Masters of the Universe Origins: 200x He-Man and Skeletor by Mattel

Happy Friday! And what better way to bring on the weekend then by opening some new toys! Mattel’s MOTU Origins line continues to pump out the content at a record pace, leaving me behind on reviewing these magnificent figures, but I’m doing the best I can to get caught up! Today I’m checking out two more variations of He-Man and Skeletor, this time based on designs from the 200x toyline.

The figures come on the same gloriously retro designed cardbacks that we’ve been seeing all along. You get the 40th Anniversary logo in foil up at the top left corner fo the card, and a rather spiffy MOTU logo sticker on the front of the bubbles. What you don’t get is any actual reference to the Mike Young Production cartoon or 200x series. And that’s fine. For any kiddies out there who are into this line without any context, these are just cool new versions of the two main characters to play with! I should note that I never collected the 200x toys, although I did run into them a lot back in the day when I was making my weekly trips to KayBee Toy Outlet, and I was often very tempted to pick some up. Ultimately, I reasoned that the line was too far along for me to start collecting from the beginning, and so I resisted the temptation. I did, however, get into the MYP cartoon BIG TIME, and I still consider it to be one of the absolute best cartoon reboots ever made. Needless to say, I was pretty excited to get these figures in the Origins style. Let’s start with He-Man!

One of the things that characterized the 200x figures were the somewhat stylized proportions, and since these figures retain the usual Origins bodies, a little of that flavor is lost. What we have left is mostly a costume change, but I really like it. The arms and legs are left unchanged, with the boots all painted brown and the wrist bracers in silver. The pelvic piece is new, with a silver belt and red and gold circular buckle. The sculpted furry diaper is still present, but trimmed back quite a bit. The chest harness features a hexagonal plate with another red and gold motif. The silver border looks great and there’s a nice hammered texture to the background. This design is different enough from the classic look to stand out, but not so much to be jarring. Were I a kid playing with these figures, I could easily see this one becoming a regular stand in for the more classic He-Man on my adventures. It just looks fantastic!

As for the head sculpt, I like it a lot, but there have been so many He-Heads in this line so far, I’d be lying if I could keep them all straight. Is this new? Is it recycled? Without digging through a tote for my head bag, or scrolling through my past reviews, I’m not going to say for sure, but I’m guessing it’s a repack. I will say that it is emphatically not designed to look like the 200x figure, and instead retains that very vintage look. I think this head would work on pretty much any Origins He-Man we’ve seen so far. Either way, I think the head looks really good with this costume.

As for weapons, He-Man comes with the 200x redesign of the Power Sword. I’ve never been a big fan of this design, as it just way too clunky and impractical. I do, however, appreciate the attention to detail in the sculpt. It’s more machine now than sword, but that really gave the sculptors something to work with. There’s a loop in the back of He-Man’s harness so he can wear the sword on his back. I will point out that the figure’s grip is a little loose on the sword. I’m not sure if that’s a problem with my figure in particular, but it helps to squeeze it tight so he doesn’t drop it.

You also get his battle axe and shield, and I absolutely love these! The axe has some techno-gizmos sculpted into it to resemble the same tech that went into the sword, but here it doesn’t really make the weapon look unwieldly or cumbersome… just futuristic!!! The shield also has a little mesh circuit pattern on one of the arms of the cross, and some really nice texturing in the red field areas. These accessories look great together, and I’ll likely display He-Man with the wielding these and with the sword on his back. OK, let’s move on to Skeletor!

To me the 200x version of Skeletor looked extra stylized to me, and there was something about him that made his limbs look extra long and his head extra tiny. As a result, this Origins version looks a lot more like its doing its own thing, and boy do I love it! The armor pieces sport some excellent detail, like leather texturing in the hip and groin armor, organic designs in the grieves, and the shoulders and gorget look awesome! In addition to the purple plastic on the armor, you get red jewels painted on the knees and in the center of the crossed bones on his chest, as well as black for the shoulder guards. The wrist bracers are painted purple, and his feet are left pale blue. The fastener on the armor tends to slip out of the loop on my figure from time to time, but even when it does the harness and shoulders stays put. All in all, I love the way Mattel adapted this design to Origins, and this is a great version of Skeletor!

