man.org/forums/boards/....php?t=143253), met with such good response, with a fair number of posters.

    I'm planning on doing them on an evil-good rota, so this week's classic figure under the spotlight is... Stratos.

    Stratos was one of the very earliest figures introduced to the line.

    As with several early characters, just which side he was on was a little confused, and on a couple of occasions he seemed to be an Evil Warrior. Indeed, in the very first mini-comic, 'He-Man and the Power Sword' (unabridged version), there is an (easily missed) shot of him working alongside Skeletor and Beast Man.

    There are, of course, two versions of Stratos. One with red wings and blue jet-pack, and the other with blue wings and red jet-pack. Different sources state that different ones came first.

    As I say, Stratos is one of the very early figures, and for that reason alone I like him. However...
    Somehow, to me, the figure never seemed as good or as appealing as it might have been. I don't really know why. The concept of a bird-man figure should have been very good, but for me, something never quite worked. Maybe it was his colour scheme - it just never seemed quite as colorful and appealing as some other figures. His grey body was dark and a bit drab. More recently I've come across French-produced versions, and his body is slightly lighter. In a lighter, more silvery colour, it might have been more appealing. In several early comic appearances, Stratos was shown with a normal flesh coloured body, and I think I may have liked this on the figure better than dull grey.
    But even beyond that, the figure never seemed to live up to its full potential in my eyes for some reason.
    His head design could've been a bit cooler too in my opinion.

    I had Stratos as a kid. Whilst he was an early figure, I didn't get him until mid-way through my original collection. While I never particularly disliked him, he never stood out as a particular favourite. I remember, the very day that I got him, one of the straps on his wings (which you had to put on yourself) broke, so it was forever more held on by an elastic band, which automatically knocked him down a couple of notches in my young eyes.
    Also, the pink paint of the face rubbed off very easily, so my Stratos, as with many, quickly came to have a red nose!

    And one last thought - if Stratos had wings and could fly, why did he need a jet-pack? Maybe it was just to show off to the girls with.

    Overall, I'll give Stratos an average 7 out of 10.
    I do quite like the character... he just always felt as if he could be even better.

    I'd really like to hear your thoughts and memories on the figure.
    Last edited by Spacedust; November 11, 2006 at 10:57pm. Reason: typo!!
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  2. #2
    Heroic Warrior Orko's Magic Hat's Avatar
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    I have to say Stratos is maybe one of my least favourite vintage MOTU figures. The colour scheme is OK, but he just looks boring and very basic. I like the new 4HM version of him, a vast improvement.

    I never had Stratos (nor wanted him) when he was first released, in fact, I didn't want him right until the end of the MOTU run in the UK. I got Stratos, MAA, Horde Trooper, Blast Attack around early 1989 from TRU, those 4 were probably my last MOTU figures I bought at a store before I moved on to NA.

    So not one of my faves and doesn't really have much playability - average score.

    5/10

  3. #3
    Human... Robot... Maniac Spacedust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orko's Magic Hat View Post
    I have to say Stratos is maybe one of my least favourite vintage MOTU figures. The colour scheme is OK, but he just looks boring and very basic. I like the new 4HM version of him, a vast improvement.
    I actually hoped for more from the Four Horseman 200x update of Stratos. I was hoping that they would make him as cool as he should have been in the first place but never was, but didn't like the updated version too much either.
    Again, one of the minus points was still his dull colour scheme. (And this time, it didn't even have the vibrant wings and jetpack colours to liven it up; they were dulled down and muted, as were many 200x colour schemes).

    Also, Stratos was one of the very few figures not to come with a weapon. I often gave him the sword off of the Castle Grayskull weapons rack or out of the Weapons Pak.
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  4. #4
    80sMasters.com Brian Ozone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spacedust View Post
    Also, Stratos was one of the very few figures not to come with a weapon. I often gave him the sword off of the Castle Grayskull weapons rack or out of the Weapons Pak.
    Yea those extra weapons did come in handy.
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  5. #5
    The Line of Eld Lioncourt's Avatar
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    Stratos is and always has been one of my favorite MotU characters and toys, in both his classic and 200X incarnation. He was part of the first batch of figures I got for my first MotU Christmas as a kid.

    His gray fur made him stand out to me, rather than making him boring. It made him different from the others, and I imagined him much older, and wiser hence the gray.

    As a kid i wished that he'd come with a small weapon like a gun, but that was about my only complaint.

    The red winged Stratos with blue jet pack was always the proper version to me, and I didn't care for the reversed colours one. In recent years I have decided, in my own mind, to equate the evil birdman in the comics with the blue-winged Stratos, and that he is a renegade.

