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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Masters of the Universe Classics: Perfuma by Mattel

Remember when the first Princess of Power figures were released as part of the Club Eternia Sub and a lot of collectors lost their minds? Well that was a long time ago. Since then every couple of months has brought us another of these now established ladies and that’s fine by me because I think they’ve been some of the brighter spots of the whole shebang. Let’s see if today’s figure continues that trend with Perfuma, “Brave Warrior Working the Fragrance Desk at Macy’s!”

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Nah, her real tagline is “Scent-Sational Flower Maiden” and ugh, I liked mine better. Even in a line that has no problems letting the bad puns fly, this one just goes too far. Her real name is Tara and her magical power is apparently being able to make people fall asleep by smelling her. In Filmation lore she has the power to force Horde Troopers to form a conga line and remain totally oblivious to personal danger. There’s nothing else to say about the packaging. We’ve seen it before and it has a “Princess of Power” sticker on the bubble. It’ll likely be the last time we see that sticker on a new release, but I’ve got some back tracking to do on some figures, so we’ll see it again here. Anyway, let’s open her up and…

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Woah… So, Perfuma is actually perfumed and I honestly did not expect that. I’m not sure why I didn’t, since making figures stink has been a MOTU gimmick before with Stinkor and Moss Man. I guess I just didn’t get the memo this time. The smell actually isn’t that strong, and it’s kind of nice, but I don’t get to talk about a figure’s smell too often so I thought I’d lead with it. I may lock her in a Ziploc container with Stinkor and Moss Man and let them fight it out to see who wins in the battle of the stinks. As one might expect, Perfuma features a very flowery themed outfit. She has a rose-colored dress with a couple of sculpted roses on her belt, green leggings and rose-colored boots. Even the dress itself kind of looks like an overturned rose. The whole ensemble is capped off with a pair of green arm bracers and some ivy-like trim around her dress. She’s actually one of the more distinctive looking ladies in The Great Rebellion. Let’s face it, if you’re a dude collecting this line, you’ve got to be pretty comfortable in your masculinity to have this figure on your shelf. Then again, if you’ve got Peek-A-Blue on display, you’ve already crossed that bridge.

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The head sculpt is pretty distinctive too. Perfuma escapes that certain “sameness” that I tend to see in a lot of the ladies’ portraits. This one looks different and maybe just a tad more Filmation than the rest. Or maybe that’s just me. It’s not one of my favorites, and I think that has a lot to do with the eyes. The paint is rather heavy handed. It also looks like she’s been to the Etherian Collagen Clinic for some injections in her lips. Perfuma has a wild mane of yellow hair, which is sculpted in a very pliable plastic that helps her head turn more freely. It does, however, look a little dirty, like she’s been rolling around in the flower beds. There’s also some unfortunate mold flashing on the back of her hair.

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In keeping the whole flower obsession thing going, Perfuma also has a giant flower that she can wear as a hat. It just clips right onto the top her head and stays on really well. I’m kind of surprised they didn’t just make this part of the sculpt, as I can’t imagine wanting to display her without it.  Articulation is totally predictable for the PoP ladies, but let’s run through it anyway, one last time. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the biceps and wrists. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, hinged at the knees, have swivels at the hips, and the ankles are hinged. She can swivel at the waist and has a ball jointed head.

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In addition to her flower hat, Perfuma comes with a flower gun and a shield. The gun is so ridiculous it’s almost awesome. Unfortunately, she can’t really do anything with it because it weighs a ton and her joints can’t support the weight. There’s one sweet spot where I can get her to hold it up for a few moments, providing nobody breathes on or looks directly at the figure. As for the shield, you guessed it! It’s just a repaint of the same shield we’ve been getting all along. This time it’s green with a green crystal.

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Perfuma is a pretty cool figure, although I’ll confess she’s not among my favorites of the Princess of Power offerings. In fact, I’d rank her low to middle on that spectrum. Of course that comment shouldn’t weigh too heavily on her flowery head because with the exception of Double-Mischief *spits on the floor*, I love every PoP figure on my shelf (Yes, even The Star Sisters) so Perfuma’s got nothing to be ashamed of. And so, if I’m not mistaken, Perfuma should wrap up the PoP figures for the Masters Classics line, and not a moment too soon, since we’re closing in on the line’s final figures and what will sort of be an end of an era. But I’ll have more to say on that next month when I look at the last offerings. In the meantime, I still have a couple of figures to look at from October’s offerings, and I’ll try to get to them next week.