And then there’s the head sculpt! Hot damn, is this outstanding! The skull face is nestled in the center of a purple textured hood, and boy does he look pissed! The angry, downturned brow looks very expressive along with the red dots in the center of his eye holes. I also really love the paintwork on the face, with the way the yellow transitions to the green at the edges. This portrait is a little work of art, and one of my favorites that this line has produced so far!

Skeletor comes with the 200x version of his sword, which I believe was two swords joined together, which is why it has what looks like two grips. I suppose one could be a knuckle-guard, but either way the design of the hilt makes it kind of awkward for him to hold. Like the 200x Power Sword, I think this is well sculpted, but it just looks completely impractical. I wish they had given Skeletor a loop on his back to tuck the sword into like they did He-Man. I guess I could tuck it under the strap, but with the way it likes to come loose, that’s probably not going to work.

And you also get his trusty Havok Staff, which I think is just a repack of the one we’ve seen a bunch of times before.

I usually get tired of toy lines constantly churning out variants of main characters, but in the case of Origins I haven’t minded so much, because they’ve all been really good. And this pair may be the best yet. Normally, I would take the classic look for these guys over the 200x designs any day, but I’m shocked at how great these look adapted for the Origins bodies. Both figures get high marks from me, but I’m leaning toward the Skeletor as being my favorite of the pair. The armor just looks outstanding and the portrait is perfect! What’s even better is right now both of these figures have been turning up online at pretty good sale prices. Last time I looked Skeletor was going for $10 on Amazon, and boy is that an absolute steel for such a remarkable figure! Do I get another to keep carded? Nah… but it is tempting!

Masters of the Universe Origins: Mantenna by Mattel

Life is returning to normal here at hurricane ravaged FFZ Central! It’s nice to be able to round out a full week of reviews again, and hopefully I can keep that going. Today I’m checking out another figure from Mattel’s absolutely amazing MOTU Origins line, and it’s time to add another baddie to Hordak’s Evil Horde with Mantenna!

He’s the Evil Spy with the Pop-Out Eyes! As always, these figures look fantastic on the retro-style packaging, making me forever tempted to pick up doubles to keep sealed. But thankfully I’ve managed to just keep a couple doubles so I can always have an example of the overall presentation here. Despite his extra limbs, Mantenna is carded as a regular release instead of a Deluxe, and you get an Evil Horde sticker on the front of the bubble. At some point Mattel needs to start turning out some more Great Rebellion figures in the Origins line because right now it’s just She-Ra alone against The Evil Horde!

Mantenna is among my favorite Horde figures because he’s that perfect blend of creepy and goofy. The extra set of legs makes him stand out, even among an army populated entirely by freaks and weirdos. And while he does have a certain silliness to his design, if I saw this thing in real life I would shit my pants and run. Granted, I suppose that could be said for a lot of the Masters baddies. Obviously there’s a lot of special tooling for this figure, with the standard MOTU arms being about the only normal recycled parts.

He has a special new pelvic part designed to accommodate his extra set of legs, each of which is wonderfully detailed with sculpted Horde symbols on the front of the boots, ugly bumps on the thighs, and blade-like fins protruding from the upper and lower legs. And each one of these limbs features the same articulation as the legs found on regular Origins figures. The chest and back armor are sculpted as part of the torso, rather than something worn by the figure. I really dig the coloring here too. The body is very dark purple and it contrasts nicely with the bright yellow belt and the bright red chest piece, head, and Horde symbols. The fact that the red for the head is glossy and the chest piece is more matte is another great little touch.

The head sculpt conveys all the kooky and ugly weirdness that characterizes this character. I mean, holy shit just look at him! This guy is pure nightmare fuel! He’s got wide fins that make up his ears, and two tusks jut down from the disgusting maw he calls a mouth. The hole of a mouth is circled with tiny black appendages, and I can’t even imagine what it’s like sitting across from him at The Fright Zone Cafeteria and having to watch him eat.

And then there’s those giant, bloodshot globes he calls eyes. These bug out from his head even under normal conditions, but if you press the lever on the back of his head, they pop out even more. I still adore the MOTU Classics version with its interchangeable parts, but there’s something that’s just so fun and satisfying about being able to make his eyes pop in and out with this gimmick.

Mantenna comes with the usual Horde Crossbow, this time cast in a pale gray color. His right hand is equipped to hold it, while his left hand is just relaxed.

