Masters of the Universe Classics: Fang-Or by Super7

My sincerest apologies for calling out sick on Tuesday, but I’ve had a bad case of the crud since the weekend and it’s only now starting to lift. Five days at work with this shit didn’t leave me enough strength to do anything when I got home, other than try to sleep and I couldn’t do much of that either. So I spent a great deal of time mired on the sofa with the fever sweats and bingeing on anime blu-rays. Anywho… Since I planned on opening another one of Super7’s Masters Classics figures on Tuesday, I figured I’d just roll that review over to today. And so, while the Cold & Flu meds are still pumping through my veins and buoying me to action, lets open up Fang-Or! And then it’s back to bed for me!

Once again we see that Super7 is preserving every drop of wholesome goodness that was Matty’s MOTUC packaging. As one of the Snake Men, Fang-Or was probably the one figure that was most influential in getting me to pre-order this wave. I just cannot resist me some Snake Men! And according to his tagline, Fang-Or is a “Freakishly Fanged Snake Men Warrior!” Lets ponder on that one for a moment. Fang-Or’s snake features are so extreme that even the Snake Men consider him a freak. That’s hardcore! There’s a bio on the back, but more and more these things are reading like Mad Libs to me, as they just seem to drop a lot of names and places and events, many of which don’t mean anything to me anyway. But that’s cool. I don’t need a backstory to make me appreciate this guy…

Because just look at him! In fact, you might say this is a case of love at first bite! Sorry, that pun was the Nyquil-Sudafed-Jameson-Unisom cocktail talking. It won’t happen again. Sure, Fang-Or’s gimmick, just having really long fangs, might not be all that original, but when it comes down to pure aesthetics, I love every bit of this figure’s design. Fang-Or’s body makes use of the segmented arms and legs we saw with King Hsss, and uses a rather pleasing olive green plastic for his skin color. I dig the decision to use these parts because it sets him apart from the rest of the Snake Men Warriors, giving him a rather distinctive look.

Fang-Or also sports a great looking set of brown and gold armor, consisting of a vest, belt, arm bracers, and grieves. The arm and leg armor features ornately sculpted gold fixtures reinforcing what I imagine is intended as leather. The grieves even have the detailed hinges and clasps that are supposed to be holding them in place. The vest has gold trim around the edges and sculpted rivets, each neatly painted gold, and a pair of green snakes running around the arm holes, over the shoulders and meeting under the neck. But the real showpiece here is the wide belt, which includes a huge ouroboros medallion in the center with a snake icon in the center. The belt has a leather-like texture, gold-painted studs, and it’s worn over the traditional Eternian furry diaper. The brown and gold and olive green deco blend together really well on this figure, and there’s even some coppery colored paint on the armor to spice things up. Overall, the quality of the paint application is pretty good. My figure has a stray gold fleck on his vest, and there’s a little bit of brown on his right thigh, but nothing I’m going to want to call the QC police over.

Fang-Or features the standard articulation that we’ve seen in Matty’s MOTUC figures, and that’s actually a little disappointing. The other two figures in this wave added hinges to the wrists, but Fang-Or here missed out on that little upgrade. I guess it’s not a deal-breaker for me, since 99.9% of my Masters Classics collection doesn’t have them either, but it would have been nice to know that all the Super7 figures were going to include the hinged wrists and not just some. Another thing about Fang-Or that disappoints is how loose his ab crunch hinge is. It’ll hold itself upright just fine, but it still feels like a figure that’s been played with a lot, even though it came straight from the package. Hawke had similar issues, and I’m hoping that Super7 gets some of these wrinkles ironed out by the time the next wave hits.

Fang=Or includes two heads and comes packaged showcasing his elongated fangs. The sculpted scaled noggin features a distinctively saurian shape with some pupiless yellow eyes and a wide stretched mouth. There’s some great detail inside the mouth and around the tongue, and the giant hangs are impressive indeed.

The alternative head has the shorter fangs. According to the bio, Fang-Or can “project” his fangs like knives and then grow new ones. I hope that means he shoots them out of his mouth, because I’d hate to think he snaps them off and throws them, because that just gives me the willies. Either way, this head features all the same great sculpting as the other, but it’s a little less awkward because of the normal sized fangs. I really like both heads a lot, but chances are I’m going to display this guy with the big ones, since that’s what he’s all about. At least, that’s the head I chose to use for the pictures throughout most of this review.

