Joined: 18 Dec 2005
|Posted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 5:35 pm Post subject: Masters of the Universe Classics: Scare Glow
|Greetings fellow He-Fans and She-Ravers,
I was originally going to wait until October to do this review to kind of go with a Halloween theme, but after doing the Green Goddess review I felt I really needed to go to the other extreme. From one of the worst figures in the line to one of the best. So let's go ahead and take a look at Scare Glow!
I've actually wanted to review this guy for some time, but I've been holding off because it's pointless to talk about the figure without showing off his glowing feature, and it's next to impossible to photograph his glowing feature without a black light. Well I recently finally got a small, inexpensive, but very efficient black light so here he is!
Awesome huh? I don't fully understand how it works but Scare Glow is molded out of special glow in the dark plastic. When exposed to light it basically soaks it up and reflects it out in a greenish glow in darkness. The longer the figure is under the light the brighter and longer it will glow. The glow however is usually not bright enough to be photographed. When exposed to a black light however, and it only needs a few seconds, it shines super bright. It must have something to do with the fact that a "black light" is actually an ultraviolet light. I did notice that, though the shine is super bright, it fades out faster too.
Scare Glow comes on the standard MOTUC blister card pack, with a note on the side of the bubble about his glow in the dark feature. Notice the blub says "Evil Ghost Serving Skeletor". The vintage figure said "Evil Ghost of Skeletor" but he was always portrayed as if being someone else. For years there was debate amongst the fan community whether Scare Glow was supposed to be Skeletor's ghost or if it just meant ghost servant of Skeletor, like how Faker was labeled "Robot of Skeletor". Mattel finally ended the debate affirming that he is in fact someone else and not actually Skeletor. I have to admit at first I didn't know myself.
Story time: I had never had or even heard of Scare Glow during the initial run of the line. My first exposure to the figure was in the early 90's when I was over at my, then new, friend Joe's house. Joe had a few figures I had never seen before (Mosquitor was another) though I had a few he wasn't familiar with too (e.g. Dragstor) One of them was this figure who he first told me was a variant of Skeletor, though he wasn't sure when it had come out. For some reason he later was led to believe it was a figure of Horde Prime. (I don't know how) It wasn't until I discovered He-Man.org that we learned the true identity of the character. Once we did though, we both took the side of him being a different character than Skeletor himself.
As always the back of the box shows off other figures in the line and gives a bio for the character. Scare Glow never really had a definitive origin before. He was almost always portrayed as having been summoned by a spell of Skeletor's, but where he originally came from and how he got his powers wasn't fully explored so this is a good explanation overall. I kind of feel it should say mercenary instead of bounty hunter since he's not really hunting anyone for a price, he's just working for himself. The part about being chained to his crimes was added to cover his new accessory which I'll discuss in a little bit.
Now let's look at the actual figure in the light. Just like the vintage, Scare Glow uses the same basic buck as Skeletor done in a glow in the dark plastic. His shin guards and feet are done in normal plastic and painted to resemble full boots, though he too features the nails painted black. As I've mentioned before, it doesn't really ruin the features, but I do wish they'd stop this as it looks like every bad guy has holes in their boots.
Scare Glow has a new head resembling a full skull with his trademark crack that probably is a result of how he died. His eye sockets have red painted orbs deep inside giving him a menacing look. His teeth have a bit of black wash over them to help them stand out a bit. The original prototype first shown at the 2009 SDCC had much more black wash over the whole head and drew mixed reactions. Some fans preferred this look as it made his skull look more like aged bone, others felt it was too much. While I didn't feel it was overdone, in retrospect that much black wash would likely have dulled the glow on his head, which is really what this figure is all about and the final product looks great so I'm happy with the choice.
It's interesting to note that, unlike the vintage figure, Classics Scare Glow has his bony details painted on his back and the back of his legs. Sadly though, this did not get extended to the underside of his arms. Scare Glow was usually portrayed as having dark black skin that his bones shined through when he used his powers. Logically he should have markings all around his arms to set the bone structure apart. It's a small issue overall, and since it's in line with the vintage figure it doesn't seem to out of place unless you really think about it, but I do wonder why it wasn't done.
Scare Glow features a long cape that is made of a somewhat softer plastic, while the vintage had a cloth cape. As such it's length can get in the way just a bit when finding a good pose for him. I usually do prefer cloth capes as they are more flexible, however I also must say I really like the extra details put into the cape here. It gets more translucent near the bottom, adding to the ghostly feel, and also features a tattered edge look that also adds to the overall creepy vibe of Scare Glow.
For accessories he comes with an updated version of his halberd weapon. There were actually two versions of the vintage Scare Glow's halberd. Most of them were a solid green, but there was a rare variant that was done in the same glow in the dark plastic as Scare Glow himself. For the Classics version they split the difference and made the staff green, while the actual blade is glow in the dark. I love this idea and think it was a really good way to go.
Then there's his second accessory. Scare Glow was one of the first figures to fall under the "everyone needs at least two accessories" rule so the Four Horsemen came up with this idea for a reliquary that chains to Scare Glow's wrist. The clasp clips on the wrist, so it can be removed if you want to, and features a real metal chain very similar to the Dragon Blaster Skeletor figure. The top of the reliquary features a mini Castle Grayskull design that is amazingly detailed especially for something so small. The reliquary can be opened and inside is a small key, meant to be the actual key to Castle Grayskull itself. As the bio mentions, Scare Glow was forever chained to his crimes. In life he kept trying to break into Grayskull, so in death he must forever carry around the key to the castle, unable to open the reliquary and use it. This makes for a really cool story point and accessory. It's reminiscent of Jacob Marley in A Christmas Carol. If you've ever bothered to actually read the original book you know Marley wore not only chains, but he was chained to heavy money boxes, because of his acts of greed in life.
The vintage Scare Glow was one of the last figures released in the line and as such is one of the rarest and most sought after by collectors. However he was also part of a "filler wave" meaning he was put out in order to get new products into shelves but with minimal new tooling. because of this apparently upper management at Mattel was surprised when Toyguru presented him as a choice for a 2009 release, apparently seeing him as a cheep figure and being oblivious to his popularity. Thankfully Toyguru convinced them he was a good choice.
One of the main reasons Toyguru and the Horsemen wanted to do Scare Glow so early in the line was he did not receive a figure or staction in the 200X line. They wanted to give the fans a character that was missed out on and he seemed the obvious choice. Another reason is they wanted him to be the October figure so as to go with a Halloween theme. (Of course due to the delay with Mer Man everyone got pushed back a month and he came out in November, oops)
Scare Glow did have one 200X appearance in a special one shot issue of the comic. Normally Mattel didn't let the comic introduce new characters, preferring to wait until the toy line or cartoon to bring them in, but made an exception due to the fact that this special Halloween comic was a fundraiser with all the proceeds going to charity.
With Scare Glow being such a cool but rare character it's great to get him in a more open release and I feel he came out fantastic. He's currently sold out so check the secondary market and hope he doesn't end up as expensive as the vintage! Good Luck and until next time, Good Journey.
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