I absolutely love Origins Mantenna, and Mattel spared no expense introducing this delightfully bizarre character to the Origins line. He looks great, the extra legs are fun to pose, and I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of flipping his eyes in and out. Even with as prolific as Origins has been, I’m still in awe of how quickly Mattel has delivered a good chunk of Horde baddies, and Mantenna looks absolutely smashing along side his fellow villains. Now we just need to get some more of Etheria’s gals in the line to fight them!

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: Stridor by Mattel

My MOTU Origins backlog may not be nearly as bad as other lines, but there’s still a few things I’m behind on. Case in point, poor Stridor has been waiting to be opened for a while now, and it’s well past time we let this mecha-horsey out of the stable. And boy am I excited! I love animals, and I love robots, so it stands to reason that I love robot animals like Stridor!

The packaging for this line continues to kick all sorts of ass, thanks in no small part to the vintage-style artwork on the extended back panel. It shows He-Man charging into battle atop Stridor while Fisto gets ready to lay down some righteous fist on Skeletor, who approaches in The Roton! Oh yeah, baby! The Origins Roton is coming! Ah, but let’s not take any thunder from Stridor, because he looks all sorts of awesome on display in that window box! Give me a sec to carefully open this box (because it’s a keeper!) and let this electric equine out to trot!

Stridor comes out of the box more or less assembled. You really just have to attach his front guns and he’s good to go. The design is very faithful to the original vintage toy, but with a bit more detail in the sculpt, and now fully articulated legs! You still get the mostly brown body with some lovely silver paint on the neck, head, and ass. You also get some additional silver paint picking out the joints and hydraulics on the legs, which looks quite nice! The orange here looks a lot brighter than what I remember from the vintage toy, and I certainly dig that. The tail, front guns, and head armor all add some bright red to the colors, making this figure’s deco pop brilliantly! What a fantastic looking toy this is!

In addition to the sculpted vents and mechanical bits and bobs, the toy makes use of some well placed stickers to add some detail. These include the vents between the legs on the front, the instruments on the back of the seat and in front of the ass-cannon, the dash board controls, and the heraldic images on each side of the body. I’m not sure what the collector consensus is on the stickers, but I really dig them. They evoke the feel of the vintage toys, and I’m sure they help to keep the cost down on these toys as well.

Stridor comes with the vintage-style armor for his head, which can be removed and swapped out with a more modern look. The modern armor covers more of the head, encompassing the nose and adding holes for the robot horse to… breath? I dunno… maybe that’s where he expels exhaust. There’s a lot more sculpted detail in this armor, including interlocking scales around the top of the neck, and overlapping plates on the snout. The longer spike and the shape of the eyeholes conspire to make him look a lot more aggressive. I like them both, but I think I’ll go with the vintage one for display.

The added articulation in the legs is a welcome treat, with three joints in each leg: At the top, knees, and ankles. The back legs are also ratcheted, so they can easily hold Stridor as he rears up on them. The figure is also balanced well enough to pose like this without any support, which is pretty damn cool. There’s a little articulation in the neck, but not a lot of movement there. Stridor’s jaws will open and snap shut again, so watch your fingers when you’re feeding him sugar cubes, or energon cubes, or whatever! The ass-cannon can turn left and right, and the two front guns can raise and lower a little. I do have a bit of a gripe with the front guns, as they have a habit of falling out when rotated.

Naturally, Stridor has room for a rider, with the rider’s legs going into the body, more like a car than a horse. It works really well, and Stridor can pretty much handle any of the normal Origins figures. Sorry, Ram Man… Not you! You have to walk! Or bounce, or whatever the hell it is you do! Stridor comes with a set or reins, which are made out of rope and has a plastic bit that goes in his mouth, and two handles for the rider.

You also get some blast effect parts to go over the three guns. These are cast in translucent blue plastic, and they’re kind of big. It’s nice to have display options, but I just don’t know about these. I doubt I’ll use them much.

And finally, Stridor comes with a little stable, which consists of a green stone floor and a couple of hitching posts. It’s a cool extra, but I wish they had added a computer or something to make it look like Man-At-Arms could run diagnostics on him or program him or whatever. Maybe I’m being greedy. It’s fine.

The base also has an optional stand, which can hold Stridor in action poses, and that’s very cool!

