SAVAGE HE-MAN (w/ ORKO)
MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE: MASTERVERSE (MATTEL)
The early days of Masters of the Universe are a little loose on the exact origins and roles of the characters, with He-Man in particular being a little bit back and forth on who exactly he was. One of the origins presented early in the minicomics has him as a jungle-dwelling barbarian granted his powers by the Goddess (an early amalgam of Teela and the Sorceress). During the Classics incarnation of the line, this design was repurposed as Oo-Larr, an earlier carrier of the He-Man mantle. For Revelation, it’s been repurposed once again, this time as Savage He-Man, Prince Adam’s alter-ego when the power of Greyskull isn’t channelled through the sword. It’s a different approach to the character, and a fun nod to the history of the franchise, and its also the subject of the most recent deluxe Masterverse figure, alongside a post time-skip version of everyone’s favorite bumbling sorcerer sidekick, Orko, who needs less of a lead-in, because I kind of talk about him a lot on this site.
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
Savage He-Man (who is billed as the main figure here, with Orko technically just being a pack-in accessory) is a standalone deluxe-sized release for Mattel’s Masterverse line. He started showing up at Targets first, hinting at a quiet exclusivity (kinda like what happened with Faker), but the wide release followed within about a month.
How about that, we’re getting our first proper He-Man variant (seeing as Faker is *technically* a different character and all) for Masterverse. It’s on one hand sort of surprising it took quite this long, and on another, not terribly, since He-Man proper only actually gets the two looks in Revelation. They did the first one, and now here’s the second. The figure stands 7 inches tall and he has 31 points of articulation. He’s built on the standard male body, and, well, that’s honestly a bit surprising. Savage He-Man in the show is very clearly a lot larger than the standard He-Man, so the assumption was that he was going to be using the larger Skelegod body, rather than the standard He-Man body. I guess for the Oo-Larr equivalent set-up, this works out better, but it’s certainly a deviation from the source. He’s got a new head, lower legs, feet, and loin cloth piece, and ditches the armored parts from the standard He-Man. The new head is quite similar to the standard He-Man, just with a slightly angrier expression, and much longer hair. I didn’t mind the normal He-Man head, so I don’t mind this one, but I know my opinion on that was far from a unanimous one. The new legs swap out the usual boots for bare legs and feet. The look is slightly interrupted by the cut joint mid-shin, but I’ll take that over reduced mobility. The new loin cloth is less ornate and defined than the belted one, fitting better with the savage appearance. Otherwise, he’s the standard parts we’ve seen before. It’s certainly a good sculpt on its own, issues of scaling aside. Savage He-Man’s paint isn’t something that would initially seem very involved, given how little there is to the design, but Mattel went the extra mile on this one, and actually gave him a brown was over most of the body, to really emphasize the musculature of the sculpt. It’s a touch heavy in some spots, and also varies a bit from figure to figure, but it does a good job of changing up the appearance a bit, and differentiates him from regular He-Man nicely. Savage He-Man is packed with two sets of hands (gripping and open gesture), a spear, an axe, and the Power Sword. The spear’s a good callback to zoo-Larr, and I’m glad to finally have the classic He-Man axe in this style. Why he comes with the sword is anyone’s guess, since this explicitly He-Man without the sword to channel the power, but I won’t complain about extra stuff.
I don’t know how it worked out for everyone else, but despite this guy being listed as an accessory, Orko was my main reason for picking up this set. That being the case, I’m reviewing him as his own figure. Orko has a few looks over the course of the show, but this figure goes for his post time skip, magic-deprived appearance. Amusingly, this look doesn’t ever interact with Savage He-Man, so the pack-in here is kinda weird. But, hey, if it gets me Orko, I won’t complain. The core Orko figure is about 3 inches tall and he has 5 points of articulation, but he’s got a hovering stand, which adds another two inches of height, as well as 3 more points of articulation. Orko’s not terribly mobile. It’s not like he usually is, of course, but more recent figures have at least given him extra motion at the arms. This one only gets mobility at the shoulders and the neck. It’s partially a design thing, since the arms are bare and rather scrawny, making them slightly impractical for articulation. The neck joint’s not great, either, at least on mine, where it wobbles pretty freely, and doesn’t really hold a pose. The sculpt is at least all new, and does a respectable job of looking the part, even if the movement isn’t really there. The paint work on Orko is pretty basic. There’s not a ton going on, but it does what it needs to, and it works pretty well.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
My main goal in this line is to assemble Teela’s post time jump team, and I need an Orko for that. Him being bundled with Savage He-Man wasn’t my first choice, but I went along with it. Savage He-Man’s okay, if not thrilling. Orko is an accessory, and it shows. He’s not awful, but he’s not great either. Still, I’m happy to have him in some form, rather than nothing.
Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this set to review. If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website.