Fang-Or comes with a nice collection of accessories, although I’ll note here that I found his lack of serpent staff like a big omission. It’s become a tradition to get some kind of snake-related staff with these guys and I was surprised they didn’t work something up for Fang-Or as well. But that’s not to say what’s here isn’t great. For starters, he has this rather exotic and totally bitchin’ sword. This thing looks like it’s part falchion, part sickle, and all business. It’s got a silver painted blade with a black guard and pommel, and a brown ribbed grip. There’s even a saw-back sculpted on the back near the hilt. I don’t know how practical this design is, but it looks wicked and unique and I really dig it.

How about a set of tools? Fang-Or’s bio mentions that he’s fascinated by technology and that he learned all about tinkering on machines from Snake Man-At-Arms. As such, he comes with three of his favorite tools: A screwdriver, a hammer, and a pipe-wrench. Naturally, each of these tools is snake-themed, with snake head style implements (well, except for the screwdriver) and rattler-style handles. The gold paint on these looks especially nice. Pity they didn’t give him a toolbelt or something to tuck them into. These tools are not only super swanky, but it’s probably pretty convenient to have tools personalized like this, so that if someone tries to borrow them and not return them Fang-Or can always prove that they’re his.

Finally, Fang-Or comes with this adorable little winged serpent. It’s a simple static plastic figure, but the paint and sculpting are both nice. I have no idea if this is pulled from some particular piece of the MOTU fiction, but I’m very happy to have it. In fact, I can think of several different toy lines in my collection that would love to borrow it.

Fang-Or is a fantastic figure who definitely ranks way up there as one of my new favorites in the entire collection. I love the coloring, I love the personality in his head, and I particularly love all the fine detail work in his armor. He’s definitely my favorite figure in this assortment so far, and he may even be in the running as my favorite Snake Man, and that’s saying a lot, because I love each and every one of these loony bastards quite a bit. Yes, the lose hinge in the chest is troubling, and probably something we should not have to be dealing with at this stage of the game, but everything else about this figure is so good, it’s hard for me to get too upset over it. And that’s three down and one to go… Next week I’ll open up the final figure in this wave and add to the ranks of my Evil Space Mutants!

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Masters of the Universe Classics: Hawke by Super7

As promised, Tuesdays in March are going to be all about Masters of the Universe Classics, as Super7 shipped out their first Collector’s Choice Wave a couple of weeks back and I am pretty excited to keep tearing into these. Last week I opened up evil slaver bastard, Lodar. This week I’m checking out the only one of the Heroic Masters in the wave, Hawke, the “Heroic Feathered Fighter!” Um, really? Did you even watch that episode?

Ah, it feels so good to be seeing this packaging again! Super7 may be running the show now, but they’ve kept the packaging 100% faithful to the Matty Collector style. I still get a warm and fuzzy feeling every time I get ready to open one of these. I know some folks were miffed that Super7 didn’t move to a collector friendly package, but I’ve been ripping these things open for years now, and I’m not about to worry about that now! They also brought back the bios on the backs of the cards, which I certainly appreciate, because I know next to nothing about some of the characters in this wave. Of course, you don’t need to be a He-Manologist to recognize that Hawke is an Avionian. Oh yeah, and the bio declares that she’s also Stratos’ sister. And supposedly, she was under some kind of spell when she did all that betrayal shit, so I guess it doesn’t count.

While Hawke is part of the Collector’s Choice assortment, she would also fit right in with the Filmation figures. She appeared in the episode “Betrayal of Stratos” and oh, boy did I hate her voice. She was also a pretty horrible person. The figure adopts a simple sculpt to match the Filmation design and does a great job of it. Just like her animated counterpart, her costume features a sleeveless gray bodysuit with blue birdy-panties and maroon thigh-high boots. The only real sculpted detail on the whole outfit are the cut lines radiating down from her neck to her chest. Like I said, she’s simple, but she looks good and I do dig the combination of colors.

