Masters of the Universe Classics: Prahvus by Mattel

Here we go, folks, I have sitting in the corner the very last shipment from my Masters Subs. I’m going to wait until I look at the last of these figures to start getting all sappy about the end of the line, so for now let’s just dive right in and check out the final figure in the Club 200x series. It’s a dude named Prahvus, and I don’t know anything about him.

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The package is barely large enough to contain the might of Prahvus, “The Evil Master of Doom.” If you need any more evidence of how evil this guy is, just look at how much cat hair he attracted! Other than that, there’s not much new to say about it. The bio on the back makes him sound like a nasty piece of business. I’ve had six months now to bust out my MYP He-Man DVDs and re-watch the series, so I could remember some of these people, and of course, I still haven’t done it. I suck.

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If you ever wondered what an evil master of doom looked like, here he is. Every bit of this guy just exudes badassery and I love it! The body itself is mostly a simple buck, with some angular grieves on his legs and sculpted wraps around his feet. He wears a single, red jeweled gauntlet, on his right hand and his evil modesty is protected by a scaled purple loin cloth that hangs down from his belt. The coloring here is mostly an ash gray with some purple. The light blue tattoos on his chest and shoulders, however, really make the figure pop.

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Prahvus sports a rather unusual cape, which cascades down from the animal skull over his right shoulder. It’s cast in soft purple plastic and has a scaled pattern to match his loin cloth. If I had one minor gripe about this figure (and it is a minor one) it would be the skull shoulder, which has a rather soft sculpt and can get in the way of Phravus’ glorious head’s articulation.

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Speaking of heads, check this one out. Damn, this is a great design with a lot going on. Prahvus’ ugly mug features some down swept goat ears, two powerful fangs protruding from his bottom jaw, and a wisp of hair that juts out from his chin and curls at the end. He’s also crowned by a pair of angular horns. The visage is complete with two piercing red eyes.

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The articulation here is standard stuff for the male MOTUC bucks. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the biceps and wrists. The torso has an ab-crunch hinge, and swivels at the waist. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, hinged at the knees, and have swivels at the tops of the thighs. The ankles are hinged and the neck is ball jointed.

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Prahvus comes with two accessories: His mace and his lamp. The mace is a rather cool and unusual design with a head like an elongated pyramid with a bronze finish. The lamp is a pretty nice sculpt too and painted bright gold.

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Prahvus is one hundred percent awesome bad ass and another great addition to my collection. He’s also a prime example of a figure I would be happy to own even if I wasn’t collecting this line. In a lot of ways, the Mini-Sub’s have been highlights of the MOTUC line for me and 200x was no different. Every last figure released in this little sub-series was a homerun, as far as I’m concerned, and when assembled all together, they make for a striking corner on my Masters Classic shelves.

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Masters of the Universe Classics: Queen Grayskull by Mattel

It’s the middle of December, this month’s Matty figures are due to arrive any day now and that gives me just enough time to wrap up November’s figures. I’ve already checked out Dragstor as well as the Terror Claws Skeletor and Flying Fists He-Man boxed set. So today, let’s have a look at the 200x Subscription’s Queen Grayskull!

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Veena’s tagline is “Heroic Guardian of Power” and her bio on the back of the package is a tortured yarn designed to weave her into the Classics continuity. Of course, she’s basically just The Sorceress from the MYP He-Man series. There’s a fair amount of goodies in this package, so let’s get her opened up and check her out!

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I’ll start off by saying how much I love this design for The Sorceress. She has a really exotic and almost Egyptian thing going on and I think it worked beautifully in the cartoon and looks quite striking on this figure. The gold armor pieces, which comprise her grieves , arm bracers, and hip pieces, are all painted with a sumptuous metallic gold and accented with some blue and red painted gems. Her top is white with sculpted piping painted to match the gold armor. This is just a great looking ensemble and no doubt required a whole bunch of new tooling right down to her bare feet.

