Mattel dropped the long-awaited detailed photos and video of the upcoming Masters of the Universe Origins Snake Mountain play set! And, damn, Mattel did not disappoint at all! The MOTU Origins Snake Mountain is going to be available for pre-order starting on April 28, 2023, at 6 am PT. At any rate, let’s check out the MOTU Origins Snake Mountain and see what this new play set delivers and if it is worth buying or not.
The MOTU Origins Snake Mountain exterior sculpt is phenomenal. Mattel did an incredible job staying true to the vintage Snake Mountain exterior design while adding a few new touches. The biggest difference is that the MOTU Origins Snake Mountain has a new peak added around the sides and top of the Snake Mountain gate. I love this new addition! This new peak helps to make Snake Mountain look more like an actual mountain. This also helps to make this play set look even more imposing.
There are other very subtle differences in some of the small exterior sculpt details. But, for the most part, outside of the new peak, the rest of the MOTU Origins Snake Mountain exterior sculpt stays very true to the vintage Snake Mountain sculpt.
The wolf gate of the MOTU Origins Snake Mountain is also slightly tweaked. The MOTU Origins Snake Mountain wolf gate is larger and fills up the gate’s frame more. The vintage Snake Mountain had a wolf gate that was smaller which resulted in there being a large gap on the top, side, and bottom between the gate and the frame. This was a smart design decision. This makes the gate look much superior as the vintage gate always looked odd being so much smaller than the frame.
The giant snake face that dominates the front of Snake Mountain retains its movable mouth action feature. I am thrilled that Mattel retained this action feature. This is not always given with the MOTU Origins toy line!
Now, let’s move to the giant snake that guards Snake Mountain. The MOTU Origins Snake Mountain has a much different-looking snake than the vintage Snake Mountain. The MOTU Origins snake is a completely different design. The MOTU Origins snake is also much larger. I love that the MOTU Origins snake has a beefier presence.
The MOTU Origins snake also has two new action features! The vintage snake did nothing. It just sat there. The MOTU Origins snake has an articulated jaw that can open and close. The jaw appears strong enough to hold a MOTU Origins figure in its mouth. What an awesome action feature!
However, Mattel was not done with just that one action feature. Mattel also made the MOTU Origins snake articulated! So, this snake that guards Snake Mountain can be moved around to attack our heroes from various directions. This is incredible.
I have criticized Mattel for stripping many of the MOTU Origins figures of their action features. So, for Mattel to actually add not one but two new action features is fantastic and much appreciated!
The wolf head also gets a slightly different sculpt compared to the vintage wolf head. The MOTU Origins wolf head is far more detailed. The ears are more pronounced than the vintage wolf’s ears. The MOTU Origins wolf has a more dramatic and nasty snarling mouth than the vintage wolf head. All in all, this new sculpt for the MOTU Origins wolf head honors the vintage wolf head while making several nice improvements to make the wolf head look even cooler.
There is another huge difference between the MOTU Origins wolf head and the vintage wolf head. The MOTU Origins wolf head is very short compared to the long tube of the vintage wolf head. The reason for that is that the MOTU Origins wolf head is not a microphone like the vintage wolf head was. Yes, unfortunately, Mattel did delete the microphone action feature from the MOTU Origins wolf head.
Now, normally I am never a fan of when Mattel removes an action feature. However, in this case, I have no problem at all with Mattel getting rid of this action feature. First, the microphone action feature was not that great in the first place. Second, by removing the microphone action feature, Mattel was able to deliver an insanely superior interior to the MOTU Origins Snake Mountain along with a new action feature.
I understand that some collectors may be sad that the MOTU Origins wolf head is not a microphone. However, I am fine with Mattel’s decision. It results in an interior of Snake Mountain that is just so much better than having the microphone feature.
The MOTU Origins Snake Mountain also makes some small improvements to several exterior features of the vintage Snake Mountain. The MOTU Origins bridge is now a single piece rather than two pieces like the vintage bridge. The MOTU Origins bridge gets two huge upgrades. First, the “ropes” of the bridge are a more flexible plastic which should allow more playability and durability. Second, the bridge now has foot pegs so you can firmly pose your action figure on the bridge. What a brilliant new addition! It was always difficult to try and post an action figure on the bridge of the vintage Snake Mountain.
This is another example of the impressive attention to detail that Mattel has delivered with much of the MOTU Origins toy line. Mattel has honestly tried to do its best to add little features that truly make the MOTU Origins toys a bit superior with a bit more playability than the vintage toys.
Another small tweak to the MOTU Origins Snake Mountain is the shackles. This time around, Mattel used a much softer and pliable plastic for the shackles. The vintage shackles were incredibly stiff and were rather unusable and often broke if you tried to use them. This is another excellent small change that shows that Mattel is looking at the tiny details that help increase the playability of Snake Mountain.
There is a third small addition to the exterior sculpt of the MOTU Origins Snake Mountain. This one really blows me away. The MOTU Origins Snake Mountain gets some amazing red vines that hang down over the opening at the bottom left-hand corner in the back of Snake Mountain. In the vintage Snake Mountain, this was just a boring open hole that did not lead to anything.
