#2906: Beast Man – Revelation

BEAST MAN — REVELATION

MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE: MASTERVERSE (MATTEL)

The events of Masters of the Universe: Revelation show us the end of the big heroes and villains conflict that’s run throughout the entirety of the franchise, and at the other side of that end, the characters don’t really have the same hard-lined loyalties of earlier stories.  As a result, Teela’s rag-tag band assembled to save Eternia isn’t just heroes, but also includes a few classically villainous characters, such as Evil-Lyn and Beast Man.  No longer Skeletor’s eternal punching bag, Beast Man is now loyal purely to Lyn and her wishes, as well as wanting what’s ultimately best for Eternia.  It’s a nuanced take on a classically rather one-note character, and I very much enjoyed that.  And now he’s also got a figure!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Beast Man is another figure from Series 2 of Mattel’s Masterverse line, the second of the two post-time-jump characters included in the line-up (the other being yesterday’s Teela figure).  We’ve gotten takes on Beast Man’s classic evil-beast-master design, but for Revelation he’s got a more reserved noble savage look about him, befitting his character growth.  He’s less dressed up, and more focused on just being him, I guess.  The figure stands a little bit over 7 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Beast Man’s articulation scheme is very similar to that of the main male body, though it’s thankfully without the hip issue.  There are some slight tradeoffs, though, and the neck/mid-torso joints definitely don’t get the same kind of range as other figures in the line.  For the first time ever, I believe, despite the two of them being so close in release times, Beast Man does not share any parts with Moss Man.  I was honestly rather shocked by that, but it’s not so bad.  I anticipate this one will be sharing lots of parts with the inevitable classic Beast Man, but for now he’s unique.  It’s a good, slightly more bulky sculpt, and the texture work in particular is quite impressively handled.  It’s not as layered as some of the other sculpts, but it follows his slightly simpler design well.  His paint work is overall pretty good.  Generally pretty basic, but there’s some cool smaller touches.  I do have to say, though, I saw a pretty abominably bad version of the eye paint in the same case I grabbed mine from, so it’s worth keeping an eye out on this one.  Beast Man is packed with three different sets of hands (fists, gipping, and open gesture), as well as his whip.  The whip is a tad rudimentary in terms of design, but gets the job done, and the hands offer a lot of variety.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’m typically only a moderate Beast Man fan (although I did really dig his 200x figure), but I really liked how they changed up the character a bit in Revelation.  He was just a nice fit for the whole team dynamic they had, and I definitely wanted his new design as a figure.  This one’s a bit more basic than the others, but he’s a still a pretty fun figure.

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.

#2905: Teela – Revelation

TEELA — REVELATION

MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE: MASTERVERSE (MATTEL)