I paid $30 for this magnificent robo-steed, which I think is the actual MSRP, and I think that’s a damn fine deal considering his size and all he comes with. Indeed, Stridor encapsulates everything that’s fun about the Origins line. He’s a big and satisfying toy, with plenty of display options. He’s a great figure all by himself, but he also interacts really well with the regular figures, giving them yet another option for riding into battle against Skeletor and his minions of evil. Now, bring on Night Stalker! God, I love this line!

Masters of the Universe Origins: Mosquitor by Mattel

Once again, I’ll point out how much I love the MOTU Origins line as a vehicle for finally getting figures that I haven’t owned in any previous format. I didn’t have any MOTU figures when I was a kid, and there were a handful or so that I missed out on when collecting MOTU Classics. Mosquitor was one of those, and now I’m absolutely thrilled to finally have this overgrown parasite land in my collection. Does he suck? You bet he does! And I mean that in every good way possible!

As you can probably tell by the packaging, Mosquitor is a Deluxe figure, which means he comes on a slightly larger card, with a few extra bits and bobs to push him over the $20 price point. These cards are absolutely magic to see on the shelf, with it’s vintage style and bubble glued to the card, it almost looks like an overgrown rack toy of the past. The explosions of exposition proclaim that Mosquito’s chest pumps “Red Fluid” but we all know IT’S BLOOD! Sticky, crimson BLOOD! I don’t understand it. Half the toys on the shelves today are about poop, but we can’t say blood? I’m surprised Mattel hasn’t introduced a new figure called Poop-Or. Anyway, let’s tear this bug man open and check him out.

Straightaway I’m going to say that I love everything about this figure! He feels so fresh and new, and that’s a big deal in a line that is built off of recycling a lot of the same parts. Mosquitor is built on a black buck, with heavy, gray robotic looking boots, smooth gray undies with a purple belt and silver triangular belt buckle, deep crimson gauntlets, red bands around his biceps, and bulbous crimson shoulders, that look like they’re made of some kind of disgusting organic membrane. He’s also got a button on his back to pump that blood!

The window in his chest has a painted silver border and clearly shows off the reservoir of life juice in his blood tank. Pressing that button gets the blood flowing and it looks really good. It’s also surprisingly fun to pump it. Once again, I never owned the original, so I can’t say how it compares to the vintage original, but either way, I’d say Mattel did a fantastic job recreating this gross play gimmick.

Mosquitor comes with two heads, and deciding which one to go with is a win-win scenario, because they’re both so damn good. The figure comes out of the package wearing one which I believe is based on his appearance in the UK comics. This one transforms Mosquitor into more of a reptilian looking creature, with a scaly textured skin, and bit yellow eyes with vertical pupils very reminiscent of alligator peepers. There’s also a hint of a silver tube exposed in the middle of his snout, suggesting his bio-mechanical nature. I do like the look of this head a lot, and because it’s so new and fresh, I used it for a lot of the pictures here. But, you also get this one…

Ah, that’s the Mosquitor I’m a lot more familiar with! Here we get a smoother and more angular head with giant white eyes, and very prominent cybernetic parts on his snout, ending in what looks like a scalpel, perfect for sucking that life-giving blood from the do-gooders of Eternia or Etheria. I figure that if I want to reconcile the two, I can just imagine that this head is a helmet that goes over the other head! But in the end, this is the head I’ll likely be displaying him with.

And since Mosquitor is a Deluxe, the goodies keep on coming! First, he comes with his purple rifle and an extra left hand, to replace the fist with a gun-holding hand. The gun looks great, and it seems to be a pretty good recreation of the vintage figure’s gun. I’m not sure why Mattel included the extra left hand. It certainly wasn’t necessary, but it does give you the option of making Mosquitor ambidextrous.

And lastly you get this absolutely incredible blood-sucking effect part. If you know me, you know that I’m not usually that impressed by effect parts, but this thing is fantastic! I thin kit’s supposed to be an energy field that holds his prey while he’s leeching them dry, but I like to think it’s just gallons of blood leaving his foe’s body. And dang, it looks like Man-at-Arms has a lot of blood! Egads, I love this!

Mosquitor is one of my favorite figures released in Origins to date. Yeah, I probably say that a lot, but it is just such an amazing line of toys! Granted, Mosquitor is a little bit extra special, as it’s the first time I’m owning him, but even if that weren’t the case, I think he’s a fantastic update to the vintage figure, with just enough of that sweet additional articulation to make him even more fun to play around with. It’s also nice to finally get another member of The Evil Horde, since I’ve been buying a lot of Horde Troopers to fill out Hordak’s ranks!

