2852: Clamp Champ

CLAMP CHAMP

MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE ORIGINS (MATTEL)

“Heroic master of capture”

You’re reading this review in the far-flung future of August, but I’m writing it in the second to last week of July, which means that I just checked out Masters of the Universe: Revelations, which just dropped yesterday, my time.  I quite enjoyed it myself, though it was certainly much more a “Masters” show than it was a “He-Man” show.  It was jam-packed with some fun nods to the franchise’s history, with a lot of cameos and easter eggs worked in.  Notably, it gave the very first animated appearance to today’s focus, Clamp Champ, which is kinda cool, since he’s always just shy of making it into such things.  On top of that, he’s back in the toy world, so let’s take a look at that today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Clamp Champ is one of the deluxe Masters of the Universe Origins releases, alongside Battle Armor He-Man and Skeletor, and Ram Man.  This marks Clamp Champ’s third time as a proper action figure, following the vintage and Classics releases.  The figure stands about 5 1/2 inches tall and he has 23 points of articulation.  He maintains the same articulation scheme as the other two figures from the line, which is fine by me, since it’s a pretty good one.  Structurally, he’s quite similar to most of the line, as expected.  He’s built on the standard barbarian style body, with a new head and chest armor.  The new pieces are pretty straight updates on his original parts, and generally look pretty decent.  The chest piece is a slightly softer plastic, like all the new ones, presumably to make it a bit less prone to breaking over time.  Clamp Champ actually gets two different heads (since the Deluxes are all getting that treatment right now), meaning there’s an extra facial expression to be had.  The second one has an almost evil looking grin, which doesn’t quite feel right for the character, but I won’t knock a little bit of extra variety.  Clamp Champ’s paint work isn’t anything crazy, but it’s generally pretty well-applied, and a good match for his vintage counterpart.  He’s bright and colorful, and I dig it.  Clamp Champ is quite well accessorized, including his Techno Clamp, the previously mentioned extra head, an extra left hand in an open pose (rather than the basic grip), and a mini clamp based on the one first used in his intended 200x design.  Not a bad selection at all, and definitely worthy of the higher price point.  The Techno Clamp even has it’s proper spring-loaded feature and everything.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

My first introduction to Clamp Champ came in the form of a poll ToyFare magazine ran in the 200x era about who fans wanted to see updated into the new style.  Being still quite a novice in terms of the franchise, I actually had to look most of the choices up, but something about Clamp Champ just really resonated with me, so he was my choice.  He was never got added to that line proper, and I was out by the time that he got the staction release, but I’ve held onto that soft-spot for the character.  Mattel’s decision to make him sub-exclusive in Classics at the last minute was a major factor in why I dropped out of that line, and likewise, his announcement for Origins was a big factor in me jumping in on this one.  This guy’s honestly pretty fun, and adds to my quite eclectic selection from the line.

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure to review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2804: Zodac

ZODAC

MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE ORIGINS (MATTEL)

NOTE: This review was written before June 6th.

“Cosmic Enforcer!”

Action figures are like potato chips: you can’t have just one.  Or maybe that’s just me.  But only with action figures.  Because I’m actually not that big on potato chips…so I don’t even tend to have the one.  But I do have a lot of action figures.  So, there’s that.  What was the point of all this?  Oh, right, I’m looking at another Masters of the Universe Origins figure.  That’s pretty nifty.  And even niftier, it’s a character I haven’t looked at before, because I don’t actually own him in any other form.  Yes, it’s MotU‘s own resident Cosmic Enforcer (who is no longer “Evil”), Zodac!  Zodac’s actually one of the franchise’s original characters, debuting in the original line-up, and originally being billed as an “Evil Cosmic Enforcer,” so as to keep the numbers equal between both sides.  Outside media generally stuck to a neutral alignment for the character, though, and as the line progressed, “Evil” was removed from his packaging, helping to cement his status as not-a-bad-guy.  Let’s have a look at this not-a-bad-guy.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Zodac is another figure from Wave 3 of Masters of the Universe Origins, right alongside yesterday’s Roboto.  The figure stands about 5 1/2 inches tall and he has 23 points of articulation.  His articulation scheme is effectively the same as Roboto’s, though he gets the extra movement on his right wrist joint.  Like his original figure, Zodac is largely built from shared parts. He’s got the Beast Man torso (because he’s got a lot of back hair, I guess), and the reptilian forearms and boots, as well as the standard upper-arms, upper-legs, and waist.  It’s all topped off with a new head and armor piece.  They do a respectable job of recreating his original, as goofy and silly as it’s supposed to be.  Since his torso is a different set-up, he winds up a little sturdier than Roboto, so he’s less prone to wobbling.  Zodac has a little more in the way of paint than Roboto, but it’s still pretty well applied, on my figure at least.  There’s a slight discrepancy on the painted flesh of the face compared to the molded plastic body, but that’s been an issue with Zodac pretty much since day one.  It’s also not as bad in person as it looks in the photos.  Zodac is packed with his blaster, or, as Tim would like me to point out, his L-shaped mace, seeing as it looks more like that than it does a gun.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