As we wait for the second half of Masters of the Universe: Revelation, Mattel is still at work actually getting us the toys from the show.  The first assortment of figures based on the show (released as part of Mattel’s newly launched Masterverse line), were largely inspired by the show’s pre-time-skip opening episode, which was a little heavier on the classic aesthetic.  For the second assortment, there’s a bit more focus on those later appearances, including Teela, who spends the post-jump sequences as the the show’s central character, as she and her patchwork team attempt to restore power to Eternia.  Teela’s always been a major character in the mythos, but Revelation really gives her some proper focus, and she’s one of my favorite parts of the show, so I’m very excited about this figure.  Let’s see how it turned out.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Teela is part of the second series of the Masterverse line, which just started showing up at retail in the last few weeks.  As noted in the intro, this Teela is her post-jump design, which is how she looks for most of the show’s run, at least so far.  We also had a confirmation at PowerCon that there will also be a classic-inspired version of her coming later in the line.  As with Evil-Lyn’s new design, Teela’s new design keeps elements of her original, while also modernizing.  She honestly takes it a bit further even then Evil-Lyn, with a design that’s probably the most up-to-the-minute and “trendy” of the new Masters design.  It’s got a good post-apocalyptic vibe, and it’s quite utilitarian, so I dig it.  The figure stands 7 inches tall and she has 31 points of articulation.  At her core, Teela shares parts with Evil-Lyn, as expected, though it’s not a ton.  Mostly, it’s just the inner workings and most base level parts.  It means that she’s got Evil-Lyn’s more improved articulation, which isn’t prone to the weird sticking at the hips, making her far more easily posed.  The majority of the sculpt is still new parts, so as to better line-up with Teela’s show design.  As with the others, it’s not a direct translation of the animation, but gets the important details and sort of homogenizes them with the house style.  Generally, I really like it.  The only slight issue I had with mine was where the hair piece aligns with the head; because of the undercut, there’s a little more room for error, resulting in my figure having a little bit of a gap where they join.  It’s not terrible, though, and it varies from figure.  Mine also has a glue spot on the back of the hair, which I wasn’t so thrilled about, but, again, this is an isolated issue…at least I hope.  Teela’s paint work is one of the more involved schemes from the line so far.  It all manages pretty well, with all of the base work being rather cleanly applied.  There’s even some accent work on her boots to make them look a little bit muddy, which is a cool touch.  In the show, Teela’s staff has the ability to take on a few different forms, so the figure gives us a few different versions.  There’s the spear set-up, the sword, and the collapsed version.  She’s also got two sets of hands, making for a pretty nice little selection of extras that cover a fair number of bases.  Not quite the same level as Evil-Lyn, of course, but still very good.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I really enjoyed Teela’s portrayal in Revelation, and I also liked her new design for the show, so I was down for the figure pretty much as soon as I knew it was coming.  As with Evil-Lyn, I’m very glad they started off with the post-jump look, and it makes for a very fun figure, especially with the extras that they threw in to cover more bases.  I look forward to building up more of her team from the show!

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.

#2902: Dr. Ian Malcolm

DR. IAN MALCOLM

JURASSIC WORLD: AMBER COLLECTION (MATTEL)

Wait, another Jurassic thing?  This quickly?  But I just looked at one last week.  Shouldn’t I be spacing them out more?  It’s okay, this one’s not actually a dinosaur, so it gets a special exemption, under the Goldblum by-laws.  Unless he, uhh, unless he wants to be a dinosaur.  That’s also covered by the by-laws.  They cover a great many things.

Ian Malcolm is really just a supporting player in the first Jurassic Park novel, and is even technically killed off, but when it came to the movie, Jeff Goldblum’s very Jeff Goldblum-y performance made him one of the film’s most distinctive and likeable characters.  His presumed death at the end of the book was therefore removed from the film, paving the way for him to take up the lead for the film’s first sequel.  He’s gotten plenty of toy coverage over the years, and Mattel made sure to include him as one of the very first human figures in their more collector-oriented Amber Collection line.  I’m taking a look at that figure today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Dr. Ian Malcolm was part of the first assortment of the Jurassic World: Amber Collection from Mattel.  It initially was a GameStop-exclusive line in 2019, but over the course of the last year, the follow ups have seen wider releases, and so has Malcolm himself.  He’s seen here in his all-black attire from the first film, which is really just the best choice for him.  The figure stands about 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation.  Malcolm’s articulation represent’s Mattel’s learning curve from 2019 pretty well.  They were definitely taking strides in the right direction, but he’s not *quite* there.  The original prototype for this figure was sporting double-jointed elbows, which were removed and turned into a universal joint during the production process.  It’s a little bit of a step-down, and Mattel clearly recognized this, since they’ve subsequently done a V2 release that swaps out this figure’s arms for ones with those joints added back in.  The two releases are otherwise the same, and the rest of the articulation is still a little bit of a mixed bag of not the best range and rather obtrusive to the sculpt.  It’s certainly not Mattel’s worst work, though, and was a vast improvement to their output from the few years prior.  The sculpt’s quality is generally pretty decent.  The likeness is a rather respectable Jeff Goldblum, certainly better than any prior attempts for the character, and really rivaled only by Hasbro’s Grandmaster figure in terms of closeness.  The glasses are a separate piece, but not one designed for removal.  I’m okay with that, as it gives them the appropriate depth, but means they aren’t overly bulky or at risk of getting lost.  His body matches decently with Goldblum’s rather slender build as well, and while the detailing is maybe a little soft on the clothing, it’s an overall respectable output.  The paint work on Malcolm is largely centered on the head, which gets a rather lifelike and realist paint app which helps the likeness quite a bit.  The rest of the work is rather basic, but it gets the job done and is generally pretty clean.  Malcom was packed with two sets of hands (relaxed and gripping), the flare he uses to distract the T-Rex, a glass, and a display stand.  My figure is without the extra hands and the glass, but he’s still got the flare, which is the most exciting piece anyway, so I’m not too bummed about it.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Ian Malcolm is definitely my favorite character in Jurassic Park, so I’m not opposed to having a cool toy of him, and I was certainly interested in this one when it was shown off.  Of course, then he was a GameStop exclusive, and I wasn’t having any of that, so I held off.  Fortunately for me, life, uhh, finds a way a loose one was traded into All Time back at the beginning of the summer, and while he was missing a few small pieces, it meant he was a whole lot easier to get, so I went for it.  I like him quite a lot, actually.  He’s not perfect, but he shows the direction Mattel was headed, and he’s just a pretty solid figure.  It almost makes me want to possibly pick up one or two of the others, and I’m not even that big a Jurassic Park fan.

