Joined: 18 Dec 2005
|Posted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 11:35 pm Post subject: Masters of the Universe Classics: Count Marzo
|Greetings fellow He-Fans and She-Ravers,
Today we take a look at a character who has had a cult following among the fan base for some time, but may not be well known to casual fans of MOTU; Count Marzo.
First some back story: Count Marzo was a villain who was originally created for the Filmation cartoon series. There were many original villains created for the series who didn't have figures, and while a lot of them became fan favorites despite being one shots, Marzo was unique in being a recurring villain. While three episodes out of 120 may not seem big, compared to how many only had one episode, it's noteworthy. Marzo was also a bit more memorable.
Count Marzo, who looked like a villain out of Shakespeare, first appeared in "The Once and Future Duke" where he is a sorcerer who reverts Teela's childhood friend David into a child after wiping his memory. In the end he has his own memory wiped and is defeated. He returns in his most famous role in "The Eternian Flower" where (apparently having his memory restored) he uses his narcotic flowers to manipulate Eternia's youths. Again he is defeated and captured. His final appearance in "Search For a Son" has him reduced to manipulating Mekaneck's son into helping him with a petty theft, then later capturing Randor and Marlena. An interesting bit here is when defeated he magically vanished after stating he has lived for thousands of years and will still be around long after He-Man is gone so "we will seen who rules Eternia" in the end.
Marzo developed a cult following among the fans so it was a welcome shock when he was revised for the 200X cartoon. He looked completely different and his story was changed quite a bit.
In this continuity Marzo was an old enemy of the Council of Elders who had been defeated by Miro (Randor's father) and trapped in the form of an dwarf like old man. Marzo tricked Mekaneck into retrieving the source of his power, a magic amulet, and was restored but soon defeated by He-Man who sent his amulet flying over the horizon. Marzo returned in the three part "Council of Evil" saga where he teamed up with Skeletor who found and gave him back his amulet. When the villains were defeated Marzo was again stripped of his amulet, which was again sent flying, and this time Sorceress and Zodak turned him back into his dwarf form. He made one more appearance in the second to last episode where Evil-Lyn restored him with his amulet and enlisted him to help free Hordak from Despondos. Lyn fed him power but wouldn't give him back the amulet until Hordak was free. He-Man stopped them and Marzo managed to get his amulet back, broke off the alliance, bitch-slapped Lyn about fifty feet, then went off on his own and was never seen again. To be fair there was only one more episode so he probably would've returned had the show continued.
Whoa, didn't mean to take so long setting this guy up, but unless you're a super hardcore fan you probably needed the rundown to know who he is. (I know I didn't give this much attention to Carnivus but Marzo has more story to him -Carnivus was largely a background character)
Marzo finally got his first figure in the MOTUC line. Since Mattel did not have Filmation rights at the time he had to be based on his 200X appearance. He comes packed in the standard MOTUC blister card with the back showing off other figures in the line and presenting a bio for the character in the new continuity. Again since they didn't have Filmation rights it's largely based on his 200X story.
A big change of course is that this time Marzo defeated Miro and was the one who caused him to vanish. In the 200X story Miro beat Marzo and they never said whatever happened to Miro. (in Filmation Miro was captured by another original villain, The Enchantress) It is pretty cool how Randor and Keldor worked together to defeat him, though it does raise the question of when and why Keldor got banished. Why didn't Keldor automatically assume the throne once Miro vanished? I suppose since it just says "royal sons" another possibility is this refers not to Keldor, but Randor and Stefan. (doubtful since Stefan was only seen in Filmation and even then only briefly in one episode)
Getting back to Marzo's figure though, the main body is the standard male buck but features the same boots as Keldor. His head perfectly captures the 200X look in his face. In his first appearance his eyes were normal while subsequently they were solid red. The figure splits the difference with normal eyes that have red irises. The hair is thick and has a long wind swept look. In fact this look was a little too 200X for some of the bigwigs at Mattel and they ordered the "hyper anime look" toned down for all future figures. Because of the hair he has rather limited head movement.
Marzo's armor and cape are one piece. The back features a neat pattern design to it. A couple things to note though are first the cape is long and a thicker plastic. This can limit movement when posing with bent legs. Also I find it tends to weigh him down and pull the figure backwards some. Another thing is the armor had a high collar. This is countered by giving the figure a longer neck peg. It's no problem when the armor is on, but without it the result is a loose bobble head issue.
Marzo come with two accessories and his new belt/pants piece is designed with places to hold them. I really like this as it's great when a figure has a place to keep his weapons when not in his hands. First he has a new sword modeled after one he used in the cartoon. Not quite sure how effective it would be in real life with the red piece on the end but it still looks cool. The belt features a holster on the side which holds it well, though logically it maybe should have been on the other side as there is no way he'd be able to draw that with his right hand.
The second accessory is his magic amulet. It is done in a translucent red plastic with a silver painted surrounding. There is a slot on the back of Marzo's belt where it can be put, but I think most people will be keeping it in his hand. Marzo features a new left hand sculpt designed in a gripping pose. The hand and amulet are perfectly molded to complement each other and he grips it perfectly tight. Without the amulet in his hand it looks a bit awkward. There are some poses that work, but mostly it looks like he should be holding something.
As I've mentioned, Count Marzo is popular among many hard core fans and I feel this figure really captured the 200X style look quite well. Now that Filmation rights are available many fans are hoping for a variant, but personally this is good and I can think of several other Filmation characters who are completely figureless and need to be done first.
Count Marzo will be available as a reissue on Mattycollector.com on April 16. Good Luck and until next time, Good Journey!
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