Joined: 18 Dec 2005
|Posted: Sun Feb 22, 2015 7:10 pm Post subject: MOTUC: Snake Armor He-Man vs Battle Armor (200X) King Hiss
|Greetings fellow He-Fans and She-Ravers,
When the price points for this year's quarterly items were revealed, knowing that we were promised to get the remaining variants from the vintage MOTU line, it was pretty easy to guess how they were going to line up and that we'd be getting them in two-packs. Or so we thought. When the first quarterly item was shown it took us by surprise. Sure it was a two pack, but of 200X variants we weren't expecting. Snake Armor He-Man and 200X style King Hiss!
This two pack comes in the same window box style package we've seen in army builder packs for this line. Both figures are fully showcased within, and this particular pack has the Snake Men logo sticker on the front -though really only one is a Snake Man and the other is a hero wearing an anti Snake Men outfit. Flipping around to the back we find two separate bios, making me wonder why Rokkon and Stonedar weren't done this way.
Now in the 200X story Adam didn't create the armor it was provided for him by Grayskull. We later saw that King Grayskull had worn it in his time against the Snake Men. In the cartoon Sorceress told him he'd be getting it right before the transformation but in the comic adaptation he transforms and is surprised by it. Unlike other variants in the 200X cartoon that showed up for one episode then had He-Man go back to his normal outfit, the Snake Armor showed up and became the default look for the remainder of the series, even when he wasn't fighting the Snake Men, which drew disapproval from many fans. Many fans did have him permanently loose the armor in their fan canon, though having Snake Duncan make a weapon that could disrupt the power of Grayskull is a shocking twist.
Hiss' bio starts off summarizing what was planned to bring him back in the third season that never happened. Might be worth noting he wasn't just beheaded on the show, Zodak somehow mystically hypnotized his four arm snakes to EAT the main head off. He would have indeed regenerated, though I always found the idea that he needs darkness to do it backward as real snakes require sunlight to give them energy. I've already discussed the stupidity of the Snake Men genocide via the Spell of Separation. Also how did the army multiply if they were in hibernation?
Okay so let's start looking at Snake Armor He-Man here. He mixes old and new parts to create his overall look. While most of it is the standard He-Man buck, he actually used King Hiss' buck on his armored left shoulder (under the large guard) bicep and upper leg. He does feature a new forearm that has his gauntlet on it. He comes with the special claw extension that plugs into the end and the claws are slightly flexible but still solid enough so you can maneuver them around to grab onto other figures with. His shoulder pad is softer and flexible so it doesn't interfere with arm movement. He does seem to have boot cut articulation, but mine is super tight and won't move. The chest armor is all glued on though and does not come off. There is a slot on the back for holstering his sword, which is the same 200X style sword we've seen in the line before, this time painted in a two tone silver.
Now one of the big things is, finally breaking the "no more 200X style heads" rule this figure has a new sculpted head for He-Man that captures the shorter layered hair style of that line. Swap this head onto King Grayskull's body and you've got a full 200X style He-Man in Classics. (though he will still have those nubs on the armor where the cape attaches) And, as I mentioned before, King Grayskull has been seen wearing the Snake Armor, so there you go. The only real slight letdown is they did not utilize the new wrist from Galactic Protector He-Man with the proper sword raising pose, but that in turn keeps the other figure unique.
There was a Snake Armor He-Man released in the 200X line but, despite the look becoming the new standard for him at the time, it had a very limited release and is hard to come by. So of course I don't have one. The other thing here is this figure's sword had a feature where it split open exposing the core of raw power in the center as seen (quite unexpectedly and with no real explanation) in the final episode during his battle with Serpos. It did result in a bulky oversized sword when closed, but still would have been interesting to see in Classics form. He-Man also had a special shield that went with this armor, and got mentioned in the bio, but neither the 200X version nor this Classics version included it. The Horsemen have said they would like to get it out in the line at some point in the future so we will see.
Battle Armor King Hiss probably should have been called Battleground Hiss instead as he does not feature the same Battle Armor theme as the He-Man and Skeletor variants with that title. I must admit, I largely preferred the vintage look for Hiss (and yes I REFUSE to call him Hssss) but I must admit this figure turned out very well done. His look is inspired more from the cartoon than the 200X figure as he has the more pale green skin tone, the solid red eyes, and his face has the more angular look to it. He uses the same shoulders (assembled correctly) biceps and upper legs as the first (vintage style) release Hiss, with new forearms shins and feet capturing his 200X look. Like the first Hiss, he also has an armor overlay atop the standard torso, but this time it's cut in a way that leaves part of the torso exposed. It's painted in such a way that it all flows together as one armor but creates the more angular slimmer look Hiss had in the 200X cartoon. Also unlike the other Hiss, or Snake Armor He-Man here, this armor is removable. He comes with the same snake staff and shield painted in colors more closely matching the 200X version. It's worth noting that due to the thicker bracers the shield doesn't clip to his arm quite as well but you can still get it on his wrist.
Just like the first release figure, King Hiss can separate his torso from his waist to turn into his snake form. A brand new, much more elaborate, eight headed, highly detailed, snake torso was made for this figure... but due to budgetary reasons it was not included in this set! It will be coming later this year packed with another, yet to be revealed, figure. The rumor at this point is it will be the December monthly figure and fan speculation is that said figure will be a less desirable one hence the snake torso will help boost sales. We'll see, all we do know is it will be included in the subscription so if you subbed up you will eventually get both the main Hiss body and the snake torso. Meanwhile the first release snake torso does work with the new lower half and honestly the 200X torso looks good on the vintage style legs too.
I've made it clear in the past that I'm getting a little tired of variants and with us already getting a promised five other variants this year an extra two pack seems extremely uncalled for. That said though these particular figures came out amazingly well done and I do like them. It's upsetting that the snake torso was not included, but at least it is coming with a figure that, as a subscriber, I am already getting anyway. This is however a hassle for non-subscribers to get this pack and then be forced to buy another figure they may not want to complete their 200X Hiss. The flip side of that though is anyone who doesn't care for the 200X Hiss human form but does want a more elaborate snake torso for their vintage style one has the chance to get it without having to buy a pricier two pack.
The Snake Armor He-Man vs Battle Armor King Hiss two pack is no longer available on Mattycollector.com. I wouldn't be surprised to see it pop back up around the time the figure with the snake torso goes on sale, but I wouldn't count on it for sure. Until next time, Good Journey.
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