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The wings are on rotating hinges and peg right into the figure’s back. I like this so much better than the classic Sorceress figure’s which are attached to her arms. Granted, the styling of the two wings are very different. Veena’s are more angelic and they look magnificent without hindering the articulation. Each of the feathers are sculpted in and the gold fringe on the tops looks amazing. She’s also got a respectable wingspan that really tested the limits of my tiny little staging area.

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I think the portrait here represents one of the best ladies this line has produced, and that’s saying a lot because there have been some excellent female portraits here. You have to get in pretty close before you can start to see a little uneven paint in her eyes. Her beautiful face is framed by her bird head helmet, which is painted in gold and cascades down the back of her neck. They even painted the interior of it blue to match her belt sash.

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Speaking of sashes, you also get this blue piece, which can be passed behind her and placed into the crooks of each elbow. It’s very soft plastic, so you can fuss around with it to try to get the look you want. It’s a nice bonus, but I’m not sure I’ll display her with it.

Articulation is everything you’d expect from a MOTUC female figure. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, hinged elbows, and swivels in the biceps and wrists. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, hinged at the knees and ankles, and have swivels at the tops of the thighs. There is no articulation in the torso, but you do get the aforementioned rotating hinges in the wings and a ball joint in the neck.

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Veena’s other accessory is her staff, which features a gorgeous bird motif at the top, which almost looks like it could double as an axe. The design of this piece is beautiful and it uses the same rich gold finish as the figure’s armored pieces.

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The 200x Sub has been one great figure after another, but with only one release left I don’t think it’s too premature for me to call it: Queen Grayskull is without a doubt my favorite figure to come out of this sub. She’s also currently vying with just a few other figures as my favorite Masters Classics figure of 2015. This lady just has it all: A great design, beautiful and original sculpting, and a drop-dead gorgeous paint job. This is undoubtedly one of those figures that I would have hunted down even if I wasn’t collecting MOTUC. She’s just so well done that I think she does just fine as a stand-alone display piece.

Masters of the Universe Classics: Ceratus by Mattel

Club 200X is entering it’s final stretch, as today I’m looking at the first of the last three figures in this Mini-Sub. It’s been a great ride so far and I can honestly say that every figure has been a winner, even though I have no memory of almost any of these characters. Today is Ceratus, let’s see what he’s all about…

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Ceratus comes in the now intimately familiar Greyskull-style package, which we’ve probably seen 100 times by now. His tagline calls him the “Heroic Leader of Sub-Ternia” and his bio identifies his people as the Caligars. I dig the idea of getting more of these creatures as good guys. And yeah, I know, I’ve been saying all along that I’m going to use this Sub as an excuse to bust out my MYP Masters DVDs, and I still haven’t found time to do that. I suck. Maybe I’ll try to get it done before the final figure is released. Anyway, Ceratus comes with his tail detached, so you have to just plug it into his back piece when you get him out of the tray.

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Ceratus is something of a lizard-dude, but I think he’s got a lot more of an Orc or Goblin vibe going on with the head. It’s an interesting design and while it borrows heavily from Whiplash, nearly everything that’s reused has been re-sculpted. The craggy, scaled shoulders, for example, have hooked horns added, and while that’s probably the same torso buried under there, the chest piece is brand new and sports some fantastic sculpted detail. Ceratus dons a rather skimpy outfit that favors showing off a lot of well-toned lizard physique. What little he is wearing consists of a blue belt with matching wrist bracers and leather-like flaps that hang down from the belt, sort of like a skirt. The texturing on these pieces is well done and each one features a painted bronze button.

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The familiar tail is also re-purposed from Whiplash, but again features some significant changes. Ceratus’ tail ends in a spiked ball, which matches the horned spikes that can be found on his arms and legs. The top piece of the tail that forms his back is also completely reworked, giving him a spiny ridge running down the middle. This is exactly the kind of parts recycling that I can appreciate, especially in a line that’s winding down. Mattel could have probably gotten away with a lot less, but they went that extra mile to give this character a lot of love.

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Speaking of love, the head sculpt here is outstanding. Not only does Ceratus sport a lot of personality in that mug of his, but check it out, he’s got real earrings. I’m pretty sure this is an action figure first for me. He’s also got a gold nose ring, but that’s part of the sculpt. The paint here is overall quite good with applications for his exposed teeth and his beady little yellow eyes.

