Oh, happy day! I’m finally caught up on my Masters Classics figures! Sure, I’m opening last month’s figure today, but I’m doing it before this month’s figures have shipped out and I call that progress! Today’s offering is actually the first release for the 2015 Club Eternia Sub and it is Lizard Man. I have very little memory of the episodes this guy appeared in, but back in 2011 that once great site Topless Robot (I miss ya Rob) gave him 1-20 Odds that he’d ever get an action figure. It was a good call and the author’s reasoning was certainly sound. Lizard Man just didn’t conform to the standard Matty Buck and his release would be contrary to the entire MOTUC money-saving business model. And afterall, it did take almost four years to happen, who even could have guessed the Matty Collector Train would still be chugging along for such a long while?
The only thing I have to say about the packaging is DAMN YOU MEKANECK FOR BEING THE ONLY FIGURE ON THE BACK THAT I DON’T HAVE!!! There’s also an intriguing sticker on the top corner of the cardback that tries to teach me how to get the best performance out of my glow-in-the-dark accessory. GITD? I had no idea! Anyway, Lizard Man’s tagline is “Heroic Cold Blooded Ally” and the bio laments the fact that being a good lizard causes him to deal with discrimination, because most of the lizard people on Eternia are assholes. Maybe it would help if people didn’t call him “Lizard Man” because that right there is some racist shit. That’s it. I got nothing else… let’s pop this guy out and take a look at him.
Holy crap, I love this guy! Everything about him really shouts the Filmation aesthetic. Yeah, he’s just a lizard guy in a blue two-piece, but for a C-level character, T4H did a beautiful job on him. His lean stature makes him stand out in a sea of MOTUC bucks and I do believe most everything on this figure is brand new. Liz is mostly cast in a pleasing, deep green plastic and his belt and clothes are all sculpted right onto his body. There’s no real flexibility to the tail, but it is positioned to help the figure stand more easily, although he’s well balanced enough that he doesn’t need to rely on it. And check out the awesome webbing between his fingers! It’s done with a really thin plastic that’s semi-transparent and looks amazing.
The head sculpt is chock full of personality. Lizard Man is sort of wearing a smile, although its hard to tell whether he’s happy or just being a lizard. The eyes are painted yellow with black slits for pupils and he has a blue hood sculpted on his head. It’s definitely Filmation through and through, maybe with a little bit of Don Bluth mixed in and that ain’t a bad thing at all. I think if I had one gripe about the figure as a whole it’s that he seems a little too tall. What little memory I have of him makes me think he should be significantly shorter than He-Man, but maybe that’s because he’s often seen hunched over.
Despite the new buck, the articulation here remains pretty close to what we usually see in the line. Lizard Man’s arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, hinges in the elbows, and swivels at the biceps and wrists. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have rotating hinges at the knees, hinges in the ankles and swivels at the hips. The neck is ball jointed and the figure can swivel at the waist, but there is no ab-crunch hinge. So we lose an ab-crunch but gain a little extra movement in the knees. What’s really fun about Lizard Man’s articulation is not so much found in the individual points, but rather that the lean body allows for a wider range of motion than the bulky, beefed-out MOTUC bucks. He’s certainly fun to play with!
You get two accessories with Lizard Man, both of which are just random Filmation pieces bundled with the figure. Matty promised they were going to be doing this whenever possible and they have indeed delivered some neat stuff. The Diamond Ray of Disappearance comes from the very first episode of the series that bears the same name. It’s a permanently opened box with a GITD diamond inside that exiles your figures to another dimension. Actually, you may need to use your imagination for that to work. The bottom of the box has intended room for Skeletor’s fingers to help him hold it, which was a good idea in theory but has mixed results.
The other piece is the Filmation version of Skeletor’s sword with the crossed bone hilt. It’s a nicely sculpted piece, but the fact that it’s left unpainted in bare gray plastic really makes it uninteresting to me. Why not cast the thing in purple? I think it would have looked better. As it is it just looks like an unfinished, prototype accessory. Still, I give Matty props for continuing to get us the Filmation accessories and so far the good have far outweighed the flubs. If I had some customizing skills, I’d probably try to paint it, but that’s never going to happen.
As a character, I don’t know how many people were clamoring for a Lizard Man figure, but keep in mind, I collect MOTUC for the figures themselves and not so much the fiction or the characters. Yes, I started collecting the line largely based off of nostalgia for characters like He-Man and Skeletor, but the majority of the figures I get could have no fiction at all behind them and I’d still love them. Taking that into consideration, I couldn’t be happier with how Mattel has kicked off the final year for Club Eternia because Lizard Man is just a great figure. 2015 is going to be interesting as they’ll be bringing in a lot of lesser known names to the table, but again seeing as how the characters are secondary to me, I think I’m going to find a lot to love this year, possibly more so than most.