As an Avionian, Hawke features wings on her arms with sculpted feathers. These are attached to the bracelets on her wrists, and she has matching bands around her biceps. Much has been said about Super7’s female figures and how their hips are awkward. I haven’t been following HipGate too closely, but I’m pretty sure it involved this figure and the Filmation Teela. I also recall them saying they fixed it. Well, I’m not sure if it’s the same issue or not, but Hawke has a pretty wide thigh gap. I’m told that there are women out there who would kill for that kind of thigh gap, but in this case, I think it makes the figure look a little strange when standing. On the other hand, it’s not so much a problem when she’s in an action pose, so it didn’t take me too long to get over it.

I like the head sculpt a lot, as it’s basically a female version of Stratos, thankfully without the weird Amish-birdman beard. She has the very iconic Avionian goggles, a helmet with three crests running down the top, perfectly painted lips, and a short coif of reddish-orange hair spilling out the back of the helmet. There’s a little paint rubbed on my figure’s goggles just above her right cheek, but I really didn’t even notice it until getting in close with the camera. The head does sit pretty low on the neck and this obscures the neck entirely when viewing the figure from the front. Still, all in all it’s not a bad head. But wait… there’s more!

Hawke also comes with an extra head, which I believe is supposed to be Stratos’ wife, Delora. It’s pretty much the same head sculpt, but with longer blonde hair spilling out the back of the helmet. I think I may actually display the figure as Delora, because Hawke was such a lying, scheming, traitorous bitch in the cartoon. Maybe if she came with a cage, I’d keep the Hawke head on and put her in it. I hear the bird people have a thing about cages.

The articulation is similar to what we’ve been seeing in the Matty MOTUC figures, but with one huge difference that I neglected to mention in my Lodar review, and that’s the hinged wrists. Otherwise, she has rotating hinges in her shoulders, bicep swivels, and hinged elbows. The legs are ball jointes at the hips, have swivels at the tops of the boots, hinges in the knees, and both hinges and rockers in the ankles. There’s no waist swivel, but she does have a ball joint under her chest and the neck is ball jointed. But don’t expect to get much movement out of the neck joint. Between the sculpted hair and how low the head sits, it’s not much use. Also, my figure feels a bit more loosey-goosey than most of the other MOTUC figures in my collection. I didn’t have a problem with Lodar, so maybe this is just an isolated problem. She can stand and pose well, but it still feels like there’s too much play in some of the joints.

In addition to the extra head, Hawke comes two weapons. The first is her sword, which is a really cool and classic design. The hilt features a detailed sculpt with a ribbed grip that almost looks like it’s made to extend and contract for single or two-handed fighting. It has a short crossguard and a rather stout blade. It’s a pity there’s nowhere that she can wear it.

The other weapon is a gun, some kind of smokescreen gun, I think, which I’m not crazy about at all. It’s a weird and awkward design and she can’t really hold it all that convincingly. It does have a leather-like carry strap, which seems like it might be a first for Masters Classics. I think I’ll stick with the sword.

I think I was looking forward to Hawke the least out of this assortment, so I can’t really say she disappointed me. She’s not a bad figure, but there’s nothing about her that really blows me away either. Super7 did a nice job recreating the Filmation look and the extra head is a nice bonus, but there’s just a few too many little nagging things about this figure that keep her from being a homerun. I’m still happy to add her to my collection, and I’m pretty confident that she’s going to be the only underwhelming figure in the wave. But I guess we’ll test that theory next Tuesday as I open another figure in the assortment.

Hawke: “But why, Skeletor? I got you the Egg of Avion!”

Skeletor: “Myeahhh! Yes, and I’m rewarding your betrayal with more betrayal. It’s called irony, Birdbrain. Look it up!”

Masters of the Universe Classics: Quakke by Super7

The last Tuesday of the month is not usually something to get upset about, but in this case it means I’m opening up the last figure in my “Collector’s Choice” wave of Masters Classics from Super7. Yeah, I’ve got the next wave pre-ordered, but who the hell knows when they’ll ship, so if I want any MOTUC love in the interim, I may have to dig into my stash and open some old Matty ones. In case you hadn’t noticed, Super7 packed some nice variety into this wave. We got a character from the Mini-Comic, we got a Filmation style character from the cartoon, we got a member of the Evil Snake Men, and now we’re getting an Evil Space Mutant. Let’s take a look at Quakke!

