Mythic Legions (All-Stars 4): Bryophytus by The Four Horsemen

There were two Masters of the Universe homages in the last All-Stars Wave from Mythic Legions. I looked at Mephitor (Not-Stinkor!) last time, and today I’m having a look at Bryophytus, who is most definitely an overt nod to Mossman, and a new sub-race of Orcs called Lichen Orcs!

If I understand it correctly, Bryophytus’ name is a class of vegetation, but I’m not one of them saladology scientists, so don’t quote me on that. Bryo (No way I’m typing that name every time!) is the protector of his tribe of veggie covered Orcs, that dwell in a secluded area of Mythoss known as The Swale! He has the power to control the plant life around him, making him sound a bit like Mythoss’ answer to Swamp Thing!

And wow! This combination of flocking on the Orc body works amazingly well! Here he is in his most basic form and with the head that I think works best as a Moss Man homage, but I’ll talk more about that in a minute. The Orc body is indeed flocked with a green stubble that feels like a cross between Astroturf and damp packing material. Don’t get me wrong, I think it looks great, even with the joint areas left bare to prevent it from being shaved off by articulating those points. It’s even got some yellowish bits mixed in so that it’s not all uniform green. And what a shade of green it is! Deep, dark, and spinach-y, like Bryo is chock full of vitamins and ruffage! It’s worth noting he does not smell like a pine-scented air freshener for your car. Which I suppose could be a pro or con, depending on your personal taste. And luckily Bryo isn’t wearing a whole lot so he can showcase his flocking. What he does have is a knightly yellow-gold armored belt with deep copper colored hip armor and a shaggy sash to conceal his twig and berries. He has similar copper wrist bracers, and lower leg armor, also taken from the Knight figures, but his feet are left bare to show off more mossy goodness. We’ve seen all these parts before and the combination works quite well.

The head I chose to start with is the less aggressive looking one, at least to me, although he does still looks like a tough customer. His Orc nature comes out in his pointed ears, broad nose, deep set yellow eyes, and jutting teeth that rise up from the corners of his dower mouth. He also sports a glorious moss beard! I think this head really showcases how wonderful the transition from painted plastic to moss works on the figure.

And here’s the second head, along with his shoulder armor attached. The armor pieces match the rest of his armor in both style and color and look damn good. They even serve to conceal the bald parts of the shoulders. The moss coverage on this head isn’t quite as lush as the previous one, but I still think it looks great. Again, the first head feels more inline with his role of noble protector, but the second one is a tempting choice for display. Both are great, and it’s kind of mind-blowing that neither head sculpt was designed with this type of flocking in mind!

Bryo also comes with a decent assortment of accessories, many of which are a little less common… at least among the figures I’ve reviewed thus far. First off, you get his staff with a smooth copper shaft and a gnarled branch cradling a green orb at the top. It’s an excellent accessory for the character, and no doubt used to wield his mystical plant-based powers. If you trespass in The Swale, you’re probably going to get attacked by trees before you even catch a glimpse of Bryo!

Next up is the dagger, which is also a welcome treat, as I haven’t seen it in quite a while. This one was introduced with Advent of Decay, and I think it was used frequently among the Elves and maybe some of the new Vampyrs. The sheath is sculpted with an eye motif and painted gold to match the hilt, with an S-shaped guard, while the blade is short, simple, and curved. I love the fact that they included a sheath with this tiny weapon, and it makes me hope that someday T4H will design sword scabbards and make them retroactively available in multi-packs so I can hand them out to all my figures. The dagger’s sheath has a clip on the back so it can be carried on the standard issue brown belt, but it requires a modicum of care, as I’ve had one of the clips snap off one of my Elf daggers.

And finally, we get a heavy mace, which I believe was originally designed for the Dwarf figures. I only recall seeing this stout smashing weapon a few times so far, making it another welcome addition. It’s certainly not an organic-themed weapon, but I think it works here because it goes well with his armor bits.

As much as I loved Mephitor, I think I’ll give the nod to Bryo as my favorite of this MOTU pair. With the added flocking, Bryo just stands out as one of the more unique figures in this line, and it sure took a lot more effort than a mere repaint. Indeed, the homage is so on point, that if you showed me this figure without the familiar armor bits, and told me it was part of an upcoming line of MOTU figures, I’d be inclined to believe you. What’s more, the flocking seems pretty durable. I have had a few crumbs come off, but I think a lot of those were already loose in the package and waiting to jump ship! Either way, I love this guy! Next week, I’ll shoot for a look at the last figure I picked up in this assortment. And he’s a big boi!

