Joined: 18 Dec 2005
|Posted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 10:57 pm Post subject: Masters of the Universe Classics: Mantenna
|Greetings fellow He-Fans and She-Ravers,
The Evil Horde's ranks are really growing this month with the release of not only the Horde Troopers, but also one of the original and most memorable members Mantenna. (Granted Mantenna was supposed to be September's monthly figure and got delayed but whatever) I've already done an article about Mantenna's various looks over the years, which you can check out here: http://80scartoons.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4682 so let's go ahead and check out his latest look in the Classics figure.
Mantenna comes in the standard MOTUC blister card package complete with the Evil Horde logo sticker on the bubble. He's packed in with his non-extended eyes on the figure, which makes sense as the extended ones might stick out too far for the bubble. The back of the box shows off other Horde members from the line and presents a bio for Mantenna in Classics continuity.
Much like his teammate Mosquitor, I feel that Mantenna's bio tries way too hard to make the names sound alien and instead they come off as goofy gibberish. I realize that Mantenna is designed to look alien. Most of the original Evil Horde members were modeled after old school movie monsters with Hordak being like a vampire, Grizzlor like a werewolf, Leech like a swamp monster (ala Creature from the Black Lagoon) even Modulok was inspired by Frankenstein with the whole made up of various body parts angle. (there was also a concept but unreleased mummy character the fans have dubbed Fear-Ro) Mantenna was modeled after classic B movie aliens, but I still feel the names are way too out there.
Otherwise it's a pretty decent bio and leans more towards making Mantenna into the creepy menace he was initially intended to be as opposed to his far more bumbling comedic take in the cartoon.
Mantenna was always one of the most uniquely designed characters in the MOTU line and that continues into his Classics representation. He appears to reuse the Skeletor hands, but otherwise is entirely new tooling including the crotch piece which is designed to accommodate his four legs. The sculpting detail and paint job is incredible and really create a frightening beast of a character. Even his eye stalks are detailed to look like stretched optic nerves instead of just simple extension bits.
He actually does have the same articulation as a regular figure, plus a bit extra in his legs. His head is on a ball joint and gets the full movement without interference from the ears. He's got ball jointed shoulders, bicep swivels, elbow joints, wrist swivels, mid torso "ab crunch" and waist swivel. Each of his four legs has the full range of articulation with the ball joints at the thighs, and standard ankle joints. He also has ball jointed knees combining the knee bend and boot cut swivel. It's not fully hidden in the sculpt as Ram Man's were, but he does have high boot tops which cover the knees so they don't stand out either. In addition each of his feet has the rocker joint, like we've seen on several female figures, and this allows him to really get several poses out of his legs while keeping his feet flat on the ground for appearance and balance.
For an accessory he comes with his own Horde Crossbow. The vintage figure's crossbow was a simple flat grey, but the Classics is done in a more metallic gunmetal color. I like this though as it gives the weapon more detail. he can only hold it in his right hand however as the left is the more open mold.
The other included parts are his alternate eyes to achieve Mantenna's signature feature in his pop-out eyes. With no action feature to make them extend, the Classics version took the route most expected and has interchangeable parts. The non-extended eyes pop out -by that I mean completely remove from the head- and you can then plug in his extended eyes. The eye stalks have a slight curve to them and can rotate in the holes so it's almost like an extra articulation point allowing you to change his facial expression -though most of them come out goofy looking. That's not a bad thing though since it fits with his memorable cartoon personality.
What was unexpected though is Mantenna also features a removable mouth piece. There's no alternate piece here, this was done merely out of necessity -or at least more convinence- in order to change his eyes. Since the mouth juts out, you need to take it off in order to grip the eyes to remove them. Or at least the non-extended eyes. I find you can easily plug in and rotate the extended eye stalks without having to take off the mouth. Interestingly, the instructions were printed on the white mailer box instead of including an extra sheet of paper.
Next to the vintage figure you can see how the Classics version goes more for the intended look, which was limited by the vintage version's sculpt. In particular the four legs that were sculpted as two fuzed together in the vintage line. There's also the detailing on his mouth that I feel stands out better with it jutting out a bit, plus his teeth are painted white so they don't blend into his face. Also his mandibles stick out instead of sitting flat against his face.
The one area where some fans might have preferred a more vintage take is in the eye color. The vintage figure's eyes had the normal white sclera (I had to look up what the white part of the eye is called!) with large wild red retinas. This really created a creepy look and I have seen some Photoshopped pictures where it would have looked cool on the Classics version. The Four Horsemen actually did say however they purposely chose to go with the yellow look of the cartoon and 200X style in order to avoid possible sloppy paint aps in the final production. (there's also a cost issue as it would've been more labor to paint in the individual retinas.)
There does seem to be a bit of influence from the 200X version. The eyes are closer, though that's mainly due to the yellow color which was also present in the Filmation version. His overall buck is a bit thinner too. Not to the 200X gangly extreme, but that's to be expected. One thing I do sort of like better on the 200X style is the mandibles are curved inward towards the mouth like actual mandibles instead of curved downward making them look more like tusks. This is a very minor nitpick though, I am very happy with the final product.
Mantenna is a major character when it comes to the Evil Horde and, like many fans, I have been wanting him for quite a while in the Classics lineup. The wait was well worth it as he turned out simply amazing. It's little wonder that the Evil Horde characters are some of my absolute favorites as they all have very unique designs and the Four Horsemen have knocked it out of the park with each of them. I'm obviously not alone in my opinion as Mantenna was another very quick sell out so look to the secondary market to pick this guy up because he is a great addition and may well be the best figure of the year. Good Luck and until next time, Good Journey.
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