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While articulation here is technically the same as any other MOTUC male buck, I find Ceratus’ poseability to be a bit more inhibited than usual, particularly in the hips. I’m not sure if it’s the skirt or something with the sculpt up there, but I can’t really get a lot of movement out of his legs. The rest of the points are all there and he has the additional point that allows his tail to rotate side to side.

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Ceratus comes with a single accessory, which is a very tribal looking bone mace. I’m assuming this is a weapon and not just some kind of ceremonial staff. Either way it looks like it would do a lot of damage if you hit someone with it. I dig this piece a lot as it’s obviously supposed to be made out of bone, but it’s got a rather alien look to it, reinforcing that it was crafted from the bones of some unknown Eternian animal. Very cool!

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And so, Ceratus is yet another release that makes me very happy that I went for the 200X Sub. This guy is loaded with personality and features a great sculpt, sensible reuse of parts and a great paint job. These figures have been great additions to my Masteres shelves with each one packed with personality and featuring a healthy dose of new sculpting. Indeed, when put into the context of the regular Club Eternian releases like Buzzsaw Hordak, I’d say that this Mini Sub is where it’s all at right now.

Masters of the Universe Classics: King Chooblah

I’ve said it many times. I collect Masters of the Universe Classics more because they’re excellent figures than because of any bonds I have with the characters. Sure, I have nostalgia for the core characters, but when a figure like King Chooblah come along I can enjoy him just as much despite the fact that I have no idea who he is. Chooblah is the latest release in Matty’s Club 200X subscription, which draws from the MYP He-Man Reboot and further proves the point that I need to bust out those DVDs for a re-watch because apparently I remember very little of it.

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Yeah, there’s a look at the packaging. Nothing new to say here, other than Choobs really fills out that bubble quite nicely because he’s an absolute beast of a figure. That’s it. I got nothing else. The bio on the back assures me that despite being a shaggy, lumbering snow beast, he’s one of the good guys and even his tagline touts him as the “Heroic King of the Kulataks,” which I presume are other shaggy, lumbering snow beasts.

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I know I’ve said it before, but for a line that is winding down, I’m really impressed at how Matty has been going balls out on the new sculpts this year, with Buzzsaw Hordak being the glaring exception. While Choobs here still uses the standard MOTUC torso, and probably a couple of other parts, he’s about as far from the normally proportioned Eternian as you can get. The miraculous makeover is carried out mostly by his animal-like lower legs, his shaggy Popeye forearms, and an extra piece of plastic that’s fitted over his shoulders to give him extra bulk up there. The result is wonderfully unique looking figure that feels totally fresh and new.

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Chooblah appears to be sculpted in a blueish-gray plastic and painted over with white wash. The effect gives all that painstakingly sculpted fur a lot of depth, creating a veritable feast for the eyes. There’s so much detail invested into this figure’s shaggy coat that I can’t help but be impressed. Some blue paint for his hands and feet and some gray for his claws complete the beastly details.

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The head sculpt is magnificent and oozes personality. Thanks to the big shoulders, Chooblah’s head has the illusion of jutting out of the middle of his chest and giving him a hunched appearance, when in reality the head is just plugged into the neck like any other MOTUC figure. The face features more of that great sculpted fur and blue skin with some darker blue used to accent his nose. He’s got some jagged yellow fangs and beady yellow eyes framed by a set of bushy eyebrows. The portrait is topped off by tribal necklace sculpted onto his chest. Damn, this guy looks great!

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Because of his rather unusual body, Chooblah’s articulation mixes things up a bit. He isn’t missing much from the usual MOTUC articulation, but rather adds a couple of points. The arms feature the usual rotating hinges in the shoulders and he has them in the wrists too. The elbows are hinged and he has swivels in the biceps. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, hinged at the knees, and then hinged again where the ankles start. He has a swivel in the waist, an ab-crunch hinge, and his neck is ball jointed.

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Chooblah comes with one accessory and that’s his gnarled green staff with a hooked top. There’s wood grain sculpted into it and the hook at the end makes it look rather like a shepherd’s staff to me. He can hold it comfortably in either of his massive claws.