Mythic Legions (All-Stars 4): Mephitor by The Four Horsemen

It was a rocky week leading up to Christmas, but I’m happy to put the Silly Season behind me and try to get things back to normal with another installment of Mythoss Monday! And today I’m digging into the newly shipped All-Stars Wave 4! I did not go too deep into this Wave, only picking up two regular figures and one Troll, so I’ll probably run through all of these figures in the next few weeks. So let’s jump right in and check out Mephitor!

Mephitor is one of two figures in this Wave which are essentially Masters of the Universe homages, and if you can’t tell from the packaged shot, this fellow is a very obvious nod to Snake Mountain’s smelliest of villains, Stinkor! Mephitor has his own backstory, which declares him to be something of a mercenary spy! He sniffs out information and sells it to whichever faction suits him. And while TFH didn’t make this figure actually stink (thank heavens for that!) he bio does disclose his ability to spray a deadly stink gas a this enemies!

Mephitor is built off the Goblin body, so that makes him just a little stinker. The armored bits have been repainted orange and given a bit of weathering, making them look a little drab and well worn. His gauntlets are maroon and he has black and silver under-armor exposed on his upper legs and biceps. The waist piece has been seen before on the Goblins as well, this time painted in orange and maroon. Instead of the crude Orc-style shoulders that most of the Goblins wear, Mephitor sports a pair of more civilized shoulder pieces, along with the a spiked collar. There isn’t a lot of detailed paintwork here, other than the painted straps holding on his leg armor, and the gold medallions on the shoulders. Still, all in all it’s a great looking deco.

The head sculpt is repainted from Thistlethorn, a figure released as part of the Advent of Decay, and one of the few releases in that Wave that I passed on due to budget crunch. I will say, that the repaint is quite striking and I had to go back and compare photos to confirm that it was indeed the same head. Mephitor has a overtly skunk-like appearance, with sculpted fur, pointed ears, and a mostly black face, with white circles around the eyes, a white nose, and a white stripe surrounding his crested ridge. It really works well as a Stinkor homage!

I was surprised to find a bonus head in there too, and I’m not sure if this was a new addition or if I just forgot it was included. This one is simply a Goblin head repainted black, with yellow eyes and bone-colored teeth. I doubt I’ll ever display it on this figure, but maybe I’ll use it on one of the Goblins. It’s awesome!

Moving onto his gear, Mephitor comes with the standard knightly sword, which we’ve seen many times before, and yes it’s still one of my favorites! The blade is painted silver and the hilt is a beautiful shade of electric blue, with the grip being matte and the cross-guard and pommel having a metallic finish. There’s some silver over-spray on the hilt, but it’s not too bad.

You also get a circular shield, which is painted in the same matte electric blue and with metallic blue used for the rivets. These colors really pop beautifully when displayed with the orange and maroon of the armor.

And last, but not least, Mephitor comes with a crossbow, which was introduced in Advent of Decay and seen here several times since. It has a real string, and it’s painted in silver and blue to match the rest of his gear. You have to get a little creative to get him to pose with it in a firing position, but he can get there!

Rather than get them all, I’ve been fairly selective when it comes to Mythic LegionsMOTU homage figures. Why? I don’t know. Initially they seemed kind of gimmicky, but I think some of them look original enough to fit in Mythoss. Mephitor was definitely one of those that I had to have as soon as I saw him. At this point, if I had it to do over, I probably would have grabbed them all. This is a great little figure, and adds a cool new race to the Mythoss melting pot. I also dig how his bio suggests him to be a loner and that’s why we’ll probably just get this one example of his race. But who knows? Next week, I’ll check out the other MOTU homage in this Wave… that is unless he leaves me at a moss for words.

Masters of the Universe Origins: Beast Man and Trap Jaw by Mattel

It’s Friday and I’ve managed to cram three reviews into one week for the first time in what seems like forever! It’s hard to believe I used to do five of these a week. And since I started the week with a double review, lets end it with another. Today I’m checking out two new additions to the line I swore I would never collect. Yup, there’s no better compliment to the appeal of Masters of the Universe then the fact that after spending so much time and money collecting Classics, I’m obviously willing to start all over again with Origins. How deep will I go this time? Time will tell! Distribution will be a big factor too, as I’m growing weary of chasing figures in my twilight years. In the meantime, let’s add two more of Skeletor’s henchmen to the mix!

The retro packaging is charming as ever, but I maintain that this line can be tough for you mint-on-card collectors. The longer cardbacks tend to bend easily. Plus, if you’re like me and your local Walmart is a shit-show, you may be relying on Walmart.com for these. That’s never a good thing, because they’re packing is all over the place. These arrived in fairly good shape, but I’m tearing into them anyway. In addition to the figures and accessories, each pack comes with a mini comic. Let’s start with Beast Man!

