Monday, August 5, 2013

Toy Review – Masters of the Universe Classics Galactic Protector He-Man from Mattel

You have no idea how relieved I was when I saw the invoice for Galactic Protector He-Man.

Side Note: I just reopened this to do a proofread and read “Galactic Protector He-Man” as “Galactic Proctologist He-Man”. I’d buy that variant. Heck, we’ve got a dentist. Boonga Boonga.

You see, since Toy Fair I had been under the impression that the Masters of the Universe Classics update of He-Man as he appeared in the New Adventures cartoon and toy line was going to be two separate figures. It seemed completely insane to me, but from the information I read and from the pictures that looked to be the case. I never saw pics of just the armors or just the heads. It seemed like this one character was going to be taking up a 2-pack slot.

Yes, I know how ridiculous that sounds. But I have been collecting Matty products for four years now and am a bit deranged because of it. I have come to believe that no decision is too idiotic for these people.

So when I looked at my invoice and saw that this guy was only $25 (only $25 – HA!) I was pleased. At that point I went and looked at the site and saw that the heads and armor were, indeed, accessories. Cool.

Side Note: I don’t really go to the Matty site anymore. I don’t need anything on sale days and the forums – which used to be daily visits for me - seem to have fallen into ruin. Only the most hardcore, illiterate fans hang around there now. Okay, they’re not all illiterate. But a large majority of the posts seem to have been written by twelve-year-olds with English as a second language. On top of that, the moderators answer a lot of Ask Matty questions now and I’m simply not interested in secondhand information. Or non-information.

I was a huge fan of New Adventures He-Man and Skeletor. The figures, I mean. I bought those two when they came out because I loved the heavier sci-fi influence, the improved articulation, and the (slightly) more realistic proportions. They were nice looking figures for the time and I was initially excited about the new line. I had always liked He-Man, but just hadn’t owned all that many of them. Star Wars and GI Joe were my things.

I don’t remember exactly what turned me off of the line. I know the cartoon was awful. And I think the figures might have been a bit pricey for the time. It was 1990, so I would’ve been collecting Ninja Turtles, X-Men, and any Batman stuff I could get my hands on.

First Glance: He looks great. Regardless of the quality of the cartoon, I do love the idea of He-Man transforming from Conan into Flash Gordon. Of course, that was the original concept for He-Man anyway – he was supposed to change into different genre topes. Hence the hilarious SDCC Exclusive from last year.

But yeah – this He-Man looks sharp. The design and colors are very cool.

Articulation: He-Man has the standard MOTUC articulation, but with a couple of surprise bonuses.

Head – ball joint

Shoulders – ball joint

Biceps - swivel

Elbows – pivot

Wrists – swivel/pivot

Abdomen - pivot

Waist – swivel

Hips – ball joint

Thigh - swivel

Knees – pivot

Boot tops - swivel

Ankles – rocker

He-Man’s totally rad late-80s ponytail prevents his head from looking up and catches on the shoulders with too much rotation, but it is flexible and is not as restrictive as the female characters’ hair.

This He-Man features new wrist articulation, which shocked the heck out of me. Both wrists have 360° of rotation, but they have pivots as well. The right hand has a vertical pivot and the left is horizontal. 
The left doesn’t do much good, but the right allows He-Man to hold aloft his magic sword. And then after I finished writing all of that, I realized that Bow also has this articulation. I can’t decide for the life of me why all of the humans since him haven’t had it.

All of the joints on my figure are tight and functional. Let’s all hope stuck joints are a thing of the past.

Sculpt: This He-Man definitely looks a little different from the standard one that resides on Eternia. I don’t know if space travel got to him or what, but he seems to have a surly grimace. Maybe it’s just the loss of the pageboy haircut that makes this version look more menacing. Whatever the case, this is a better look at He-Man’s face. The hair itself is sculpted well. There’s a shape to it that makes it look slightly less like a mullet.

He-Man has new wristbands. I don’t love them or hate them. They’re a good sculpt and I’m glad they at least match.

