Friday, July 6, 2012

Toy Review – Masters of the Universe Classics Horde Prime By Mattel

I had no idea what Horde Prime was supposed to look like when Matty first announced the figure was coming out. As I’ve mentioned before, I am not the most studious of Masters of the Universe fans. But when they showed the first pictures of him I was pretty stoked. He looks like something straight out of Jack Kirby’s sketchbook.
Side Note: I am about as educated in Jack Kirby’s work as I am in Masters of the Universe, but I like his designs very much. I’ll get more in-depth into what kind of a Kirby poser I am in my review of the DC Signature Collection Metron. Also, I’ll get more in-depth into how my DC and MOTUC figures did not ship together in my review of Atrocitus. I wasn’t surprised or anything, but holy shit, Matty – could you get something right?
I like the Horde Prime figure because he’s supposed to be the supreme ruler of the Horde Empire (which is presumably quite vast) and he looks like a supreme ruler. I mean, Hordak really looks like a big, powerful badass. He doesn’t look like he would really be taking orders or even suggestions from anybody. But Horde Prime trumps him.
Well, until you put that stupid fucking alternate head on. But we’ll get to that.
First Glance: This is another one of those figures that just fills up the packaging. Prime looks mean as crap and I dig it. Except… wait – what’s up with those hands?
Sculpt: This guy has a ton of new stuff and a decent amount of old stuff.
Under all that flair Horde Prime has the regular MOTUC articulation. There are ball joints at the head, shoulders, and hips. The biceps, wrists, waist, thighs, and boot tops swivel. There are pivots at the elbows, abdomen, and knees. The ankles are rocker joints.
Hordak’s daddy (I guess) has a new head and new calves. That’s it. Okay, well, his cloak and chest armor are also new, but as far as the actual figure there are only two new parts. That blows my mind. The neck piece and feet are Hordak’s, the torso and legs are the standard male, the arms and hands are Roboto’s, and the skirt is from the Faceless One.
Like Roboto, Horde Prime’s hands are removable.
The new head is basically the 2002 Hordak head and I can’t wait to see it in Hordak’s colors. It looks even more menacing than the regular Hordak head, and that’s saying something when you’re talking about a guy who is basically a demon skull.
The new calves use the regular Evil Horde calves as a base, but add knee armor and wings. The wings would look silly if the rest of Horde Prime wasn’t so intimidating.
The chest armor and cloak work very well together and almost appear to be a single piece until you have this guy in hand. The chest piece is similar to Hordak’s but without the Horde crest on the front. The cloak is similar to Batman’s if he were the vice president of Hell.
All of that put together makes for a huge and menacing figure.
Design: There are basically four colors on this figure – flat black, glossy black, red, and silver. And I am totally fine with that. Well, mostly. I’m not crazy about Horde Prime’s hands. I know I already complained about them being robot hands, but I have a much bigger problem with the fact that they’re silver. They stick out SO BAD. If he had even a little bit of silver elsewhere on his person it wouldn’t look so weird, but those silver hands are just wacky. It makes it look like he should have gloves. I’d be fine with these hands if they were alternates; like, his actual hands after he took some gloves off.
The rest of this guy is great, though. The combination of the aforementioned colors works very well. I don’t know what it is, but I am always a big sucker for the contrast of different glosses of the same color.
The head – the actual, non-stupid-looking head – looks really good in the darker, more visceral red with black highlights (lowlights?), but I think white or dark grey teeth might have been kind of cool. This isn’t a gripe, just an opinion. If I cared enough I’d break out the paints to find out.
Accessories: Horde Prime comes with a helmet/mask thing and a Horde crossbow that attaches to either arm.
I’m considering the helmet an accessory because it isn’t an integral part of the wardrobe like other removable parts such as the cloak or chest armor. I don’t like how soft the plastic is, but mine seems to have retained its shape. I guess I’m just going to have to get used to this new low standard of plastics in my toys. The helmet not only fits well but also stays in place. It sort of snaps around the collar and looks great on.
The crossbow is utterly badass. It’s more mechanized looking than the other Horde crossbows. It pops onto either of Horde Prime’s forearms and oddly does not throw the figure off balance. There is some minor detailing that makes it look more realistic and less like a Dollar Tree accessory like Stinkor’s weapons. Sorry, I’m still bitter about those.
Okay. That head. It's from the UK He-Man comics and I certainly don't begrudge the people that wanted it. Good for them. But this thing is utterly retarded. I mean, it looks like the source material and is very well done, but what a stupid fucking design. And this is coming from a guy that likes Photog. A lot.
Packaging: The MOTUC blister with the bio on the back. I’m going to start posting close-ups of the bios here since I don’t have much to say about the packaging itself other than it’s awesome.
Overall: Horde Prime is mostly great. The only thing I would change would have been to include some alternate hands in the form of Hordak’s gloves. I don’t know if those would have actually been possible with the way Roboto’s hands work, and I suppose I would rather have his robot hands than plain ol’ gloves.
4 out of 5
Just so you know, that’s a very high “4”.
Two things to mention, here:
  1. Horde Prime was shown with a pretty awesome staff at Toy Fair. While I do think Mattel needs to stop showing accessories at trade shows and in previews, I’m not going to hold it against the figure that it did not include this staff. I think what we got is perfectly acceptable and I would rather have had gloves anyway. But seriously – Mattel should just show the figure from now on and treat the accessories as a mystery. Or even show the accessories and let the fans pick which ones are included. Maybe not with every figure, but sometimes.
  2. For some reason I really want a white and gold version of this guy. Or maybe white and light blue with some gold highlights. I just think that would look kickass.
Also, Lil' Troublemaker did find a use for that stupid head. He made this:
I'm considering it a sicko, Re-Animator-esque pet project of Modulok's whenever he comes out.


  1. I pretty much bought this figure because of the Kirby vibe I got from him. I definitely agree the silver hands stand out in an odd way, and on mine the right hand's paint is all messed up. Presumably they gave him the silver robot hands because in the old She-ra cartoon the only glimpse we get of Horde Prime is his giant silver hand.

    All in all, I guess I'm glad I bought him. He's not a bad figure, but really for $33 he doesn't blow me away either.

    1. Once again, I got learned. I totally didn't remember the big silver hand and now must completely accept this figure's goofy chrome mitts. But I do really like it. I like to think his head is red because he paints it in the blood of innocents.

  2. I love the figure, but due to cost, I had to buy an opened one. At the time I didn’t realize it, but he didn’t come with his mask or cape! Dang it,now I really want those 2 pieces, meaning I may have to buy another figure.