Skeletor’s Savage Henchmen and favorite orange whipping boy looks fantastic in this Origins style, and by that I mean he’s freaking hideous, but I’ll get to the head sculpt in a bit. The body is cast in an eye-popping bright orange with some sculpted fur on the back and extremities. Honestly, the fur feels downplayed a bit here, which surely has a lot to do with the reuse of parts and it doesn’t hurt the figure in my eyes. He still has the sculpted wrist bracers, but they are left orange to blend in with the body. The regular feet seemed strange to me, but I had to remind myself that Beast Man always had regular feet.

Of course, Beast Man uses the common belt and furry barbarian diaper as most Eternians, good or evil. Here the belt is painted a… what is that? Ochre? I’m going with Ochre. And the diaper is blue. An unusual deco, but it adds some much needed color to the figure and makes for a satisfyingly colorful figure. The upper body has the harness, which features the blue stone in the middle and the high collar. Overall, I think this piece looks good, but there’s something a little off about the collar, as I don’t think it rides high enough behind the head, but maybe that’s just me. Also, the blue stone is painted with a sloppy spray. Finally, Beast Man features his shoulder armor, which comes packaged behind the figure and has to be attached after opening. These are cast in soft plastic and tend to stay put pretty well.

And then there’s the portrait. The original Beast Man remains one of the most awkwardly hideous figures I’ve ever seen, and I don’t mean that in a good way. I really enjoyed the way the Classics figure cleaned him up and it remains my favorite look for this orange beast. The Origins version embraces the old look, but it still works for me. His mouth here is closed but snarling, content with brandishing is powerful teeth. The broad nose and beady eyes are more defined and the blue paint on the cheeks and upper lip is crisp and weird as ever. I didn’t think I was going to like this portrait all that much, but I actually do!

Beast Man comes with one accessory, and that’s his trusty whip. The whip features a HUGE bugle-like black handle that the figure’s fingers slot into. The rest of the whip is a simple black piece of cord. It doesn’t make for great poses, a wire would have been better for that, but it’s probably more practical and fun this way, as you can wrap it around another figure’s leg to trip him up. And so, despite a few minor gripes, I think this figure turned out great. The colors and sculpt are exciting and like all the figures in this line, he’s so much fun to play with.┬áMoving on to Trap Jaw!

Trap Jaw is Evil and Armed for Combat and remains my favorite of all Skeletor’s minions. I’ve just always loved his look and his ability to change out his arm attachments made him both unique and a very fun toy. I was pretty confident that I was going to love the Origins version, and now that he’s in hand, I certainly do!┬áThe body is slavishly modeled after the vintage figure, and that’s not a bad thing. The coloring all looks right, with the red undies, big green belt and green thigh patches, and the deep blue upper legs and upper body, with some black thrown in for the boots and cybernetic arm. I seem to recall the original figure only having part of the left wrist bracer painted, but here it’s all around, which does look better. The mix of bright colors and matte black work so well together, resulting in an exciting deco that just screams 80’S TOY!!! On the downside, they got a little sloppy with that neon green and dribbled a little onto my Trap Jaw’s leg.

Based on the solicitation pictures, I was worried about this head sculpt. It’s a big departure from the vintage figure and like Skeletor’s head, I find it a strange one. The face is more mushy, almost like putty, and those eyes sure are different! It took me a little while to make up my mind, but in the end I’m OK with what they did here. His new mug is bizarre and creepy and it certainly fits the bill. Of course, the lower jaw is articulated, and he still has the loop on the top of his helmet so you can pass a string through it and have him zip-line into action! *String sold separately.

Naturally, Trap Jaw’s real appeal is his ability to swap out different attachments onto his arm. He comes with three in total: Laser gun, Hook, and Grabber Claw. All three have hooks, so the two that aren’t being used can hang securely from his belt, and surprisingly they don’t get in the way too badly. I actually think this works better than it did on the Classics figure. The attachments peg in easily and the mechanical arm features just rotation in the shoulder and a hinge in the elbow. I would have liked some lateral movement in that shoulder, but he’s still pretty fun.

Origins continues to be a real treat and I’m happy to have two more bumbling evil minions for Skeletor to boss around. Of all the toys I still collect, Origins is the one that most makes me want to get down onto the floor and play with them like the good old days. I want to have pitched battles on the carpets, knock these figures around, all while fending off third-party attacks by the cats. And any toyline that makes this 48 year old dude want to do that has got to be considered a success. Because, believe me, it ain’t as easy to get up off the floor as it used to be. And this gets me mostly caught up on the Origins figures. I still have the Sky Sled and Panthor to check out. Beyond that, it’ll just be a matter of how easy it is to find the newer waves.