Masters of the Universe Origins: Horak and Horde Troopers by Mattel!

It’s been a little too long since I last visited with Mattel’s Masters Origins line, and with how many figures have been added lately, it’s past time that I remedy that. Today, I’m switching my attention to the She-Ra side of things with a look at Hordak and his evil Horde Troopers!

I was never a big fan of the She-Ra cartoon, but when I did watch it, I watched it for The Evil Horde characters. Of particular appeal where the Horde Troopers, which sported a badass design and were pretty damn menacing, at least in appearance. In reality they were just there to give the heroes something without a soul that could get trashed, but I still thought they were damn cool. Anyway, let’s start with Horak himself.

I don’t have a whole lot to say about Hordak, other than Mattel stayed pretty close to the vintage original for this one. He has dark gray arms and legs with black boots and gauntlets. You get a painted silver belt with black furry diaper, and a bulky vest worn over the figure buck with the bright red Horde symbol sculpted on the front. There’s a black armband on his left bicep with a smaller Horde symbol, and two more down on his boots. Finally, he has a red cape, which extends down to about his knees. I really dig the coloring on this figure. The dark black and gray contrasts beautifully with the bright red, and little touch of silver that gives it an extra pop.

The head sculpt is solid enough, but it lacks some of the coloring in the original figure. It still looks fine, but feels a little more basic and a slight step down from the source material. Hordak is still an ugly sunovabitch, with pointed ears, a mohawk-like crest running down to his pig nose, and hideous bumps on his bald head. The coloring on the cheeks sort of resemble facial hair, and he has a single top row of red spiked teeth protruding down into his open maw of a mouth. I think I dig the eyes here the most. They appear to be separate from the head and attached from behind, giving them some cool depth and definition.

Hordak comes with his all white Horde Crossbow, which can be clipped onto either arm. I appreciate the use of a clip here, as his left hand is not designed to hold anything. Like the figure itself, the Crossbow is a pretty solid recreation of the vintage accessory and he looks great holding it. Moving on to the Horde Trooper…

The Horde Trooper was one of my favorite figures in the MOTU Classics line, and it looks like history is repeating itself here. I just dig this design so much. There’s something about mechanized suits of armor that just scratches my itch. Obviously this figure required all new tooling, and the attention to detail in the sculpt is excellent. You get all sorts of vents, mechanisms, and bits and bobs scattered about his armor. The Silver finish looks great, and I like it more than the flat gray used for the Classics version. There’s some black used for the boots, gloves, and joints, as well as bright red for the Horde symbol on the chest, and a yellow round cap in the middle of his groin. I don’t want to know what that’s used for! The only downside here is that the plastic shows off some swirling and a few creases from the molding process, but it’s nothing so bad that it detracts from my enjoyment of what is a great looking figure.

For the head, Mattel stuck with the toy design’s big yellow and black boomerang visor for a face. I’ll confess, I do tend to like the animated head design a bit more, but I’m not hating this. It looks fine, and fans of the original toy will no doubt be pleased. Hey, I wonder what that big red button in his chest is for?

Of course, it’s for the break-apart gimmick, inspired by the original toy design. Give it a press, and the Trooper breaks apart to reveal the red interior with some mechanical doodads sculpted onto it. The play gimmick is pretty well done here, and I find that my Troopers don’t break apart under normal handling, just when the trigger button is pressed.

And finally, the Trooper come with his Force Staff, which is cast all in red plastic. There is some nice sculpting on this piece, but it can be hard to make it out, because of the plastic used. It would have been nice to get a left hand that could hold it too, but I do like him having a fist as well.

And that’s two more excellent figures for the MOTU Origins line. I’m very pleased that Mattel has been dipping into The Evil Horde sooner rather than later, as I think it contains some of the coolest and wildest character designs. The Trooper was surprisingly easy to get a few of, at least initially, and thanks to spreading my pre-orders out, I was able to pick up five with no trouble at all. I do hope we get the Horde Jet Machine at some point, as it would be a great opportunity to bundle another Trooper with, and I’d be down for two or three of those!