#2901: Orko

ORKO

MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE ETERNIA MINIS (MATTEL)

I closed out last month with my first look at Eternia Minis, the line that began as Mattel’s ill-fated attempt to cash in on the Galactic Heroes craze in the early ’00s, but has now found new life as part of their new push to get the Masters of the Universe brand as far as they can.  The line is still sans Mechanek and Roboto, my two go-tos for trying out new lines, so I’ve had to settle for my back-ups, first with Zodac, and now with He-Man’s goofy sorcerer sidekick, Orko!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Orko is another 2021 release in the Eternia Minis line, technically part of the same assortment that brought us Zodac.  That means he’s *technically* a spring release, but that’s all very theoretical.  The figure is about 2 inches tall (thanks to the stand granting him some extra height), and he has 4 points of articulation.  Without legs, he doesn’t really have a waist, but there’s the spot where the stand connects, and it’s on a balljoint, which does allow for some slight adjustment of posing.  It also makes the stand removable, if you so choose.  Orko sports a totally unique sculpt, based on his classic design.  He generally doesn’t get quite as far removed from his usual look as the rest of the line, seeing as he’s already pretty cartoony to start with.  His head’s a little larger, and his hands are a little blockier.  That’s pretty much the extent of it.  He fits in nicely all the same, and it looks pretty good.  Definitely a design that fits in with the set-up.  Orko’s paint work is generally pretty bright and colorful, as well as being in line with his usual depictions.  The application is a little messy, with some slop on a few of the areas where colors shift.  There’s a notable splotch of blue on the right sleeve, and his “o” is also off-center on mine.  Orko get’s the removable stand, but that’s all on the accessories front.  His scepter might have been cool, especially given the gripping pose on the hands, but it’s not something I really feel is a glaring omission.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

It’s Max’s fault again.  Okay, maybe a little bit less so this time.  He just bought me Zodac as a surprise.  I actually did ask him to keep an eye out for an Orko for me.  I’ve always had a soft spot for the little guy, and this style does really seem to work well for him.  He’s again a very fun little figure, and I like how this line has turned out.  I’m still hoping for a Mechanek or Roboto.  That’d be swell.

#2892: Ocean Protector Mosasaurus

OCEAN PROTECTOR MOSASAURUS

JURASSIC WORLD: CAMP CRETACEOUS (MATTEL)

You know how I don’t review dinosaurs much around these parts?  Well, sometimes, I go against the norm.  I know, it’s weird, right?  This time, I’ve definitely got a good reason, though.  I can assure you of that.  Also, this one might not strictly be a dinosaur.  I no longer have a resident marine biologist on hand to give me the solid facts, so I make do with what I can find online myself.

