Joined: 18 Dec 2005
|Posted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 4:39 pm Post subject: Masters Of The Universe Classics: He-Man
|Greetings fellow He-Fans and She-Ravers,
With the 30th anniversary of MOTU underway Mattel has opted to make the main hero (as well as the main villain and their steeds) available once again and not just for a limited run.
For at least the rest of 2012, if not permanently, core characters from the MOTUC line are available year round, as opposed to the limited runs of the regular releases. So with that in mind let's take a look at them starting with the big guy himself: He-Man!
He-Man comes in what is now the standard packaging for the MOTUC line with the back of the card showing off other figures in the line and presenting a bio for the character:
He-Man, Most Powerful Man in the Universe
Real Name: Adam of the House Randor
A direct descendant of the legendary King Grayskull™, Prince Adam® of Eternia® was chosen to protect his ancestor's Power Sword® from evil. At first, he used a techno vest with a built-in force field to fight evil, but Adam has since learned to combine both halves of the Power Sword®, using it to channel the energy of the Elders to become He-Man® - The Most Powerful Man in the Universe™! He guards the safety of all Eternia® alongside the heroic Masters of the Universe®.
Now I have to say, as big a He-Fan as I am, I'm not overly thrilled with the direction the bios are taking. The Classics line tries to bring together elements from all previous MOTU continuities and the result is a mash-up that holds many elements I wish had been left dropped. Particularly anything from the Pre-Filmation early mini-comics. I never liked this continuity and there's a lot in here: The techno vest, the two halves of the Power Sword, and the sword itself being the item of interest more than Castle Grayskull. Also I never liked the idea of Masters of the Universe being the name of the heroic warriors team. I feel the brand's name was meant to be all inclusive of hero and villain alike.
I could go on ranting for a while about this, but I'll save that for another time. One last thing I will say is the whole "Of the house of Randor" should probably be of a last name instead or maybe "Of Eternos" naming the kingdom rather than changing the family name every generation.
Okay on to the figure itself.
He-Man has what would become the standard buck for most of the line. Like the vintage figures, the MOTUC line reuses many of the same parts for multiple figures. Not only does this keep the cost of producing new figures down (to a degree) it's a great nostalgic throwback.
MOTUC figures feature the most articulation of any He-Man line ever. The figure features ball joints, allowing for full movement, at the head, shoulders, and hips -instead of the old rubber band of the vintage line. There are swivel joints at the biceps, wrists, waist and calves (the boot cuff joints) plus bend joints at the elbows, knees and ankles as well as the mid torso in what's come to be called the "ab crunch". If you're keeping count that's a whopping 19 points of articulation allowing for a wide range of awesome battle poses.
Accessory wise He-Man has a removable armor piece that features a holster on the back (which also functions as the fastener) that easily holds either of his weapons. He naturally includes his Power Sword which is painted in a nice two tone silver distinguishing the metal of the blade from the hilt. He has his battle ax done in the same two tone silver and his shield. Unlike the vintage figure's shield which slipped over his open hand, this shield clips firmly to his wrist (and both hands are molded in a gripping pose) so he can actually hold his sword, ax, and shield all at once.
He-Man also comes with a half power sword. This is a throwback not only to the old story idea about the two halves of the Power Sword, but is also a nod to the vintage figure who had a half sword that could be combined with Skeletor's half sword. The Classics version is designed on the same idea. While this is kind of a a cool nostalgic idea, I was never fond of the two halves of the sword story arch, and more to the point, the half handle is so thin that He-Man cannot hold it well and it slips out of his hand easily. Also the half swords really don't stay together well, I'll show that more in my Skeletor review. This is one of those things that I don't really object to them having put in, but I personally leave aside and don't display.
Standing next to the vintage figure you can see how they perfectly captured the iconic look but updated it with fuller detailing. Notice how the vintage figure's armbands aren't painted and the detailing on the boots is drawn out.
While I do love the 200X line I am very glad they went with the vintage look for the Power Sword here. A 200x style Power Sword was later packed in with Man-At-Arms, and it looks great in King Grayskull's hand, but for pure iconic look, I prefer the classic style sword for He-Man.
Now something to note is He-Man's original release had a few minor issues that have been fixed with the re-issue.
First the original's shoulders were reversed. It was only slightly noticeable, but thankfully has been corrected. Also his furry loincloth is now made of a softer plastic which not only doesn't hinder leg movement, but works better for when he sits on Battle Cat. I'm not sure how well you can see it in the photo, but the real biggie was the original had red shading around the eyes for some reason. This has been removed and the overall skin tone is less glossy. With these minor corrections we have the definitive He-Man figure. Mint on card collectors should note the re-release's packaging features a star burst saying "The Original". This is another throwback to the vintage line and has been continued on every re-release.
For any fan of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe this is the perfect figure. I may not be totally fond of the bios, but the figure itself is fantastic and I highly recommend it for any He-Fan or just a nostalgic child of the 80's. He-Man is available now on Mattycollector.com and will be kept available all year. Until next time, Good Journey!
SUPPORT MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE CLASSICS
"I HAVE THE POWER!!.... the power is mine, not yours. Thanks for asking."