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 Origins: Wind Raider by Mattel

I’m pretty sure I said this before, but one of the things that got me most excited about Origins and buying all these damn characters all over again was the idea of more vehicles! Yeah, we got a few cool ones in Classics, but it always seemed like a reach for the line, whereas it seems more cost effective for Origins. This line feels like it’s the perfect intersection point between toys and collectibles, meaning that Mattel can bring more vehicles to market at more affordable prices, because they really are just toys and not collectibles that you need to queue up online to buy quickly before they sell out! Enter the Wind Raider, surely one of the most iconic rides in Eternia. Mattel did a beautiful job bringing this vehicle to the Classics line, and I am beyond excited to see how the Origins version turned out.

The Origins packaging continues to be a home run! You get a big window box showing off the toy and lots of amazing vintage-style art on the side panels and extended top flap. It takes a bit to get this thing out of the box, and there’s some assembly required, but with a little care it can go back in if you prefer to play with your toys and then display them in the package when you’re done. It’s like having your Wind Raider and eating it too! Don’t eat your Wind Raider.

And wow is this thing a beauty! The assembly is quick and easy, and mainly consists of slapping on the wings, tailfin, and putting the stand together. The stickers are all pre-applied, and everything can be disassembled easily if you want to store it in the box. The toy is mostly comprised of a hollow plastic shell with the rest of the bits attached, and yet it still feels like a sturdy, quality toy. The colors are simple, but oh so pretty, with the combination of hunter green and orange-yellowish trim. The stickers are all straight and add some pizazz to the deco, especially the dragon icon nose art. You also get some sculpted detail, including panel lines and some vents.

Unlike the Classics Wind Raider, the wings each pivot independently. The harpoon can still be fired from the front with the push of a button, and then reeled back in by spinning the raised crest on the hood. The stand consists of a hinged peg that attaches into the bottom of the vehicle and connects with a gray deck plate, which in turn can be inserted into a Grayskull-style rocky platform, complete with a little computer terminal, perhaps for running diagnostics on the Raider. The screen is way too low for a standing figure to use it convincingly, but it’s a nice touch nonetheless.

The cockpit includes a sculpted seat, a textured floor, two handlebars, and stickers for control panels in the center and on the sides. Your average Origins figure fits into it with ease, and I was pleasantly surprised at just how big this thing scales with the Origins figures. In fact, let’s do a quick comparison with the Classics Wind Raider.

I’m really impressed with how close this toy is in size to the Classics Wind Raider, which was of course designed for much larger figures. It’s been a while since I had the Classics version out of the box, and I expected it to be a lot bigger than this new version, but that’s really not the case. As for other differences, the Classics Wind Raider certainly has sharper detail, and overall feels more like a premium piece, but the Origins Raider has nothing to be ashamed of. For an off-the-shelf toy at a fraction of the price, it certainly holds its own!

The Origins Wind Raider set me back about $35 and it’s a damn nice toy for the price. It’s big, it fits the figures perfectly, it has some fun play features, and it looks absolutely smashing on display. It also might be ridiculously fun to woooosh around the room, but I wouldn’t know anything about that! But best of all, the Wind Raider (along with the previously reviewed Land Shark) gets me all kinds of excited over other vintage Masters vehicles getting this kind of treatment. Spydor! The Talon Fighter! The Bashasaurus!!! Bring them all on Mattel! My wallet is ready!!!


Masters of the Universe Origins: Roboto and Fisto by Mattel

It’s more than a few weeks since I last checked in with Mattel’s MOTU Origins line. I’ve got tons of figures waiting to be opened, but today’s is something special for me, as this is the first time owning figures of either of these characters. Yup, both Roboto and Fisto are two of the very few figures missing from my MOTU Classics collection. With Roboto, his initial run had misassembled arms, so I waited, hoping for a fixed reissue later on down the road. Well, nope. And the rest is disappointment. As for Fisto, I think he was just released on one of those days when I couldn’t get to Matty Collector fast enough to place the order in time, and he quickly sold out.

Here are our Eternian heroes looking great on the retro-styled cards. It’s crazy how fast and furious this line has been right out of the gate. The figures have been coming with a steady pace, and I’d argue it’s one of the best distributed action figure lines, at least in my area. I still get a lot of these online for convenience sake, but I have also seen just about every single figure at least once while taking a shortcut through the toy aisles at my local Target. Good on you, Mattel! Let’s start with Roboto!

