Joined: 18 Dec 2005
|Posted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 10:45 pm Post subject: Masters of the Universe Classics: Hydron
|Greetings fellow He-Fans and She-Ravers,
While the main focus of the Classics line for the next two years will be finishing all the characters from the vintage MOTU and POP lines, we will also be getting A list characters from the other factions as well, and that includes the New Adventures. I know there are fans who feel there are no characters from NA that qualify as A list, but we need to stop these era wars. Really what most people had/have against NA is the vastly different direction the story went, and/or the different scale and design of the vintage NA figures. The Four Horsemen have already proven that when done in the same style the NA figures look great in the line so let's take a look at the newest addition, Hydron.
Hydron comes in the standard MOTUC blister card package. Naturally his bubble includes the Galactic Protectors logo sticker on the front. As always the back of the box shows off other figures in the line and presents a bio for the character... which as usual has a crappy real name and changes a lot in order to fit into this new jumbled up continuity.
So let's see, among the people of Primus we have names like Icarius, Sebrian, Tatarus, and Daniel Ripper Jr.... as they say on Sesame Street, "One of these things just doesn't belong here."
Pretty much everything else I've talked about before, what with the Horde Empire not supposed to have anything to do with the Tri-Solar war, the NA era supposed to take place in the far distant future -getting there via time travel- and we still don't know who any of the other heroes who came along are. In the cartoon Hydron's home city was called Serus and it was Master Sebrian who sent him to get He-Man. (Darius didn't appear in the show at all) but these differences come from the story as laid out before the cartoon was made, so they can be excused for the most part. I do wish the bio gave more info on Hydron himself, like why anyone would think to use a scuba diver on a space ship.
Taking a look at the figure out of the package you can see there is a lot of new tooling on this guy. While he uses the standard buck for his torso, shoulders and biceps, as well as his left upper leg, he has new forearms featuring his finned gloved design. Likewise his upper boot parts feature new fined shin guards that extend up to his knees, though this doesn't hinder articulation, and he has brand new flipper feet. He also has a new right thigh piece that features a sculpted on knife in a holster. This was on the vintage figure, but the Horsemen have once again paid attention to little details and made it much more noticeable on the Classics version. It is part of the sculpt though and does not come out.
Then we come to his armor, and that is the big flaw in this figure, but it is not the Four Horsemen's fault. No, this one is all on Mattel's design team. Now it's a scuba suit with tubes and breathing apparatuses so it's supposed to be a big big around the upper pectoral area, however it is noticeably bulky at the waist as well and it should not be. More to the point it wasn't on the original prototype. When the figure was first revealed we saw that the Horsemen had designed him with non removable armor that fit his body shape perfectly. When Mattel design took the prototype they insisted on making the armor removable like most of the line and of course stuck the tabs right on the sides under his arms. This is not the first time they did this and as before it caused puffiness making the figure look a bit fat. In Hydron's case it is a HUGE difference and he swelled up considerably. This is not just a bit of difference that can be shaken off like Sea Hawk's was. This is one where they should have said, "okay this isn't working. We wrecked the design, let's go back and leave the armor non-removable." They've had non-removable armor in the line before, they had to have known fans would be upset and would rather have one guy they couldn't strip as long as he looked right. Now you can sort of fix this by yanking on the back of the armor and/or stuffing something up the back which pulls the front tight against the figure, but now you have his back jutting out. At least this way it can look like the armor design instead of him looking fat.
Hydron has a domed helmet atop the armor which can be removed giving a better look at the head sculpt. The breathing device on his face does not come off and there is no alternate head either. Many fans wanted one as Hydron went without his mask on for large portions of the cartoon. I can understand cost preventing a second head, though I do kind of wish he had been designed with some indication of how the mask straps on. As is it seems to just grip his mouth like a face hugger from Alien. Hydron's head is on the usual ball joint, though I should note you can't move the head when the dome is on, and also if you take the dome off then put it back on, it tends to push the head forward so he ends up looking down instead of ahead. This mainly comes into play with the breathing tubes from the backpack. The pack plugs into the back of the armor and then the tubes run around the dome where there is a tiny peg that plugs into a hole in the yellow tube. Thankfully the tubes are articulated to swing around unlike the vintage which stretched the plastic and frequently broke as a result.
Hydron comes with one weapon and that is his "Triton Spear Gun" as they call it. This is a really weird little item. Judging from the name I guess it's a spear gun, but the spear has a trident like head. I honestly don't know as I don't recall Hydron ever using this thing in the cartoon. It is pretty much a spot on recreation of the vintage one though, so it's not like they slapped some strange new weapon on him. The Horsemen just gave him what he had before. Though they did add a loop to his belt where it can be stored.
One thing I noticed when in comparison to the vintage is that the peg to attach the yellow tubes to the dome might be a bit too high. Though I think that's more because of the issue I mentioned where his head can get pushed forward. Instinctively you think it should be in front of his mouth.
Hydron is a figure that's been a bit of a roller coaster ride for me. At first, though I support his importance as an A lister character, the actual figure I wasn't anxious for as it wasn't one of my favorites. Then the figure was unveiled and suddenly I was wowed by how much the Horsemen had made him look incredibly good. As mentioned though that design got messed up in the final product so a lot of my enthusiasm went away again. I still think he's pretty good overall, but he's not my favorite of the NA figures to come in Classics. The very concept of a scuba diver who flies a space ship is just hard to wrap my head around even in the realm of MOTU. Still he does look pretty good standing in the collection next to Flipshot. As of this post Hydron is still available on Mattycollector.com. Until next time, Good Journey.
SUPPORT MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE CLASSICS
"I HAVE THE POWER!!.... the power is mine, not yours. Thanks for asking."