Mattel intelligently saw this as an opportunity to upgrade the play set, and adding the red vines over the opening was a brilliant idea. The red vines are of soft plastic so you will be able to push a figure through the vines and into the hole. The vines look phenomenal and give the MOTU Origins Snake Mountain a more complete and badass look.
Mattel kept the MOTU Origins Snake Mountain’s paint scheme very true to the vintage Snake Mountain. The traditional magenta paint scheme dominates the MOTU Origins Snake Mountain just like the vintage Snake Mountain. However, several differences are noticeable. The MOTU Origins Snake Mountain has less of the white “weathered” pain on the exterior. The MOTU Origins Snake Mountain also has far less black accent paint seen on the path, landing, and cave entrance compared to the vintage Snake Mountain.
We also can see that the MOTU Origins Snake Mountain has a snake that is all green and has no paint at all. The vintage Snake Mountain had a snake that had yellow paint on its body, eyes, and teeth. While I think the MOTU Origins snake is superior in every way possible to the vintage snake in terms of sculpt and play features, I will admit that I wish Mattel had added the yellow paint to the MOTU Origins snake. The yellow paint really helps to break up all the green on the snake and helps the snake to stand out even more. Snake Mountain is a naturally dark-colored play set and that yellow paint helped add a bit of pop of color that was eye-catching.
Another big difference is that the MOTU Origins Snake Mountain has a wonderful dark green bridge compared to the gray color of the vintage Snake Mountain bridge. I love this color change. The dark green helps to emphasize the eerie and swampy vibe of Snake Mountain. It is also a nice splash of color right in the middle of Snake Mountain when it is fully opened.
While I do think that MOTU Origins Snake Mountain has a superior exterior to the vintage Snake Mountain, it is the interior where the differences between the two play sets become even more pronounced. The MOTU Origins Snake Mountain interior absolutely blows away the vintage Snake Mountain interior. I do not even think it is close.
The vintage Snake Mountain was largely blank and empty. There was really not much at all to do with the interior of the vintage play set. As a kid, I really only used the exterior of Snake Mountain with playing with my figures.
There are two other big differences with the interior of the MOTU Origins Snake Mountain that immediately jump out to you. First, the left side of the MOTU Origins Snake Mountain interior now has a second-level floor! The vintage Snake Mountain had no second-level floor. This new second floor on the left side of the interior has two foot pegs to help display MOTU action figures.
Second, the right side of the MOTU Origins Snake Mountain interior now has what appears to be a larger second-level floor behind the wolf gate. The vintage Snake Mountain had a small trap door behind the wolf gate which opened so that a figure would drop into the net. The larger second level on the right side of the MOTU Origins Snake Mountain also has a trap door feature. More on that later in the article when we get to the cage.
At any rate, I love that Mattel added a second level to the left side and appears to have enlarged the second level on the right side of Snake Mountain’s interior. This move massively improves the playability of the interior of the MOTU Origins Snake Mountain compared to the vintage Snake Mountain. These are big upgrades.
The MOTU Origins Snake Mountain comes with three stickers just like the vintage Snake Mountain. The computer sticker for the MOTU Origins Snake Mountain looks to be identical to the computer sticker for the vintage Snake Mountain. The sticker for the floor of the left side of the interior for the MOTU Origins Snake Mountain also looks to be indical to the left side floor sticker for the vintage Snake Mountain. Both stickers looked fantastic in the vintage Snake Mountain so I am glad that Mattel did not make any changes to either sticker.
The third sticker for the floor on the right side of the interior is different. And there is a good reason for that. The vintage Snake Mountain had a sticker on the bottom right side of the interior that looked like yellow water or acid with three monsters in it as well as a few rocks poking out from the surface of the water/acid.
This sticker for the floor on the right side of the interior of the MOTU Origins Snake Mountain is just the yellow water/acid with a few rocks poking out from the surface of the water/acid but it has no monsters in it! But, wait! There is a reason for this. More on that later in a moment!
All right, now let’s move on to the rest of the items found in the interior of the MOTU Origins Snake Mountain. The vintage Snake Mountain has a net and a ladder. That is it. There is really very little to do in the interior of the vintage Snake Mountain. The net was present to catch the figures falling off the interior’s edge after entering the wolf gate. There is nothing else at all to this interior.
On the other hand, the MOTU Origins Snake Mountain’s interior comes chock full of interesting features and items. The MOTU Origins Snake Mountain comes with a large cage, a ladder, a Bone Throne, a spider, two acid pit monsters, a shield, a sword, a staff, and a weapons rack.
The ladder is the only extra item in both the vintage Snake Mountain and the MOTU Origins Snake Mountain. This Origins ladder is much wider and sturdier than the vintage ladder. The Origins ladder is a flashy gold color which is an improvement over the drab gray color of the vintage ladder.
Let’s now dive into the new accessories and features that the MOTU Origins Snake Mountain has that the vintage Snake Mountain never had.
