The creative juices were flowing at Filmation and Mattel in the early eighties. This was the time that a menacing looking monster named Clawful was introduced into the Masters Of The Universe series. This humanoid is not one that submits to authority well, as he ends up getting on the wrong side of even Skeletor. He is given personhood in the fact that he can speak, although it is apparent he has some crab genetics in his body. Mattel was interested enough in Clawful to give him a place in the Masters Of The Universe action figure series in 1984.
The powers that Clawful has are mostly from his intelligence and his strange physique. He is classified as a crustacean warrior from Eternia. This does not say much about his character, but his conduct does. He steals an artifact from the world of Trolla called the “horn of evil” and apparently gains the respect of the “king of evil” Skeletor. He is assisted by none other than Trap Jaw do do this dastardly deed. But there is small amount of good in Clawful, as he saves the life of Beast Man during an attack. The hard shell that Clawful is born with can protect him from extreme cold and heat. The intelligence that he has comes from the witchcraft of Evil-Lyn. She called a spell over him to make his weak brain into a powerhouse. This changed him into a smart warrior and strategist. He looks humanoid, but his hands are replaced by crab’s claws. His newfound intelligence leads him to be the only evil Masters Of The Universe figure to challenge Skeletor directly. He vowed to replace him, like many others also said in the past. Thanks to his claws this character is entitled, “The warrior with the grip of evil.”.
Clawful and the other 1984 MOTU action figures are 5 ½ inches tall, This was a departure from the standard 3 ¾ inch figures of the day. He came with some unique armor and new body parts. The first was his immense right limb, equipped with a huge red claw. It overshadowed his left limb which had a much smaller claw. The figure was given a removable red breastplate, which covered covered Clawful from his mid shoulders down to his mid section. His legs were not normal in that they had large spikes running down the sides. They were there to simulate the crust of a crab’s legs. His arms had the same characteristics. Mattel gave him a red head and matching red trunks. His purple boots covered up feet with three toes and the purple belt filled out his mode of fashion. A green club ( mace ) was included that fit into his smaller claw.
Besides having a working claw, this Mattel action figure could deliver the “power punch” that other Masters Of The Universe figures had. This was made possible by the addition of an elastic band inside the toy. The elastic band allowed the figure to twist and return back to its original position with a snap. This band would get dilapidated over time and eventually the punches would become weaker. His other arm and leg joints worked like he man or any other humanoid action figure.
The original Mattel Clawful did not have different versions for his plastic body. But for collectors, the packaging was different. Those who can find him in a “8 back” bubble pack will have the rarer version. There was also a “12 back” made, but this came later and is less collectible. The differences are in the number of drawn Masters Of The Universe figures on the back of the card. Eight will indicate a “8 back” card and 12 drawings will make a “12 back”. Mattel continued to make a newer version of Clawful in later years.
The Clawful action figure and all the Masters Of The Universe figures were popular with the children. This makes them collectible today. Clawful is not hard to find in either a “loose” uncarded form or inside his bubble pack. For collectors, if he is still in an unopened package (MOC) he will range from $100 dollars up to nearly $300 dollars. If he is loose, he may range from $20 to $35 dollars if he is complete with all his accessories.