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The 200X Subscription has been a real treat. Each and every release has been superb and while it’s short run, and relatively small commitment, certainly favored heavily in me subbing to it, I now find myself wishing that it was running longer. That’s especially the case when I look at a figure like King Chooblah and see how much love Matty is willing to invest in the line. The sculpting and paint on this figure are beautiful and it genuinely looks like Matty spared no expense, even when bringing us a relatively niche character. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to bust out those MYP DVDs and get myself back up to speed.

Masters of the Universe Classics: Evil Seed (MYP Version) by Mattel

August was a busy, busy month for Matty Collector subbers, especially if you’re like me and have both the Club Eternia and 200x Subs. There’s no way I can pack all the goodness in before the end of the month, but if I get started now, I can make it before September’s goodies arrive. I’m kicking things off today with the MYP version of Evil Seed, a villain who is well loved from the original Filmation cartoon, despite being a one-off character. I remember that episode a little, but for the life of me, I can’t remember him in the MYP cartoon. I really do need to pull out those DVDs and watch it again, not only to jog my memory, but because it really is an awesome re-imagining of a cartoon that never really appealed to me.

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Not much to say about the packaging, other than it looks great as always. I will take this time to say how much I love that even with Matty’s exorbitant shipping costs, they won’t even throw a lick of packing material into the box. They just toss in four figures and let them rattle around in there. How these arrived without getting all beat to hell is beyond me. But enough about shipping bitching, let’s check out Evil Seed…

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And here is the Evil Master of Plants himself and I’ve got to say I really dig this look as well as the splendid way it translates to action figure form. Evil Seed is a figure with a very tight color pallet. You get an entirely green body with some brown trim on the vines and a smidgen of red for the face, and man does it work well. There’s a ton of what looks to be new sculpting on this guy and between the barbs and the vines, he makes for a very dynamic and exciting looking figure, despite the limited and muted colors.

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I think my favorite thing about this guy is the way they did all the vines. In some places, like his chest piece and high collar it serves as decorative trim. It’s just close enough to being symmetrical, but deviates slightly to give it a more natural feel. The bendy vines on his legs start at his hips and loop around his knees so that they’re loose but don’t inhibit his leg movement. Those barbs on his shoulders and knees are a damn fine touch too!

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The head sculpt is fantastic, particularly the way it’s framed by that high collar. If I was made of vegetation and could grow my own clothes, I’d definitely do something that looks like that! The mouth, which looks like it’s just a stretched membrane of vegetation is damn creepy and the way the top of his head is sprouting those brown stalks is killer. The heavy brow ridge and red eyes tie the whole visage together beautifully. While the original Evil Seed may win out in terms of kitsch and nostalgia, this guy is just pure bad ass and I love it.

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Despite all the new sculpting, Evil Seed retains all the usual MOTUC articulation. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the biceps and wrists. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, hinged at the knees and ankles and have swivels near the hips. The torso can swivel at the waist, has an ab crunch hinge, and the neck is ball jointed. I would have loved some lateral rockers in this guy’s ankles.

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Evil Seed comes with two accessories. First off, you get a bendy piece of snake-like vine with what looks like a little bitey head on the end of it. It’s molded into a bit of a coil so it can wrap around Evil Seed’s arms, or he can hold it as a sort of staff. It’s a fun and certainly unique accessory, which features some nice paint and sculpting all on its own.

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Next up you get what I believe was called the Scepter of Power. This piece is another one of those Filmation accessories that Matty has been trying to bundle with figures every now and again. I have absolutely no memory of this in any episode and I’m not about to go hunt it down and subject myself to watching that. I only do that for figures, not accessories.  It may have nothing to do with Evil Seed, and I may have no memory of it, but I’m not going to complain about an extra accessory. I’ll probably end up giving it to King Randor.