While I was sold on Roboto as soon as he was announced, I wasn’t really planning to pick up Zodac.  However, Max got his earlier, and I got to mess around with it, which was enough to convince me I kind of wanted one of my own.  He’s a fun little figure, and a nice change of pace for my collection at this point.  Here’s to hoping me might get a Zodak redeco at some point!

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure to review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2803: Roboto

ROBOTO

MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE ORIGINS (MATTEL)

NOTE: This review was written before June 6th.

“Heroic Mechanical Warrior!”

When last I looked at anything Masters of the Universe, I mentioned not yet having any experience with the latest iteration of the line.  Well, hey, that’s changed…just in time for there to be another two for me to keep track of.  Yay?  Well, in the mean time, I guess I’ll look at the one I got.  Launched in the hell-hole of a year that was 2020, Masters of the Universe Origins was designed as a look back at the early days of the line, effectively updating the original vintage line but with more articulation.  So, you know, like Classics, but…umm…not Classics, I guess?  Anyway, my first entry into this new line is one of my favorite characters from the franchise, Roboto!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Roboto is part of the third wave of Masters of the Universe Origins, which started hitting shelves earlier this year.  It showed up at Walmarts and Targets a bit earlier, but has been making its way to other retailers in the last month or so.  The figure stands about 5 1/2 inches tall and he has 22 points of articulation, as well as a moving jaw piece.  The articulation on these new figures is pretty much the best the brand’s ever seen, even improving a little bit on the Classics movement.  Much like his vintage figure, Roboto shares his legs with the Trap-Jaw figure from the line, but everything else is new.  He’s definitely following in the vintage figure’s footsteps in terms of design.  It’s a very clean, rather retro look.  It’s a little bit less goofy in this incarnation, but not so much so that he doesn’t feel like Roboto, who should always be at least a little goofy.  The way that they’ve kept the general proportions of the vintage figures, while still giving them the ability to, you know, stand up straight, also emphasizes that almost Bruce Timm-esque top-heavy nature of the designs.  I certainly don’t mind that.  The only slight downside to the construction of the figure is that, due to the interchangeable nature of the bodies on these figures, his waist joint is a little on the rickety side.  Not like he’s going to break or anything, but he does wobble a little bit.  Roboto doesn’t have a ton of paint, largely relying on molded colors from the plastic, but they’re pretty bright and bold.  The paint that’s there is cleanly applied, and follows the vintage design well.  As is typical for the character, Roboto is packed with three arm attachments for the right arm, blaster, axe, and claw.  He also has his usual action feature; turning the torso moves the gears in the chest and moves his jaw up and down.  It’s basic, but fun.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Roboto is the first Origins figure to really catch my eye (since they appear to be dragging their feet on Mechanek), so I was definitely down for him from the word go.  He’s a very nicely done figure, and just a lot of fun.  Generally, I’m not so much into the vintage style MotU figures, but for the characters I like, this is a nice style, and I’m sure it’s great for more involved MotU fans.

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure to review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2725: Hydron

HYDRON

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.

#2238: Trapjaw

TRAPJAW

MASTER OF THE UNIVERSE (MATTEL)

Evil & armed for combat”

