MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE CLASSICS (MATTEL)
“Originally built by Man-At-Arms to cover for He-Man when Prince Adam is needed, Faker was abandoned in the royal junkyard after his first mission and salvaged by the evil warrior Tri-Klops. At the request of Skeletor, Faker was reprogrammed to replace He-Man and convince the people of Eternia that He-Man had betrayed King Randor and turned evil.”
They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so I guess someone should be flattered by the existence of Faker. Maybe it could be He-Man, whom Faker is based upon, or maybe it could be Bizarro, whose schtick Faker totally stole. Of course, it’s not like “evil-clone of the main hero” is a wholly unique concept, having made its way into all sorts of super hero fiction over the years. It’s even more sensible in the world of toys where it’s quite the suitable excuse to do a recolor of a prexisting mold, which is exactly where Faker really hits his stride. Additionally, Faker continually falls into that odd niche of characters who are nothing more than cheap repaints, who still for some reason have a ton of fan demand. I guess we’re an easily amused lot.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Faker was an early offering from the Master of the Universe Classics line, available as an NYCC-exclusive in 2009, and then briefly on Matty Collector a month later. As with the vast majority of the line, he’s designed to closely emulate Faker’s vintage toy. The figure stands 7 inches tall and he has 23 points of articulation. This Faker figure follows the tried and true construction of all Faker figures. He’s the line’s standard He-Man body with Skeletor’s armor atop it. It’s not anything revolutionary, but it’s not like you can say it’s not true to the character. The base body for MotUC wasn’t a bad one, but I have to admit I was never a huge fan of the standard He-Man head. By extension, I’m not a huge fan of this figure’s head. It’s not awful, but something about it just never seemed quite as imposing as prior takes on the character. He just looks a bit slack-jawed. Faker’s main selling point is, of course, his paint. He’s got that distinctive orange and blue combo, which is…well, it’s certainly something. The paintwork on the figure is actually pretty solid. At this point in the line, Mattel was still splurging for things like accenting, which shows most nicely on his boots, loincloth, and armor piece. The nature of the details on the bracers and belt are actually quite striking, especially when compared to the same details on the He-Man figure. He also keeps the robotic detailing on the torso, which is not quite hiding under his armor, just like on his vintage figure. Faker was packed with his version of the Power Sword, as well as his half of the split sword, which is the same as the standard, but with the back half missing. It’s a slightly light pack-out, given that He-Man got a shield and axe as well, but hey, it’s Mattel, right?
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I’ve always liked Faker as a concept, but the price points on his figures have always been too high for me. For whatever reason, the price on this particular figure dropped to a reasonable range for a hot minute back in 2012, and my parents managed to get me one as a birthday present in that time. My relationship with MotUC was always something of a love-hate one, and Faker fits right into that. There are nice aspects of this figure, and there are annoying aspects of this figure, which is kind of the classic Mattel bit, isn’t it?