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Masters of the Universe Classics: Unnamed One

 
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Lord Skeletor
Totally Bitchin'


Joined: 18 Dec 2005
Posts: 550

PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 9:48 pm    Post subject: Masters of the Universe Classics: Unnamed One Reply with quote

Greetings fellow He-Fans and She-Ravers,

This year's subscription exclusive figure is one that was kept shrouded in mystery for a long time. For the first time in figure form we now have the mysterious Unnamed One. Who is this? Well it all started towards the end of the vintage line with a quick seemingly throwaway line from King Hiss in the final mini-comic "The Powers of Grayskull: The Legend Begins". (the vintage version not the Classics re-imagining)



This was given as a sneak peek at what was planned to come in the never released spin-off line "The Powers of Grayskull". But again, who is the Unnamed One? Different stories and fan theories surfaced over the years making it hard to tell what the truth is, but as far as we can tell he was going to be a puppet master villain directing the actions of the bad guys but remaining unseen for the most part. (much like Horde Prime was in Filmation) At least one interview with past Mattel staff indicates it was ultimately going to turn out to be a time displaced Keldor. Well Mattel, or perhaps we should say Scott "Toyguru" Neitlich since he seems to be the one creating the new story, threw that idea out and decided in Classics the Unnamed One would be an all new character. Okay fine. We were dropped hints such as he was the one who created the Snake Men, he's supposed to be a huge major villain for all of MOTU, he's intricately tied to the whole story of the Powers of Grayskull. Sounds like big stuff. When we found out he was the club exclusive they kept him hidden. All we saw was a black cloth covering the figure. (Then at Toy Fair they pulled the cloth off to show an UNO deck... ha ha) They did a good job keeping him under wraps and hyping up the significance. About a month before the release a possible picture leaked but they refused to confirm or deny it leading to speculation that the pic was a fake. Finally he shipped out and now we get to see once and for all who this ultimate villain is. Here is the Unnamed One:



Yep, it's a Trollan. To say the fan community reacted with displeasure would be a massive understatement, but we'll cover that in a bit. Unnamed One comes in the standard MOTUC blister card package. The bubble has the He-Ro: Son of He-Man logo sticker on it, although this character could also fall under Powers of Grayskull or Snake Men going by his bio, which as always is found on the back under pictures of other figures in the line. You can see the new mini-comic packed in behind him, but I'll cover that in full detail in a separate review.



Alright, let me just say that I actually DO like the idea of a powerful evil Trollan character. I even like the idea of him being stripped of his form and banished to another dimension after betraying his comrades. However, I do NOT like just about everything else in this bio. I've already stated how I don't like the whole Trollans created the power, Sword of He and all that junk. The idea of a Trollan being the one who created the Snake Men, and them willingly obeying what to them is a bite sized snack, does not sit well with me. Sure it creates a bookend style to the story since another Trollan ultimately destroys them, but that doesn't make it a good story since Orko committing genocide is just disturbingly wrong. And then there's his name. This is not Gorpo...



This is Gorpo. Well let me explain. The name Gorpo was actually the original name for Orko during pre-production on the cartoon, however they changed it to Orko so they could cut costs by flipping cells. With an O on his chest it looks the same each way, but with a G it would show. (why he had to have any letter on his shirt is a topic for another debate) Years later He-Man.org took the name Gorpo and created this other Trollan as the site's mascot. The story went he was Orko's brother, always stuck in Orko's shadow and finally forced to answer MOTU fan mail as community service following the "chicken incident". Gorpo's answers though were jokes done in a sarcastic anti-social way and not meant to be taken seriously. Several times fans suggested that Mattel make an actual Gorpo figure as an exclusive for He-Man.org, but they wanted this Gorpo. Not his name given to another character.



But does that mean this figure is no good? No it does not. Ignoring the story, this is actually a pretty cool design with a lot of details such as the red skull on his breastplate, his Skeletor like shoulder pads, long robes with signs of age and wear. His belt pouches, his sculpted on knife, his earrings, evil slanted eyes, there is a ton of stuff going on with this guy. The paint job is excellent and the overall look leaves no doubt that this is a dark villain.