The Mosasaurus, or “Lizard of the Meuse River,” is an aquatic reptile which inhabbited the Atlantic Ocean and seaways adjacent to it 82 to 66 million years ago, during the Late Cretaceous Period.  Though extinct now, they can be traced to modern day reptiles, with either monitor lizards or snakes being their closest relatives, depending on who you ask.  Though reptilian, scientific evidence suggests that these creatures were actually endothermic, or warm-blooded.  Pretty nifty.  And, hey, look, it’s a Mosasaurus toy.  How about I review that?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Ocean Protector Mosasaurus is part of Mattel’s Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous toy line, which is meant to tie-in with the Netflix spin-off of the same name.  I’ve got it on pretty good authority that the show’s not really worth it, but if it means more toys, I guess that’s not so bad, right? The figure is about 8 1/2 inches in height and measures a whopping 17 inches in length.  Based on the Mosasaurus’s average length being between 23 and 33 feet, that makes this figure about 1/18 scale, so it would technically fit with your 3 3/4 inch figures.  Of course, it’s sheer size means it’s not going to look exceedingly out of place with most common figure scales, since it’s always going to be really big by comparison.  The figure has 11 points of articulation, which includes an articulated jaw, flippers, and tail.  Not super posable, but also not a bad set-up.  While the majority of the line is just fairly average toy dino fare, the Mosasaurus, being an “Ocean Protector” and all, has a fun quirk to his construction.  He’s actually made from a pound of recycled ocean-bound plastic, which is plastic waste that is at risk of ending up in the oceans.  The plastic for these was recovered from within 31 miles of waterways in areas lacking in formal waste collection systems.  Plastic waste is a pretty big issue all around, but is especially bad for the oceans, and I’m all for any venture that does something to help stave that off.  The quality of the plastic doesn’t seem to be that far removed from what you see with other items in the line.  It’s slightly softer, so the details aren’t quite as intense, but what’s there looks pretty solid.  There’s a slight shift in detailing between different parts, as some of the plastic is a little more rubbery, but this all feels pretty by design.  I’m kind of curious to see how it holds up long term.  The actual design is a little more fearsome, I think, than most renditions of the creature, but that fits the style of the franchise, and it looks nice enough.  The paint work on this figure is pretty nice.  There’s some variance to the creature’s skin tone, with some cool flecks of color in the plastic, as well as some solid accenting and work on the lighter portions of the skin.  There are no accessories included with the Mosasaurus, apart from the potential satisfaction of doing your part to help protect the ocean.  And really, isn’t that an accessory enough?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Jess was a marine biologist, something that I don’t think was too much of a secret.  She really liked the ocean, and even had an internship at the National Aquarium not too long before the pandemic shut things down.  She fully intended to return once she was able to, but never quite reached that point.  Teaching others about the ocean and the creatures within it was one of her very favorite things, and she was also very devoted to conservation efforts, even more so after starting her work with the Aquarium.  She liked to bring others into the conservation thing when she could, and she certainly worked at that with me.  For Christmas this last year, she got me a pair of Wall-E and EVA Pop!s that were made using some recycled plastic, and she was so excited by them.  When I heard about this toy, I knew it was the sort of thing that she would have absolutely tracked down to give to me, because it was very important to her that we find the places where our loves overlapped.  So, when I found this figure just a few days after my birthday, I has a hard time not getting it, as a little gift to myself, in memory of Jess.  Of course, my mom was with me at the time, and decided to beat me to the punch on that one.  I may not be the biggest fan of dinos, but I’m a big fan of what this toy represents, both personally and on a larger scale.  And I love it for that.

