Holy crap, that title is a mouthful, innit? I’m overdue for visiting with the MOTU Origins line, and since I have relatively new versions of He-Man and Skeletor on my pile of figures to open, I decided to knock them both out today! These are both Deluxe figures, which means they cost a little more than the regular ones, and come on bigger cards, and lots more stuff!
And wow, don’t they look so good in the packages! The presentation here kind of reminds me of the old rack toys, only actually good and not at all crappy. The character art looks amazing, but Mattel could have just as easily let the bubble do all the talking, because there’s so much cool stuff packed in here. Exposition explosions tell us that He-Man swings his arms with awesome might, while Skeletor swings with fearsome fury! Which is better, YOU DECIDE!!! This is a line that constantly tempts me to get doubles to keep one sealed, because they look so good in package. Let’s check out He-Man first!
Flying Fists He-Man is basically regular He-Man with gorgeous vac-metal armor encasing his manly torso. His wrist bracers and belt are painted bright red, and he has white fringe around the tops of his boots. The armor has a beautiful mirror silver polish with gold trim around the arm holes and waist, and a red H emblazoned on the front. His back has a large bracket so he can store his preposterous weapon, and yes it does make him very back-heavy. And in keeping with the vintage gimmick, He-Man does indeed have arm swinging power, which is activated when you rotate him at the waist left or right with the help of a grooved wheel at the bottom of his back. This is an absolutely beautiful figure that really gives Battle Armor He-Man a run for his money.
You get two portraits with the figure, and that is awesome! I absolutely love how many options we now have for swapping heads between regular He-Man and all the other flavors. The one that comes on the figure is my favorite of the two, and I can easily see myself displaying this on my regular He-Man as well. I’m a bit conflicted on the other one. I really like the work they put into this, with the windblown hair and the open mouth, but I’m not sure the end result really conveys what they were going for. Still, a nice option!
Flying Fists He-Man introduces two new weapons to his arsenal, and these are some real Rube Goldberg kinda stuff! The weapon is sort of like a mace, but with a huge spinning wheel with three balls at the end of each arm. It looks absolutely ridiculous and it seems completely impractical. But, we’re talking about a world with a robot elephant as the fire marshal, so when you put it in the proper context, I’m sure this thing makes perfect sense. The shield is pretty out there too, but I like it a lot more. It’s got spinning blades on it, which seems like it would be good for offense and defense. Both of the weapons feature more of that gorgeous vac-metal finish, and as demonstrated earlier, the mace weapon can store on He-Man’s back. Laugh as I might, if I saw a He-Man coming at me with this shit, I would still run for my life.
He-Man also comes with his trusty power sword, and this is a fantastic accessory, because it isn’t the crappy half-sword that came with the original He-Man release, so you know this is getting handed off to my regular He-Man as soon as I’m done with this review! I can’t help but think it would have been cool if this got the vac-metal treatment too, but I’m still happy to have it. OK, let’s check out Skeletor…
As with He-Man, Skeletor uses a lot of the same parts we’re used to seeing on the character, but he also has some shiny new vac-metal plate armor. While He-Man got his whole torso covered, Skeletor only has his covering his upper chest, so he can still show off those washboard abs. The new armor has a skull fixed right in the middle and a gorgeous purple tint to it. My only complaint with this figure is that, apart from the chest armor, he looks kind of bland. I think I’m missing the wrist bracers, and I’m wondering if they omitted those so his Terror Claws would fit better. Naturally, he has the same arm-swinging play feature as He-Man, and he can also store his ridiculous new weapon the clip on his back.
Once again, you get two heads with the figure, and I absolutely love these. The regular one is just so expressive, even if I’m a bit unclear on what the expression is supposed to be. He kind of looks like Beast Man just brought him a dead rat as a present and he’s genuinely touched by the offering. But the second one is just pure money. Skeletor looks so damn happy here, like he’s so proud of his ridiculous new weapons and can’t wait to try them out. These are both great, and they will likely spend some time on my regular Skeletor figure.
Of the two figures, Skeletor seems to have made out better in the accessories department. I was surprised to see that they included his trusty Havoc Staff, considering how much else is here. I’m sure it didn’t break the bank for Mattel to throw this in there, but it’s a welcome bonus nonetheless.
Next up is the white snappy dragon thingy, which is roughly comparable to He-Man’s spinning mace. It makes me wonder why this didn’t get top billing for the figure over the Terror Claws, but it’s probably because they couldn’t think up a cool name for it. As I’m pretty sure I mentioned when reviewing the Classics version of this figure, it looks like Skeletor cut off Sky-Lynx’s head and turned it into a grabby arm. I totally dig it.
And finally, we have the main attraction, which are the Terror Claws. These clip onto Skeletor’s wrists and give him giant tearing appendages. And much like He-Man’s spinning mace, I find these hysterical to look at, but I’d pretty much shit myself if a skull-faced assailant came after me with them. I like the little sculpted detail added to them, and my one complaint would be that I wish they had added pegs for the hands to grip onto like they did with the dragon chomper weapon. They still stay put fairly well, but pegs would have been even better.
I think it’s safe to say that every time I open a new MOTU Origins figure, I am absolutely delighted with the purchase. These figures are just so damn fun, and I’m very happy to see that Mattel is going all out. For a line that I originally swore I would never collect, this feels like the absolute best values to be found in the current action figure market. I’m also thrilled that Mattel has been keeping the play gimmicks alive in these figures, which really sets them apart from the more collector-driven Classics line, where they were mostly omitted. Keep them coming, Mattel!!!
I look at the two included alternate heads, and I think they desperately need captions.
* Skeletor’s alternate head, representing Hasbro: “We’re raising our retail prices to $28 now! No, wait, I mean $30!”
* He-Man’s alternate head, representing the customer: “WTF.”
HA! I realize these are simpler sculpts than what Hasbro is doing with their 6-inch figures, but these are so much more fun for the money.