Joined: 18 Dec 2005
|Posted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 12:33 pm Post subject: Masters of the Universe Classics: Strobo
|Greeting fellow He-Fans and She-Ravers,
Ah exclusives. A chance to get out the more obscure characters for the collectors who want them, but not go mainstream as not everyone will be interested. (Shadow Weaver-gate being the exception -really what were they thinking?) Last year Mattel added an idea with a Traveling Convention Exclusive figure that was available at multiple cons throughout the year. That one was really a simple repaint variant. This year they moved up a notch to an obscure character easily made with existing molds. So let's take a look at the 2013 Traveling Convention Figure: Strobo.
Who is Strobo? This is a character who appeared in one issue (the last one I believe) of the Masters of the Universe magazine back in the late 1980's. He apparently was in line to get a figure but was never released, even though he's one of those like Scare Glow or King Randor that would have been easily made with little to no new tooling needed. In the story Strobo aids He-Man against Skeletor by using his light bending powers to save the day when dealing with the fragment of the Dark Star that, quite plainly, spreads literal evil darkness across Eternia. Strobo sat in obscurity for years getting many a fan made custom figure, as he was so easily done, but never got an official release until now.
Strobo comes in the standard MOTUC blister card package, though interestingly unlike most figures he is packaged in a way that he's standing at an angle facing to the side. I'm curious how MOC collectors feel about this. Is it nice to mix things up a bit, or is it upsetting to break the set pattern? Me I open them up to display so it makes no difference. The back of the box shows off other figures in the line, such as the other Cosmic Enforcers, and presents a bio for this character whom we've known so little about.
I've seen worse real names, but I've seen better too. It's probably worth noting that in Strobo's one appearance no mention was made of him being a Cosmic Enforcer, despite his helmet design. In fact he was thrown into the story acting like a full heroic warrior and ally of He-Man. More than that he was placed in the story as if everyone already knew and had been working with him for a while. No introduction was given. Getting back to the bio, Zodac has joined the ranks of the unceremoniously killed off characters. Annoying as this continuing trend is, I will admit there is potential for a good story there, I mean they've already made it a mystery and it's a good question when you think about it; who is powerful enough to kill a Cosmic Enforcer? It's not like you can sneak up on one after all. They have made Strobo much more of a neutral character as opposed to his friendly and heroic portrayal in the vintage story. He can disintegrate someone who opposes his will? (more to the point it's implied he's willing to and has) I don't like it stating that he's wearing Anwat Gar armor. I didn't like it with Sy-Klone and it's even less believable with Strobo as his body is flesh colored clearly indicating that's him and he's not wearing armor. Who makes, or would wear, flesh colored armor? (especially since Gars are blue skinned?)
Okay so let's look at the actual figure. You may recall back when I reviewed Sy-Klone I mentioned a bit of confusion as to why he got a unique torso mold instead of armor over the standard buck like so many others. There was only one other who would use said mold and they didn't have the rights to make him at the time. Well they do now and here he is. Strobo uses the same torso as Sy-Klone though he does not have the extra piece glued to the back as he has a cape and not the ring. In fact that cape is the only new tooling on this guy. (had he received a vintage figure they probably would've just used the same blue cape King Randor had) The cape is a much softer and more flexible plastic than most so I hope Mattel keeps using it for capes in the future.
His head is the same as Zodac, only with the helmet painted silver with red highlights. He has the same forearms, hands, and boots as Sy-Klone though he uses the standard biceps instead. Standard shoulders and legs as well. His pants are the Icarius piece repainted. Overall he has perfectly captured the look from his magazine appearance.
Strobo's main feature is his mirror plate. Instead of the lenticular radar sticker Sy-Klone had, Strobo features a shiny reflective sticker and yes it does reflect. Not full glass mirror of course, but you can probably notice light flares off it in the pictures and that is after all his power; redirecting light. (You may even see reflections of my camera in some shots here) This is pretty much Strobo's only weapon. His two accessories don't qualify. Strobo was going to come with a new gun but it got cut for cost issues. we may be getting it in a future weapons pack though.
The first accessory is the Dark Star meteor fragment straight out of the magazine story. The look is perfectly recreated, with the minor difference that the stand is blue in the art and red for the figure. (big whoop) The meteor is made of a translucent green plastic which gives it a slight glow in the right light. It is however glued to the stand so this is really only a display piece. Considering Strobo actually destroys the meteor in the story though...
Strobo's other accessory is an alternate head, but it's not for him. Instead we are finally getting the fan demanded unmasked head for Zodak. Zodak's 200X figure had a removable helmet and he actually was seen without his helmet on for a large portion of his on screen time in the cartoon so this is something fans wanted for Classics since he came out. The Four Horsemen have been wanting to do it all along too but never had an excuse or opportunity to fit it in anywhere until now. It blends in perfectly with the paint matching up just right and capturing the look complete with the haunting solid white eyes. This makes a great display option for the Zodak figure and my only complaint is that the tattoos on the head do not have the glow in the dark feature the ones on his body do. It matches perfectly in the light, but in the dark there's nothing off the head.
Strobo is a perfect figure to make an exclusive. He's an obscure character that not everyone will want, but major fans will love to have plus he's a super easy to make figure so it keeps cost down. (i.e. more profit off him for Mattel) I honestly don't see how he could have turned out better (within reason at least) and am very happy with him. Strobo was first made available for subscribers thought Early Access and sold out quick. But don't go to the secondary market just yet. Remember this is the Traveling Convention figure and he will be available again more than once this year. He will be showing up at Power-Con, Grayskull-Con and I believe New York Comic Con as well. I think Toyguru also said he will pop back up in Early Access at the end of the year, though his numbers would be very low then. Bottom line even if you're not going to any of the cons yourself you have plenty of opportunities to make arrangements with someone to pick one up or just be patient. He's going for large amounts on the secondary market right now, but at the end of the year once there are more of him out there prices should go down. Again though there are plenty of chances to get him for cost before that. He's a great figure to add to your collection, but don't get taken in by scalpers over him. Good luck and, until next time, Good Journey.
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