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  6. #6
    Heroic Warrior DestrongerLupus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spacedust View Post
    And one last thought - if Stratos had wings and could fly, why did he need a jet-pack? Maybe it was just to show off to the girls with.
    I've said it before, I'll say it again. The "Birdman" thing is ALL propaganda, they're flying monkeys who want you to THINK they're birdmen. It's all so very Wizard of Oz-ish that this is why I really adore Stratos, in either line

    D/L
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  7. #7
    Heroic Warrior
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    I was never a fan of Startos as a kid - in fact, he's one of the few figures I never had, as there was something about him that I just didn't like... mainly his 'creepy guy in the park' expression on his face, I think. But when I finally did get a Stratos years later, I came to really like him - the 'flying monkey' design is a nice deviation from the standard 'birdman' you'd expect, and his colour scheme I've always found to be quite good (even when I didn't like him much, I still thought he was nicely coloured).

  8. #8
    Human... Robot... Maniac Spacedust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lioncourt View Post
    His gray fur made him stand out to me, rather than making him boring. It made him different from the others, and I imagined him much older, and wiser hence the gray.
    I have to agree, I always saw Stratos as older and wiser too. He always came across to me as though he'd been selected as the Lord of the Birdmen due to his supreme wisdom. I always wished this had been played up more. It was done so quite a bit more in the 200x version, but there he sounded like Sean Connery, which kind of put me off!

    The more I look into it, I think it very much depends what country your particular Stratos figure comes from. My original, can't remember at this time of night what country he was from, was VERY dark and drab. Others are much lighter, almost silvery (such as French ones, as I mentioned in my first post), which do make him a bit more appealing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lioncourt View Post
    The red winged Stratos with blue jet pack was always the proper version to me, and I didn't care for the reversed colours one. In recent years I have decided, in my own mind, to equate the evil birdman in the comics with the blue-winged Stratos, and that he is a renegade.
    I agree, I never liked the blue wings red jetpack reversed colours either. The only place I can remember this reversed scheme being used was in the UK Ladybird books.
    I really like your idea of the reversed colour scheme Stratos as being a renegade birdman, maybe even like a Faker version Stratos.


    Regarding the several comments of Stratos being a "flying monkey", I agree that it was an interesting take; Although, lets be honest, much of the reason was to re-use most of Beast Man's mold!!
    Last edited by Spacedust; November 11, 2006 at 11:14pm.
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  9. #9
    Heroic Warrior DestrongerLupus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spacedust View Post
    Regarding the several comments of Stratos being a "flying monkey", I agree that it was an interesting take; Although, lets be honest, much of the reason was to re-use much of Beast Man's mold!!
    Well YEAH, but taking that toy-economoy fact, you have 2 options-

    A: Take Stratos as poorly-implimented birdman with fur instead of feathers

    or

    B: Take him as a flying monkey and run with it, making what you will of the notion.

    I like "B," and I think that the 200X version's big ol' splayed toes imply that the 4HM do too (For what that's worth)

    D/L
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  10. #10
    Mattycollector.com The_Robin's Avatar
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    I never liked his legs. They just seemed way to short. With Beast-Man(same legs), it never bothered me, because I always figured his torso and arms should be bigger, and he could get in a all four run at a seconds notice. .

  11. #11
    Human... Robot... Maniac Spacedust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DestrongerLupus View Post
    Well YEAH, but taking that toy-economoy fact, you have 2 options-

    A: Take Stratos as poorly-implimented birdman with fur instead of feathers

    or

    B: Take him as a flying monkey and run with it, making what you will of the notion.

    I like "B," and I think that the 200X version's big ol' splayed toes imply that the 4HM do too (For what that's worth)

    D/L
    I can probably force myself to accept, even like, the flying monkey image. But I just wish they had at least given him straighter arms so he could be posed to look like he was actually flying.
    I wonder if Stratos had been released a bit later into the toy-line's run, how he would have fared. He might have come off better, as - much as I love the very early figures, they were very much all of the same few molds, and not particularily action gimmick orientated. Maybe Stratos would have come off better when they started getting a bit more creative with molds and gimmicks.
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  12. #12
    Heroic Warrior Captain Atkin's Avatar
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    An interesting figure, with a very cool helmet and jet pack. My only gripe was with the wings. I always felt the wings should have been big and connected to his back (same goes with the new 4H version)

  13. #13
    Heroic Warrior braxsis364's Avatar
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    When I first got a stratos I felt he wassint a very powerfull guy and certainly could not take on skelertor. but I did like him for some reason with all the magical flying powers and all. my brother didint like him at all, and thought he was a pushover. but after seeing him in one of the mini comics giveing one of the evil wariors a flying head but, forget witch one. but I knew then and there that there was more to stratos then originaly thought. and I made stratos a real tough bruiser, I thought he allways should have been, witch got on my brothers nerves. one of my faverates id give him a 8 out of 10.

  14. #14
    Human... Robot... Maniac Spacedust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by braxsis364 View Post
    When I first got a stratos I felt he wassint a very powerfull guy and certainly could not take on skelertor. but I did like him for some reason with all the magical flying powers and all. my brother didint like him at all, and thought he was a pushover. but after seeing him in one of the mini comics giveing one of the evil wariors a flying head but, forget witch one. but I knew then and there that there was more to stratos then originaly thought. and I made stratos a real tough bruiser, I thought he allways should have been, witch got on my brothers nerves. one of my faverates id give him a 8 out of 10.
    Amazing how a character being portrayed in a different medium can really affect how you view them, isn't it? I always quite liked how Stratos was portrayed in the U.K. Ladybird books (bar his reversed wings / jet-pack colour scheme), they always somehow made him seem more interesting than he was in most other medias. They also gave his body more of a blue-ish tint in many of the illustrations, which I quite liked, and wished the actual figure looked more like it.