In the world of Eternia, where everyone is a colorful freak, it can be tough to stand out. So, the fact that Roboto does just that really means something! And a lot of that has to do with Roboto’s super cool transparent chest. It’s cast in clear plastic and shows his three primary gears inside. These will rotate when you swivel the figure at the waist in unison with his mouth opening and closing. I’ve never been a big fan of action gimmicks in my figures, but this is one that I can get behind! In addition to those visible internal gears, Roboto has some technological tidbits sculpted into his arms. I dig the coloring here, as it’s very vibrant and eye-catching. The blue and orange contrast beautifully, and the silver paint looks outstanding.

Roboto shares the legs of Trap Jaw, which is appropriate since I’ve always considered Roboto his heroic counterpart. Like Trap Jaw, Roboto has multiple attachments for his left arm, which can be quickly swapped out to adapt to any situation at hand. These attachments include a claw that’s so tiny, it would make Clamp Champ giggle; A double-barreled blaster; And finally, a pretty sweet double-bladed ax. Alas, unlike Trap Jaw, Roboto has nowhere to store the extra bits. Maybe they’re just supposed to retract into him when he swaps them out.

His head reminds me a bit of RoboCop, as it has that silver helmet with the visor running across it. Unlike RoboCop, the bottom half of his face is just a giant, hinged orange mouth. There isn’t a lot of personality in this portrait, and I have to imagine that Roboto feels a little inferior, considering how realistic Skeletor was able to make Faker’s head. That alone, would make me consider changing sides. But even with a mug like a VCR, I still love this guy a lot!

Moving on to Fisto, and compared to Roboto, we’ve got a dude that looks pretty normal, at least according to the Eternia Scale of Normalcy. Fisto borrows a lot from the standard He-Man buck, complete with purple boots and belt, and the ubiquitous furry barbarian diaper. His torso is wrapped in a purple and silver vest, which makes him look a bit bulkier than most of these figures, but it works! He’s got a silver wrist bracer on his left arm and his right arm is equipped with the reason for the season… A GIANT METALIC FIST!!!

Despite being his gimmick, Fisto’s fist isn’t anything too exciting… at least providing you aren’t on the receiving end of it. Once again, Mattel used some beautiful silver paint here, and it looks great alongside the deep purple. I’m going to claim ignorance and ask, is that a fully functional hand or just a fist? I honestly don’t know. But if he can open it like a hand, shouldn’t he be called Hando?

I wasn’t over enamored with the head sculpt when I first saw it, but I’ll admit that it’s grown on me. Fisto’s head is a little lumpy, and his eyes and eyebrows look kind of weird. It’s like they don’t really belong on his face and they’re just visiting. I do love the hair sculpt though. The beard is solid and the mustache is superb.

Fisto comes with one accessory, and that’s his long purple sword. It accessorizes quite well with his outfit, and it’s got a detailed hilt with a knucklebow, and a guard designed to trap opponents blades. I wouldn’t want to fight Fisto, as the combo of using his fist as a parrying punchy shield combined with the long reach of that blade would make him a formidable opponent.

Egads, I love this line. The figures are always so much fun, and it’s currently the most affordable line I collect by a long shot. Roboto and Fisto are just two more reminders of why I enjoy this line, and it’s great to finally have figures of these characters in my collection! It’s tough to spread the love with only three reviews a week, but I’ve got to make a concerted effort to come back to Origins more frequently than I have been, because I still have plenty of figures to check out!

Masters of the Universe Origins: Prince Adam and Sky Sled by Mattel

One of the best things about Mattel’s MOTU Origins line leaning away from the collector aspect and more toward the toy side of things is that we are getting vehicles a lot faster than we did in Classics. I already had a look at the evil, menacing Land Shark, we’ve got a Wind Raider incoming soon, and today I’m going to take a look at one of the workhorses of Eternia’s personal transportation offerings: The Sky Sled! Oh yeah, and it comes with Prince Adam too!

