HE-MAN — REVELATION
MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE: MASTERVERSE (MATTEL)
About a month and a half ago, Netflix dropped the first half of Masters of the Universe Revelation, the Kevin Smith-led continuation of the original series. It’s a really fun product, and an absolute love letter to the vintage toyline and the history behind it. It is, notably, the first Masters cartoon not to have He-Man’s name above the title, which signifies his slightly diminished role, at least in what we’ve seen so far. He’s still very much present, and very much pivotal to the story, but it’s in a way that allows some of the others to shine just a little bit more. That said, he’s still He-Man, and Mattel knows what’s up with how the toys work, so he’s part of the first drop of figures from the show, and I’ll be taking a look at him today.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
He-Man is part of the first series of Masters of the Universe: Masterverse, which just started showing up in stores towards the middle/end of July, and is more fully making it out there now. The first set is unsurprisingly heavy hitter led. How are you not going to put He-Man and Skeletor into the first line-up, right? The figure stands a little over 7 inches tall and he has 31 points of articulation. The Masterverse figures stand just a little bit taller than Classics did, however, the proportions are a little different, so these figures will fit a little bit better with 6 inch lines, since they look more like they’re just really tall, rather than genuinely being a larger scale like Classics were (despite Mattel’s insistance to the contrary). After a long time using the same articulation schemes, or even dumbing some of those schemes down, the Masterverse figures feel like they’re actually trying to get on Hasbro’s more recent level. Elbows and knees are both double jointed and they’re true side to side motion on the ankles. The articulation is also worked into the sculpt in a more aesthetically pleasing way, and they’re even doing the pinless construction on the elbows and knees as well. There’s still a little bit of a learning curve; the softer plastic of the hips means they have to be posed just right or they risk getting stuck, which may cause some stressing on those joints long-term. Also be careful with the knees, as the right knee on mine has some slight imperfections in the plastic that would have caused it to tear had I not been careful with it on my first posing. Hopefully, they will continue to improve on those fronts so that breakage isn’t too much of a risk, but it’s honestly not as bad as it could be, given it’s Mattel we’re talking about here, and their track record hasn’t been the greatest. He-Man is built on what will be the primary base body for this line. He already shares a good portion of it with Skeletor, as is expected. It’s a different build for him, not quite as squatty and wide as Classics or Origins. It’s more of a step towards 200x, but without the harsher line work. I like it, as it feels more naturalistic. The sculpting is a little on the softer side, but looks pretty decent, and in line with the animation style from the cartoon. I’m not 100% sold on the head sculpt, but it’s not terrible, and I like it much more than I ever liked the Classics sculpt. He-Man’s paint work is pretty basic overall. There’s some decent accent work on the loin cloth and boots, which I quite like, but otherwise it’s a lot of molded coloring. It fits the style well. He-Man is packed with the power sword, his shield, and four hands (two gripping, a right fist, and a left relaxed). It’s not a ton, but it’s also more than we’ve gotten on other Masters releases.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
He-Man is usually the weakest link in any Masters set for me, so I wasn’t chomping at the bit to own this figure, at least initially. After watching the show, I found myself really liking this take on the character, and enjoying how this design looked on screen, so I was warming up to the idea of getting one. Max ended up snagging this one for himself, but upon opening it, wasn’t really feeling it, so he offered it up to me. My expectations were moderate, but I was pretty happy with the final figure, and I honestly like him a lot more than the Classics version, so he’ll be replacing that one in my collection. Now, for the rest of the line!