Joined: 18 Dec 2005
|Posted: Fri May 18, 2012 11:04 pm Post subject: Masters of the Universe Classics: Icarius (Flipshot)
|Greetings fellow He-Fans and She-Ravers,
With the recent release of the third "New Adventures" character, Slush Head, in the Masters of the Universe Classics line I figured now was as good a time as any to go back and review the first two. Last time we looked at the first release, which was the first Space Mutant, this time we'll look at the first Galactic Protector; Icarius -or you may know him better as Flipshot.
Okay what's with the name? Legal issues basically. The trademark on the name Flipshot is now owned by Nerf so Mattel had to go with another name for him. Fortunately, they already had one lying around. Actually the character was originally going to be called Icarius, but his name was changed to Flipshot for the release, probably because it sounded more He-Man toy like. Many foreign packaging still had him listed as Icarius though. So when Mattel couldn't use the name Flipshot this time, they just went with his other established name.
Funny story though; it seems they may have slipped up a bit back in the day when naming this guy. It's presumed he was named Icarius as a twist on Icarus from Greek mythology. Flipshot is a flying character and Icarus is famous for flying -though actually this was probably a bad choice in itself as Icarus is really famous for flying too close to the sun, which made his wings melt off and he plummeted to his death. (though in real life it actually gets colder the higher you go) Anyway, my original point was there actually is an Icarius in Greek mythology. Two in fact.
Icarius of Athens was responsible for bringing alcohol, or at least wine, to the world. Icarius earned the favor of the god Dionysus who taught him the secret to making wine. Unfortunately for him when he gave it to his shepherds they got intoxicated for the first time and mistakenly thought Icarius had tried to poison them so they killed him. This ticked off Dionysus and he unleashed a plague on Athens until they made up for their crime, honoring Icarius by placing him among the stars. (the constellation Bootes)
Icarius of Sparta was known not for flying but running. He was the father of Penelope and would only let someone marry her if they beat him in a race. Odysseys finally won and married Penelope. Icarius basically drops out of the story after that though it's implied he's still alive during the time of The Odyssey.
Well enough about Greek mythology, let's get back to the Eternian mythos shall we? Icarius/Flipshot comes in the standard MOTUC blister card pack. the bubble features a new faction logo sticker for the Galactic Protectors. I don't have my bubble anymore but I do have my sticker sheet from last year so you can see what it looks like.
Another name story here; originally the good guys in the New Adventures were called the Galactic Guardians. I'm not sure why the name was changed, but I think it was once again trademark issues. This is a new logo sticker, notice though that the emblem is designed after the He-Man logo from the original New Adventures toy line packaging.
As always the back of the box shows off other figures in the line and gives us a new bio for the character in the new continuity. Like Optikk's a large part is taken from the original figure's card back. Also, while they can't officially label him as Flipshot, the bio does state this is his nickname. This was a nice little touch I think.
In the original story Flipshot and Hydron came back in time for one hero of legend. This new story has them come, through space but not time, for both the Twins of Power. On top of that several warriors come not just He-Man. I think this was a good way to make NA more appealing to naysayers. I also like that they are pursing Skeletor rather than the improbable original take where Hydron and Flipshot end up bringing both He-Man and Skeletor to the future because they aren't sure which one's the good guy. Seriously, they actually believe Skeletor when he tells them he's the great hero He-Man! One thing I'm not sure about is this new continuity is making it sound like Primus is battling the Horde. So are the Mutants just part of the Horde Empire? If so I feel that diminishes them. I actually liked the idea of He-Man being called on to aid in another world's war that he knew nothing about.
Moving on to the actual figure, Icarius brings in a lot of new tooling. He actually uses the flat ab buck with a new armor piece over it. He has the standard legs, shoulders and left hand while his right hand is the gloved mold. He has brand new forearms and biceps which feature the full design on his flight suit. The vintage figure only had it on one arm due to how his weapon clipped in but the Classics version has it on both. His boot are new both in the top/calve piece, which do cover the ankle peg, and new feet. The joints are nice and tight so he doesn't have trouble standing, except that his jet-pack can weigh his back down and pull him off balance a bit. Not too hard to get him to stand, but you may need to adjust him a bit. He features a new pants piece covering the waist and it is made of a very soft material which does not hinder leg movement. Unlike most figures, his piece fully goes up between his legs and actually is connected. Most figures either just hang down or if they curve in, they still are not connected.
Icarius comes with a slew of accessories. Looking at his removed armor you can see how the outer armor and the flight suit under were made into one mold that can fit over the existing buck and still present a layered look. The paint job on this is very well done with quite a bit of detailing. On the vintage figure his arm rockets plugged into the figure's arm with a peg. Here they plug into a launcher which doubles as a full arm shield that clips on to Icarius' arm. It does hinder elbow articulation when on but looks very cool. Interestingly the shield comes in the package positioned over his left arm but is clearly designed to go on his right. The two missiles here are one mold so they basically have to be "fired" together. He does have individual missiles that fit into his jet-pack. They stay locked in very well, originally it looked like they would be loose enough to be "flick fired" but that's not the case.
Taking a closer look at the jet-pack you can see that the Four Horsemen put a lot of amazing new detail into the sculpt which really updates the original design. First, yes it is a jet-pack and not a rocket pack. Full turbine engines are sculpted in where originally there was a severe lack of detail. It also helps to firmly establish which way the pack goes on (via a plug in the back of the armor). I have seen so many pictures of original Flipshot figures displayed with their jet-packs upside down. The original jet-pack was designed so the wings could fold back and attach via a peg on one and a hole on the other. However the mold was not really well made for this and it put considerable strain on the plastic. The Classics' jet-pack is designed with articulated wings that can be moved in stay in place with no strain. They can only move so far due to the fins and Icarius' arms, but it's not really a loss. This is another figure who would look great on a flight stand.
Finally, Icarius comes with two heads. The original figure had a removable helmet, but this one comes with a helmeted head and a unhelmeted one. As you can see in the picture above you can get a cool display look by positioning the helmeted head in his arms just right so the face is hidden and it looks like he's just holding his helmet in his arms. Nevertheless, I prefer to display mine with the helmeted head. The bare head doesn't really look right for Flipshot to me. As many fans have pointed out, he bares a very strong resemblance to Val Kilmer in Top Gun.
More to the point however, his hair style is completely different from the original Flipshot both in toy and cartoon looks. As seen here, the military buzz cut of the Classics figure actually looks more like the head on the old Kayo figure.
The helmeted head on the other hand really captures the look of the old figure while updating it. The helmet now features a red visor in the eye area that looks much better. No there's nothing missing on that original figure there, Flipshot had nothing there from the beginning. It really looks like he should have so I'm quite happy the Four Horsemen put this in. At the same time they designed the visor so it can lift up and show his face underneath. Take note it is a bit loose and can come off the head easily while handling it. Take care not to loose it.
Overall I am really pleased with how this figure turned out. The New Adventures characters will always have a hard time being accepted by a lot of fans, and in particular the Galactic Guardians/Protectors are often seen as dull compared to the original heroic warriors. Flipshot/Icarius however was one that I personally always thought had a pretty cool design, and the Horsemen have done a terrific job taking that design and adapting it to the MOTUC line. He truly looks like he belongs, despite being more futuristic. Standing next to the more sci-fi characters like Roboto or Man-E-Faces he really fits in and frankly I think he's one of the best figures so far.
Icarius is currently sold out from Mattycollector.com so you'll have to hit the secondary market for him. Good Luck and until next time, Good Journey.
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