It’s been a stretch since I’ve looked at anything Masters of the Universe.  With it being pretty much the only major property Mattel’s got going for them (on the action figure front, at least; they’ve still got Mega Construx, Hot Wheels, and Barbie, I guess), and they’re supposedly trying to relaunch the brand again this year.  Until that line launches, I’ve got my love the 200x line to keep me warm.  I’ve got a pretty decent little collection of that line, so I’m dusting one of those off for review today.  Let’s have a look at Trapjaw!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Trapjaw was released in the second assortment of Evil Warriors as part of the 2002 Masters of the Universe relaunch (though, as part of said second assortment, he didn’t actually hit until 2003).  He was released alongside a Skeletor Variant and the previously reviewed Tri-Klops.  The figure stands a little under 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 13 workable points of articulation.  Technically, there’s a joint on his jaw as well, but it’s spring loaded, so it doesn’t really hold a pose (though I was able to keep it open long enough for the photo at the top of this review).  Like most of the 200x line, Trapjaw was sporting a unique sculpt, in contrast to his original figure, which used the same torso as everyone else and shared his legs with Roboto and Man-E-Faces.  Nope, this guy was all new.  Like a number of the figures I’ve looked at, Trapjaw was well-served by the divergent sculpts, as he was able to lean more heavily into the “mutilated cyborg” elements of the character.  The end result is far more imposing design than the one from the ’80s, making another member of Skeletor’s band seem like a genuine threat, rather than just another pea-brained buffoon.  Of course, then the cartoon went and made him a buffoon anyway…guess you can’t win them all.  There are a lot of really fun little details worked into this figure, including the stitching on his torso, which adds to that general “Frankenstiened” feeling of this upgraded design.  Trapjaw’s paintwork is pretty decent, being a little more detailed than some of his compatriots.  He takes the general basics of the classic design, but tones them down ever so slightly to make them fit better with the sculpt.  The application’s all pretty sharp, and he doesn’t leave as many details unpainted as some of the other figures in the line.  Trapjaw included three different robot arm attachments.  The main one is a claw, with some extra articulation worked in.  He’s also got a hook, as well as a gun attachment.  They swap out pretty easily and all fit well with the rest of the arm, and can even be stowed on his belt or his back.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Last year, when All Time got in a rather large 200x Masters collection, I was already invested in getting Buzz-Off and Man-At-Arms, but hadn’t quite jumped on the Trapjaw figure.  Jason told me that if I was getting any 200x Masters, I really needed at Trapjaw, because he’s one of the best.  After finally getting this guy for myslef, I can’t disagree with that assessment.  Definitely one of the line’s best, even if Trapjaw isn’t one of my personal favorite characters.

#2283: Man-At-Arms

MAN-AT-ARMS

MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE (MATTEL)

Heroic Master of Weapons”

My introduction to Masters of the Universe was not via the franchise’s original ’80s incarnation, but was instead through the attempted 2002 revival series.  Though ultimately not as much of a success as the original line, I myself have always much preferred this incarnation, in part for my own sentimental reasons, and in part because I have no reason to be sentimental about the original.  Whatever the case, I’m always game for a look back at the line that got me into things, and that’s just what I’ll be doing today, with a look at the updated series’ take on Prince Adam’s own wise, sagely mentor, Man-At-Arms!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Man-At-Arms was released as part of the Heroic Warriors half of the first assortment of Mattel’s 2002 Masters of the Universe line, alongside the basic He-Man and Stratos.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation.  While the vintage Man-At-Arms was built from the same bank of parts as He-Man and a good chunk of the rest of the line, for the purposes of the 200x update, he was given a major overhaul and, consequently, a totally new sculpt (albeit one that would be used for a handful of Man-At-Arms variants as the line progressed), just like pretty much every one else in the line.  Earlier in the line, Mattel was still trying to hang onto some of the build aspects of the old line, so unlike later figures, Man-At-Arms still has a removable chest piece, much like his vintage counter part.  While there’s not a ton of reason to remove it, it does allow for a continuation of the interchangeability that the old figures had, which would more or less be removed from the line from Series 2 onward.  The arm and leg pieces are not removable this time around, but it’s honestly a bit of an improvement, since now they won’t constantly fall off or be at risk for breaking.  Man-At-Arms’ sculpt is certainly an impressive one, and definitely the strongest of the debut Heroic Warriors.  They’ve gone really crazy with all of the various tech details, which help to really differentiate him from his prior figure, as well as further remove him from his genesis as largely a repaint of the basic barbarian.  That barbarian aspect is much more removed.  What’s not removed this time around is Duncan’s mustache, always curiously absent from his original figure.  This one has it in all of its Selleck-esque glory.  He’s also got a far more intimidating facial expression than his predecessor, making this one guy I would not want to mess with.  The paint work on this figure is fairly decent.  Like the sculpt, the paint exhibits far more detail than the ’80s version, though it still doesn’t quite do the sculpt justice.  Plenty of details go unpainted, and are therefore very easily missed by the casual eye.  Befitting his name, this Man-At-Arms came with two styles of armament.  He has the classic figure’s mace (albeit at a slightly more imposing scale) and adds an arm cannon which slips over his left hand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Man-At-Arms was, admittedly, never a character that was high on my list.  As such, I never had one growing up, and I hadn’t come across one since starting to go back and fill in the holes in the collection.  When All Time got in a whole bunch of 200x Masters figures a couple of months ago, Man-At-Arms was included.  Since I was already picking up a few others, he was a pretty easy purchase.  Now my collection feels a bit more complete.

