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!

Masters of the Universe Origins: “Rise of Evil 2-Pack by Mattel

Exclusives can be a pain in the ass, or they can be proof that patience pays off. In the case of today’s Rise of Evil 2-Pack, it turned out to be all about patience. This set, featuring Keldor and Kronis, the original forms of Skeletor and Trap-Jaw, is another Target Exclusive that has been infamously difficult to find. After weeks of having no luck, I came very close to grabbing it from a scalper on Ebay. I actually had it in my cart, and I just couldn’t bring myself to pull the trigger. My desire to own it wasn’t stronger than my disgust for the people buying them up to profit on it. Two weeks later, I found six of them sitting on the shelf. Go figure!

Still, if Mattel is going to insist on doing exclusives, I’ll concede that this is probably a good pick for it. Some may argue that Keldor and Kronis are essentials, but I wouldn’t really agree. They are definitely great figures to have, but essential? Nah. Also, I think Mattel probably completely underestimated the demand on this one. Let’s start with Kronis!

The Evil Criminal from Another Dimension represents Trap-Jaw before getting all messed up and undergoing a body-horror style repair by Tri-Klops, or at least I think that’s how the 200x lore went. The figure recycles Trap-Jaw’s torso, pelvis, and legs all with the same coloring, including those neon green patches on his thigh armor. The left arm no longer has the bolt on the shoulder and he has his normal right arm, both of which include the standard Eternian wrist cuffs, here colored in pale gray. The chest harness is different, as it now has a strap that goes across his chest and secures in the front, but it’s definitely similar to the one Trap-Jaw uses to hold on his artificial limb.

The head sculpt definitely fits the look of psychopathic space pirate. He looks demented and like someone who probably has a lot of problems running around in his noodle. The slack-jawed expression includes a wall of white teeth and an look that suggests he’s rather displeased with me and quite possibly wants to do unpleasant things to my intestines. The close-fitting helmet is similar to what he would wear as Trap-Jaw, right down to the loop at the top for zip-lining. String not included! I’ll note here that my figure is a bit of a bobble head. The neck connection is just loose, making poor Kronis’ head wobble around.

Kronis comes with one accessory, and that’s his cool looking laser rifle. The rifle has two grips, but Kronis only has one grippy hand, as the left is the standard open hand we see with a lot of these figures. I really wish Mattel had added a second grippy hand like they did with Clamp Champ, but he can still hold the rifle fairly well and rest it on his open hand for some decent poses. Moving on to Keldor!

OK, so Kronis was pretty neat, but Keldor is really where it’s at with this set. This guy looks absolutely amazing. He features a very standard pale blue Origins buck with purple boots and wrist cuffs, and a black pelvic piece. The shoulder armor and belt are recycled from regular Skeletor, but cast in a darker purple, which matches his darker purple boots. We also get a few paint hits on the chest piece, including the neon green emblem and the mauve stone in the middle of his crossed bones. Wow, this all looks so good!

Keldor also comes with a cape, which is held on by a plastic chain that goes around the front of his neck. It looks great from the front, but it’s not terribly flattering from the back, as it just puffs out and makes him look like a grape.

The portrait is nothing short of fantastic. Keldor was quite the dashing fellow before the magic acid mishap. He definitely has all the stylings of a villain, with that mustache, widow’s peak, and pointy beard, but the broad grin makes him look like he would be a charismatic adversary. I think this is one of the best head sculpts to come out of Origins so far!

Keldor comes with both his sword and the Havoc Staff. The sword is finished on both sides, unlike the half-sword that came with the original Skeletor release. It’s also painted with a neon green glow toward the point.

The Havok Staff is the same sculpt, but the dark purple transitions to a translucent neon green as it gets to the ram head at the top. This makes for a cool effect, and not a bad stand-in for Skeletor’s staff.

And finally, Keldor comes with a brand new Skeletor head, which is a huge improvement over the one we got on the original Origins release. I love the sculpt, and the paint is just about perfect. He also has some flashy red jewels for eyes. It’s almost a shame that the hood is darker than the armor on the original release, because I would use this as my regular Skeletor head in a heartbeat if the colors matched up.