He's actually bigger than Orko with a longer robe and huge ears. He does have the same shoulders as Orko, but otherwise is all new tooling. His head is on a ball joint, though his hood and scarf do tend to brush against the shoulder pads when turned to the sides. His shoulders are ball joined and below that are another ball joint that combines the bicep swivel and elbow cut -owing to the short arms of a Trollan. He has wrist articulation though the actual cut is where his hands extend out of his robe's sleeves rather than his actual wrists. Being a Trollan figure he of course is not sculpted with any legs, but does come with a flight stand that plugs into a hole in the base of the figure under his robes. However, unlike Orko, it is a small peg and not ball jointed. As I mentioned though Unnamed One is bigger and thicker than Orko thus he is also heavier and it's likely a ball jointed flight stand simply wouldn't work as he'd just keep falling over due to his weight.



On the note of balance we come to one of his accessories. It's an energy blast effect that slips over his left hand. The slit is pretty small and thin so this doesn't really work for other figures. It barely works for him though as it throws his balance off. While it is possible to get him up, it's very difficult to position him with the blast shooting out and not have him topple over. A shame because the blast is actually well done and if you look close the tendrils at the ends actually form snakes -obviously a nod to his creating the Snake Men.



For a weapon he comes with a wand reminiscent of Orko's though it is bigger and has a thicker shaft. There is also a translucent green orb inside the head and features the design of a snake coiled around the wand. Finally he also includes an alternate head of him wearing a battle helmet. It's an odd design that in some ways seems kind of like "The Man in the Iron Mask" inspired, yet in other ways disturbingly dominatrix inspired. According to Mattel there is no real significance to it, it's just a battle helmet he wears sometimes while fighting. Rather disappointing as when we heard he had a second head we were hoping for something more significant, like say an unmasked head. Honestly it looks rather silly on him.



Though it does look pretty badass on other bodies like Keldor's or particularly Lord Dactus. While I don't intend to display my Unnamed one with the helmet head, I am tempted to pick up an extra alternate body to display it as some other character. This is one where what's under the head makes or breaks it.

With all the hype leading up to this figure, the final product simply did not live up. We were promised he'd be big and amazing and "no fan would be disappointed". Well almost every fan was. As with any big reveal there is no way the final result can please everyone who was enjoying the mystery, but they had to have known this wasn't going to make people happy. It was already clear to anyone paying attention that making the Trollans the source of the Powers of Grayskull and the sword was not popular, even -in fact largely- among fans who do like the Trollans otherwise. Sure you can say, this bio and story were already written years ago, but ignoring the whole "that's what the backspace button is for" angle, When it came time to buckle down and get all the important and fan demanded characters done; time where you had to use every single slot available in order to achieve completion, why use a slot on this guy who no one asked for a figure of and on top of that make it a lure to get people to buy subscriptions? Mattel is going to need to do some major damage control and reveal a really great sub exclusive for 2015 in order to minimize the backlash.

And the sad part is, its actually a really great figure! The figure itself is an awesome design and looks great in the collection. It's just the story of who this guy is meant to be that wrecks it for so many people. Many collectors cannot see past the fact that he didn't live up to the hype built for the Unnamed One, and accept that the evil Trollan looks really cool. Bottom line, I like this FIGURE, but I will be ignoring the bio continuity and creating an completely different identity for him in my canon.

One more thing I will add though; there is now absolutely NO excuse for not putting out a Dree Elle figure now! (Montork too for that matter) I am going to be extremely angry if we end up with some brand new Trollan no one expected and don't get the one I know love and have been begging to get for years!

The Unnamed One was the subscription exclusive for 2014 so he was not and will not ever be sold outside of the sub. If you bought the sub you should be getting yours about now. If not you'll need to check the secondary market where it's a mixed bag. Many collectors are dumping theirs, but at the same time trying to make a large profit on it. I'd advise waiting a bit and/or looking around for one at a reasonable price. Good luck and until next time, Good Journey.