As touched on above, I picked this guy up from my friends All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#2198: Buzz-Off

BUZZ-OFF

MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE (MATTEL)

“Heroic Spy in the Sky!”

As a child of the decade post-80s (more commonly referred to as the ’90s, I suppose), I missed out on the initial run of a lot of the top ’80s toys.  Fortunately for me, there was something of an ’80s resurgence that began right around 2002, and it was this wave of psuedo-nostalgia which gave me my first proper taste of things such as G.I. Joe and Masters of the Universe.  For the Joes, it did eventually lead me to a proper appreciation for the true vintage stuff, but in the case of Masters, something about that early ’00s branch really stuck with me, thereby making it the 2002 line that I get nostalgic for, not the old ’80s stuff.  As a matter of fact, there are a good number of Masters characters whose vintage designs do nothing for me.  Good example?  Today’s figure, Buzz-Off!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Buzz-Off was added to the re-launched Masters of the Universe toyline in 2003, as part of the fifth assortment of heroic warriors in the line, alongside three He-Man variants, Ram-Man, Man-E-Faces, and Roboto.  The figure is roughly 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 17 points of articulation, thanks to the inclusion of ball-joints on the wings and little arms on his back.  That makes him one of this line’s most articulated figures.  The vintage Buzz-Off figure was designed to share parts with the villainous Whiplash.  I know, when I think of bees and reptiles, I see the similarities too.  For the 2002 relaunch, both characters got starkly divergent treatments, which was probably for the best on both counts.  While swollen and muscle bound was the only way to go for the vintage line, Buzz-Off’s recreation was now svelte and angular, easily one of the most slimmed down designs of this whole iteration of the brand.  It’s a quite unique look, and much like Roboto from the same assortment, it takes a much goofier design and makes it a little bit more palatable in the context of the wider story and the type of character than Buzz-Off is supposed to be.  When it came time to adapt the character to the new cartoon, Buzz-Off received a noticeably drab color scheme, drastically different from his old look.  For the figure proper, he more meets in the middle.  The basics of the old design are definitely still there, but he looks less like “wrestler in a bee” costume this time around.  Buzz-Off was packed with an axe (with launching, because that’s how axes work) and a pair of goggles for protecting his eyes while flying, I guess.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The thing about the 200x Masters line is that as cool as the redesigns were, and as much as I liked the look of the figures, they were our first real taste of how badly Mattel could screw up case packouts and distribution.  Remember how I mentioned the three He-Man variants in this set?  Well, they were heavier packed than the the three new heroes, and for Buzz-Off and Roboto in particular, that made them very, very hard to find when they were new.  No Buzz-Off for me.  In fact, since coming into that big GoodWill find several years ago, there have been just a few figures left to check off on my list of Masters I still really wanted.  Buzz-Off was at the top of that list.  Fortunately for me, All Time got in a whole bunch of 200x Masters figures a couple of months ago, and Buzz-Off was right there with them, meaning I was finally able to add him to my collection!

As touched on above, I picked this guy up from my friends All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#2157: Faker

FAKER

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?

#1806: Mekaneck

MEKANECK

MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE REACTION FIGURES (SUPER 7)

“Heroic Human Periscope!”

