A member of the Evil Warriors, he is a cyborg with a mechanical, sharp-toothed jaw with a deadly bite, and a robotic arm onto which he can slot a wide range of different weapons. He also has a loop in his helmet, which he can use to slide down wires.
After the initial seven figures of the Masters of the Universe line, Trap Jaw was one of the first characters to be added to the line. According to the line's creator Roger Sweet he was inspired by the character Jaws from the film Moonraker, although many also speculate his design stems from the character of Iron Jaw from Mattel's earlier toy line Big Jim, to whom Trap Jaw bears more than a passing resemblance.
The first story to feature him is the mini-comic "The Menace of Trap Jaw", packaged with his action figure, which portrays him as a psychotic criminal from another dimension, notably seen here with a green body instead of his regular blue, whom Skeletor accidentally brings back with him on a return journey from the alien dimension. Trap Jaw lands inside Castle Grayskull and manages to harness the castle's power, almost enabling him to defeat He-Man. He-Man and Skeletor make an unprecedented effort to combine their powers, joining each half of the Sword of Power, yet holding on together. After the power is swiped back, Skeletor takes the injured Trap Jaw with him as a new servant.
- Main article: Trap Jaw (early minicomics)
Trap Jaw is introduced into the toy line's accompanying cartoon series by Filmation, in the show's pilot episode "Diamond Ray of Disappearance" in which Skeletor describes him as a 'wizard of weapons'. He goes on to become one of the most frequently used villains of the series, usually paired alongside Beast-Man.
His character portrayal is significantly toned down from the psychotic mass murderer of the mini-comics to render him more suitable for a younger audience. He is therefore portrayed generally as bold but coarse, bumbling, and incompetent, one of the least intelligent of Skeletor's warriors, played mostly for laughs. However, he still has his moments in the spotlight, most notably in the episode "Double Edged Sword", in which he goes after the mineral Eternium, Eternia's most powerful mineral which powers the Royal Kingdom, and eats it, giving him power equal to that of He-Man. He also occasionally shows mechanical expertise.
Trap Jaw is one of the few characters who was not designed by Filmation to appear symmetrical, allowing the animation cells to be flipped over when needed, saving animation costs. Given this, it is maybe surprising that he appears as often as he does. However, very occasionally, his mechanical arm can be seen on the wrong side of his body.
He and Beast-Man were originally intended to appear in the episode "Capture the Comet Keeper" working for Skeletor but they were replaced with Two-Bad since Mattel wanted to put an emphasis on the newer characters.
Trap Jaw is used in the 2002 relaunch of the Masters of the Universe toy line and cartoon series. His new appearance is similar to his older one, though it has been slightly modified to appear more menacing.
Although his appearance may have been more intimidating, his character portrayal is generally in-keeping with his 1980s counterpart and the cartoon portrays him mostly as another of Skeletor's bumbling assistants. His biggest role is in the episode "Trust", which makes links with the classic episode "Double Edged Sword", featuring Trap Jaw again heading after the mineral Eternium.
The cartoon's accompanying comic series, specifically the Icons of Evil: Trap-Jaw special, features a background story for Trap Jaw, revealing him to have once been a blue-skinned criminal named Kronis. He challenged Skeletor's right to command them and was banished for it. He built up an army and tried to overthrow Skeletor, but his army was crushed and Kronis badly injured. Skeletor saw that Kronis may be useful to him so he ordered Tri-Klops to repair him, turning him into the being he is today. After the damage he suffered at Skeletor's hands he has remained loyal to him ever since. The cartoon shows him in his original form of Kronis twice: first at the beginning of the show's pilot episode, then in the flashback in the episode "The Price of Deceit".
The new toyline also features a repaint of Trap Jaw, with a green torso and a silvery mechanical arm. This look may well have been inspired by Trap Jaw's almost identical appearance in the original line's mini-comic "The Menace Of Trap Jaw".
Masters of the Universe Classics
A line of toys that were debuted in 2008 to be sold exclusively on Mattel's collector website. Sculpted by the 4 Horsemen, these toys are updated versions of everyone's favorite Masters characters. In February 2010, Trap Jaw was released as Matty Collector's figure for the month on Mattel's website. He was an updated version of his '80's counterpart but included a bonus "Kronis" head & arm inspired by the 200x origin story.
In the original TV series, Trap Jaw is portrayed by producer and voice actor Lou Scheimer, who also voiced many other important characters in the series.
In the 2002 relaunch, Trap Jaw's voice was provided by veteran voice actor Paul Dobson.
Trap Jaw does not appear in the Masters of the Universe film. However, there is another cyborg, Saurod, who might be inspired by Trap Jaw. It has also been speculated that the character of Karg may have replaced Trap-Jaw in the script due to his hooked hand.
Weapons and tools
Trap Jaw has various weapons at his disposal. He is able to attach these to his mechanical arm. A list of weapons follows:
- Hook - The hook is the weapon used most by Filmation.
- Lasertron - This weapon appears as a gun and is used in various ways, a freeze ray, a shrink ray, or just a regular laser gun.
- Energy bow - This is a one-off alternate to the Lasertron, which fires a laser out of the center of the bow.
- Sword blade - This weapon only appears at the end of one episode and is never seen being used against He-Man or any of the Masters of the Universe.
- Pile-driver - Acts as a mechanical battering ram.
- Dropper - This attachment is more a tool than a weapon, and is used in the same manner as a winch to lower Mer-Man over the edge of a cliff.
- Grabber - Telescopes and possesses claws, which enable Trap Jaw to grab things from far away.
- Fly Swat - This device is never shown being used and only appeared for a short time during one episode.
- Claw - One of the three items that came with the original action figure, it is only seen once and very briefly in one episode of the Filmation cartoon. It gets more use in the MYP cartoon, which gave more emphasis to the three original weapons.
- Miniature laser - This is shown as being the hook attachment but with the hook missing.
- Flamethrower - This weapon is used in the Cave of Winds.
- Fire extinguisher - This is used in conjunction with the Flamethrower in case the fire got out of hand.
- Elongated laser - This is another variation on Trap Jaw's laser guns.
- Freeze Ray - This attachment is actually a freeze ray, it appears as a big cannon on Trap Jaw's arm.
- Rocket - The rocket appears as the same attachment as the Freeze Ray, but is used to enable Trap Jaw to fly.
- Welder - The first non-toy weapon used by Trap Jaw in the MYP series. He uses it to repair his own damaged leg in the episode "Trust".
- Grapple - Also in "Trust", Trap Jaw uses a grapple to reach a hole in the ceiling of the Kulataks' cavern and escape.