Monday, August 6, 2012

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

Believe it or not, I didn’t own this guy until the other day.

Way back when I first started collecting… wait – that’s not even right. When I bought my first Masters of the Universe Classics figure, I had no intention of collecting the line. I bought Scareglow because he looked awesome. A glow-in-the-dark skeleton with a purple cape is not something I am capable of passing up. So I was going to buy just that one figure.
Then they offered Trap-Jaw.

Trap-Jaw is also something I am not going to pass up. He’s my favorite character from Masters of the Universe and the newest version looked awesome. So I decided I would buy some of the villains from MOTUC, but that would be it. I had always loved the crazy creatures that comprised Skeletor’s goon squad when I was a kid, but I hadn’t cared too much about He-Man and his boring human friends. Well, except for Man-At-Arms. He was pretty rad.

So before I knew it I was collecting the whole line. I subscribed in 2011 and 2012. I don’t remember exactly when I decided I might as well get a He-Man, but it was inevitable I was going to have to get the big, blond goof. I finally pulled the trigger when the first wave of DCUC vs. MOTUC 2-packs got marked down to $19.99 at Toys R Us. Lord knows I didn’t need a Superman, but twenty bucks was the cheapest I was going to get a He-Man for. I knew that one had a slightly different deco, but I didn’t really care. I just needed him to stand on the shelf and look like The Most Powerful Man In The Universe. So I bought the Superman vs. He-Man 2-pack

I thoroughly enjoyed the comic bookthat came with it, so it was well worth my money.
So that pink-hued He-Man has sat atop Battle Cat on my shelf for quite some time now. It had always been in the back of my mind that I might need to get a proper He-Man one day, but not with any real urgency.

Finally, after totally failing to get the stuff my wife wanted from Matty’s post-SDCC sale I did get the Tiny Titans set for Lil’ Troublemaker and threw a He-Man in the cart as well. He was as cheap as I felt like he was going to get and I was halfway planning to give the other one and an extra Skeletor to Lil’ Troublemaker (still thinking about that one – the last thing I need is for him to want the rest of these grotesquely expensive figures).

I like the concept of He-Man as a character very much. I’m just not crazy about Prince Adam.
But if you just take barbarian He-Man and plop him down on top of his giant green tiger I’m good.
First Glance: If I had really looked at one of these original He-Mans up close I would have bought one before now. He really does look a lot different than the 2-pack version. Much, much more in line with the rest of the MOTUC figures in terms of color and design. I’m very glad I got one.
Sculpt: He-Man is as basic as basic gets in this line. He is the base. Well, the 2-apck version is actually even more basic, but I’ll get to that.

Just like every other MOTUC figure, He-Man has ball joints at the head, shoulders, and hips. There are swivels at the biceps, wrists, waist, thighs, and at the tops of his furry boots. His elbows, abdomen, and knees all have standard pivots. His ankles are the old style rocker ankle with the visible peg. That peg doesn’t really bother me. Don’t get me wrong – I prefer the closed joint we now have – but so many of my figures do have the open one. 

However – I do have an issue with Matty raising the prices on the (whatever) figures. It has already been established that these are $20 figures (and $30 beasts). Now, if Mattel has actually gone back into production on these then I understand the price hike. But at the same time, if they have gone back into production then the heroes should sport the closed ankle joint. I cannot claim to know the ins and outs of toy manufacturing and marketing, but it sure seems to me like Matty just jacked up the price because they could, something they claim they do not do. I wonder if these will go up to $27 next year. Meaning the exact same figure will cost thirty-five percent more than it did just one year ago.

Okay, anyway – He-Man looks great. The human sculpt on these figures is just as flawless and powerful as the others. All of the joints on mine work well except for the ankles, which are quite loose. It’s a good reminder that there are QC issues that have been addressed. It’s just unfortunate that they’re not being addressed on the main character of the entire franchise.
Sculpt-wise there is a difference between the 2-pack He-Man and this one. 2-pack He-Man (Tupac He-Man?) has matching wrist bands while regular He-Man has a studded wrist band on his right arm and a bracer on his left, just like the original figure. I hadn’t even noticed this until I got regular He-Man
He-Man’s harness looks like it should. I do like that the new one isn’t as ugly as the old one. It always bothered me that the straps stuck out so far. I like the Horsemen’s version. The slot in the back can hold either He-Man’s battle axe or the Power Sword.
Design: This He-Man’s skin is slightly darker and has more of a wash than Tupac He-Man. It is way darker than Thunder Punch He-Man. The skin looks good, as do the boots and furry underpants, which are also quite different from Tupac He-Man. The paint on the boot straps is tight and clean, as is the belt where it meets the underpants.

I also like that there is detailing on the studs on the belt and right wristband, as well as the left bracer. It all looks very good and make this figure another example of how good the Four Horsemen can make even the simplest toy look.

He-Man’s face is accurate and precise. No derpage or wacky eyebrow action. His hair looks good with a wash to give it some character. Regular He-Man’s locks are a bit more orangish, while Tupac He-Man’s is more of a true blonde. I think I might give this one that head. I like it better.
Accessories: He-Man comes with his Power Sword, half of a Power Sword, a battle axe, and a shield.

The Power Swords and battle axe look great. They’re sharper sculpts than the original toys, but look basically the same. Each is painted with shiny blades and flat detailing.
Same goes for the shield. It, too is a cleaner, more mature sculpt. It still has the same old arm clip, which fits snugly over He-Man’s left wrist. Oh, and he can hold his weapons just fine.
Packaging: The nigh unto perfect Masters of the Universe Classics blister card. It’s a big, thick plastic blister attached to a card with some beautiful graphics and a classic cardback featuring other figures in the line and a bio.
Overall: He-Man is excellent. I am very glad I went ahead and ordered this guy, because he really is very different from the one I was using before. This is truly a great He-Man figure. Even though he’s just a boring human, I really do feel he is a must-have for any toy collection.

5 out of 5

You can buy He-Man right now from, along with several other major MOTU characters that are constantly available. At the very least every toy collection should have the MOTUC He-Man and Skeletor.

Side Note: I don’t know if this He-Man did it, or ToyGuru’s videos, or just the thought of not getting these guys in the mail every month, but I went against my better judgment and subscribed again. To this and to DC.

Look, what it comes down to is this: I really enjoy these toys. I have found something to like out of almost every figure I have gotten (Clawful and Snout Spout are the exceptions). These are possibly some of the best, most exciting toys I have ever collected and I’m not going to stop just shy of the end. Because honestly, I feel like 2013 may be it. After all of the drama with next year’s sub, I really can’t imagine 2014 is going to happen unless 2013 really is the line’s best year ever. And I don’t see how that can happen. But I’m going to hang in there.
As far as the DC sub, I want all of the figures they announced and if I’m paying for MOTUC shipping already I might as well do it. Because I don’t think this one is even going to happen. But maybe people who subscribe will get something. Like a price break. I don’t know. Probably not. We’ll probably just get dicked like the Ghostbusters people did.

But once again, I’m all in.

Well, except for the Watchmen. They should have done a build-a-figure space squid. Especially if they’re charging $25 apiece for those fuckers.


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