MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE (MATTEL)
Well, would you look at that, I’ve officially been running this old site of mine for nine whole years. What a time it’s been. As I always like to do on these anniversaries, I’m opting to make today’s review just a little bit more special. I’m focusing on a line that’s as of yet not gotten to be in the spotlight here, Masters of the Universe. While my ties to MotU don’t go hardcore or anything, I did have something of an attachment to the franchise’s 2002 re-launch, which was what introduced the whole thing to me, back when I was just 10 years old. Since early into my exposure to the franchise, I’ve had a particular attachment to the heroic warrior Mekaneck. So, let’s look at a Mekaneck, shall we?
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Mekaneck was part of the second assortment of the 200x Masters of the Universe, alongside a He-Man variant and a bunch of re-packs. The figure stands a little over 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 12 points of articulation. While the original Mekaneck design was meant to re-use a good bulk of the standard male body, his 200x design was decidedly quite removed from the core look. As such, this guy wasn’t designed with other characters in mind, so his mold was totally unique to him. It’s a pretty great offering, courtesy of the Four Horsemen. The updated version of the design added a lot more tech details, especially to the underlying body, but also to his armor, which was a bit more basic on his original figure. All of the classic elements are still present, and it’s very clear who he’s supposed to be. His distinctive chest armor, originally a piece he shared with Stinkor, was affixed permanently to the torso here, and again given a far more in depth selection of detailing. He’s got the same neck extending feature from his vintage counterpart; twisting his waist extends his neck about an inch or so. About the only down side to this figure’s sculpt is to do with his secondary action feature, which is gives you the ability to “see” through his head, which is done via a gaping hole in the back of his head. It’s certainly an odd choice to be sure, since it offers minimal play value, but also results in a really obvious hole in his head. Beyond that, though, the sculpt’s great. The figure’s paint work is generally pretty great. There were two versions of the paint, with the one seen here being the standard release, which technically has green goggles. I say “technically” because the translucent plastic barely shows any deviations in the colors, so it can be hard to tell. Mekaneck is packed with his usual distinctive mace, which he can hold in his left hand. His arm has even been given a spring-loaded swinging feature in the elbow, which isn’t terribly impressive, but it’s alright.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
The 200x incarnation’s accompanying cartoon debuted with a pilot movie, aired during Cartoon Network’s Cartoon Theatre. I remember excitedly sitting down and watching it when it aired. In addition to running out to get a He-Man the next day, I was also quite intrigued by Mekaneck, even with his brief appearance in the film. His prototype had already been shown off by then, so I knew I wanted him pretty much from the start. He was quite a rare figure at the time, but I actually had a stroke of luck on this particular release. When I was a kid, my grandmother and I made it a ritual to visit the KB Toys at the local mall, on an almost weekly basis. In 2003, she and my dad had located the KB Toys liquidation outlet, which was just a few hours drive from where we lived. They planned a day trip out, and I wound up getting a whole boatload of stuff, largely older Toy Biz Marvel. However, amongst the piles of figures that were almost a decade old by that point, I found one lone Masters figure, thrown on a random shelf, and, as luck would have it, it was Mekaneck. Quite a thrilling find on a day of thrilling finds, really. He’s a goofy figure, but he’s Mekaneck; he’s supposed to be goofy. That’s what’s great about him, and that’s what’s great about this figure.