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Lord Skeletor
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 11:19 pm    Post subject: Mini-comic review Reply with quote

I decided to do this as an add on instead of a full separate review since it's basically an in-depth look at a bonus pack in item. I'm only going to have a couple pictures though because I don't want Mattel getting on my back about possible copyright issues.



The inside cover gives us a quick up to speed blurb; it's been years since the Second Ultimate Battleground. He-Man and She-Ra have been fighting there way across the Tri-Solar galaxy battling Skeletor and the Mutants as well as the Horde Empire. After a "devastating loss at the battle of Fetra IV" (something we know nothing more about) the twins have teamed up with Skeletor to launch a direct assault on Horde World and take out Horde Prime once and for all.

The comic opens as Starship Eternia approaches Horde World piloted by Icarius/Flipshot -who now has a patch over his left eye. Also Skeletor is standing there holding what appears to be Flogg's severed head in a jar! (kinda like on Futurama) There are no other Galactic Guardians or Mutants in sight, nor any of the old allies that were said to have come with He-Man and She-Ra. What the hell's been going on? Oh yeah She-Ra has her own brand new NA/Galactic Protector outfit that I would not be the least bit surprised if we get a figure of (despite the whole limited slots available thing)

Anyway they quickly arrive at Horde Prime's chamber where he gloats about his new "vortex beam generator" that will prove his greatest triumph... only for She-Ra to IMMEDIATELY knock the controller out of his hand. He-Man and Skeletor dive for it at the same time and both vanish in a flash of light. Prime gloats to She-Ra that He-Man is gone but she counters that so is his controller and he now has to face her wrath. The last panel on the page shows a close up of Prime's shocked/scared face as he shouts, "NO!" and that's the last we see. Exactly what happens is not shown, though the figure bios imply She-Ra does kill him.

Instead we follow He-Man and Skeletor who have been transported to another world. Skeletor tries to use the vortex key controller to leave and abandon He-Man, but it's too low on power. They then see a battle taking place between the Create a Character Contests runner ups.



No seriously the heroic Defenders consist of Compactor, Brainwave, Eye Beam and Netta; the finalists from the original C.A.C. (that Fearless Photog won back in the 80's) while the Revenge Squad consists of Tri-Beast, Bubblor, Rahjar, and Major Header; the runners up in the new contest that Castle Grayskullman won.

He-Man comes to the aid of the Defenders and after the Revenge Squad retreats Brainwave explains that they are on Trolla -or what's left of it. Since He-Man's last visit it has been decimated by the Revenge Squad who are working for the Unnamed One. Skeletor meanwhile slips off following the Squad back to their base, The Snake Lair, where he meets the squad's commander Lady Slither -presumably a female Snake Man. Like King Hiss she looks mostly human though she does have green skin. Skeletor offers to help them, though he's really just using them so he can get into the Trollan Temple of Power and take the power for himself.

Back at the Defenders base He-Man learns from another new guy called Jet Pak (who is a man wearing the space suit armor from Castle Grayskull) that a while back there was a crack in the space time that opened a portal allowing the Unnamed One to send his Revenge Squad to trash Trolla for imprisoning him eons ago. (He-Man thinks this was caused by the time Horde Prime "broke the Kaydex crystal and shattered the barier" -another event we know nothing about!) He agrees to help protect Trolla until he can find a way home, and just in time as the Temple of Power is under attack.

As the Defenders and Revenge Squad fight He-Man goes after Skeletor who uses the vortex key controller to get inside the Temple. He-Man uses his sword in a slot by the bridge to open the gate.... yeah just like the Castle Grayskull playset. In fact the Temple looks almost exactly like Grayskull except it's white, and the skull visage is shaped like the emblem on He-Ro's cape. He reaches Skeletor right as he's about to take the power and they end up both claiming part of it transforming them from their NA appearances to their Laser Light/Laser Power variant appearances. He-Man is momentarily startled by the change and Skeletor quickly takes advantage of it to whack him across the face with the Havoc Staff thus giving him the scar he has as King He-Man.

