SDCC '13: Two Castle Grayskulls and a Snake Mountain

There was not one, but two Castle Grayskulls on display at SDCC this year, with Mattel's playset and Icon Heroes' statue. Both are very different types of Castle Grayskulls, yet both are great pieces for different reasons.

Icon Heroes' Castle Grayskull was on display last year, too, but this year, there was an accessory kit with it. The accessory pieces expand Grayskull with a big bone base to set it on, a Talon Fighter, a cannon, a flag, and Point Dread. I really like that this accessory set not only accessories Castle Grayskull, but also expands into a tiny bit more of Eternia. It also adds a small bit of playability to Grayskull, or at least greater diorama options. The castle and accessories looks absolutely amazing and gives you a view of the castle from any angle you want. However, since it's a statue, you can't do much with it. If Icon Heroes ever got to make He-Man Minimates you could stand them on its roof and around it, but not inside. It's also a polystone statue and polystone is very fragile. As you can see from a couple photos, the bone base already had a break in it. I have Icon Heroes ThunderCats ThunderTank and am so afraid it's going to shatter if I'm not super careful with it. However, it looks fantastic with a couple ThunderCats Minimates in it.

On the other end of the Castle spectrum is Mattel's Grayskull playset. This thing is very big, even if it shrank a little form the original specs. Mattel's Grayskull has a lot of cool features like the throne, key hole for Scare Glow's key, elevator, and just about everything you'd expect from a playset. However, it only has two sides of the castle, so you can only view it from a few angles from the outside until you see the insides. There is a ton of stuff going on inside, although the tin floors make it feel a little cramped to me. No, I did not order one because I have no idea where I would put it, and I already have a lot of toys as big or bigger than this, so my space for it would be quite limited.

There is one other major difference in the two Castle Grayskulls; Mattel's looks scared, while Icon Heroes' looks scary. It's all in the eyes. Icon Heroes' has slated angry eyes, but Mattel's eyes look wide open and afraid of whoever is trying to get inside the castle.

Icon Heroes is also making Snake Mountain polystone statue and had the unpainted prototype on display next to Grayskull. Snake Mountain is already looking fantastic and will be a perfect companion piece to Castle Grayskull. I wonder if Mattel will ever even attempt to make a Snake Mountain playset.

- Shawn - 8/19/13