Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Toy Review – Masters of the Universe Classics Thunder Punch He-Man By Mattel

First let me thank Digital River for the fact that it only took ten days for my Thunder Punch He-Man to arrive. I mean, that’s still ridiculous, but it’s better than the past few figures and sooner than the projected arrival date from the tracking website.

I’ve always had a particular fondness for the gimmicky He-Man figures. I mean, more so than regular He-Man, who I was just never that crazy about.

I never had a whole lot of Masters



I never had a whole lot of Masters of the Universe figures when I was a kid. I’m honestly not sure who I owned, but there weren’t more than a few. I do know that the more monstrous they were the more I liked them. Skeletor, Hordak, Trap-Jaw, Leech, Mer-Man – those guys were all cool. He-Man, Tri-Klops, and any of their Caucasian (Cauceternian?) ilk were just lame.

But stick a gimmick or wacky weapon or armor on He-Man and he was instantly cooler. And put some caps on him so he



But stick a gimmick or wacky weapon or armor on He-Man and he was instantly cooler. And put some caps on him so he makes a big ol’ cracking noise when he punches bad guys and I’m there. Now, I never actually owned Thunder Punch He-Man, but I had friends that did. I even bought one buddy of mine a whole new pack of caps one time because I knew I was going over there and he never had any.

Caps were a magical thing when I was a kid. The first caps I had were actually on strips of paper that came in rolls and fed into these silver revolvers. Actually, unless I’m mistaken that’s how the cap-firing weapons from the C.O.P.S n’ Crooks line worked. But Thunder Punch He-Man had a superior type of cap technology. His caps came in plastic rings of eight. They stored on his shield and plugged easily into his backpack. I can’t remember exactly what the firing mechanism was. I believe it used his waist-twisting/punching feature. Whatever the case, there was a satisfyingly loud crack when he punched Skeletor in the face. I remember that anticipation any time I was playing with caps. You sit there all tense waiting for that noise and still jump when it happens even though you knew it was coming.

This version does not


Okay! Enough!

Yes, my particular Thunder Punch He-Man is suffering from some pretty noticeable derpage.
We’ll get to that. Now please be quiet.

This version does not have functioning caps because apparently U.S. toy laws forbid them now. I guess caps are bad for kids’ self-esteem or some shit. Kids today are going to be such cringing pussies what with all of the toy laws and this anti-bullying horseshit that’s going on. Personally, I think every kid should be locked in a room with a set of lawn darts, some M-80’s, and the Gooch. If they don’t make it out, too bad and better for society as a whole.

First Glance: This He-Man really looks neat. I’m very happy with the vac-metal treatment. I didn’t notice the eyes until I was taking pictures for the review. Don’t get me wrong – they don’t really bother me, but they might you. I had a pretty severe lazy eye when I was a kid, so I actually kind of like that my He-Man is off. It gives him more character. It’s like I got a variant. Check yours out before you open it, though.

Sculpt: For the most part this is the same as every other human figure we’ve seen. The difference between this and previous He-Mans are the enclosed ankle joints that were introduced with Fisto.

Speaking of the ankle joints, the feet on mine don’t move particularly well, especially the rocker (the side-to-side joint). It’s not the paint sticking that we know so well from the DC line, it just seems like the joints don’t have the same mobility by design. But if this is what we get as opposed to loose ankle joints, I’ll take it.

Actually, ol’ Thunder Punch (I don’t know why, but I really wanted to call him “Ol’ Thunder Punch”) does have one other feature that is not only different from the other He-Man releases, it is new to the line – he has a closed fist. Well, a regular-sized closed fist. Well, regular for this line because I still feel the humans’ hands are too tiny.

He-Man’s right hand is a closed fist and it looks pretty awesome. I don’t know why this impresses me. There should be nothing simpler in the world to sculpt than a fist, but for some reason this one seems to me to be very good. I do wish that an alternate open fist had been included so he could hold his Power Sword in his right hand. It just seems odd for He-Man to be using his sword left-handed. I mean, I’m sure he could; it only stands to reason that the most powerful man in the universe would be ambidextrous. And I certainly don’t have anything against southpaws. Never mind, I guess.

He-Man’s harness looks awesome. The straps have some nice ridges on them to keep from looking too plain and the crest is sharp and well-defined. The rig fits snugly on the figure and doesn’t wiggle around, but this does restrict the movement of the abdominal joint. The backpack has just enough detail to not be bland, but not so much that it’s too busy for the rest of the figure. There’s also a little circular gadget that spins around and looks neat. I didn’t know beforehand that the backpack actually opened up. While I was taking my pictures I saw the little slots on the back and realized it was hollow. I played with it a little bit, popped the thing open, and was thrilled to see a spot to stick the fake cap ring that comes with the figure. I had thought they just went in the shield. They fit perfectly and the backpack closes firmly and well.

Side Note: If you guys have been reading my reviews for any amount of time you may have noticed that I am often surprised by features. I don’t like my toys to be spoiled any more than I do my movies or TV shows, so I tend to avoid any kind of in-depth information. I don’t even read other people’s reviews beforehand, although that’s mostly so my opinion doesn’t get tainted. I like for what you read here to be my impression of the toy from the moment I have taken it out of the package. That doesn’t mean I don’t catch the odd sentiment or opinion here and there. I do still keep track of various toy forums to stay current on future releases and invariably will see things like, “Thunder Punch He-Man’s skin is too light!”

Design: Thunder Punch He-Man’s skin is too light!

