Ask most kids who grew-up in the 1970s who the world's best sci-fi villain is and most will probably answer ''Darth Vader.'' Not me, though. For me, this guy - King Walder - was the most terrifying, evil and just downright cool threat to our planet's existence.
King Walder - His Rise to Power
Before we continue, a quick history lesson is in order.
It all goes back to Henshin Cyborg. Henshin (''Transforming'') Cyborg was a line of 12'' dolls produced by Japanese toy giant Takara and based upon their Combat Joe line (itself a licensed version of GI Joe.) Like all good heroes, Henshin Cyborg needed a villain to combat, which is why Takara introduced King Walder, the mutated ''King of Space.''
When the line came to the UK via Denys Fisher Toys, Henshin Cyborg was renamed simply ''Cyborg'' and King Walder became ''Muton.'' Both were also based upon the ''junior'' versions of the range, standing at 8'', which was - thanks to Mego - pretty much the standard size for dolls/action figures in the West.
This is where my story starts. I received both figures and the Cybo-Interceptor ship from my parents one Christmas. Although Cyborg was cool, it was Muton who really caught my attention. With his visible guts, purple plastic and cool squishy weapons, he fascinated and - I must admit - terrified me. Even now when I look at the figure's face, I can see he's just pure evil. Which is why he's such a great villain.
Unbeknown to me until years later, my next toy obsession - the Micronauts - were a cousin to the Cyborg and Muton toys, being the Westernised version of Microman, itself introduced as a smaller-scale version of Henshin Cyborg...
Now fast-forward 20-odd years and we come to the Myclone range.
Myclone was Takara's answer to the Kubrick - small-scale, chunky ''Super-Deformed'' figures, much like Lego men. What makes Takara's Myclone line so cool is that they based the figures upon their own previous releases, including Henshin Cyborg, Microman and the Transformers. Blind-boxed (yes!) and retailing at 380 Yen (around $4.50), the line consisted of over 60 different figures, released in multiple waves over the course of two years.
The first wave, based around Henshin Cyborg and Microman, was entitled AS-1 and among its highlights was the awesome MW 2 King Walder 1 Myclone figure.
Each Myclone comes in a sealed box, with the purchase being made blind. The only clue to the contents comes from the photographs on the sides of the pack, which act as a visual checklist for each range.
Unlike many Japanese toy packs, the Myclone boxes are not designed to be resealed and open at either end. The box does a fine job - it's stackable (meaning it's easy to display in stores), fairly robust and very eye-catching.
So what's inside the box?
MW2 King Walder
OK, before we go on, I have to admit - I didn't blind-buy this figure. Much as I love the surprise a blind-bagged/box figure brings, I specifically purchased a pre-opened (although still sealed inside) King Walder, simply as I wanted to own the figure in question. So sue me.
King Walder is a 15-piece figure with articulation at the neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, waist, hips, knees and feet. In addition to the standard body parts, King Walder also comes with two forearm weapons, just like the Muton 8'' doll (having never owned a full-scale King Walder, I assume he also had a similar arsenal...)
For a figure so small, there's a lot of poseability in the sculpt. The joints are simple peg-and-hole rotators in most cases, the exception being his shoulder and hip joints, which use ball pegs and thus allow some measure of lateral motion. As you can see, he's pretty flexible and you can get some nicely menacing poses from him.
Or not, as the case may be.
Where the full-scale King Walder/Muton toys had their innards, well, inside, the Myclone figures use pop-in detail pieces. Obviously this is to allow Takara to produce figures such as the Microman line (with their external chest pieces) so although it's a compromise, it does little to detract from the figure's design and captures the essence of the larger dolls well.
Aside from that - and the angular chunkiness of the figure - this is a remarkably accurate scaled-down version of the original figure. The sculpt of the head is amazingly accurate and the photos here really don't do it justice.
There are no production issues to speak of - joints are tight enough to hold poses and he slots well onto his stand. Although I wouldn't advise throwing it at the wall, the King Walder Myclone has a chunky-enough feel about it so as to avoid any worries about handling it. Yes, the parts are tiny and I'm sure it would be very easy to lose them, but given that the toy is only around 2 1/2'' tall, it's unfair to criticise it for being too intricate or detailed!
Put simply, this figure is superb.
King Walder comes with two interchangeable hand-weapons, his own stand (colour-coordinated to match his purple colouring) and a ''catarog''-style fold-out collector's guide that also details the story behind the line.
I'll put aside my King Walder/Muton obsession/nostalgia and try to look at this figure objectively. Why would you buy any of the Myclones? Well, look at it this way: this is a 2 1/2'' toy with articulation that puts many larger figures to shame. Its pieces fit together perfectly. It's highly detailed. It looks superb. And then when you don't think it can get any better, it's also a blind-boxed, affordable collectable, scaled-down version of a toy that's nigh-on impossible to find.
Seriously, how much better could it get?
Then add to that the fact that it's KING MUDDY FUNSTER WALDER and there can be no further argument. This is quite possibly the Best Thing Ever.