I’ve looked at entries from all throughout the history of Mattel’s home-brewed Masters of the Universe line.  Today, for the first time, I look at a Masters of the Universe offering that doesn’t come from Mattel at all!  Yes, Mattel has outsourced their MotU operations to the considerably smaller-scale company Super 7, who previously worked with Funko for their ReAction Figures line of vintage-inspired toys.  After Funko ran that brand into the ground, Super 7 split off on their own, and has been doing their best to re-invigorate it, by focusing on quality over quantity.  Amongst the much smaller list of properties they’re offering is, unsurprisingly, Masters of the Universe, which is now seeing its second assortment of ReAction Figures.  Today, I’ll be taking a look at my personal favorite Master, Mekaneck!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Mekaneck is part of Series 2 of Super 7’s Masters of the Universe ReAction Figures.  He’s based on his classic vintage appearance, just like the rest of the line.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall (4 1/4 inches with the neck fully extended) and he has 4 points of articulation, plus an extending neck.  Like his vintage counterpart, this Mekaneck is without the ability to turn his head.  While it’s a slight bummer, it’s rather understandable at this size, and in this style, and doesn’t prove to be too limiting as a whole.  Mekaneck’s arms and legs are shared with He-Man and a number of the other standard Masters, which is sensible, given that’s been the case for all but his 200x incarnation.  Standard limbs are standard limbs, and if you don’t have to make new ones, then don’t.  The head and torso are new, and definitely very nice recreations of Mekaneck’s original design.  The extending neck feature is a fairly simple, no fuss action feature; there’s just a small tab on his back for moving it up and down.  I actually prefer this to the original turning waist feature, since it means he no longer has to stand with is legs to the side if you want his neck extended.  Mekaneck’s paintwork is bright and colorful, and overall very clean.  He definitely catches your eye, and those primary colors do his sculpt well.  Mekaneck is packed with a rather goofy looking yellow club, the same rather goofy looking yellow club that’s been his sidearm since his introduction.  It’s a nice extra, which is well fitted to his hand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I hadn’t really been following ReAction since it shifted back to Super 7.  I gave it a good try during the Funko years, but there was definitely a lot of variance to the quality from figure to figure.  The first series of MotU figures intrigued me, but I wasn’t really feeling any of the line-up.  But, like I noted in the intro, Mekaneck is my favorite, and I’ll pretty much buy any version of him out there, so when All Time got in their set of Series 2, I was definitely down for this guy.  I gotta say, Super 7 really seems to have turned things around for this brand.  Mekaneck is a much better match for the style they’re aiming for than most of Funko’s output, and his design in general is just a good fit for it.  I’m very happy I picked him up, and I can definitely see myself tracking down a few more.

I bought Mekaneck from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#1688: Tuskador

TUSKADOR

MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE CLASSICS (MATTEL)

Mighty Tusked Galactic Warrior”

Tuskador!  It’s Tuskador!  ….Who’s Tuskador?  Boy, is that a good question.  Well, he’s from the New Adventures of He-Man, an iteration of the franchise I have no direct interaction with.  I’ve never seen a single episode of the cartoon, and I own none of the toys.  Or, at least I didn’t, until now that is.  Tuskador was one of the heroic characters, and seems to have followed somewhat in the vein of Ram-Man from the original series.  So, uh, here he is?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Tuskador was released during the 2016 year of Mattel’s online-exclusive Masters of the Universe Classics line.  He was one of the line’s oversized figures, and was also a Collector’s Choice item.  He was also the final figure to ship from the Matty Collector-run version of the line, so there you go.  The figure stands 7 inches tall and he has 21 points of articulation.  Structurally, Tuskador uses the same starting point as Ram-Man, which I’d say is most of the reason he got made in the first place, since Mattel is all about re-use potential.  Direct re-use is limited to the arms and torso, with the rest of the parts on this figure being modeled on older parts but technically new.  In order to facilitate the re-use, Tuskador has been bulked up a bit more from his prior appearances, at least from what I can find of him online. The new pieces fit the more cybernetically-advanced design aesthetic of the New Adventures characters, which helps to keep him well-separated from Ram-Man.  He’s definitely a hefty figure, and his armored elements are well-sculpted, with lots of sharp detail work.  His helmet can be removed, which causes it to sit a little funny.  On the plus side, the underlying head is one of my favorite aspects of the figure.  His astronaut-inspired cap is a fun touch, and there’s something undeniably cool about his grizzled and wrinkled face.  Tuskador’s color scheme is heavy on the blues, which works pretty well, as does the gold.  The application is all pretty clean; paint on these items was at the very least superior to Mattel’s various retail offerings.  Tuskador is packed with his titular tusks, of course.  There are two lengths included, with a more modest pair and a more ridiculous pair.  Both are fun, and you can store the pair not in use on his back if you so choose.  He also includes a big blaster, which can be held or kept on his belt.  It’s annoying that he doesn’t have a trigger finger on his right hand, but if it were perfect, it wouldn’t be Mattel.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

By 2016, I’d completely bailed on MOTUC.  For the most part, the characters I’d wanted had been done, and Matty Collector was just too much of a hassle.  When the line ended, I really paid it no mind, and I moved on to other things.  So, why do I have this figure?  Super Awesome Girlfriend.  The Gamestop where she works got this guy in, she saw the logo on the box and knew I liked Masters of the Universe, so she bought him for me.  I’ve got no prior attachment to the character, nor can I say his design compelled me to track him down on my own.  With that said, he’s actually a pretty fun figure, and a nice counterpart to Ram-Man, who’s one of my favorite figures in the line.