Joined: 18 Dec 2005
|Posted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 10:38 pm Post subject: Masters of the Universe Classics: Faker
|Greetings fellow He-Fans and She-Ravers,
I hope you're doing your part to make sure this awesome line keeps going. One of the many great things about MOTUC is how it can add great extra details to even the simplest of designed characters. For example let's take a look at Faker!
Faker, the guy who's just an evil blue He-Man wearing orange Skeletor armor -yet somehow a cool individual, if underused, character. When MOTUC first started it was going to be a small limited series of just a few figures. Wanting a special exclusive for the New York Comic Con Mattel naturally turned to this guy who required zero new tooling. He was going to just be an exclusive but then there was a production delay with Mer-Man. Rather than have a month with no figure, Mattel upped the production numbers and made Faker the monthly figure. (He was still available first at the con but then offered on the regular monthly sale day) This was a great example of this line giving to the fans.
Faker comes on the standard MOTUC blister card pack. The back of the box shows off other figures in the line and presents a brief bio for Faker.
There's a royal junkyard? And you just throw a robotic He-Man in it? This is mainly taken from what was, at least the planned, origin for Faker in 200X. Right in the fourth episode (actually the first after the three part pilot) Man-At-Arms sent a robot with a hologram projector disguised as He-Man to distract Skeletor when he captured Adam and demanded He-Man come to the rescue (doh!) When the robot was beaten the hologram briefly flickered blue before shutting down hinting at Faker. Apparently they would have gone with this in the third season we never got. Something similar happened in Filmation where Man-At-Arms sent a He-Man robot after Skeletor when Adam was captured, but conversely an actual Faker (actually called Faker) appeared in another episode where Skeletor just randomly created him by magic out of thin air. Filmation Faker wasn't blue though and looked just like He-Man only with glowing eyes. He ended up being one of the few villains to "die" on the series as at the end of the episode he ended up falling into the abyss around Castle Grayskull. Skeletor says in the episode he's going to retrieve Faker and come back with him but Faker never appeared again on the show.
Why is Faker blue? Well as far as the figure goes the idea came because that's the color he is in a photographic negative. As for the in universe reason, well early on it was going to be part of a flaw in Faker's creation. The idea would be he could make himself a perfect copy but only for a while before reverting to his blue form. The Classics continuity later revealed Skeletor as part of his plan convinced Eternia that He-Man was not only a traitor, but a Gar counting on racism to help his cause. It's not clear if this was the idea from the start or something he came up with after Faker came out blue.
Despite being mainly just a repaint, Faker has some very nice detailing on him. His skin has a nice bright tone to it and his orange armor is done with two tone metallics to bring out detail and also has a black wash finish. His bracers and belt are done in a bright sliver metal color and even his hair has shading instead of just being clown like orange. Also a close look at his face reveals haunting red eyes that really make him stand out as an evil warrior.
Just like before, under his armor Faker has a robotic control panel. The look perfectly captures and updates that of the vintage figure, and you don't have to worry about loosing this one. The vintage Faker's control panel was a decal sticker that very easily peeled off and got lost. Seriously, finding a vintage Faker that still has his original sticker is next to impossible. The Classics one however is painted on so it's not going anywhere.
For weapons Faker comes only with an orange version of the Power Sword, and also includes an orange half sword. Something I find interesting is that while He-Man comes packed with his sword in his right hand, Faker comes with his sword in his left hand. I'm not sure if this was meant to be significant, but I personally like the idea that Faker is left handed as it adds to the evil opposite motif. (not that left handed people are evil- I'm just saying it's the whole mirrored/opposite thing)
Now as you see above in the picture Mattel did later put out an orange shield and axe in the Weapons Pack that helps complete the look for Faker to be a full evil duplicate of He-Man. Sure it means a bit more collecting work, but I feel it's worth trying to get these for your display.
There was another version of Faker later released with Bizzaro as part of the DC vs. MOTU 2-Packs exclusive to Toys R Us. However this pack never showed up in stores. It was a SDCC exclusive that like the other Mattel SDCC items was available first at the con then on the website afterwards. This one was sold on Toys R Us' website and not Mattycollector however, was produced in very limited amounts and, as an exclusive, was never reissued once it sold out. It is pretty hard to come by if you weren't lucky enough to grab one when it was on sale.
Curiously the art on the card back shows a pure 200X Snake Mountain while the art in the Skeletor/Lex Luthor pack showed a Snake Mountain that was an amalgam of the 200X design and the vintage playset.
What makes this version of Faker special is, unlike the other 2-packs that were straight repaints of the standard figures, the Faker is this pack was a variant; Battle Armor Faker! He was dressed in a repainted version of Skeletor's battle armor and did include the interchangeable plates. The figure under the armor though was the same and had the normal buck instead of the flat ab torso like the other Battle Armor figures. This actually does give you a fourth display option though as he does have his control panel on his chest under the armor so you could display him with no plate in the armor and show that off.
Technically there were two versions of Faker released in the vintage line but really the second one was simply a reissue of the figure after being off shelves for a while and the only true difference is the plastic the head is made of. One has a soft plastic while the other is harder and more solid. Either way you can see how the paint aps on the Classics version are much more vibrant.
Faker did get a figure in the 200X line as a special mail away exclusive from Toyfare magazine -which is sadly no longer being published making this exclusive all the more special. Remember, don't let MOTUC go the way of Toyfare, subscribe now!
Despite being a figure that's a pure repaint, Faker is very well done and really what more can you expect from a character who's supposed to be an evil duplicate? Okay maybe a Terminator like battle damaged head second head would've been cool, but remember this was one of the first figures produced before the line took off and really was sent into production in order to give us one more character in a line that was going to be very limited.
But hey, we're supposed to be getting an unmasked Zodak head with Strobo next year so maybe they can work in that new head with someone in the future. But only if the line has a future, so go subscribe for 2013 now! After that you can check the secondary market for Faker. Good luck and until next time, Good Journey.