Thursday, February 6, 2014

Toy Review – Masters of the Universe Classics Two-Bad from Mattel

There was a time when I was pretty sure we would be getting Tuvar and Badra as individual figures in the Masters of the Universe Classics line. With the line almost undoubtedly in its final two years I don’t see that happening. Maybe as Con Exclusives, but probably not.

But there was no doubt we would be getting their combined form of Two-Bad, as he was one of the original vintage figures. Two-Bad was definitely one I was excited about because he’s crazy looking and is another of those figures that Matty simply wasn’t going to be able to get away with doing on the cheap. I think one of my favorite things about collecting this line has been seeing how the Horsemen handle some of the more eccentric characters on Matty’s notoriously tight budget.

I honestly can’t even remember Two-Bad from the original He-Man cartoon, though it’s probably safe to say Tuvar’s voice was sibilant and Badra’s voice was gruff and they both sounded mildly retarded. I do remember the vintage figure and how it’s action feature was being able to punch itself in its heads. That was pretty awesome.

I don’t think He-Man and the Masters of the Universe did an actual origin story for Two-Bad, but the 2002 cartoon did and it was horrifying. Tuvar and Badra were bounty hunters that pissed Skeletor off, so he did the only rational thing he could have – he fused them together. That scene horrifies me. I think about some of the people that mildly irritate me – let alone one that I hated so much I would come to blows with – and the thought of being permanently conjoined with them is enough to make me want to curl up in a ball and whimper.

Despite that, this is a nifty design for an action figure and I was delighted to see it arrive.

WOW. If this is any indication of what the rest of the waning line is going to be, then I am excited beyond words. Two-Bad looks fantastic and has a ton of new sculpting. And that upper torso is huge. No scrimping here.

I don’t know that I have ever discussed the mailer boxes before, but I am going to now. Up until 2014 the mailer boxes have all been white, so I was surprised when I opened the outer carton and found this inside:
I haven’t checked the Matty forums, but I have to think that there are some people that are enraged by this. While I don’t care one little bit about what the mailer box looks like or what it’s made of (as long as it isn’t poo or bees or something), I do think this looks neat. I don’t know why. I’m sure it’s some environmentally motivated thing that gets Mattel a tax break.
Since I managed to use some words talking about the mailer, I don’t feel obligated to once again discuss the excellent MOTUC blister card.

Nothing new in this bio, except maybe for the fact that Skeletor’s spell is “unrepeatable”. What, exactly, does that mean? Once uttered it can’t be used again? Or nobody else is capable of casting this particular spell? Or that it’s just super hard to pronounce? 

Unfortunately I think there’s a possibility that this was supposed to be an “unbreakable” spell and somebody got confused. That would make a lot more sense because I am sure that most people – like me – are wondering why Two-Bad doesn’t just go and find himself a sorcerer to split him back into Tuvar and Badra.

The Horsemen were clever here, as they did manage to re-use a human bicep, lower abdomen, thigh, and upper lower leg. But there’s still plenty of brand new on Two-Bad – heads, torso, right forearm and hand, entire left arm, entire left leg, and right boot, including the foot! Mattel will do new boots all day long, but they seem to hate making new feet.
Tuvar’s head is the more repellant of the two to me. He kind of looks like Webstor, but that might be racist of me to say. But how many folks are running around Eternia with red eyes, fangs, and blue skin? The detail on the head is good and for some reason his tiny little fangs seem more sinister than great, big ones. His face is all wrinkled up like he’s disgusted, which he should be because I bet Badra smells terrible.
While Tuvar comes off as a bit bland, Badra is awesome and is the reason why I want separate Tuvar and Badra figures. He has horns for ears, which must suck but looks really cool. His fangs are slightly larger than Tuvar’s and he has a croissant for an eyebrow. The face has a ton of character and the scaling on the body carries up onto the head.
Both heads have solid paint jobs, though I can’t figure out what’s going on with Tuvar’s eyes. They’re a little muddy, but I suppose it’s intentional. Otherwise the paint is plied well and covers what it is supposed to and nothing else. There’s no blotching or anything.

Two-Bad’s torso is wonderful. Size-wise it definitely has the look of two MOTU beings that have been fused together. The blue and purple blend into each other at the joining point rather than just being a solid line. This looks great and is one of those little touches that makes MOTUC feel as modern and updated as ti should be. I’d like the chest armor a little more if it were two different colors, but the vintage figure’s was all orange as well, so I can’t complain. It does feature two different designs and they are nicely distinctive despite the matching paint.

Tuvar’s matching glove and boot are pretty wicked looking, with studs all over them and some armor plate detail. They’re just plain silver, but I kind of like that. Badra’s corresponding parts are much more detailed and intricate. I love the vicious-looking fins on his forearm. I do think some of the details on this side could have used some paint – the studs and parts on the knuckles and shin that actually look like armor – but the sculpt is tremendous.

Two-Bad comes with a double-headed mace and a shield.
The shield has a neat sculpt. It’s got Tuvar’s round studs on the left and Badra’s square studs on the right. Obviously it should have metallic orange paint on the trim and studs like the chest armor does, but Matty cut corners.

I do like the way it fits over Badra’s gauntlet:
It slides on easily and there’s no doubt as to how it is meant to sit.
The mace matches the motif. It has one rounded head and one square one. It has paint on the grip and looks fine aside from the “China” stamped on it. It fits into Tuvar’s hand perfectly.

Two-Bad has twice the head articulation of any other Masters of the Universe Classics figure!

Haha. That’s my little joke.

He has the same general articulation as the rest of the line, but with the extra head. All of the joints on my figure were tight and functional. His large upper body didn’t give me any problems posing thanks to the generally excellent balance of the figures in this line.

I messed around with this gut for a while. I couldn’t get quite as many poses out of the arms as I would have liked, but that’s just how this line is. I’m not a huge fan of the weapon, either. I’m not complaining because this is what the vintage figure came with and that’s how this line rolls, but I’ve just never liked the look of this thing. It makes sense for the character and in the grand scheme of the silly Universe, but I’d prefer if each side just had its own weapon. Which I could make happen except for the fact that Badra’s hand is a closed fist.


I guess there’s a reason he comes with that shield.
Wait – what, exactly, is going on under that shield?

I guess these two get along better than we were led to believe.

Side Note: I couldn’t quite make it look like the heads were kissing, which disappoints me but was probably a wise move on the part of Mattel. I could, however, poke Tuvar in the eye with Badra’s horn:
So there’s that.

Every problem I have with this figure is a result of the Horsemen and the design team doing what they are supposed to do; which is to update the vintage figures. Two-Bad is an almost perfect update of the vintage figure and one of the best Matty has sold us. I am disappointed at the lack of paint on the shield, but not at all surprised.
Overall this figure looks fantastic and is a welcome addition to my Evil People of Eternia shelf. I’m not sure that I can do the thing where I recommend Two-Bad to any toy collector. He is a great example of a difficult concept being realized, but I’m not sure he transcends the line. If you’re a MOTUC fan or collector Two-Bad is absolutely a must.

As always, check BigBad or eBay if you’ve got plenty of dollars. Otherwise wait to find this guy at a local con.

4 out of 5

Yes, he lost a whole point because of the shield. As was the case with Stinkor, I feel like the whole figure suffers because the accessory looks cheap. I would love to have scored him higher, but I only do whole points and a what I feel is such an obviously missing paint app means I can’t give a perfect score.

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