    Another thing I liked about Stratos, in his better representations, was how he came across as wise and a thinker, who prefered talking to war, but could take care of himself in a battle when he needed to.
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  15. #15
    A big fan of Slush Head
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Robin View Post
    I never liked his legs. They just seemed way to short. With Beast-Man(same legs), it never bothered me, because I always figured his torso and arms should be bigger, and he could get in a all four run at a seconds notice. .
    This is the same thing that I don't like about the classic figure. When I got my Stratos as a kid I thought he would come with the red boots he used in the toon. That was dissapointing.

    Other than the legs the figure is awesome. Stratos is one of the best Heroic warriors.

  16. #16
    Sorcerer of Zalesia bcrduke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Robin View Post
    I never liked his legs. They just seemed way to short. With Beast-Man(same legs), it never bothered me, because I always figured his torso and arms should be bigger, and he could get in a all four run at a seconds notice. .

    TOTALLY agree... it never bothered me with Beast Man, and my Beast Man's legs must have been more tightly connected with the rubber cord inside, because I was able to stand him... but I could NEVER stand Stratos - his legs always just buckled under the PRRRRESURE!! LOL

    I did like the character - always loved the drawings of him in the original few mini-comics... and loved when he would appear on the classic toon... but never really played with him... The wings were a little problematic too (they were red), unfortunately never really staying on his arms all that well. He was a great figure for Skeletor to capture, though!
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  17. #17
    Human... Robot... Maniac Spacedust's Avatar
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    Kind of echoing what I said about Stratos' arms; his legs were too crouchy. Neither his arms nor legs ever allowed the figure to look like he was flying. Oh well.
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  18. #18
    Eternian Jedi Knight He-Fan's Avatar
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    Chris here...

    I love the character of Stratos and the way he's portrayed in a lot of MOTU stories, but never had the figure as a kid and isn't one of my favourites now - it's nice to have a flying character but I think there's more they could have done with him.

    Now (even though I realise that once again I'm dragging this slightly off-topic!), I *LOVE* the 200X Stratos figure - the design, the sculpt, but most importantly of all, the fabulous action feature! Actually giving him larger wings that move really adds a whole dimension to the character IMO, and he is without question my favourite figure from the 200X MOTU line!

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  19. #19
    Human... Robot... Maniac Spacedust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by He-Fan View Post
    Now (even though I realise that once again I'm dragging this slightly off-topic!), I *LOVE* the 200X Stratos figure - the design, the sculpt, but most importantly of all, the fabulous action feature! Actually giving him larger wings that move really adds a whole dimension to the character IMO, and he is without question my favourite figure from the 200X MOTU line!
    I didn't *hate* the 200x Stratos, but I still felt there was more that could be done with him. He still wasn't quite as cool in result as he was in concept. Wait, did I basically already say that in a previous post? Probably!
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  20. #20
    MASTER CASTER skeletoncrew's Avatar
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    Stratos is one of the figures i had as a kid, i pretty clearly remember getting and playing with him at the age of 5...so, he has a certain softspot in my heart from those childhood memories...and i've ALWAYS loved the wizard of oz and in particular flying monkeys, so i think he's great...my ONLY complain is he didn't come with a weapon of SOME kind...i also didn't care for the color flipped accessories either, give me red wings...

    my score(on the A+ to F scale) for Stratos is a C+...which might not sound so great, but it's above average and deffinately passing...

  21. #21
    Hakujin discosupafly's Avatar
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    I hated this figure like poison. Chest hair in abundance, stupid grin, gawdy yet bland colour scheme..

    Nothing going for him. 1 out of 10.

  22. #22
    Human... Robot... Maniac Spacedust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by discosupafly View Post
    I hated this figure like poison. Chest hair in abundance, stupid grin, gawdy yet bland colour scheme..

    Nothing going for him. 1 out of 10.
    So what you're saying is that you didn't like him, then?
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  23. #23
    Human Mutant Power! carlo's Avatar
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    stratos is one of my fav's

    i like his red and blue color wings. just a cool looking figure, maybe its the big bird eyes or something
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  24. #24
    Vegor-Friend of Animals jakobinsane's Avatar
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    Stratos was one of my favorites as well, although thinking about it I cant really pinpoint why. Maybe it was because he was around pretty early. I did like his red wings and would always be taking them off and putting them on. Maybe it was his crazy beard, or like carlo said his bird eyes?
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  25. #25
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    Stratos was my brother figure and suffered from lost arm syndrome. So (if you've read my other posts, you'll know) guess who ended up with a flight pack? He was usually relegated to battle fodder since he had no arms. I dig the figure now, maybe it's the whole jetpack thing. Although I did think it was strange he had no weapon. Before he lost his arms, he could shoot blasts like Skeletor.
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