Masters of the Universe Classics: Ceratus by Mattel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Masters of the Universe Classics: King Chooblah

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Masters of the Universe Classics: Saurod by Mattel

It hasn’t happened often, but finally we’re getting another figure based on a character in the 1987 Masters of the Universe film. While I don’t pretend to know all the ins and outs of the copyright situation, Mattel seems to be currently limited to producing only the movie characters that had figures in the vintage line. And that would indeed be what Blade, Gwildor and Saurod all have in common. And since Matty’s goal this year has been to complete the Classics line with updates to all the existing vintage figures, we all knew Saurod had to be coming. And that’s fine by me because I’m all for lizard warriors in space armor.

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There isn’t much new to say about the packaging. I am surprised that Matty didn’t opt to put a sticker on the bubble for the movie figures, but again they might be restricted by all that copyright nonsense and the bio is designed to wrap him up in the Classics canon. His tag line is “Evil Spark Shooting Reptile.”

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I have to admit to being blown away by this figure the moment I got him out of the package. I think it was the coloring that caught my eye first. Admittedly, the coloring doesn’t seem to match the big screen character all that closely, but I’m fine with that because it looks so striking. The copper colored armor is fantastic on its own, but when coupled with the blue-green underneath it, the deco really ups the wow factor big time.  I’m a little confused as to whether all that blue-green paint is supposed to be Saurod’s skin or not because the sculpt in some areas makes it look more like chain mail and yet it more or less matches the areas that are obviously textured with a scaly skin pattern. And then you’ve got what appear to be his green undies, which also have a scaly lizard skin pattern, but matches the color of his tail underneath. Am I over thinking this? Well, either way, I love the coloring on this piece.

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The armor itself is intricately detailed with panel lining on the legs, circuit-like patterns on the arms and a wonderful hammered and pitted look to the shoulder pieces. Sculpted straps secure his upper leg plates and the lobster tail armor above his tail looks amazing. A stray nick and scrape here and there makes the armor look well used and battle worn. I have no idea what that thing is hanging off the back of his helmet, though. A lizard pony tail? Hey, it’s Eternia, so why not?

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Saurod’s head sculpt is mostly comprised of his impressive helmet and mask. There’s a little of his scaly skin showing around the eye holes and two cold and piercing reptile eyes peering out of his rather intricate mask. The right eye on my figure is a little out of whack, but compared to some of the googly-eyed Saurods I’ve seen out there, I’ll definitely take what I got.

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Despite the distinctive armor and sculpting on display here, Saurod retains all the standard articulation found in the MOTUC buck. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the biceps and wrists. The legs are ball jointed with hinges in the knees and ankles, and swivels up at the top of the thighs. Saurod can swivel at the waist, has an ab crunch hinge in the torso, and his head is ball jointed. The tail is rubbery, but not really poseable. It does, however, help with balance on some of the more action orientated poses.

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Saurod comes with one accessory and that’s his trusty laser pistol. It’s a simple piece with a decent sculpt. The sidearm can be stored in his functional holster or wielded in his right hand.

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Whatever bad blood Matty earned for making me shell out money for that ridiculous Hordak variant last month is now forgiven, because Saurod here really is a spectacular figure. I have no particular love for or nostalgia for the character, but this figure is so damn striking that I can imagine I would probably have wanted him on my shelf even if I wasn’t collecting the MOTUC line. The coloring, the sculpt, and the personality of this guy all come together so beautifully. Now if only Matty could work out the licensing rights and get us some more movie figures, particularly that blinged out version of Skeletor, I would be a really happy camper.

Masters of the Universe Classics: Buzzsaw Hordak by Mattel

At last, I’m getting around to opening up the final Masters Classics figure from August: Buzzsaw Hordak! This was one of the first figures in this line that I can remember not really being terribly excited about getting. Don’t get me wrong, I love The Evil Horde and I love Hordak, but did I really need yet another variant of the guy? Let alone one that looks almost exactly the same as the original? Well, let’s see if Buzzsaw can win me over.

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Nothing much new to say about the packaging, although it’s worth pointing out that the up and coming Dragstor figure is pictured on the back of the card and looking great. The bio is downright weird and attributes Hordak’s buzzsaws to a mutation brought on by attempting to steal time travel secrets without the Cosmic Key. Um, what? Firstly, what does one thing have to do with the other and secondly, that’s a pretty convenient mutation. In the end, there’s only one answer… because, Masters of the Universe! If you can’t accept that, I’ll ask you to take another look at Snout Spout. I rest my case.

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So what we have here is basically the same Hordak figure (which I reviewed back in 2010 and recently revisited!) that we got originally only with some paint variations and the chest gimmick thing. Instead of wearing a vest over a regular MOTUC buck, Buzzsaw’s got a totally new torso, but it still looks very much the same. The loin cloth is shorter on the new figure, but that’s the only noticeable change to the sculpt. In fact, with the chest door closed up, the only real differences are the silver-grey used for the trim on the original Hordak’s outfit has been changed to glossy black paint and the weathered looking grey belt has been changed to straight silver. The face on my figure is a little paler than the original too. That’s not to say what’s here isn’t good. The paintwork on this figure is excellent and overall, he looks fantastic.