#2881: Skeletor – Revelation

SKELETOR — REVELATION

MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE: MASTERVERSE (MATTEL)

Masters of the Universe Revelation had a pretty amazing voice cast, but perhaps the best choice of the bunch was Mark Hamill as legendary skull-headed bad guy Skeletor.  Alan Openheimer’s take on the character set the standard in the ’80s, making it kind of hard to beat, but Hamill gave the part his own spin, and even in a slightly smaller role (at least in the show’s first half), he made for an impressively memorable Skeletor.  I like Mark Hamill, and even so I was surprised by just how much I liked his Skeletor.  Now, let’s get to that toy coverage, shall we?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Skeletor is another figure from the first series of Mattel’s Masterverse line, which is thus far dedicated just to Revelation.  There are actually two Skeletors in the first round, since there’s also the deluxe Skelegod figure.  This one, on the other hand, is based on the character’s classic design from earlier in the show, much like He-Man.  The figure stands 7 inches tall and he has 31 points of articulation.  He’s got the exact same articulation as He-Man, by virtue of sharing a lot of parts with him.  Unfortunately, that does mean he’s got the same issue with the hips.  In fact, it’s probably a little more severe, at least with my figure.  I do really hope this issue gets fixed on future releases with these parts, because it’s definitely something I see affecting the figures in the long run.  Structurally, Skeletor uses the same torso, upper arms, pelvis, and upper legs as He-Man, with a new head, forearms, shins, feet, armor overlay for the torso, and belt/skirt piece.  These parts do a good job of capturing the Revelations design.  In particular, the slightly more anatomically accurate nature of his skull face looks quite nice here.  I also very much like the multi-part construction of his torso armor, which also allows for proper placement of the included cloth cape piece.  Overall, this is a sculpt that quite nicely captures the menace of Skeletor, without going too overboard with things.  Generally, Skeletor’s paint is pretty basic, with most of his color work being molded plastic.  That said, there’s some quite impressive accent work on his face, to really bring out the quality of the sculpt.  Skeletor is packed with his primary weapon the Havoc Staff (complete with an actual jointed head, allowing for some slight adjustments when posing, as well as making it removable, as it is in the show), as well as his other staff he has briefly from the opening episode, and two sets of hands (in gripping and fist/open poses).  It’s not quite as much as Evil-Lyn, but it’s still a solid selection of extras.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Mark Hamill’s Skeletor performance is what really sold me on really getting into this line.  I was initially interested in a few of the others, but after the show, I really wanted this Skeletor, which meant I was honestly looking to swap this one out for my Classics one.  And if I was upgrading from the Classics Skeletor, that meant I was going to be ditching the He-Man too, which was kind of the thing that made me realize I was more into the line than I initially anticipated.  I’ve been eagerly waiting for this one, and issue with the hips aside, he’s a really strong offering.

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.

#2880: Evil-Lyn – Revelation

EVIL-LYN — REVELATION

MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE: MASTERVERSE (MATTEL)

…And onto the rest of the line!  Hey, that was pretty quick, right?  Almost like I….planned it that way.  Yes.  I planned it.  And I didn’t take several days off between these two reviews that you’re reading back to back.  Why would you think that.  I certainly didn’t actually get these two figures a couple of weeks apart from each other.  That would be crazy.  Even crazier if I spent almost my entire intro paragraph talking about it, instead of actually talking about the item I’m reviewing.  So, umm, what am I reviewing?  Evil-Lyn, the evil-est Lyn out there.  She’s usually Skeletor’s right hand, but Revelation takes her much further beyond that, and presents her as a very complex character, with one of the show’s most involved arcs.  I was definitely a fan, and now I’ve got the action figure, which is pretty good, too!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Evil-Lyn is another figure from the inaugural series of Masters of the Universe: Masterverse.  Where He-Man is based on his classic appearance from the first episode’s prologue, Lyn is seen here in her post-time-jump attire, which is what she spends most of the show wearing.  It holds onto a number of her classic design elements, mixed in with some more road worthy attire.  The figure stands 7 inches tall and she has 31 points of articulation.  Evil-Lyn’s base body is obviously different than He-Man, though it’s worth noting that the articulation scheme remains more or less consistent between the two main bodies.  There’s a little more range to most of the joints, of course, given the slighter frame.  I’m glad to see that they didn’t make the female base body inherently less articulated, as happens with a lot of other lines, Mattel’s prior lines included.  Additionally, I was happy to find out that the hip joints on Evil-Lyn aren’t prone to the issue with sticking that He-Man’s were, nor did I have any problems with the knees or elbows having any imperfections.  Evil-Lyn’s sculpt is currently unique to her, though I’d imagine that, much like prior lines, it’s going to see a lot of re-use on the upcoming Teela figure.  It’s a bit closer to the Classics aesthetic than the male body was, but it’s still a little slimmer, in keeping with the show’s animation style.  Since she’s a fair bit more clothed than He-Man was, that gives her sculpt a little bit more to do, making it a little sharper, and giving it the chance to showcase a little bit of texture work.  Evil-Lyn’s main head is wearing her usual headdress, which is a separate piece, giving it a little more depth.  It’s a nice piece, as is the underlying head, which has a pretty decent Evil-Lyn likeness from the show.  Much like with the sculpt, Evil-Lyn’s more involved outfit gives the paint a little bit more to do.  The application is all pretty sharp and clean, and she generally looks pretty decent.  Evil-Lyn has quite an impressive selection of accessories, with an alternate head without the headdress, her staff in both long and short set-ups (a great callback to the vintage line from the show, by the way), a satchel, and three sets of hands (in fists, gripping, and open gesture).  Compared to He-Man, it’s a very impressive offering.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Evil-Lyn is one of the best parts of Revelation, and I wanted the figure pretty much as soon as I finished up the show.  I’m definitely glad they wen’t with the post-skip version of her first, because it’s a pretty great design.  The figure does a really good job capturing the design, as well as giving her pretty much everything she needs.  Of the figures in the line so far, she definitely feels like the best value.