Just kidding. The bio explains that the guy has been living in the underground city of Tundaria for an undefined amount of time. Clearly long enough to lose some pigment. And besides, it’s not like he’s Jim Gaffigan pale or anything. Thunder Punch He-Man is actually toned much more like an actual blonde dude would be. It’s not like He-Man lives out in the plains or anything. He lives in a freaking castle. More to the point, He-Man isn’t ever even around long enough to catch much of a tan. Are you really going to try and convince me that Adam does his whole “By the Power of Grayskull,” thing and then just goes and lays out for a while? I’m all for this paler version.

While the hair on this He-Man looks perfectly fine, his left eye is all jacked up. This is the first instance of derpage I have seen in the MOTUC line, though I have heard of it happening. When I took the first close-up picture of his head I thought I had it turned to the right, so I moved it and it still looked weird. It took three pictures for me to realize it was the figure and not me.

He-Man’s wrist bands and belt are painted to match the new harness. They look good and have a bit of varied coloration on the studs to make them stand out.

There is one other flaw besides the derp eye. There is a spot of brown paint on the white for of He-Man’s right boot. I think I can clean it off, but this is the first instance of an actual misplaced blotch of paint I have owned. Also, you'll notice the unsightly "R" on his knee. This is apparently one of the measures Matty is taking so that the small children they pay five cents a day to assemble these figures don't do dumbass things like reverse parts. Apparently Stinkor does not have these stamps on his forearms.

Accessories: Thunder Punch He-Man comes with a shield, a ring of fake caps, a glow-in-the-dark Power Sword, a glow-in-the-dark thunder punch effect, and an all-new mini comic.

The shield is vac-metalized and has a slot to hold the ring of fake caps. The clip fits perfectly onto He-Man’s arm. I know it probably isn’t meant for his right arm, but it seems dumb to stick his sword and shield on the same arm. And besides, I kind of like the idea that the extended part is there to protect his face.

The Power Sword is actually pretty unimpressive. It glows in the dark and that’s awesome, but it just doesn’t look that cool. I think maybe if it had some sparkles in it like He-Ro’s it might be better.

It took me a minute to figure out how the thunder punch effect fit onto his fist, but it only took me a second to realize that if you turned his fist upward it looks like He-Man has five gallons of gorilla snot streaming off of his hand. The effect does look neat-o, though, and I think it’s a clever extra.

I just realized that I didn’t read the comic. I’m going to have to do that. Maybe it’ll be its own entry like the He-Man versus Superman comic review that everybody likes so much.

Packaging: Standard MOTUC packaging. I still really like the design and find it to be one of the only packaging styles that has not gotten stale. Something about the look of these toys in the package is just more exciting than other lines.

Overall: I like this He-Man an awful lot. He has a distinctive look and in my opinion is a very successful update of the original version. Thunder Punch He-Man is easily my favorite variation of the character so far. If not for


If not for that he’d be a “5”. I may be amused by it, but it is still a flaw.

4 out of 5

I wasn’t necessarily excited about this guy, but once I had him in hand I really dug him a lot.
You should buy one.


  1. I too like cool variants of main figures. Now...the main operative word in that first sentence was "cool" (which is subjective, but you can also trust that if I think it's cool then it is), and Thunder Punch He-man is cool. Samurai He-man, Jungle Attack He-man, Spin Blade He-man, Toxic waste He-man; not cool.

    I never owned this figure when I was a kid either, but I loved the red/orange armor and silver 'H' on the front. I think the only other variant He-man I would want in the classics line is Ice Armor He-man, which is a Four Horsemen created variant (I think, but might be wrong there). I just got a message from the seller I pre-ordered this from on ebay that he will ship him tomorrow, so I should have him by Saturday (the seller is only a couple of hours from me).

    Oh, and those ankles were introduced with Vikor. I was really hoping that the regular release of He-man that is available for purchase all year would have those updated ankles. I would have bought him again, especially during their march madness sell, just so I could have him not fall off my shelf every few days.

  2. Once you've got this guy in hand he'll be your favorite. He's still in my circle of excitement, not just languishing on the shelf. Or something. Anyway, here's hoping yours doesn't have the DERP.

    1. Oh, and also I'm glad you took the time to point out the wussification of our nation's youth. I was a substitute teacher back in 2005, and was shocked to find out that all the elementary schools were getting rid of monkey bars and merry-go-rounds because they were scared of the kids getting hurt (well, really they were scared of lawsuits from parents whose kids got hurt).
      I am also bothered by these nationwide anti-bullying campaigns. It's not that I'm pro-bully, I hate bullies, their dicks. I do think; however, that dealing with adversity is a part of growing up. I had a kid try to bully me in the 5th grade, and again in the 8th grade (different bully, and by the time I was in the 8th grade we didn't call them bullies, we called them assholes).
      Anyway, my dad told me how to deal with bullies, and so these two periods were both very short and came to a satisfying resolution for me. Then my high school years were an absolute blast!
      I think knowing how to handle punks is important, and it didn't involve going to a teacher over and over asking them to step in, and it wasn't solved by people wearing t-shirts saying "no bullies" or whatever is involved. I don't even mean it has to get physical, but sometimes when a kid is a bully the best thing for him is an ass-whooping.

      Sorry...I'm going off on a rant. I'll shut up. So, anyway, I enjoyed your comment and if you were just joking when you said that...then...I guess we disagree?

    2. Totally not joking. We've already told my four year old son that if anybody physically pushes him around or lays hands on him first in a way he doesn't like he goes straight for the nose as hard as he can throw. And now I'm writing a whole post about the pussification of America.