Joined: 18 Dec 2005
|Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:50 pm Post subject: Masters of the Universe Classics: Procrustus
|Greetings fellow He-Fans and She-Ravers,
Today we look a character that, I must admit, I had considered skipping when I got hit by this money problem and it became clear I would likely have to give up being a completionist. But then I found a trade offer that worked out well for me. I traded an extra Panthor I had gotten way back when for a custom project that I ended up never doing and probably never would so I figured, Why not? Let's take a look at Procrustus.
Right about now I can hear a lot of you saying, "Pro-who-tus?" And I can't say I blame you. Procrustus really falls into the category of super obscure characters. He only had one previous appearance and that was in an early Pre-Filmation mini-comic.
Uh-oh, did I say those words I hate; Pre-Filmation? Yes, though to be fair, this was the second wave. Different from the first wave and closer to the MOTU we know and love, but still not quite there yet. The comic in question was called "The Magic Stealer" in it Skeletor discovers a device that allows him to steal all the magic on Eternia for himself. He-Man sets out to stop him and along the way encounters Procrustus who is being drawn by the power of the magic stealer.
We don't get much back story for Procrustus except that He-Man says he's a god who uses his many arms (many being four in this case) to hold the inner world of Eternia together. Though apparently he can let go and come to the surface without the planet immediately falling apart so just how needed is he? At any rate He-Man convinces him to stay put and keep doing his job (by shooting him you'll notice) and goes on to save the day.
And that's all we see of Procrustus. Period. Ever. I didn't just randomly select some old pictures, these two pages of that one mini-comic constitutes Procrustus' entirety in MOTU history up until now. So it's understandable that many fans, including myself, were not pleased to be getting him before more important characters like the oh so long overdue Horde Troopers. On the other hand, it does unarguably drive home the point of the line doing all aspects of MOTU lore. So is it a good figure? Let's take a look.
Procrustus comes in the same style large window box that the previous giants Tytus and Megator did. It features a star blub about him including the Star Seed accessory, but I'll get to that later. For some reason he's packed with his head turned to the side. It's not just mine it seems everyone's is this way. You may also notice that his extra arms are not attached to his body.
The back of the box shows off other figures in the line and presents a bio for the character in the new continuity. I don't like their origin of the universe story here -and I'm not even very religious. The naming of the universe Eternia along with the planet is another silly thing. And keep in mind this is supposed to be the same universe Earth is in. It changes the origin of the Star Seed too, though I do like the idea that Eternia's magical properties leak from the Star Seed. Hordak's motivation for casting the spell of separation is changed -before he didn't know the planet would be split and stopped the spell because he realized what was happening and that he'd be killed too. I can sort of buy Procrustus saving the planet by holding while the spell was going on, but I have trouble with the idea that he has to keep doing it forever. On that note, how can he protect the Star Seed if he can't let go of the planet to defend it? Frankly the character has potential, but I feel this bio is another example of mashing continuities that don't work together.
Well let's forget the bios for now and look at the figure. Procrustus stands roughly 12 inches tall like the previous giants. His legs are the same as Megator, but he is otherwise made of new tooling. When I first saw pictures of this guy I was let down with his paint job, which seemed very monotone save for his haunting white eyes. In hand though there is a good mixture of beige and tan drybrushing. This, combined with his sculpt that features many cracks and a stone like structure make him seem like he is a living giant made of rock.
Articulation wise is actually a little better than the previous giants. His head movement is slightly limited due to the structure of his rock hair and his shoulder area so there is a bit of rubbing, though it doesn't cause any scraping damage. Since he has the Megator legs there is only hip and knee movement below the waist. However the big difference is, unlike the previous giants, his arms feature bicep swivels. This was a very good addition for a character with four arms.
And yes, as you see my figure had a strange issue with his one hand. It was loose enough that it easily popped out. None of the other hands were like this and I am able to easily put the hand back in and take it out over and over as though it were meant to do this. It's not and as far as I know most are not like this, just figured I'd mention it about mine.
Procrustus features a new torso in order to accommodate his extra arms. As I mentioned before, they are not attached in the box and must be snapped on the pegs. It took a little pressure but wasn't that hard. Once on they don't want to come back off and are not meant to. They do have the full range of articulation as his other arms so you can turn the shoulders (?) and position them down or up any way you like, though remember they are not ball jointed so they won't bend out.
The only accessory included with Procrustus is the Star Seed. Like the Crystal Orb it is a ball made of semi-translucent plastic giving it a nice glow. Most fans assumed at first it was the same mold in different plastic, however in hand and side by side you can see it is much larger. About three times bigger in fact. It does have some actual weight to it, like you'd puncture the dry wall with it if you threw it hard. (No I didn't do this, I'm just saying you can feel it) Procrustus' lower right hand is molded to hold the ball, though it has to be leveled right and it just supports it, there is no grip so any bump will knock it off. Thankfully at least the arm is strong enough to support the weight with no sagging.
The Star Seed is out of the Filmation episode "The Search". In that episode it was said to be a fragment left over from the explosion that created the universe (i.e. the Big Bang) -[though Filmation never ruled out the possibility of a creator God triggering said explosion] and was located at the center of Eternia, so the connection to having Procrustus guard it works for a combined continuity. There is one problem though, and I'm surprised no one else seems to have picked up on this yet:
It's too big! They made it a different size than the Crystal Orb, but they went the wrong way! In the cartoon He-Man can hold it in his hand. Still I do like that they made the nod to Filmation and hope we can get some more classic cartoon accessories. (Diamond Ray of Disappearance anyone?)
As for Procrustus himself, like Vikor this is a character that I would not have blinked an eye if they had never been made and at first I was upset that they had "wasted" the time and tooling money making him instead of someone more vital and/or popular. However, again like Vikor, once I had the figure I warmed up to the character and can see him having great potential in the MOTU continuity -I just don't like the bio's story. The figure itself is pretty cool and I don't regret getting him.
Procrustus got marked as Almost Gone on Mattycollector.com then vanished completely when the January sale page went up. I wouldn't be surprised if he popped up during some special sale like Black Friday, but for now he appears to be unavailable on the site so check the secondary market if you want him. Good Luck and until next time, Good Journey.
MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE CLASSICS LIVES! -Thanks for the support.
"I HAVE THE POWER!!.... the power is mine, not yours. Thanks for asking."