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Of course, with the whole point of this figure being the gimmick, I doubt many will display it with the chest door closed. Nope, if this guy is going to take up valuable space on the shelf, you might as well showcase that gimmick. That having been said, I don’t care much for it as a display option. It’s just an open compartment with the buzzsaw piece rattling around in there. You can balance it on the tab that secures the door to make it look like it’s getting ready to launch, but even that is rather precarious. For a gimmick that required an entirely new torso to be sculpted, this still manages to feel like an afterthought.

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Obviously some articulation had to be sacrificed to make this work, but only the ab-crunch. Everything else is intact and right in line with what we’ve been seeing all along from the MOTUC male buck. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, hinges in the elbows, and swivels in both the biceps and the wrists. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have hinges in the knees, and ankles, and swivels up near the hips. The neck is ball jointed and there is still a swivel in the waist.

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Besides the buzzsaw piece, Hordak also comes with his crossbow. It’s the same piece that came with the original Hordak only now cast in white plastic with red paint apps for the eyes. Sadly, Matty chose not to repack the staff from the original figure, which seems kind of cheap on their part.

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In case you haven’t already guessed, I’m pretty underwhelmed by Buzzsaw Hordak. I imagine that collectors anxious to get modern versions of all the vintage toys will be happy to get him, and that’s cool. I suppose he’s a decent pick up for collectors who missed out on the original Hordak, but then that’s not an expensive figure on the second hand market, so if that was the case, you’re probably better hunting down the original. I don’t know what else to say. It’s not often that my Matty Masters Sub disappoints me, but this is one time that it did. This is one that I would have happily skipped had I the option to.

Masters of the Universe Classics: Mara of Primus by Mattel

As you may remember, last month was a pretty big one for Matty Subbers. My net haul was no less than three figures and a packet of heads. I’ve already checked out Evil Seed from the 200X Subscription and today I’m taking a look at Mara of Primus who hails from the regular Club Eternia Sub, although the character comes from New Adventures. Or at least that’s what I’m told. Truth be told, I have no idea who this chick is.

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Nothing new to talk about with the packaging, other then it has the “Galactic Protectors” sticker on the bubble, so I’m going to jump right to the bio in order to edumacate myself about the character. This is the part where I remind you that I don’t need to know who these people are to enjoy their action figures. Unfortunately, there’s nothing here to suggest that she’s a Transformers-Masters crossover so the whole Primus thing is just a coincidence. Also, it turns out her bio is just a bunch of boring stuff about her made up titles and accomplishments and is surprisingly silent about the fact that she uses her hair as a goddamn flail to pummel people with. At least they didn’t name her Hair-Flailia or something like that. Oh, and that reminds me… COPYRIGHT HAIR-FLALIA, SUCKERS!!!

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With Mara out of the package, I have to say I’m digging this gal a lot. I get a kind of space-gladiator vibe off of her. Actually, the top of her outfit looks like a proper uniform a crew member might wear on a space ship in a 70’s sci-fi series, complete with high shoulders, some insignia and decorative piping. Below that things just get wild. She’s serving up an ample helping of bare midriff, a spiked bracelet on her right wrist and a purple and gold arm bracer on her left. I like the attention paid to her boots. The gold paint on the armor looks great against the purple, I really love this gold paint, and the buckles are sculpted  on the sides, which is always a great little detail.

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And then you’ve got her weaponized ponytail. Mara features a super long braid with a gold band holding it together in the middle and it ends with a spiked ball. I think I like this concept a lot more than it deserves, but I just think it’s ridiculously bad ass, especially for someone who’s an ambassador. You know, just in case diplomatic talks break down, she can club the other diplomats to death with her hair-flail. All kidding aside, the hair looks great. The braid is intricately sculpted and the plastic is soft enough so that she can hold it in her hand to wield it. Personally, I prefer to think she just whips it around with her head.

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Speaking of heads, Mara’s got a pretty good looking portrait, although there’s something about her eyes that creep me out. It’s clear they were going for something to match the animation art and let’s face it, the Space He-Man aesthetic doesn’t exactly jibe with the Filmation. I think T4H did the best they could to meld the two and what we got is fine, just a little different.

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As for articulation, Mara includes most of what I’ve come to expect from the MOTUC ladies. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, swivels in the biceps and wrists, and hinges in the elbows. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, hinged at the knees and ankles, and also have rockers in the ankles. Mara can swivel at the waist and the neck is ball jointed. The only thing that I’m really missing here is the swivels up in the hips, otherwise she’s pretty fun to play with.

