MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE (MATTEL)
“Man-At-Arms aka Duncan was a mentor to the young Prince Adam as well as a foster father to Teela.”
Most of my knowledge of Masters of the Universe comes from the 2002 reboot of the franchise, which served as my introduction to the context, and also provided the backbone of my MotU collection. As such, most of my reviews here on the site have also been from the 2002 series. Today, I’m going into less charted territory, and looking at a vintage offering. So, let’s look at He-Man’s mentor, Man-At-Arms!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Man-At-Arms was part of the first assortment of Masters of the Universe figures, released in 1982. The figure stands 5 1/2 inches tall and he has 6 points of articulation. MotU was largely about getting as many uses out the same few bodies as possible, and Man-At-Arms follows suit. He uses the standard Barbarian body (seen on the previously reviewed Tri-Klops figure), meaning he’s got those same goofy, overly-muscled proportions seen on the rest of the line. They picked a style and they stuck with it. Man-At-Arms had a new head, as well as add-on pieces for his chest, shoulder, and shin armor (mine’s missing the shin armor). The head is infamously missing Duncan’s signature mustache, present on all other incarnations of the character, due to the figure’s design being put into production before Filmation added the mustache for the cartoon. It results in a slightly different look for Duncan, but not an outright terrible one or anything. The helmet has some pretty decent detail work going on, as do the clip-on armor pieces. Man-At-Arms has a pretty simple paint scheme. For the most part, he’s just molded in the appropriate colors, with only his face, helmet, belt, and boots getting any actual paint. Application is mostly pretty clean, but the boots in particular have some definite slop. The armor has no paint at all, making it look rather cheap and goofy, which is a real shame given how much detail went into the sculpt. Man-At-Arms included a mace, to be held in his right hand. It was the same color as his armor, and a little small and non-threatening, but I guess if you have muscles like that, you can afford for your weapons to be small and non-threatening.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
With the exception of a few personal favorite characters, the vintage Masters line isn’t one I really go out looking for. That being said, the 2nd Ave Thrift store nearby seems to have gotten in someone’s ’80s toy collection, which has been slowly trickling out. This guy and a few others popped up, and for a few bucks for the set, I felt like I could do a lot worse. This line’s not totally my thing, but Man-At-Arms isn’t a bad figure.