Wednesday, April 3, 2013

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

While I am certainly not opposed to the concept of King-He-Man, I wasn’t ecstatic about the idea of getting one. Then I thought about it and I realized that aside from last year’s Shadow Weaver, I think that all of the other Sub Exclusives have been He-Mans. Wun-Dar was first in 2010 (and I still need him), then Preternia He-Man in 2011 (the first year I had a sub). Shadow Weaver is a great figure and all, but to be honest I wasn’t even familiar with the character when they announced her. I really think they should have stuck with special He-Mans as the Sub Exclusive. That way it’s never going to be an essential character, but it will always be something special and a sort of figurehead for the line. I still think Shadow Weaver should have been a regular figure and they should have done Oo-Lar or something.

So after thinking about all of that I realized that King He-Man was a solid choice. I don’t really mind the characters from different eras. I have a whole shelf of time-displaced figures and characters that just don’t quite fit with the “modern” continuity. King He-Man would look spiffy right in the middle.

Now might be a good time… well, I guess there will never be a good time… to admit that I don’t pay a whole lot of attention to the Masters of the Universe Classics bios. I don’t want to be mean about them because I know how much effort and love went into writing them. And there are a lot of neat ideas if you dig through them. But there are certain factors about those bios that I just can’t get past. So I kind of skim over them and then throw them out. And I’ll admit right now – if Matty ever manages to release them as a book or something I’d probably buy it. I’m curious to see the narrative in chronological order.

My lack of awareness of the bios means that sometimes I don’t know where a character is coming from. This was the case with King He-Man. But that’s okay because he looks neat, and that’s really all I want out of any of these figures.
First Glance: Looks like Triple H as He-Man. Which is a fine thing to look like.
Articulation: King He-Man has the standard male MOTUC articulation. 

Head – ball joint
Shoulders – ball joint
Biceps – swivel
Elbows –pivot
Wrists – swivel
Waist - swivel
Hips – ball joint
Thighs – swivel
Knees – pivot
Boot tops - swivel
Ankles – pivot

King He-Man’s head does not move a whole lot aside from swiveling. The up and down motion just isn’t there. And it isn’t his hair or anything. The joint just doesn’t have much of a range of motion.

I wish the Horsemen had invested more time at the beginning of the line in figuring out how to reduce the profile of the seams on armor. It drives me nuts that so many of these MOTUC figures cannot put their arms down in a natural position.

My guy’s knees are a little loose. Not too bad, but looser than any other figure I’ve received in the past several months. But he can still stand up just fine.

His rocker ankles seem to work a bit better than recent figures. There’s a bit more side-to-side motion.

Otherwise King He-Man’s joints are all good. Nothing stuck and nothing extremely loose.
Sculpt: King He-Man has a new head. That’s it. But the other parts work so well together to create a pretty cool new look.

The base is obviously just He-Man, but with He-Ro’s boots. It works.

The new head is awesome. The crown looks great with the Not Iron Cross on the front. The way it sits on the hair is good – it looks like it has weight and is pushing down. The face looks a bit craggier than we’re used to seeing and the beard is full and long. The scar says a lot about what’s happened to our hero. With all of the things that He-Man has been through and come out unscathed, what in the world could have left a scar like that?
Coloring: The new color scheme looks great, but I do have to wonder why there’s no orange. Orange is a big part of Randor’s color scheme and even the original He-Man’s. It would have made sense. Now, don’t get me wrong – orange is not the best, most regal color in the world, but within the Universe that the Masters occupy it kind of is. King He-Man’s colors are better, but I want to know what happened to the orange, dammit!

He-Man seems to have regained his tan in the time between living in Subternia and becoming King. His hair and beard are definitely lighter, denoting some aging.
The paint apps on my figure are tight. There's no splotching or errors of any kind.
Flair: The Horsemen used Randor’s chest armor and added a new cloak and skirt; though I always hate to call such things skirts. 

Using Randor’s armor makes sense to me.

While the new cloak looks awesome and even features a sculpted furry hood:
I very strongly feel that it should be removable. 

The new skirt has sculpted, layered plates, a stylized “H” and overall looks very cool. It is a pliable plastic so it doesn’t hinder leg movement. I like the illusion that the blue portion is a belt and the gold is a continuation of the armor on King He-Man’s abdomen.
Accessories: The King comes with a battle damaged Techno Power Sword, a repainted version of Randor’s staff, and a minicomic - "The Secret Origin of Skeletor". Also included but not actually packed in with the figure is a map of Subternia.
The sword looks really cool and beat up. It reminds me of Mick Foley’s original WWF Hardcore Championship belt:
(picture from
But I have to wonder – he’s King He-Man. Couldn’t he have this thing fixed?
I know, I know – it’s just a cool variation because they wanted to make a different-looking weapon. I get it.

I am also constantly irritated by the fact that there is apparently a China on Eternia and that they make everything there as well:
That drives me FUCKING CRAZY.

Randor’s staff looks great with the new paint job. Astonishingly, mine was not bent. Much.
It really sucks that they have to fold these maps up. I can only imagine how much shipping would increase if they sent them rolled in tubes. Knowing the assholes at Digital River it’d probably be thirty bucks.

"The Secret Origin of Skeletor" is a new minicomic written by Scott Neitlich. I read it. I will be reviewing all of the minicomics soon. Don't get too excited.

The map itself is my favorite so far. It’s just awesome. 
I love Procrustus in the middle and the relations between the three towers, Grayskull, and Snake Mountain. I might actually consider having this mounted (to get rid of the fucking folds) and framed. It’s awesome.
Packaging: It’s the regular MOTUC blister card. Still neat and still effective. Here’s his bio:
I find it interesting that this is “King He-Man” and not “King Adam”.
Value: With the added value of the map, King He-Man lands in the Acceptable Value bracket. He’s a pile of well-managed farmed parts and the map is just outstanding. I probably would have paid ten bucks for a non-folded version from a store or Amazon or somewhere.
Overall: I could have definitely lived without King He-Man and might even put him up on eBay in my soon-to-be-coming purge. But he is a solid figure and despite my little nitpicks looks good on the shelf. He just doesn’t excite me all that much. 

4 out of 5

I would imagine King He-Man is going to cost a pretty penny if you want one. Especially if you want the map of Subternia. I might sell my King, but that things stays here.


1 comment:

  1. I am also constantly irritated by the fact that there is apparently a China on Eternia and that they make everything there as well...
    It´s usa fault that the toys are made in china... Low wages make high profit