New company, same old packaging. Super7 wisely kept the presentation intact after they took over the reigns. I’m sure this was a huge deal for collectors who do the Mint On Card thing and didn’t want anything to change. Super7 even restored the bios to the backs of the cards. I don’t have a lot of appreciation for the New Adventures of He-Man cartoon, or even the toys for that matter, but I do love me some Evil Space Mutants. These guys are fun, colorful, and creative, and I think the designs really carried the torch for what the vintage toy line was all about. I also like the idea of Skeletor getting into space and having to find a whole new collection of buffoons to order about. I was really excited about getting this one, so let’s see if he lives up to those expectations.

And just when I thought these Space Mutants couldn’t get any crazier looking Quakke shows up and drops the mic! For starters, this is a crazy complex sculpt and his ramshackle techno-suit is just brimming with detail. The torso is covered with a soft plastic vest, which also attaches to the shoulder armor, and even the right shoulder has a hose attached to it that runs down the arm and connects just below the elbow.

His armor is a mix of copper and silver colored plates, with sections of a black, ribbed under-suit showing through here and there. I love all the hoses and rivets, and vents, and mismatched plates. He also has a big screen on his chest that looks like the read-out on an oscilloscope. Beyond the copper and silver armor, he sports some blue segmented pants, and the bare sections of his arms reveal his red skin.

Quakke’s got a crazy looking red mug with a pair of bugged out eyes and a snarling mouth, displaying a whole wall of teeth. His ugly face is framed by his copper colored helmet, which looks as haphazard as the rest of his suit, and also appears to have taken a direct hit at the top, because there’s a nasty crack running down it.

Quakke comes with his signature weapon, which also happens to have one of the best weapon names ever: The Grabatron Meteormace! It’s actually a large three-fingered grabbing claw on the end of a stick designed to hold some meteor chunk he found. “Hey, look! It’s a rare space rock! I’m going to invent something to grab it with so I can hit people with it!” If that doesn’t perfectly sum up the Space Mutants, I don’t know what does. The claw isn’t articulated, but it does hold the meteor surprisingly well thanks to three little notches in it. The meteor also splits apart like the one with the original toy. I seem to remember the original just having rock textures inside, but this one houses some kind of crazy electronic instruments. I’m not sure what that’s all about, but it looks cool.

Quakke was a great figure to end this wave on and he does not disappoint! Super7 took the original toy design and ran with it, adding so much more detail and personality to what was already a pretty unique looking figure. Plus, his weapon is crazy and adds a lot of value to the overall package. He also looks great lined up with my Matty Evil Space Mutants. I’d say he’s easily tied with Fang-Or as my favorite in this assortment and he has definitely left me wanting more.

Masters of the Universe Classics: Lodar by Super7

Holy shit, it sure was weird to type that title, and yes the first time I did it, I typed “by Mattel” out of sheer mucle memory. Nonetheless, when Mattel decided to shut down Matty Collector it didn’t mean the end for Masters Classics. Nope, instead they turned over the reigns to Super7, a company that I knew only as the ones that gave birth to the ReAction figure line before they gave that away to Funko. Although they still do ReAction style figures, so I’m not sure what all happened there. Anyway, Super7 have actually tested the waters and turned out a couple of “Ultimate Editions” of previously released MOTUC figures, but the ones that arrived at my doorstep last week are the first Super7 Masters for me. It’s been a long wait. Indeed, it’s been so long that I couldn’t even tell you when I pre-ordered these. Needless to say I’m really excited to start opening these up!

This is a case of the “Collector’s Choice” assortment, which consists of four all new characters from various corners of Masters lore. Super7 also simultaneously released a “Club Grayskull” assortment, which is a wave of four Filmation-style versions of previously released characters. As much as I’d like to collect the Filmation style, I exercised some rare self control and told myself I wasn’t about to buy a second version of each figure I already own. But four new figures based on characters that haven’t been done yet? I signed up for that in a heartbeat. And then I signed up for it again when the pre-order dropped for the second assortment. The figures were $35 each with the caveat that you had to buy them by the wave, so that meant $139 per assortment and no cherry-picking. I’ll admit that all-or-nothing clause kind of pissed me off at first, until I realized I was going to buy all four anyway. Also, I think if you buy one of the two waves you can cherry-pick figures from the other? I’m not to clear on that point. At least they didn’t make us buy all eight, because if they did I probably would have. Anyway, that’s enough of a preamble, let’s dig into the first figure and he is Lodar!

