Masters of the Universe Origins: “Flying Fists” He-Man and “Terror Claws” Skeletor by Mattel

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!!!

Masters of the Universe Origins: Stinkor and Webstor by Mattel

One of the coolest thing about MOTU Origins for me is getting a crack at figures that I missed out on during the Classics line. Case in point, Classics Stinkor and Webstor are among a small handful of Skeletor’s minions that sold out on Matty Collector before I could get them, and now sell for ridiculous money. Meanwhile, here are the Origins versions just swinging on the pegs down the toy aisle at Target!

As always, these look great on the retro-style cards. The backs show some of the figures’ play features and some other figures that are available. You also get a Mini-Comic bundled with each figure, which is a nice bonus as well. Let’s start with Stinkor!

The package says he stinks, and I was expecting to get hit with a ripe dose of patchouli oil when I tore open the bubble, but that wasn’t the case at all. I even put his whole hand all up into my nose and I could only barely smell much of anything. Not that I’m complaining, because I really don’t want my toys smelling like dirty hippies. I’d just as soon use my imagination. In any event, Skeletor’s Man-Skunk looks great with his high tech stink-activated armor, complete with nose extension. The bright orange armor matches his gauntlets, webbed monster feet, and even his belt and furry diaper are all orange. The outfit contrasts nicely with the black matte of his arms and legs, and white jagged stripes running up his arms to his shoulders.

Mattel did a fine job with Stinkor’s ugly mug, from his perky, pointed ears to his creepy down-turned fang-infested maw. His yellow peepers have cat-like irises, pulling an expression that makes him look like he’s shocked by his own stink. You get some white around his eyes, and a stripe that runs from his nose up the center of his head and down to the back of his neck.

Unless you count his super-weak smell, Stinkor only comes with one accessory and that’s his blue shield, which seems to work best when tucked into his right open hand, allowing him to parry and spray! Yup, Stinkor is a pretty simple figure without a lot going on, but I dig him all the same! Moving on to Webstor…

Of course, Webstor is a creepy Spider-Man, but not one of the friendly neighborhood variety. And WOW, do I love this figure! The dark blue plastic that Mattel used for his skin is just gorgeous. He’s got the same monster feet as Stinkor, but now colored purple to match his chest armor. His belt is orange, his furry diaper is black, and he’s got orange and red emblems painted on his chest. Flip him around, and he’s got a big backpack to accommodate his giant grapple hook. If he’s a spider man, why doesn’t he just shoot web? I dunno!!!

Webstor’s head sculpt is super creepy, with a pushed in bat-like nose, fangs pointing up and down, two giant soulless red eyes with two smaller ones up above on his forehead. PErsonally, I always thought Webstor could have used a few more eyes, but that’s just nitpicking, I think this is a great looking head!

The backpack includes a generous amount of string, which runs through it, allowing Webstor to climb, repel, or just zip-line into action!

And if the zipline isn’t enough to make Stinkor feel like he missed out on accessory day, Webstor also comes with an orange rifle.

Every new MOTU Origins figure is a treat that brightens my day! This line is so simple, and yet so damn fun! And it feels damn good to be collecting a line of figures that are under $20 these days. Stinkor is cool and all, but Webstor has always been a favorite of mine, and he’s easily the stand out figure of this pair. Not having the Classics Webstor really hurt a lot, and while I’d still love to add him to my collection some day, I’m a lot more comfortable with Origins Webstor at $17 over the $200 or so that I’ve seen the Classics figure going for these days!

Masters of the Universe Classics: Terror Claws Skeletor and Flying Fists He-Man by Mattel.

Things are coming to a head, folks! There’s only one more month left in the 2015 Masters Classics Sub, I just got my November figures, but I still have unfinished business with October. I’ve actuallly got two figures to look at today, so without further delay, let’s check out our friends, He-Man and Skeletor all kitted out in some truly bizarre new battle gear!

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If you own any of the other two-packs from the MOTUC line then you’ll know what to expect from the packaging here. It’s got the same attractive green Greyskull deco wrapped around a (nearly) trapezoid-shaped window box. The back features a bio for each figure and some shots of other figures that are long gone from Matty’s Store and only available now from Ebay for all your monies. Overall, the box shows the figures off quite well, it doesn’t waste a lot of space, and it’s sort of collector friendly, but the box is easy to damage, so your mileage may vary. I was careful to preserve the packaging on mine, because I think I’m actually going to display them this way. I just think it makes for a neat looking set. Let’s start with He-Man…

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When you think about it, it’s surprising how few variants of He-Man were produced. I mean, Mattel could have really gone crazy, but they didn’t. It’s also worth noting that my very first Masters Classics figure was one of those variants, Battle Armor He-Man, so maybe I have a soft spot for variants. This version is kind of similar in that it gives He-Man an armored chest plate, which also kind of make it look like he’s been packing away the Roast Gooble dinners. Yes, it’s a rubbery vest over the already beefy buck, but I don’t think it looks bad. It features a nice silvery sheen and a bright red “H” on the chest. There are a few blemishes on my figure’s paint here, but I’ll write that off to battle scuffing. I should point out that Mattel chose not to go the vac-plated route like on the vintage figure. I’m OK with that seeing as how my Hurricane Hordak has some chips in his. The rest of the figure’s buck is pretty much what you would expect. This version does have some nice white trim on the tops of his boots and his belts and wrist bracers are painted red. The head appears to be a new sculpt, or at least different from the ones on my regular He-Man and Battle Armor He-Man.

