Joined: 18 Dec 2005
|Posted: Sun May 27, 2012 9:20 pm Post subject: Masters of the Universe Classics: The Mighty Spector
|Greetings fellow He-Fans and She-Ravers,
As the 30th anniversary of Masters of the Universe continues so does the special sub-line to the Classics series. The third in the 30th Anniversary set, and the second brand new character, is one created by brand manager Scott "Toyguru" Neitlich, and probably the most controversial figure in the line to date; The Mighty Spector.
The Mighty Spector comes in the standard MOTUC blister card package. Like all the 30th Anniversary line figures, there is a star burst letting you know who the creator of this character is. This is one point where the controversy surrounding the figure arises. Some fans feel Scott does not deserve to be one of the select few to add an original character and that this is an abuse of his power. I disagree, we actually owe Scott a lot for keeping this line going. While the designs of the figures we owe to the Horsemen, Scott has had a large hand in convincing Mattel the line is worth making and continuing. So I argue he has earned the right, however I have a harder time arguing against the argument that he already has one in the Lt. Spector Palace guard.
The back of the box shows off other figures in the line, and I'm surprised I haven't seen anyone jump on the fact that there are 8 figures on the back of Spector's card while most of the line has only 6. One of which is his original alter ego of Lt. Spector, who is not available by himself as a carded figure, he's just one of the two Palace Guards. It also features his bio and therein comes another controversial issue.
See Scott actually does have a large hand in the bios. He shapes most of the story, writes some of the bios himself and approves those written by others. And, like me, many fans don't like the bios. Many consider the new continuity to be "Toyguru's over glorified fan-fiction" and therefore Mighty Spector is just a Mary Sue (Gary Stu?) character.
Looking at the bio, for some reason though I'm okay with things like Adam, Duncan, and Malcom, John seems a bit too Earthy and not an Eternian name. Many have said the name Spector doesn't make sense for a time travel character, and they're right. The fact that it's not supposed to and is actually his real name can be seen as even worse. Did he give himself this name? Seems like Spector is on a real ego trip. (Note I'm directing that at the character not Scott) You don't see Marlena running around calling herself "The Mighty Glenn".
Honestly I feel the general idea of the character has merit, but is not being used to his proper potential. If he's serving the royal family through time travel why isn't he changing all the crap that happened with Randor sent to Despondos and such? Don't try to tell me he can't interfere with history because the mere fact that he's going back to aid in battle at all means he's already altering the timeline. Maybe if he was more like the Cosmic Enforcers, observing but not interfering except to maintain the balance it would be better. If you're going to be a time traveling hero, then be a HERO, save lives, change history for the better!
I'm trying so far to not come down on the character a lot myself in this review and merely point out what other people are complaining about. A lot of Spector's defenders maintain that it's not the figure people hate so much as it's Toyguru's creation. I think that's true for a lot of people, and no it is not fair. Scott really takes a lot of flak for things that aren't his fault. While he is responsible for some things I don't like, I don't blame him for everything and no one will like everything another person does. So let's look at the actual figure now and completely ignore who created it. Here we will judge the figure purely on what the figure itself is, and see if he holds up to the rest of the line.
Mighty Spector's body is made up of almost all existing parts. He uses the standard buck for his torso, shoulders, biceps, legs, and right forearm. For some reason though his right armband is done in a bronze color while his other one, and boots, are silver. I really feel this should have been made to match. His right hand is the gloved mold while the left is reused from Trap Jaw. He also shares Trap Jaw's boots and feet. His loincloth piece is the same we've seen on characters like Optikk, Roboto, and Man-E-Faces.
His head is, of course, a new sculpt with a skin tight mask that has drawn a lot of flak for looking more like a comic book superhero than an Eternian warrior. It cannot be denied that his whole outfit, and particularly the mask, greatly resembles Deadpool. Toyguru has explained that the suit is not meant to be a superhero outfit, but is a vortex suit that protects Spector as he journeys through time. Two things about that; 1. knowing what it is doesn't change what it looks like; and 2. no one ever needed a protective suit when using the Cosmic Key or a time portal before. Spector's own bio says he fell through a time hole and came out okay!
Spector has a new armor/harness piece that clips on with pegs. There is a symbol shaped like a spade on his chest and I've yet to hear why. Scott simply says it's the emblem of the time travelers. Why? What does it mean? Wouldn't an hourglass make more sense? Anyway, the harness actually is still loose enough that it does not interfere with his ab crunch articulation. That is one really good thing about the figure; all his joints are nice and tight and he has a full range of articulation. The only slight hindrance lies in that his gun holster straps around his leg and is also attached to the belt of his harness with a peg. When you turn his waist to the side it can stretch the plastic, but all you have to do is adjust the strap around the leg which is loose enough. In fact it's so loose that if you detach the holster from the belt it falls down his leg. Makes me wonder how, or if, they plan to reuse this part. You'll notice that there is an ammo belt with small green pegs on the holster. There are similar green pegs in his gun and the device on his wrist. These are meant to be energy pellets that power both devices. One of the ammo holes is even empty. I must admit that is a very cool attention to detail.
In addition to his gun, which is a cool new design, Spector has two attachments for his wrist device. They are modeled after the Cosmic Key, and in fact are his time travel device, which can also serve him as a weapon. The standard key device can unplug and be replaced with an alternate device that has a translucent green energy blade emerging from it. These plug into a hole on his forearm, which is a new sculpt and features some small symbols that if looked at the wrong way seem to spell out something suggestive. They say the resemblance is unintentional, but so does Disney.
Apparently the original plan was that rather than have different devices, the energy bits would plug into the miniature key. Spector was originally going to include an energy whip as well as his blade. The final design wasn't working for some reason so they came up with this alternative, but that meant more tooling and the whip had to be dropped.
The biggest complaint lobbed against The Mighty Spector is that he doesn't look or feel like a MOTU character. I will never say that about any character. I've had people say that about original characters I've made and it's really insulting. It may not fit YOUR canon of MOTU, but at it's core Masters is all inclusive. ANYTHING fits. That said, I have to admit when I look at Mighty Spector among the other figures I find myself thinking of that old Sesame Street song, "One of these things is not like the others/One of these things just doesn't belong..."
I've got nothing against Toyguru making a figure in the line. I think the concept fits, though it may need a little tweaking. However I have to be honest and say this figure simply does not appeal to me and were I not a completionist, I would have passed and cannot really recommend him to other collectors. Again it's not who made it, it's not the character concept, it's the figure itself.
Despite the general negative reactions to The Mighty Spector right from the start, (When he was first revealed at the con there was an awkward silence in the room while all other reveals were met with cheers and applause) he has still sold out on Mattycollector.com. If you are interested in this figure check the secondary market. Until next time, Good Journey.
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