Joined: 18 Dec 2005
|Posted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 11:45 pm Post subject: Masters Of The Universe Classics: Mer-Man
|Greetings fellow He-Fans and She-Ravers,
Well, no sense wasting time with long introductions, we all know what we're here for. Continuing the rundown of characters made available for Mattel's special March sale it's time to take a look at another classic character, old fish face himself: Mer-Man!
Mer-Man comes in the standard MOTUC packaging. You can see right away that he comes with an extra head, and his vintage figure style head is the one on the figure in the box. In his original release Mer-Man was the first figure in the line to have two heads and set the standard for the line. Since the figures are largely vintage style based all figures with multiple heads come with the vintage on the figure in the package. Mattel basically likes to make them look as close to the vintage packed figure as they can.
The back of the box shows off other figures in the line and offers up a bio for the character that includes a top candidate for dumbest real name ever.
Squidish Rex... you're joking right? Okay, this had to have been based off a joke from the 200X cartoon. In the episode, while Skeletor's troops are raiding a science lab they pass a large tank where a tentacled creature is kept preserved. Mer-Man does a double take and says, "Uncle Squidley?" Funny as a quick one time joke, but for a permanent real name for this character... just too silly. I also feel they could have picked a much better picture for the artwork.
Otherwise the bio is fine, albeit kinda short. This was really before they started trying to flesh out a new storyline and considering how so many fans are not at all happy with where the new continuity is going, maybe they should have stuck with this simplistic style. On the other hand, we'd probably then have people complaining that there weren't any new stories. Can't please everyone. On to the actual figure.
Mer-Man uses the same basic buck as Skeletor. This means he is given the shin guards which they decided to leave as such instead of going with full painted boots. Mer-Man does feature new hands which have a four fingered and slightly webbed appearance. His left hand is sculpted in a wide open position and thus can't hold any weapons. I'm not sure why this was done. It would have been nice for him to be able to hold his trident in both hands. On that note, I find his grip seems to be slightly loose on his sword, yet he holds the trident fine so I'm not sure why that is. It might be the sculpt of the sword more than the hand.
A very cool new piece is an addition to the torso which presents the appearance of gills on his neck. This is not a new torso, it is an extra piece placed on the standard buck. It is permanently glued on, but does not get in the way at all. This really helps make Mer-Man look cooler and more unique.
As mentioned, Mer-Man includes two heads. The first is a perfect recreation of the vintage figure's head while the second is based on the original artwork for the character. In my opinion this second head is the far better one. Even as a kid, the vintage Mer-Man figure's head seemed off to me as he looked nothing like the cartoon or most of his comic and artwork appearances. I feel this is more what Mer-Man is meant to look like. It's clearly an aquatic creature while the vintage head looks more like a cat or, with the mask like design around the eyes, a raccoon. It's good that both were included to give the option, but I prefer to display mine with the artwork head.
For accessories Mer-Man comes with his famous sword, which according to Mattel is called the Sword of Rakash, indicating it has some significance related to the Sea of Rakash. The vintage figure's sword was often jokingly referred to as looking like a corncob, but this new sword brings out the intended look better. You can see a coral or perhaps fish-bone structure to it; it looks appropriate for an undersea character. He also comes with his trident from the 200X era. This too has been designed in a fashion like the sword where it truly feels like something made under the ocean.
Mer-Man's armor is modeled more after his 200X figure's. While that itself was mostly an update of the vintage figure's, it simply sits over his shoulders whereas the vintage had straps that connected across the back. The collar is also higher with more spikes. Another great added feature is a molded on holster for the sword. This is particularly good because of the open left hand issue. He can still have both his weapons on display.
Next to the vintage figure you can see how the look of the head was perfectly captured, even if the other head is preferable. It also shows off some paint deco choices. Besides the shin guards which I pointed out, he has painted gloves and the furry pants are done in a more yellow instead of orange which matches his armor better. Plus his belt is done in a separate green. There was a variant of the vintage figure that had a green belt but, as you can see, mine is the orange belt.
The 200X version was modeled more after the original artwork and thus matches up with the second head better. It was a good deal thinner than most of the other figures, which kind of made him look a bit weak by comparison. (I mean physically weak not that the sculpt was poor) Still the head and trident match up well.
Now there was a variant of Mer-Man released in a Toys R Us exclusive 2-pack with Aquaman. That one was given a bright blue skin tone and feet painted like boots. His sword was also painted with a blue center and he only had the one head and no trident. Personally I greatly prefer the standard release's color scheme and feel he's the better version overall.
Mer-Man is a classic vital member of Skeletor's ranks and looks great in the collection. It's hard to imagine a MOTU set without him so grab him while you can. Mer-Man is available now on Mattycollector.com as part of the Mad Matty March sale, which lasts through the 20th, and is therefore marked down 10% off the normal price. Supplies are limited though. Good Luck and until next time, Good Journey.
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