Joined: 18 Dec 2005
|Posted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 12:15 am Post subject: Masters of the Universe Classics: Keldor
|Greetings fellow He-Fans and She-Ravers,
There's a good number of Masters of the Universe Classics figures available right now as part of Mattel's Mad Matty March sale and I'm trying to shell out reviews of them quick as I can while the sale's still on. So let's jump right into it and take a look at, Keldor.
Some of you may be asking, "Who is Keldor?" Well I could be a jerk and point out if you've been paying any attention you should already know, but I'm a nice guy and I'll break it down for you. Basically, Keldor is Skeletor. Or rather he is the man who would become Skeletor.
Near the end of the vintage line a mini-comic was produced and packaged with some figures entitled, "The Search for Keldor". In it King Randor is trying to learn whatever happened to his long lost brother Keldor. Skeletor goes out of his way to keep that a secret, and actually succeeds though he looses the overall fight that occurs. In the comic we never learn what happened to Keldor, or even what he looked like, but it is heavily implied that Skeletor IS Keldor. Years later the writers and Mattel team would confirm in an interview this is the direction they were planning to go had the line continued. It was also said a time displaced Keldor would have been a major villain in the planned, but never produced, Powers of Grayskull spin-off line.
In the 200X reboot series, right from the start we finally see Keldor for the first time, are shown him become Skeletor, and it was public knowledge they were one and the same. However, it was never said if he and Randor were related and since Keldor was a blue skinned elf like being, there was some confusion. It was confirmed had the series gone on for a third season it would have been revealed Randor and Keldor were half brothers.
So is the Keldor figure just a Skeletor with a different head? Well, he was released as a quarterly variant, so really it's to be expected that he's the same basic figure with a few new parts. But I really feel this is something special and not just a cheep rehash. Let's take a look.
Keldor comes in the standard MOTUC package with the back of the box showing other figures from the line and providing a bio for the character.
I've already discussed in previous reviews how I really don't like the Demo-Man angle. Especially in this case as the way this bio is worded makes it seem like Keldor was actually a good guy fighting against unjust racism. While this does make a good factor in his motivation, key word factor, the truth is Keldor was power hungry and evil minded long before he was turned into Skeletor. And yes that is implied in other bios in this new continuity, not just my personal take.
Otherwise this is pretty much the story as it was before, and while some fans don't like the idea of Skeletor being He-Man's uncle, I actually think it's a good plot point. On to the figure itself.
Now as you might expect Keldor largely uses the same sculpt as Skeletor, but there are some large differences besides the head. We'll start there though. Keldor's head perfectly captures his look from the 200X cartoon, right down to that evil grin on his face. The head does feature long hair of a stiffer plastic so it does slightly hinder head movement. It's not too bad side to side, but the hair does hit his back blocking him from looking up too much.
Since this is Keldor before he was transformed, he does not have the demonic arms and feet. His forearms are standard male buck with wrist bracers on both arms, a mold that was introduced with Tri-Klops. He is given the standard buck hands, though his fingernails are painted black. For his feet he is given boots which were introduced with this figure and have since popped up many times in the line. They are a great boot sculpt and a very welcome new tool for the line to use.
Keldor also has a slightly different paint job all over. His blue skin is actually brighter than the Skeletor figure. It more closely matches Faker and Sy-Klone so I'm wondering if this was done to suggest Skeletor's skin paled as part of his transformation. His armor is also done in more vibrant shades, though they retain the same basic overall color. The rivets stand out better and the crossbones are now painted silver with a red gem center that I think looks much cooler. And of course he now has a cape which is made of a solid but slightly flexible plastic that really doesn't get in the way or weigh down the figure like some others do. It even is designed in such away that you can still access the sword holder on the back of the armor.
Keldor includes two half swords both done in a metallic purple design marking the first time we got a purple tab half as well as the slot half. Now something strange here is I've seen people who received half swords done just like the previous molds but mine are slightly different. If you look close you will see there is now tabs and slots running the length of the blade and handle. This actually works very well and holds the halves together better. The handle tab also adds a bit of thickness to the one half helping it stay in Keldor's hand. It's still not as good a grip as a whole sword but it's a slight improvement.
That said, this is not what fans wanted. Mattel's stance was this was the Classics version of Keldor's duel swords from the 200X line. They, of course, look nothing like the 200X swords. Mattel insisted over and over that when you take away the "hyper anime detail", as they call it, of the 200X line Keldor's swords would look like the classic Power Sword mold. Again this is not true as the twin swords joined together to form one sword with a slit up the middle of the blade, not two sides of the same blade. Mattel eventually caved in and announced a new Classics version of Keldor's swords would be made. They were shown off earlier this year at Toyfair and are much better and what fans were looking for. I'll review them when they come out.
Keldor also includes a small vial done in a transparent plastic with a green tint inside. This is of course the vial of acid, or magic elixir, or whatever it was (they never really said) that proved to be his undoing. Whatever it was, he should have been more careful with it.
As seen in the 200X series, Keldor tried to throw it on Randor only to have it splashed back in his face, melting his flesh off. Real drop the ball moment for the villain there. Definitely a neat little accessory though that fits right into his hand. I kind of wish there was some way to attach it to his belt or something so he could have it while holding both swords, but I realize that would probably require tooling a whole new loincloth piece.
Since the concept of Keldor wasn't introduced until near the end of the vintage line's run, and his appearance wasn't revealed until 200X, Keldor is not a figure everyone was able to have till now. He was released as a SDCC exclusive in the 200X line, but is extremely rare and hard to come by. (Hence why mine's still mint in box) And that one was just purely a Skeletor with a different head (and a cape). Still it did come with a cool third head that showed Keldor with his face half melted and that would have been an awesome addition for the Classics line. I do like the facial expression on the Classics' head more though.
Keldor is a very cool figure and is well worth getting in my opinion, even without his proper swords. (and since those are coming soon, that's not really a factor much anymore) Many fans picked him up (or got a second one) purely to give the better armor and cape to their Skeletor figure. Or like me, you could put the Skeletor head on the Keldor body, particularly the Toys R Us solid yellow version, which creates a less demonic and very close to Filmation look.
That's not to say Keldor isn't worth picking up to have for himself. (I bought two so I could have both Keldor and my "ultimate" Skeletor) This is a very cool variant and well worth getting, whatever your reason. Keldor is available now on Mattycollector.com as part of the Mad Matty March sale, which goes on through the 20th, and as such is marked down 10% from the normal price. Supplies are limited so grab him while you can. Good Luck and, until next time, Good Journey.
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