The MOTU Origins Snake Mountain’s bottom right floor has a couple of new additions over the vintage Snake Mountain. The vintage Snake Mountain’s bottom right floor was just flat plastic. However, the MOTU Origins Snake Mountain’s bottom right floor has a peg coming out of the sticker on the floor and there is a sculpted rock coming through the sticker, too.
I love the small touch of adding an actual rock sculpt coming out of this sticker in order to bring to life the rocks drawn onto the sticker. It helps to make the vintage sticker truly spring to life. The rock sculpt adds more detail and richness to the interior. The small details matter. The peg is an additional action feature that we will get into in a minute.
Now, I mentioned that the MOTU Origins Snake Mountain’s sticker on the bottom right side lacks the monsters on it. That is because Mattel is giving us two half-figure monster figures! The two monsters are authentic reproductions of the two monsters in the sticker for the bottom right floor of the vintage Snake Mountain.
I love this trend by Mattel of taking characters from vintage stickers and turning them into figures. We saw this when Mattel delivered a Frog Monger figure based on the sticker in the vintage Castle Grayskull. Then we saw a variation of this with Moaty. Moaty did not come from a sticker but from the molded plastic base of the Eternia playset. But, it is still basically the same concept. I hope that Mattel continues to give us figures from characters from stickers and such in the future.
At any rate, back to the two monster figures. Mattel created a half-figure for the red monster from the vintage sticker and a half-figure for the orange monster from the vintage sticker. they both look cool. Mattel really showed off its creativity in literally bringing the monsters from the vintage sticker to life in a fun and vivid fashion.
This leads to another entirely new extra accessory for the MOTU Origins Snake Mountain: a molded plastic attachment. Mattel brings to life the yellow water/acid pool from the vintage sticker to life in the form of a wonderful-looking plastic molded attachment with the rippling yellow liquid. The attachment has two pegs in it.
Now, you can place the two monsters on any of the three pegs. Or you can remove the lower body of any MOTU Origins figure and place its torso on either the one peg on the right bottom floor or the two pegs in the plastic attachment in order to show the figures trapped in the water/acid. Absolutely insane!! I love all of this so much! Talk about being incredibly creative and massively cranking up the playability of this pay set. Bravo, Mattel!
Okay, now let’s look at the other big addition to the MOTU Origins Snake Mountain: the cage! The cage essentially replaces the net from the vintage Snake Mountain. There is no doubt that the cage is a massive upgrade in every way possible over the net. This new accessory delivers awesome playability to Snake Mountain!
The cage has a door that opens and closes. I dig that Mattel used the same design for the cage door that they used for the gate at the top peak of Snake Mountain. This smart decision creates a consistent design language for Snake Mountain.
The cage can slot under the second level on the left side of the interior. This appears to be the default location for the cage. However, what makes this cage such a brilliant addition is that you can remove it from the location under the second level on the left side and move it to under the second level on the right side of the interior.
The next big new addition to the MOTU Origins Snake Mountain is the Bone Throne! Yes, we are actually getting a Bone Throne for Skeletor as he lords over his minions in Snake Mountain. What a brilliant addition by Mattel. We never got a Bone Throne in the vintage MOTU toy line. It is fantastic that Mattel decided to give us a Bone Throne in the MOTU Origins toy line.
The Bone Throne looks so badass! The sculpt is phenomenal. This MOTU Origins Bone Throne is true to the design from the classic Filmation cartoon. I am glad that Mattel stuck true to this original design.
Another new extra for the MOTU Origins Snake Mountain is a large spider! Why? Who cares! It is just plain cool! What a fun addition by Mattel. The monster spider looks fantastic. But, there is a hidden special feature of the spider. The spider be played with and placed anywhere around the playset. However, there is a hidden special feature of the spider. The spider can also be attached to the base of the wolf head! I love it! This is a great place to display the spider when you are not playing with him. Another subtle detail by Mattel that makes the MOTU Origins Snake Mountain so cool.
Another new extra is the weapons rack, painted a nice wood brown color. The design of the weapons rack is simple yet pleasing. The weapons rack old the shield, sword, and staff which are all from the MOTU Origins Skeleton Warriors two-pack. I love that Mattel gave Snake Mountain a weapons rack and some weapons. After all, Castle Grayskull has a weapons rack and weapons. So, it makes sense for Snake Mountain to have the same.
Price and Availability
The MOTU Origins Snake Mountain has a price tag of $80. You can pre-order the MOTU Origins Snake Mountain on all the usual toy sites and online retailers. This play set is set to ship late in Fall 2023. EDIT (4/28/2023): I just pre-ordered my Snake Mountain and my purchase confirmation from Mattel list a shipping date of on or before October 27, 2023.
BUY, BUY, BUY!!!! Seriously, buying the MOTU Origins Snake Mountain is a total no-brainer! This play set comes loaded down with an insane amount of features and extras. And all of it is for just $80. I was critical of the high price tag of the MOTU Origins Eternia. Well, that is definitely not the case with Snake Mountain. You get an insane amount of value for just $80 when it comes to the MOTU Origins Snake Mountain. This play set is a steal! This is a huge upgrade to the vintage Snake Mountain at a fair price.