MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE CLASSICS (MATTEL)
“Hydron is a space sea commander from the domed undersea city of Orca, situated not far from Titus, a small island in the Guardian Sea on Primus. He was ordered by Darius to locate the legendary twin warriors prophesized to defeat the Horde Empire. Arriving on Eternia shortly after Skeletor’s victory at the Second Ultimate Battleground, Hydron and his Lieutenant Icarius recruited not only He-Man and She-Ra, but several of the members of the Masters of the Universe who were eager to pursue Skeletor. Preferring the Triton Spear Gun, his weapon of choice is suitable for intergalactic as well as undersea fighting.”
After a bio that in depth, is there really much more I can do with an intro? I guess so. It’s been a little bit since I’ve looked at any Masters of the Universe figures, and there’s a whole new iteration of the franchise running. So, am I looking at one of those? No, don’t be silly. Why would I do that? Instead, I’m digging into a portion of the franchise I’m so overly familiar with: New Adventures of He-Man…Yeah, familiar…that’s the word I’m going with…that mean’s “barely a passing connection,” right? Though I’ve never had much in the way of direct interaction with this version of the franchise, I do know the tiniest bit about it, and one of the things I do kind of know is Hydron, the guy what the the bio above talked about. I hear he’s pretty cool. He looks pretty cool at least. Is he pretty cool, though? Let’s find out.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Hydron was added to Mattel’s Masters of the Universe Classics line during their 2014 sub year, as the March figure for that year. As with all of the New Adventures-inspired figures from the line, he takes the original design for the character and sort of homogenizes it with Classics‘ heavier vintage stylings. The figure stands 7 inches tall and he has 23 points of articulation. Like most of the line, Hydron was built on the standard core male body, with all its pluses and minuses. It didn’t on its face suit the New Adventures guys quite as well, but they were pretty far into the line when they started doing them, so it’s hard to say there wasn’t some precedent. It certainly made Hydron far bulkier than he had previously been, especially in conjunction with the new parts. Said new parts are a brand-new head, forearms, right thigh, lower legs, and waist, as well as a new add-on for the chest armor. The majority of the bulking up is being done by the chest armor piece, which comprises the whole torso cover/helmet/rebreather set-up. By making the cover a separate overlay, they add a lot of bulk to the mid section of the figure, and ultimately robs him of his mid-torso articulation. It was an attempt by Mattel to unilaterally handled the torso designs for the line, but it ultimately hurts this guy, who would have more benefited from a more specifically sculpted torso piece. It’s still got some cool detailing, of course, so it’s not a total loss, but I feel it could be a touch better on the implementation front. On the plus side, the figure’s other new parts are all pretty fun, with the star piece being the head beneath the domed helmet. It depicts Hyrdron with his scuba cap and rebreather device, giving him a really nifty retro sci-fi appearance which I really dig. Hydron’s colors are a bit different from the norm for Masters, with a lot of light blue and green. It’s an eye-catching look to say the least, and certainly a rather nice change of pace. The paint work on this guy was fairly basic but generally fairly good. The only slightly off part about it is the slight shift in color between the main body and the torso overlay piece. It’s not major, but it’s there. Hydron was packed the Triton Spear Gun mentioned in his bio, which is an awkward weapon to say the least. I think mine’s probably holding it wrong, but I like it better this way, so I’m sticking with it. MOTUC were never heavy on extras, so Hydron’s fairly average, but after getting the extra un-helmeted head with Flipshot back with his release, it was a shame that Hydron didn’t get more of an unmasked appearance as well.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Even with no attachment to the NA version of the franchise, Hydron’s always been a design that I enjoyed. Back when these figures were still coming out, Hydron was honestly on my list of figures I wanted, but Mattel’s mismanagement of the line left me rather burned out on the whole thing, and I just gave up. As such, I didn’t Hydron when he was new, and I probably wouldn’t have gotten him at all, but then he came in with the same collection that got me the BAT and Blake, and I was kind of a weak mark. Plus, I had Tuskador, and he just looked so lonely. Ultimately, this guy’s got his flaws, but he’s still pretty fun, and I’m glad to have finally added him to my collection.
I’ve always found Hydron to be a really awkward figure, even in the vintage line. The MOTUC version definitely suffered from the bulky armor that plagued the line around 2014 (though at least it’s more fitting for a diver) but, yeah, the presence of an unhelmeted head was definitely noticed. Icarius/ Flipshot got one so it was weird that Hydron didn’t, especially since more of his face is covered than Icarius/ Flipshot.
He’s definitely a character I like more in theory than in practice, at least as far as translating him to toy form.