MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE CLASSICS
So, I’ve looked at Mattel’s popular DC Universe Classics line a few times before on the site. Based on the popularity of that line, Mattel decided to create a similar line based on their own in house property Masters of the Universe, handled by the Four Horsemen, the group of sculptors responsible for the amazing work present in DCUC. They called the line Masters of the Universe Classics, and they used it to spear head the launch of their online store Matty Collector. I’ll go into the wonderfulness of that store (read: sarcasm) in a bit.
Anyway, in addition to monthly releases on the webstore, they also have a yearly San Diego Comicon exclusive. He-Ro is one of those.
Little backstory on He-Ro. Towards the end of the original Masters of the Universe line, they had planned on rebranding the line “The Powers of Grayskull”, and moving the focus from He-Man to his distant ancestor He-Ro, a heroic sorcerer who had helped establish the Eternia we all knew and loved. The line never took off, but a lone prototype of He-Ro was produced. This figure is based on that.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
He-Ro was released as the 2009 San Diego Comicon exclusive for Masters of the Universe Classics. He’s based on the unproduced He-Ro prototype from the 80s. He stands about 7 inches tall and he has 24 points of articulation. In a similar fashion to DC Universe Classics, MOTUC is built on the buck system. However, MOTUC has two bucks: Male and Female*. He-Ro is built on the male buck. I hope that didn’t shock you. In addition to the base body, He-Ro has a new head, lower arms, kilt-thingy, boots, and chest/cape combo. These pieces are all well done, and have a lot of great little details. The head has a bit of a young Arnold Schwarzenegger feel to it, which actually really works for the character. The paint on the figure is well applied, no slop or bleed over. I feel like he could possibly use a few accents to highlight some of the subtleties of the sculpt, but it’s not bad by any means. He-Ro includes two accessories: a power sword and a staff thing. The power sword is the same sword that’s been used many times over the course of the line, but this time molded in a clear, sparkly blue, which is cool if you’re into that sort of thing I suppose. The staff is brand new, and can open up to show off the gem inside the top. It was possible to get a green, red or purple gem. I got purple. So there…
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
If you’ve read my DCUC reviews, you know I’m not the biggest fan of Matty Collector. I also wasn’t a fan of the price tag associated with the figures. They were selling for $20 a piece (at a time when DCUC were still under $15), and when you added in Matty’s outrageous shipping costs, you weren’t getting one of these without dropping at least $30. Of course, the price mattered not, because the only way you could get the figures was to get onto Matty’s site at noon (eastern time) the day they went up and pray to God that you were able to get one within the less than 10 minutes the figure was in stock. And to make matters worse, Matty wasn’t willing to up their bandwidth to allow for the increased traffic, so you’d get stuck in perpetual loading screens.
I was a moderate fan of Masters of the Universe, but all that was enough to make me say: “I’ll spend my money elsewhere.”
But then a funny thing happened. Mattel decided to release a select few MOTUC figures in two packs with DCUC figures. Perhaps this was my chance, I thought! But then they arrived and they were $40 retail. Which definitely killed my excitement. But then, the Toys R Us near me went out of business (well actually it moved across the street, but they still sold all of their stock because…?) and I found a Skeletor & Lex Luthor two pack for $15. For that price, they were worth it. And Skeletor was actually a really cool figure! So, I decided to track down a few more. I found He-Ro at a nearby toy store called Alltime Toys, who had him for about $25, which was pricey, but not outrageous. And here he is. And wow this review is a lot longer than I was expecting it to be.
*Okay, so technically there’s a few variations on the male body to allow for, like, furry characters and stuff, but it’s the same underlying musculature, and I really liked my witty banter back there. Yeah, it was witty!