The boots are the same as Bow, which is unfortunate because a lot of this figure already looks like Bow. Don’t get me wrong – they’re god boots. They’re the right boots. But between the color scheme and the design I think He-Man has been raiding Bow’s closet. And I am going to refrain from making any jokes about Bow and closets.

Coloring: Look at those eyebrows. Man.

I love the color scheme even though it is pretty much the same as Bow’s. In all honesty I think they should have stuck with the old He-Man’s silver and orange. But I guess gold says “hero”. He-Man does have a tight paint job. All of the detailing is placed well.

The metallic gold they used looks good, but I really, really wish they had done vac metal. Yeah, I know – a lot of people don’t like that. And over time it can wear off or chip away. But how amazing would this figure have looked I n a bunch of shiny, golden armor? Really amazing.

He-Man’s skin tone is back to its usual color, so I guess he’s been able to spend some time aboveground since the whole Thunderpunch thing. The facial features are all accurately place. The teeth are whiter than white.

Flair: I do like his new belt – which is part of his crotch piece - a whole lot. I’m not sure if those are actually meant to be pouches, but this guy did come out in 1990, so it’s a safe bet. Just be glad he doesn’t have any on his boots or bandolier. Just the fact that he has a bandolier is pretty darn 90s. The trunks attached to the belt do a good job of creating the “pants” effect and cover the hip joints well.

Accessories: This He-Man comes with the Magic Galactic Power Laser Sword, the Magic Galactic Power Laser Shield, an extra head with a Galactic Helmet, a Galactic bandolier, and Galactic chest armor.

I don’t know what these things are called. That’s one thing that kind of bugs me about this line – I wish they’d list the accessories on the packaging. Like GI Joe did in the 80s. 
Whatever happened to that? There used to be a printed inventory of the items that came with your figure. It would run down the side of the blister card. This would seem especially important with a line like this where most of the weapons have some kind of singular name – “Power Sword”, “Staff of Avion”, “Chaos Staff”, etc.

The sword and shield look awesome, like they’re made of lasers. I don’t quite understand how the shield works, as it appears to have no source. It’s just this big, flat laser. I love the shape of this Power Sword (is this an actual Power Sword or is it just some future doodad He-Man picked up on Primus? I don’t remember the specifics of the sword either. It looks like it should work like a lightsaber, but it slides into the loops on the back of the chest pieces. But the bottom line is I don’t care because they look awesome and are TRANSLUCENT.

The helmet head actually looks a lot cooler. The helmet itself has some nice detailing. It reminds me of something. Captain Power? Does it look like that? I dunno. I can’t look it up right now. But I like it. Still, I think I’m going to display the figure with the full chest armor and the ponytail head. I don’t feel like He-Man should wear stuff on his head. He’s the star. Can’t be obstructing the moneymaker.

The bandolier is, quite frankly, silly. It looks like it is supposed to look, but the thing is just goofy. Its only redeeming quality is that it retains He-Man’s signature iron cross. And has a loop on the back to store his sword. I guess that loop must be laser-proof.

The full chest armor is awesome. There is a ton of detail on this thing – all sorts of gauges and tubes and dials. I love it. I particularly like the fact that the outer shell is metallic gold while the padding underneath is a sort of bronze. It’s a nice touch. All of the paint on this thing is tight. It’s a little tricky getting it onto the figure, but not too difficult. You just have to futz with the clasps a good bit.

Packaging: The standard MOTUC big ol’ blister card.

There is, of course, the standard bio on the back:

No mention of Primus or Denebria or of any of He-Man’s Galactic Buddies. Weird.

Value: Holy Galactic Value, Batman! I might have actually paid $28 for this guy! Breaking up the shipping between this guy, Freddy Freeman and Clamp Champ makes NA He-Man cost that much. And I do think I might have paid that at retail. The blister card is packed full and he comes with cool and numerous accessories.

Overall: Nailed it. I was really looking forward to this version of He-Man and the Horsemen and Matty did not let me down.

5 out of 5

This is a very good action figure. Unless you specifically hate the New Adventure He-Man design, I highly recommend it. 



  1. Damn you and your reviews. I just won one on ebay, after reading this I decided I should own him afterall. At least I got him for a few bucks cheaper than he would have cost me if I had just ordered him through mattycollector.