Not being as well versed in Masters of the Universe as in other things I had to resort to the internet before making my initial decision of whether to buy this behemoth or not. I found that these creatures did appear in the original Filmation television series, but also in the later and more modern Mike Young Productions (MYP).
His bio from his packaging:
Great ape-like beasts who live in tribes throughout the dark hemisphere, Shadow Beasts can only come out in the absence of light. Originally created by Count Marzo as a weapon to use against his enemies, the beasts were driven back by Princes Keldor and Randor and forced to reside in the shadows of Mount Barathrum. There they developed a long standing hatred of both the Human and Gar race. Easily manipulated, the ever growing colony of Beasts was later controlled by Beast Man in the service of Skeletor to take down Eternos Palace. With their great strength and stealth-like appearance, Shadow Beasts are more than a match for most heroic warriors!
Being that I already owned the awesome MOTUC Count Marzo figure I decided to go ahead and pick up this beast. It also helped after I went back and watched a few MYP episodes and I was reminded at how awesome those beasts looked.
Let me start off by saying this figure is big, solid and heavy! Now the original mold was used for the big ape Gygor and looking at the main body you can still see the ape like features. This isn't a bad thing as both versions of the Shadow Beasts depict them as big, lumbering creatures. However add the new head, hands and feet and you've got a great new figure. I love the sculpted muscles and fur on this figure. The Four Horsemen did an excellent job sculpting this large figure.
I particularly like the head sculpt. From the large single black horn on the forehead to his exposed teeth this guy looks pretty menacing. And let's not forget those red eyes. I can see why Beast Man originally controlled these creatures.
His lone included accessory is this large spiked club. I don't care if I was the most powerful man in the universe, I would not want to get hit by that thing. Just like with the figure, great detail was put into the design and sculpt of this accessory. This thing almost looks like a real piece of wood!
Shadow Beast features a good amount of articulation for a figure of it's size. The shoulders and elbows feature hinge joints giving him good range of motion in his upper half. Being that this toy was originally an ape the arms seem exceptionally long. If you put his arms up and out he could even rival Shaquille O'Neal! His squat, short legs can only move at the hip thanks to a swivel joint. His head and hands & feet also feature a swivel type joint. Thankfully the figure does stand well without any extra assistance. Kudos to Mattel for pulling this off.
As I've paired down my MOTUC collection I've been back and forth on whether or not I wanted to keep this big guy. He's very cool looking, but man does it take up a lot of space on a shelf. I'm still debating this and his future is up in the air, but don't take my wavering on keeping him that the figure isn't worth owning. It's a very solid piece and displays quite nicely - especially with his "leader", Count Marzo.