Masters of the Univese Classics: Hordak by Mattel

While I was never a big follower of Filmation’s She-Ra cartoon, I always loved it’s main baddie, Hordak. Even though he had the annoying habit of snorting like a pig and had the silly ability to turn himself into a rocket, there was just something about his overall character design that I always found really cool. His bizarre, creepy head, his majestically sinister outfit, it all made me forget that he was on a less watchable spin-off series commanding a bunch of goofy Snake Mountain rejects. I just kept hoping in vain that one day he would set up shop on Eternia and leave that other show behind.

I didn’t start collecting the Masters Classics figures until the beginning of this year, so like many figures, Hordak had already come and gone. But while I was able to pick up just about all the figures I missed on the secondary market at reasonable prices, Hordak was a little beyond what I was willing to spend. Thankfully Matty has been re-issuing some of these past releases, and this month I was finally able to add this evil bastard to my collection.hdak9

Yep, it’s the same old packaging. The green stone castle motif and MOTU logo really picks at my nostalgia strings. The only real difference here is the Evil Horde sticker that appears on the bubble and “The Original” appearing next to the name, which signifies that this is a re-issue and not really the original. Ahhh… OK. The back panel has a bio and photos of some of the other figures that have been released in the series. As always, its a shame to tear these things open, but you gotta do what you gotta do.

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This revamp of Hordak is a really great looking figure on every front. In fact, I’d dare say he’s just about perfect. His head sculpt is brilliant in both design and execution. He’s always looked friggin creepy but this updated sculpt is all the more so. His face isn’t white anymore, but more bone colored. I love the way T4H textured the little bumps into his head and his little boney mohawk. His head rests in a large collar, or cowl, that is connected to his cape. The whole piece can be removed, if you so desire, just by popping off his head, lifting it off, and popping his head back on. This gives Hordak’s head a lot more range of movement, but to me he just doesn’t look as good without the whole evil ensamble.

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The rest of Hordak is just as fantastic, and his unique armor pieces go a long way to make this one of the more unique looking figures in the collection. In fact, the only piece of him that is an overt reuse appears to be the pelvis. His armor pieces are black with embossed, red crests on his chest piece and grieves. The silver trim used on his belt and armor is antiqued to make it look worn, which I think is one of the best paint app effects we’ve seen in the whole line. The whole black, gray, red ensemble really looks amazing together. There is a rather unfortunate little chip in the red crest of my Hordak’s breast plate, but I can live with that. In terms of looking evil, its hard to top a guy with a skull for a face, but Hordak manages to out-evil Skeletor on this outfit alone.

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Hordak comes with a few accessories. First, there’s his staff, which is amazingly well done. The detail work on the sculpting for the head of the staff is really elaborate, featuring a clawed hand holding a sphere with Hordak’s crest on it. Unfortunately, the plastic is a little soft and it has a habit of bending a bit. His crossbow is really cool, with the sculpt and paint job so good, it looks like the bolt is a separate removable piece, even though it isn’t. Finally, there’s his little Imp, which is a nifty little pack-in, although for some reason it has a rather unsightly seam running through his lower body. Couldn’t he just have been molded into one piece?

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There are no surprises in the articulation, as we get exactly what we’ve been getting in all the male characters of the line. The ball joint in the neck is a bit inhibited by the cape/cowl piece, but as mentioned above, you can remove it if you like. Hordak’s arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, hinged elbows and swivel cuts in the biceps and wrists. He swivels at the waist and his legs have universal joints in the hips and have hinged knees and ankles.

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In a line of figures as fantastic as MOTU Classics, it seems like every new figure I get is my new favorite. My expectations on Hordak were pretty high, and I wanted him so bad that I came pretty close to paying Ebay robbery prices. Sure, I’m glad I waited, but even if I had picked him up at twice the price, I still would have been quite happy with him. He’s just all around excellent. Here’s hoping Mattel continues to add more of The Horde to this collection.

*This Feature was re-worked and re-shot on 9/15/15. It originally appeared in a series of articles on Masters of the Universe Classics line.

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