He-Man calls on the powers of Grayskull by reciting the classic phrase and there is a huge bust of power that sweeps through the whole temple. As it hits Skeletor he actually shouts, "Motherrrrrrrrrrrr!" (not sure why -was he calling for mommy or was it a cut off f-bomb?) The power splits Skeltor into Demo-Man and the half his face melted off Keldor. Demo-Man flies off and Keldor makes He-Man swear to return to Eternia and protect all the people, human and Gar alike, before dying. He-Man stands wondering what will be waiting for him when he gets home and we are shown images of on the bad side Demo-Man, Unnamed One and the horribly named, garishly designed Skeleteen (son of Skeletor and Evil-Lyn) On the good side we see an image of King He-Man, Sir Laser Lot, and Mighty Spector.........



OH FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! Seriously? I mean seriously Scott? It's bad enough that your Mary Sue of an original character's costume rips off Spider-Man's look, but you seriously put him in that pose?!? Have a little decency!

Anyway that other guy is supposed to be Dare/He-Ro II but looks like a repaint of the NA He-Man rather than what the fans have been expecting. Apparently Scott and Mattel are not using the He-Ro series bible that was shared with the fan community back when -you know the one some fans were actually interested in- and instead are using an early draft of the NA series bible were the main characters were He-Man and Skeletor's sons rather than what we got with the main guys themselves. This raises the big question of if Dare will be adopted and ultimately turn out to be Adora's son as was the plan in the version fans know about, or if he will actually be He-Man's biological son.

Well part of answering that may lie in learning what happened to She-Ra. The last page is an epilogue where we see three Cosmic Enforcers, a lizard man of some kind, a member of Sagitar's race, and Zanthor from the Filmation series, approach Keldor's grave. They say that for neutrality to exist evil must live and 'exposure to the star tree has preserved his essence" And so Skeletor is brought back to life by....



Despara. Damn it they're actually using Despara! For those of you lucky enough to not know, Despara is Adora -or rather the twisted New52 version of Adora from the crappy new MOTU comic currently being published by DC. Thankfully that is a mask not her real face, though her hairstyle under that mask is a hideous buzz cut. I've been trying to avoid talking about the New52MOTU comic because, like the rest of the New52 DC universe, it's a crappy re-imagining that spits in the face of the characters fans have known and loved for years. (granted it's apparently getting better now that new writers have taken over, but there's a LOT that needs fixing and some of it is already beyond repair)

In the DC comic Despara is the identity Adora goes by while still a Horde Force Captain before learning of her true heritage. Here we don't really know what's going on. The two leading theories at this point is either She-Ra is wearing a disguise in order to take over the Horde after having killed Prime and is working to reform them from within. Or somehow killing Prime turned her evil -e.g. Prime's essence possessed her. There was a nasty rumor before the comic came out that this was going to be the case and making it worse she would end up dying as He-Man was forced to kill her! I should point out there's another follow-up rumor that she would then be resurrected in her Starburst She-Ra form. I could... well tolerate that, but if they actually have the unmitigated GALL to turn She-Ra evil and kill her off heads are gonna roll! Seriously Scott better not ever show his face at Power-Con again if that happens, because yes this one we can fully blame on him. The comic clearly says, "Story by Scott Neitlich"

So overall this mini-comic was better and more interesting than 2012's three part one, but the story still comes out a around a C+. Part of that is because it feels rushed due to the limited space -like it could be better if it had room to breathe and fully explore every plot point. Even then though, it's like a fan-fiction; an okay read but not acceptable as official canon. And that's what really upsets me. If these crappy new takes on the franchise keep becoming the norm any future media, like say a new movie they keep hinting they want to do, will draw inspiration from them instead of the stories we grew up with and love. Perhaps the next comic will fill in some stuff and make things better, but my expectations aren't that high.



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