The retro style of the packaging here continues to delight and confound me. As much as I’m hurting for storage space, I can’t bring myself to get rid of some of these boxes. You get some of that amazing artwork that had us kids salivating in the toy aisles back in the day, as well as the iconic Masters logo. The Origins “Retro Play” logo appears in a exclamation burst and the window proudly shows off both the vehicle and the figure. There are three vehicles depicted in the action scene on the box. One is the Sky Sled, one is the Wind Raider, which has already been revealed, so let’s hope the Roton is coming up soon. It was one of the last things to be released in the Classics line, and sadly, I didn’t have the cash or room for it back then. The package here is pretty collector friendly, so let’s open it up and have a look at Prince Adam!

Adam sports He-Man’s body and a brand new belted red tunic, which ironically makes him look even more buffed out than He-Man does. The arms and torso are painted white to look like a long-sleeve shirt, and yes that includes the sculpted wrist bracers! Adam forgoes the fuzzy barbarian diaper in favor of some purple undies, his legs are painted lighter purple to look like leggings, and he’s got purple boots with white fur around the tops. I dig this figure a lot, although it does lead me to some suspicions that Adam may indeed by the Most Powerful Man in the Universe.

It doesn’t help that they reused He-Man’s head, and that’s easily my biggest gripe with this figure. They really should have given Adam a less angry looking face, and in doing so that would give us an alternate head for He-Man. It seems like a no-brainer since the line is modular anyway. I mean, Clark Kent head a pair of glasses, Prince Adam could at least force a smile to try to remain in character.

He-Man comes with a whole Power Sword, much like Keldor did, although it’s cast in mauve plastic. And about that, I have questions. Actually, no I don’t. Probably best to just leave it. I will say, that I think it’s another missed opportunity, this time to cast it in gray and give us a whole Power Sword to give to He-Man. Yeah, I’m nitpicking a lot, I really do like this figure, but a these little things could have made it a whole lot better.

Still, the Sky Sled is probably the real star of this set. This cool little one-man vehicle includes a clear stand, which plugs into the bottom, and a base that looks like a patch of desert ground. I would have preferred the base be left clear as well, but what we got is still fine. There’s a hinge at the top of the stand, so the vehicle can be displayed pitched up or down, and the connection also swivels.

And what can I say? I’ve long been a fan of this very Flash Gordon-like design ever since I first saw it in the cartoon. The Sled feels pretty solid and features a sculpt that is simple enough to evoke the animated style, but still pack enough details to keep it interesting. There are vents and panel lines, cross-hatched texturing on the foot pedals, and even some tiny rivets where the armor plates are meant to be bolted on. The bulk of the coloring comes from the slightly metallic blue plastic, but you do get silver quad-exhaust pipes, silver blasters on the sides, and a silver cannon mounted on the front. The sides have stickers with stylized green dragon deco, and we’ll come back to these in a bit.

The dashboard has a sculpted instrument panel with some gauges and controls, all set below a sticker screen showing a grid pattern and some radar-like blips. The control grips are painted black.

The figures fit pretty well on the Sled, and they stay put thanks to both some foot pegs on the pedals and the tight grip the hands have on the control handles. I say hands plural, but most figures only have one grippy hand, and that’s still sufficient to keep them on and looking good. Prince Adam actually comes with a grippy left hand as well, and you can loan that hand to your He-Man figure if you’d like him to ride it most of the time. It’ll also allow him to dual wield his sword and battle ax!

The main cannon can swivel a bit to the left and the right, and it also comes with a firing effect part, which looks pretty neat. Holy shit, it looks like this thing packs quite a punch!

The Sky Sled also comes with three extra parts to swap out and make it into an EVIL Sky Sled! Just pull of the side pieces with the green dragons and replace them with the much more evil red dragons. Then you pop off the heroic bird-like head and replace it with the EVIL Cat? Dragon?? head. To be fair, I think either of these configurations would work for the good guys, so if you’re looking to buy a fleet of these, you can probably still have each side pilot the two different variants. Not to sell this feature short, though, because I think it was a really great idea.

The Sky Sled was one of the easiest toys in this line for me to get so far. Not only have there been an abundance of these on the shelves at Target, but they’ve been discounting the hell out of it, so I’ve picked up a few more. And that leads me to one last nitpick about this set. I really wish they had included a Palace Guard as the pack-in figure and released Prince Adam on his own. Yes, I like the Adam figure, but after buying three of these, I now have extra Adams. A troop builder figure would have made a lot more sense to me. Now, with that having been said, this is a fantastic toy and it makes for a great display piece. I can’t wait to get more Origins vehicles!