Well, that sure looks familiar! The packaging is pretty much identical to what we’ve been getting all along from Matty Collector. Each carded figure even comes in the same style mailer box. Now, I do tear these open, so it wouldn’t have bothered me much if they had changed the packaging. Hell, if they shipped them in baggies and knocked some dollars off, I probably would have been fine with that too. But, it’s still nice to get that clear continuity in terms of the presentation. I’ve always loved this package design and if I were a rich man with a lot of space, I’d have doubles of all of these figures to keep sealed. One key difference on the card is that Super7 brought back the bios on the back. Some of you may remember these were dropped from the final figures in the Matty Collector line. I’m happy to see them return, because without it, I would have no idea who Lodar is. His tagline calls him the “Evil Master of Celestial Magic” but he looks more like a thug, and his bio kind of supports that. Apparently he’s from one of the mini-comics and he’s some asshole who captured a city called Targa and enslaved the population. Magic comes into the picture somewhere, but I think, “Evil Slaver Bastard” would have been a better tagline.

Out of the package, Lodar looks like someone who just stepped out of a Road Warrior movie. Only purple. This is a really simple figure, but I have to say I dig him a lot. From the waist down he’s got a typical Masters-style belt but eschews the classic furry diaper for a pair of slick black trousers with a purple, segmented V drawing attention to his groinular region. He’s also got some wicked spikes on the soles of his boots. Above the waist, he’s showing off a lot of that flashy purple skin and the plastic they used is fantastically vibrant. He’s got a pair of spiked wrist bracers, a strap on his right bicep, a half-vest, which is tied at the front with a giant cross-stitch, and a pair of spiked shoulders that he may or may not have borrowed from Beast Man’s wardrobe.

Just about everything about Lodar feels like the same old Masters Classics line.  I know some people were reporting some issues with their figures, but I don’t have any with Lodar. In fact, Matty was getting a little sloppy with the QC on the last batches of figures, and it’s nice to not see any of that evident here. The hands feel a little softer than most of my other MOTUC figures, but that just makes it easier for me to get the weapon in his hand, and he holds onto it quite firmly. The buck seems more or less standard MOTUC fare and I’m not going to break down the articulation because I’ve reviewed over a hundred figures in this line and it’s all been the same. I suppose you could argue that the level of articulation here is getting a bit dated, but I wouldn’t want to see them change things up this late in the game. Oh yeah, he does have ankle rockers, which hasn’t always been the case.

The head sculpt continues to drive home the Road Warrior-y vibe that I get off of Lodar. It’s a tight-fitting helmet with spiked mohawk and a face mask with breather slits. The only aspect of Lodar’s face that’s showing are his eyes. The closer shots show off the hammered metal pattern on his shoulder armor, as well as the sculpted rivets. If this were still part of the actual Masters toyline, it would have been cool for them to give Lodar a post-apocalyptic dune buggy with a skull on the front. Yup, you can probably tell I don’t know anything about this character.

Lodar comes with a nasty looking spiked mace as his weapon of choice. It’s a simple weapon, mostly black with purple spikes and matches his own color palate rahter well, proving that even evil slaver bastards know how to accessorize.

Lodar also comes with this set of manacles and chains attached to a disc, which I presume is supposed to be bolted down to a dungeon floor. This is a fun accessory, especially if you’re into some weird bondage shit with your action figures. The cuffs are made of soft plastic and clip easily around most of the MOTUC figures’ wrists. Ironically, it’s kind of hard to get them on Lodar because of his spiked bracers. The plate their attached to doesn’t actually secure to anything, but a little blue-tack would probably work wonders getting it to stick to the floor or even to a ceiling.

As I think I mentioned earlier, I pre-ordered these figures so long ago that I forgot about them for quite a while. It wasn’t until pre-orders for the second wave came up and Super7 started talking about these shipping out that I started to get really excited. And when they finally arrived I realized how much I’ve been missing this line. After getting at least one MOTUC figure a month for I don’t know how many years, I was really sorry to see the line wind down, although my bank account was probably relieved. There have been some rocky roads between then and now, but I’m delighted to see that Super7 is taking up the reigns and if Lodar is any indication, it looks like Masters Classics is in good hands, I just wish Super7 could have done the same for ThunderCats. Anyway, I’ve got three more of these figures to look at, and I’ll be clearing Tuesdays for the rest of the month to do just that!