Joined: 18 Dec 2005
|Posted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 12:06 pm Post subject: Masters Of The Universe Classics: Man-E-Faces
|Greetings fellow He-Fans and She-Ravers,
It should go without saying that I have a real fondness for Masters of the Universe, but what you may not know is one of my other real passions is theater. I go to shows all the time, I perform in them myself as often as I can, I've written a full length play and had it performed once, and I'm just a few credits away from obtaining my Bachelor's degree in Theater & Performing Arts. With all this in mind, it should be no surprise that I really like MOTU's resident actor so let's take a look at; Man-E-Faces!
Man-E-Faces comes in the standard MOTUC blister card packaging. The back of the box shows off other figures in the line, all heroic warriors, and as always features a bio card fitting the character into the new continuity.
I'm not sure where they came up with that real name, it's a bit odd but I've gotten used to it. The bulk of the story is a condensed version of Man-E's origin from the old old mini-comics. What it doesn't fully explain is in that story Skeletor and Sorceress got into a back and forth battle transforming him from human to monster until finally the clash of magic created the third robot personality. In that continuity Man-E had no control over his alternate forms. His monster self would serve evil and his robot was neutral, serving whoever gave him orders first. While I'm okay with the initial origin of his powers, I like Man-E to be able to control them to his advantage. Another thing he could do on the Filmation series is take on other faces and I think this should have been mentioned, particularly when we get to his "secret accessory" (I suppose it was left out to keep the secret but now we're left wondering). Let's move on to the actual figure now.
Man-E-Faces features reused arms and legs from Trap Jaw, though he does have brand new shoulders. His loincloth/pants piece is the same we saw before in Optikk and Roboto. At first he looks like he uses the standard male buck with a new armor piece over it, but looking at the back you can see it is actually a new torso. While the wires are glued on, notice the top of his helmet/neck piece is part of the torso mold. Like Leech, I'm not sure why it was necessary to make a whole new body that can only be used once and can only assume it was cheaper or somehow essential to pull him off right.
Now Man-E-Faces does have most of the standard articulation but, because of his elaborate helmet and armor, he cannot turn his head fully. There is no up and down movement but he does have a bit of side to side. It's very little, but more than the vintage figure (which had none), and it actually makes sense, given the armor design, that he wouldn't have much movement in real life anyway. I do need to point out the shoulder joints on my figure are rather loose and he tends to not hold his arms up well. As far as I can tell I just got unlucky and this isn't the standard for the line.
The paint job is nicely done, but may be a bit of a surprise for some fans. Before the figure was released Mattel let fans vote on if he should have more flesh colored skin like the card back art, or more orange like the previous figures. The final vote was for a middle ground paint deco, sort of tanner skin, but I honestly feel like Mattel just went with the card back look anyway. It's a bit lighter than I was expecting. Also, since they went by the card art, Man-E's eyes are black instead of the traditional white, and his hands are flesh tone instead of fully gloved blue. At first I really wanted them to do full gloves, but once I had him in hand I could see that it's not a bad design at all.
Of course the big draw for Man-E-Faces is his ability to change faces. The Classics version works just like the original and 200X version where you turn the knob on top of his helmet to rotate between human, robot, and monster. All three faces are greatly detailed. The depth of the helmet can throw a bit of shadow onto his faces, but the looks are right on and perfectly recreate the appearances. Just look how it stands up.
Looking at a full body comparison, I really like how they designed and painted the armor. As cool as the vintage figure looked, the armor seemed to meld with his flesh looking more like a cybernetic Frankenstein monster instead of a fancy suit.
The 200X version had much more elaborately designed armor but also darker orange skin and his gun was vastly oversized. It tended to come loose of his grip due to the size and weight and also had a hair weight trigger that fired off the spring loaded missile too easily. Thankfully the Classics version has a more vintage style gun. It fits in his right hand perfectly but his left hand is more open and cannot hold it well.
Man-E-Faces also came with a "secret accessory" and Mattel really tried to keep it secret for as long as possible. They even removed it from early review samples sent out. As many people predicted though, it turned out to be an additional set of faces. The way this works is first you must pull out the knob that turns the head and then slip off his helmet. This gives you a look at how Man-E-Faces is constructed and how he works underneath. I gotta say the helmetless head has a strangely familiar look to it....
Next pull off the head drum and place the new one on. I should point out, because of the action feature, Man-E--Faces has a different style hole and peg and his heads are not interchangeable with the other figures. You can kinda set some heads on top of Man-E's body and in a couple rare cases even get the helmet over them enough to create the basic look of him taking on another form, but for the most part all you have his this head with three new faces. He-Man, Skeletor, and Orko.
The Skeletor face is pretty cool and the Orko one is just silly, but honestly the He-Man face is a bit plain when seen in the helmet. Almost like this is Man-E-Faces without his red mask. I, and many fans, kind of wish they had gone with Beast Man instead. Man-E-Faces used a Beast Man face more than once in the Filmation cartoon and it was a major plot point in one episode where he used the face and a full costume to impersonate Beast Man and spy on Skeletor. Also, as I mentioned earlier, the bio doesn't explain how he pulls off these other faces. Nevertheless, this a cool bonus accessory that many fans have been wanting to see for some time.
Man-E-Faces is one of the coolest heroic warriors in MOTU. He has an awesome design and a great action feature making him a favorite of many fans including me. The Classics version maintains the same greatness of the old figure and I am very pleased with him.
Man-E-Faces will be available as a reissue on Mattycollector.com on April 16. Supplies will be limited so grab him while you can. Good luck and until next time, Good Journey.
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