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While a hair flail might be enough for some, Mara comes with two additional accessories. You get her pole arm and a shield. The shield is larger than most of what we see with this line. It’s got a gold and purple motif to match her armor and there’s some texturing in the background of the five pointed star. The pole arm features a blade on one end and a spiked ball on the other. The girl is really into those spiked balls. Oooh, I’ll bet that sentence will lead some interesting people to this page off the Googles.

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I dig pretty much everything about Mara. The colors are nice, the outfit is an interesting mix, and I can rest easy knowing that far in the future hair-flails will be a thing. Obviously, she’s not a character I was looking forward to, but that’s what I love so much about this line. The figures are great enough to hold their own and I can either consult the bios or fill in the blanks with my own crazy imagination. Plus, my Space Mutant population was really starting to overpower my Galactic Protectors, so I’m sure NA She-Ra, Hydron and Icarus will be happy to have another warrior for their ranks. Damn, I really need to track down that New Adventures He-Man.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Masters of the Universe Classics: Peekablue by Mattel

There’s a shitload of figures coming to me from Matty for the month of August (I think it amounts to three figures and a pack of heads), so I guess it’s well past time I finish opening up and looking at July’s figures. Today we’re checking out another one of the Princess of Power ladies. She’s Peekablue, and she may be half peacock, but she’s all woman. Wait, what?

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The packaging tells us that Peekablue is our “Watchful Feathered Friend” and sports the PoP sticker on the package. If I flip the package over and look at the other figures on the back, I can see that I’ve got a clean sweep. All of those are on my shelf. Yes, sadly that includes that terrible Double Mischief figure.

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It seems appropriate to be looking at a figure like this now at a time when a major retailer like Target is sanitizing their toy department and making it “gender neutral” by removing gender specific aisle markers and replacing blue and pink aisle paper with neutral brown. Hey, why not go all the way, Target? Put the Barbies in with the Transformers. Why are you still segregating them by aisles? I’m kidding… a little bit. It just seems like an empty gesture to appease some loud mouths concerned over something that I didn’t even know was an issue. I’m a 43yo male about to review Peekablue. Granted, she’s not sold in stores, but if she was, I wouldn’t care what color the aisle was I bought her from.

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So, Peekablue is a green haired chick with a full spread of peacock feathers on her ass. I got nothing. That’s it, folks. Thanks for reading. …OK, so seriously, as batshit crazy as this sounds, it’s just another day in Etheria or Eternia where hot chicks with animal parts can walk down the street and nobody thinks twice about it. I think what’s most creepy about this arrangement is that the bio points out that all of those patterns on her peacock tail are actual functioning eyes. Forget classifying this as a girl’s toy, the more I think about it, the more I realize it’s actual body horror. What’s that? Yeah, I suppose I should actually talk about the figure…

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Peekablue features a colorful outfit, with a blue top, boots, and arm bracers, a red belt, and yellow skirt. She’s got some peacock motifs sculpted into her top and boots, although at a quick glance they could look just as much like shells, I suppose. The skirt is a nice piece of sculpting and her belt features an eye sculpted in the middle. I wonder if that one is real too!

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The peacock tail plugs into the back and is hinged in two places so it can close up a bit. The sculpting and paintwork on this thing is especially nice. All the little feathers are sculpted in and there’s a shimmery blue and green deco with each of the eyes painted red and yellow. Surprisingly, the figure can still stand pretty well despite the huge peacock backpack.

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The portrait here is solid. It escapes the angular cheeked, flat faced sameness that sometimes characterizes the MOTUC women. She’s pretty, the paint is very clean and her cascade of green hair is wonderfully sculpted.

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Other than the hinges in the peacock tail, articulation is right in line with the rest of the PoP ladies. The legs feature ball joints in the hips, hinges in the ankles and knees, and swivels up at the top of the thighs. The arms have rotating hinges at the shoulders, swivels in the thighs and wrists, and hinges in the elbows. She can swivel at the waist and the head is ball jointed at the neck.

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Peekablue comes with two accessories. You get the usual PoP shield, this time in blue with a yellow crystal. She also comes with what looks like a folding fan, but I imagine is supposed to be some kind of bladed weapon.

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I make it no secret that I love the PoP related figures and Peakablue is no exception. With a nice sculpt and a strikingly colorful paint job. She’s just so delightfully ridiculous and makes a great addition to the crazy members of The Great Rebellion. Not being a collector of the vintage line, I have no idea how many PoP characters are left for Matty to re-create as Classics, but I’m going to be a sad puppy when they’re finally done.

Masters of the Universe Classics: Callix by Mattel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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