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.

#2879: He-Man – Revelation

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!

#2878: Zodac

ZODAC

MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE ETERNIA MINIS (MATTEL)

In 2013, Mattel got in on the game that Hasbro had been in on for almost a decade, which in hindsight is pretty darn Mattel I suppose.  What game was that?  The theoretically more kid-oriented super stylized small 2-inch versions of popular characters game, launched by Galactic Heroes, and then expanding to Super Hero SquadRobot Heroes, and Combat Heroes.  Mattel’s own version for Masters of the Universe was, ever so creatively, Masters of the Universe Minis.  It was completely locked into Matty Collector, so it sort of missed its market, and wound up dying a rather quiet death.  However, with renewed interest in the brand in the last year, Mattel’s giving it another try, this time under the branding of Eternia Minis.  My usual go-to characters Mechanek and Roboto haven’t been done thus far, but there’s at least a Zodac, so I’ve got a little bit of an entry point.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Zodac is a 2021 release for Eternia Minis.  He and his assortment mates first started showing up in the spring…in theory.  It’s Mattel, of course, so take that with a huge grain of salt.  The figure stands 2 inches tall and he has 4 points of articulation.  It’s not a ton of mobility, but the balljoint for the neck certainly does a lot.  It’s honestly a bit better than most of the Hasbro items of the same style, so kudos to Mattel there.  Like his larger scale figures, Zodac’s arms are shared with the standard Skeletor from the line.  Everything else is unique (though it’s shared with his 2014 two-pack release) and it’s a pretty fun little sculpt.  Zodac’s goofy helmet really works in this set-up, and I love that they even included details of his hairy chest poking out from under his armor.  The 2014 Zodac was done up in his toy colors, but this one instead gives him his cartoon colors, which feature the gloved appearance, which I do really like.  It’s a small change, but an effective one.  Otherwise, the paint’s pretty solid; some of the edges are a little fuzzy, but it’s nothing too terrible given the scale.  Zodac is packed with his sci-fi-esque gun, which is a lot less “L-shaped mace”-y than the Origins one, so that’s cool.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When Mattel first launched MotU Minis, I was very interested, but the price point and having to contend with Matty Collector were just too much for me to ever get involved.  I was glad to see them re-surface last year at a more reasonable price, but they still weren’t super easy to get, so I still wasn’t really jumping on the line.  Max wound up coming across a small display of them just a few days before my birthday and the Zodac really called out to him for me, so he snagged him.  He’s just a little piece, but he’s quite fun, and I really enjoy him.  I’d like to see maybe a Roboto or a Mechanek, if you don’t mind, Mattel.  That’d be swell.

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.