But in all honesty, this figure could easily stand in as your Origins Skeletor, providing you don’t mind him having regular feet and not those webbed monster feet. I just love everything about this guy! He looks like a premium quality release compared to regular Skeletor.

No doubt about it, this is a great set! Keldor definitely nudges out Kronis as the star for me, but Kronis is no slouch either. And while I’m glad I didn’t have to pay extra, I probably would have been OK with spending more if I had to. This 2-pack is a release that I would have expected to come much later in Origins‘ lifespan, but it’s cool that Mattel is investing in some deep cuts fairly early on. It makes me wonder what other goodies they have in store for us!

Masters of the Universe Origins: Clamp Champ by Mattel


The MOTU Origins figures continue piling up, and I feel as if it’s been too long since I last visited with this delightful line. But, since one of the new Deluxe figures was just spat toward my doorstep via Amazon Toy-Drone, I bumped Clamp Champ to the head of the line, so let me pour another Jameson and sing him in on….

It’s Clamp Champ!
Who?
He’s the Champ of the Clamp!
What??
Not to be confused with Tramp Stamp!
What’s he called?
You deaf son? He’s CLAMP CHAMP… Yeeeeah!!!

How do you stand out in Eternia when you aren’t half-skunk, covered in moss, half robot-elephant, or have a telescoping neck? You get in the garage and build yourself a giant mechanical clamp! And that’s exactly what Clamp Champ did! As one of the Deluxe figures, he comes in a larger vintage-styled card for his extra goodies. The TechnoClamp has been renamed the Power Pincer, which leads me to question why he isn’t called Pincer Champ, but whatever. I love the larger card and bubbles. It makes it look like an old timey rack toy. Sadly, these are not collector friendly, so let me get with the ripping!

Naturally, Champ uses the standard MOTU hero buck, and as this line is modular, he can be pulled apart at all the usual points. My figure actually has a pretty weak connection at the waist, so he will sometimes pull in half when I’m messing around with him. Werid. Clampy has some nice silver paint on his wrist bracers and belt, and some red paint on his furry diaper and the fringe at the tops of his black boots. He wears a rubbery plastic vest, which makes him look rather swol, but also adds some blue to the costume deco, and his color is painted with more of that scrummy silver. He’s a great looking figure!

I was surprised to see that Clamp Man comes with two heads, one with a serious clamping expression and one smiling. I really dig them both, and it’s going to be a tough call on which one to go with for regular display. Maybe the smiling one, since all the other figures look so serious all the time. I’ll note here that Sir Clamp also comes with an extra accessory-holding left hand. I’ll likely go with this one all the time, since his relaxed hand has the fingers kind of warped. It’s like he was testing the clamp on this hand and things got out of control.

Wow, and that brings us to the clamp itself. Even in the batshit crazy world of Eternia, this is one of the most impractical and ungainly weapon I’ve ever seen. He can barely hold it comfortably, let alone wield it in any convincing fashion. And all that makes it so incredibly wonderful. He grips it from a simple peg underneath and there’s a switch on the top that deploys the fluorescent orange pincer claws. I’d like to think that Champ’s backstory is he had planned to get this thing as a cybernetic replacement for his right arm, but then didn’t want to cut his arm off, so he just carries it around.

The claw is perfectly sized to fit around the waist of your average Eternian ne’er-do-well. And since they’re spring loaded they stay put pretty well. I’d like to think Champ’s favorite one-liner is, “Looks like you brought a gun to a clamp fight.” Actually, I take that back. His catch-phrase should be, “You mess with the Champ, You get the Clamp!”

Clamp Champ also comes with a smaller clamp weapon, so it’s like he planned for the big thing getting too heavy to carry all day. This is a non-articulated accessory of a smaller and more lethal looking clamp, with serrated claws.

I’m a little surprised that they got to Clamp Champ so soon in the Origins line, but then again they are turning out these figures pretty damn fast. As I haven’t picked up the Battle Armor He-Man and Skeletor yet, this is the first of these Deluxe figures in my collection. At $19.99, these Deluxes are about five bucks more than the regular ones, which still feels like a pretty good value, as there’s a lot of extra plastic in here.