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Evil Seed was one of the figures that tipped me in favor of doing the 200x Sub, although in all honesty I could probably say that about almost any one of them. Last month’s Callix was a tough act to follow, but Evil Seed manages to keep this Sub’s stride going along just fine. He’s a great update to a great villain and T4H did a beautiful job with him. I’ll concede it’s a little odd that Matty went with this version before delivering on the Filmation style, but since we’re still getting that other version next year, fans don’t have anything to get all uppity about. Frankly, I’m glad Matty is giving us both and I may just regard this one as a different character altogether. And now, I think it’s time to pour myself a Jameson and bust out my MYP He-Man DVDs. With a bunch more of these figures coming, a re-fresher is definitely in order.

 

Masters of the Universe Classics: Callix by Mattel

If you thought Matty was going to be winding down Masters Classics this year, think again. Not only have they introduced another one of these “mini-subs” but they’ve also rolled out a whole lot of plans for next year. The extra sub for 2015 was a MYP-themed sub-line (or 200x if prefer) with a collection of great looking figures based on characters I do not recognize at all. It’s an odd thing because I own these DVDs and I’ve seen them all. I guess it’s time to run through them again. Anyway, the first figure in this sub is Callix and I don’t have to know who he is to recognize a totally bitchin’ rock creature when I see him.

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I’ve got nothing new or interesting to say about the packaging, so let me recount how this was the sub that almost didn’t happen for me. When July rolled around I only got shipping notification for my Club Eternia figure and not this one. I went online to check my subscription and it wasn’t there. I decided that I must have forgotten to sub this one and wrote it off with just a little bit of disappointment. A few days later an email came from Matty saying they couldn’t authorize my card. Of course not, because my bank sent me a new card with that new fangled chip technology and cancelled the old one. Fortunately, Matty held my figures for me and gave me the opportunity to update the card and that brings us to… Callix!

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Rock Lords! Rocks that come alive! Oh, that’s a different toy line. But isn’t it odd that apart from those two meteor transforming dudes, Callix here is the first rock creature to turn up in Masters Classics? I have like a hundred of these figures and no rock creatures. I’ve got a robot elephant-head, but nope, no rock dudes. I checked… twice! But that’s cool, because Callix is here to change all that and look damn great doing it.

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For what is essentially a gray buck with some rock parts attached, Callix looks amazing. I think he owes most of that to how beautifully sculpted the rock parts are. These craggy bits of plastic match the underlying buck perfectly and feature all sorts of cracks and fissures for an authentic looking chiseled stone effect. Add to that the Horde emblem on his chest and belt buckle and this is one fantastic looking figure that relies on  very little in the way of paint apps to make him work.

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I’m particularly fond of the head sculpt, although he doesn’t look particularly evil. Perhaps just ill-tempered? The face carries the same craggy and fissured look as the rest of the rock parts and features a prominent brow, a down-turned slit of a mouth and two beady black eyes. The way his rocky shoulder armor forms a neck guard is pretty cool and I love the somewhat prehistoric look to the Horde emblem on his chest.

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Despite the rocky bits, Callix’s articulation is pretty much in line with what we’ve been getting all along. The arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders, swivels in the biceps, hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the wrists. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, feature swivels at hips and ankles, and hinges in the knees. He still has the ab crunch hinge and he has a ball jointed neck.

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Callix comes with a rock axe and a rock shield and that’s weird. It would be like me carrying around weapons made out of skin and bone. Gaaah! I’ve just creeped myself out. Both are pretty cool accessories and carry the rock theme in their sculpts and coloring. Of course, this is a member of the Evil Horde and we can’t have him going around without a crossbow, so…

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Yeah, the axe doubles as a crossbow. Not sure how that works what with it being made of rock and all, but we’ll just write it off to Eternian magical bullshit.

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Callix is exactly what my Masters Classics shelves were missing, a rock creature! Truth be told this was probably the one figure that tipped me over the edge and made me sub this line. I was really looking to start getting out, as this collection has grown way beyond what I had imagined it would be when I started down this treacherous path so many years ago, but I have to hand it to Matty because the figures keep me coming back for more. I don’t think I could tell you the names of more than one other figure in this sub-line, but I have seen most of the them and every one of them looks like a winner. I just really wish Matty would stop raping us so much on shipping.