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Of course, this pack is all about the crazy weapons, but we’ll start small and go big. Firstly, He-Man comes with a Power Sword and a spinning shield thing. The shield is the new attraction here and I actually dig it a lot. It’s a gold circular shield with a grey spinning piece mounted on the front. On an Eternian Ridiculousness Scale of Ten, this one scores only Two Orkos and that’s not bad. The shield clips onto the wrist bracer firmly. I only wish there was a place to put the sword on his back for when he’s using…

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THIS! Yeah, the needle on that scale just pinned to the right. When I think “Flying Fists” He-Man, I kind of expect him to shoot his fists like a Shogun Warrior Robot, but it doesn’t summon up images of this. He-Man’s special weapon is like Duncan combined a mace with a weed wacker. It’s just three spinning balls on the end of an arm. On the one hand, it’s ridiculous, on the other hand if someone was coming at me with it, I’d run away, so I’ll have to give the designers some credit. Do I like it? Yeah, I do. I’m not into this line because it has a firm grasp on common sense. Let’s check out Skeletor…

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Again, there’s some nice variations on this figure over the original, and I mean besides the giant robot dragon head on his back. The chest armor is new and includes a painted skull and flared shoulders. The buck seems to be cast in a slightly darker blue, his webbed feet are painted to match his leg bracers and thereby make them look more like boots. Lastly, the belt is painted red, which I just noticed now matches He-Man’s. How embarrassing is it when you show up for battle and you and your arch-enemy’s accessories match. I almost cried foul about how the dragon head doesn’t angle over the shoulder, but then I remembered that was Dragon Blaster Skeletor, a figure that I somehow missed out on. The paint on the skull face is different from the original Skeletor’s as well. It’s a lot more vibrant and I dig that.

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The dragon chomping piece unclips from his back and he can hold it in his right arm. Now this thing? I just don’t see the appeal of it. It looks like Skeletor decapitated Sky Lynx and is using his head as a grabby arm. It’s OK, I guess. There’s a hinge in the middle of it, but it only bends upward and I think a downward hinge would have been more useful. The jaw is also hinged. Now, the real main attraction for Skeletor are his self-titled…

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TERROR CLAWS! And they’re exactly what you might expect. It’s just a pair of giant claws that snap over his hands. God help me, I think they actually look pretty cool. Although I can’t help picture Skeletor showing up to Castle Greyskull and shouting, “Come down here He-Man, I’m going to scratch your f’cking eyes out!!!” Again, ridiculous? You betcha! Cool? Oh, hell yeah!

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I’m not ashamed to admit that I love these figures and I’m super thrilled that Matty bundled them together in one box. As individual figures, I doubt they would have made the cut for my already crowded MOTUC shelves. As a boxed item, however, I’ll find a way to sneak it in somewhere among my Sky Sled and Wind Raider, which I also display in their respective boxes. This is quite simply epic stuff. It’s the kind of gear that would make Skeletor and He-Man approach each other on the battlefield, give each other a good look and say, “OK, we’ve officially taken this too far” and just go home.  And that finally wraps it up for October. Next week, I’ll start in on the November figures, because after that we’re into December and that means we’re coming up fast on the end of the tunnel! 

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“Dammit, Beast Man, I did not invent the Terror Claws to scratch your flea-ridden hide!”

“Harder… A little more to the left… Oh, yeah. Boss, you’ve got magic fingers!”

 

Masters of the Universe Classics: Man At Arms by Mattel

I realize some of you Matty subscribers get pissed off when Matty reissues figures because you think it drives down the value of your original releases. That may be true, I haven’t researched it, but as someone who got into this line just at the tail end of last year, I am so happy that Matty is giving newcomers second chances at some of these figures. This month the re-issue figure  was Man At Arms, and despite some serious bugs in the ordering process, I was finally able to grab him and add him to my collection. And man, what an awesome figure he is!

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As expected, the body is completely recycled from He-Man only painted green with a blue belt and wrist bracers. Of course with all his armor he really stands out as a unique figure. His trademark orange armor consists of four pieces: A vest, a left shin guard, and two plates for his left arm. His chest and back piece is an amazing sculpt, with the hoses and wires on the front with some assorted paint apps. The back has a molded rolled up rucksack and clips to hold almost all of his weapons, which is just one of the things I love so much about this figure. Its also awesome that Mattel made his arm guard into two pieces so as not to interfere with his elbow articulation.
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Man At Arms comes with two interchangeable heads to solve the infamous mustache dilemma. They are essentially identical save for the mustache on one to make him more Filmation accurate, so you can decide whether you want to pay tribute to vintage figure or cartoon. Either way the sculpts are great, complete with blue helmet with orange trim. And if you’re curious, yes, I prefer the mustached Duncan. The heads pop on and off with no problems and they remain nice and tight when attached, so no bobblehead worries. Of course if you happen to have a lot of money lying around, you can always pick up a few extra Man At Arms to display with the non-mustached head as Palace soldiers. Personally, at $30+ per figure, army building in this line is a bit beyond my means.
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Like his adopted daughter Teela, Duncan comes with an embarrassment of accessories. Besides his extra head, he comes with a big orange mace, a silver short sword, a silver laser pistol and the 200x version of the Power Sword. Everything but the Power Sword can be stowed on his backpack, making him a walking arsenal. While the mace is a little bland, the sculpting on the other weapons is excellent, especially the Power Sword, which by the way is now owned by my previously swordless Battle Armor He-Man.

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I had really high expectations for this figure, and I’m happy to say he lived up to all of them. Even if I had to go the Ebay route and spend a lot more for him, I think he still would have been worth it. Obviously, he’s an important character, and Mattel certainly paid the proper respect to him with a lot of careful attention and extras. Between the awesome sculpting on his heads and armor, his slew of weapons and ability to store them, and the bonus sword for my BA He-Man, this figure is just plain awesome and a fantastic homage and update to the vintage original.