Joined: 18 Dec 2005
|Posted: Fri Aug 22, 2014 11:33 pm Post subject: Masters of the Universe Classics: Intergalactic(NA)Skeletor
|Greetings fellow He-Fans and She-Ravers,
go buy a 2015 sub. Do it now!
Okay that out of the way let's jump right into today's review. Once He-Man got his New Adventures variant last year we knew it was only a matter of time before Skeletor followed suit. Sure enough they have delivered with what is being called Intergalactic Skeletor.
Or more accurately he is labeled as just Skeletor with his description calling him the Intergalactic Overlord of Evil. Much like He-Man, the vintage version of this figure was just called Skeletor and released under the NA line. He comes in the standard MOTUC blister card package which includes the Space Mutants logo sticker on the bubble. While Skeletor himself is not actually a Space Mutant, he did ally with -or just plain take control of- them so it does work at showing his alignment.
The back of the box shows off other NA figures in the line, as well as Faker due to the bonus accessory we'll get to in a bit. As always there is a bio and as usual the Classics continuity completely rewrites the previous New Adventures storyline. I've already discussed most of these points such as the Space Mutants now being just a part of the Horde.
In the original NA mini-comic Skeletor's cybernetic look came about as a result of being fried by the Power of Grayskull. Adam transformed while both of them were holding the sword (in this version he permanently gives up being Adam) and that's not just light flashing when he changes. It's power and it hurts anyone else bad! Skeletor limps away in an escape pod and patches himself up with bionics. In the cartoon version he had no cybernetics and was just wearing this new outfit for no reason (He-Man kept the secret identity and somehow Skeletor never figured out that "Adam from Primus" was really Adam from Eternia and also He-Man) His cartoon face though was drawn very goofy with a solid green skull, oversized teeth and big white eyes making him look more like The Mask. Thankfully he only had this look for the first five episodes before absorbing a power crystal and changing to his Battle Blade variant look which he wore up until the last few episodes when he lost his helmet and changed to the Disks of Doom version. (a rare example of working the toy variants into the cartoon without it seeming forced)
Out of the package you can really see that a lot of new tooling went into this latest version of Skeletor. He has new shoulders with cybernetic parts and despite what some fans think they aren't reversed. The problem is they were changed from the prototype by Mattel design but I looked close and compared them to figures that genuinely do have reversed shoulders and, as far as I can tell, they are on right.
At first I thought he had Roboto's biceps, but upon inspection they are actually new sculpting. He does use the Roboto forearms and Horde Prime hands, however the hands are not removable. They still swivel at the glove cut, but they don't come out. Also it should be noted that the hands are a softer plastic. Some have reported this to lead to a loose grip on his staff, but mine has no problem holding on, and in fact I found the softness to actually make it easier to get the staff in his hands.
Everything on his legs is new down to the boots, which is where a bit of controversy in the line comes in. Nothing wrong with them as far as Skeletor is concerned, it's the lack of part reuse for other figures that fans question. As I mentioned last month while reviewing him, these feet would have been more vintage accurate to use on the Classics Flogg figure instead of the Hordak feet. Had Flogg come out a long time ago before this new part was sculpted it would make sense, but the fact that these two figure's were only a month apart raises questions of if it was really too late to swap out the part or if Mattel design simply didn't want to bother.
The one area where this Skeletor figure goes downhill though is in the torso. Instead of a new sculpted torso he was designed with the standard buck and his cybernetics covered skin was made as an overlay that sits atop it. This would have been just fine had it been done as a glued on skin tight overlay, like King Hiss' armor was. Instead he got "Rubenized" and it was made as a removable armor piece complete with the pegs on the sides. As seen before with such figures like Sea Hawk and especially Hydron this creates a puffy bulk effect near the waist. It's made all the worse for Skeletor since this is not armor but is supposed to be his actual flesh! Adding insult to injury it seems Ruben's response to fan complaints that the piece should not be removable was to just glue the tabs down. So it has the bulk problem brought on by designing it to come off, but is then made so it can't come off.
If we can look past the puffiness though the actual details in the cybernetics are very well done and detailed. His cape is permanently attached to the armor, but lifting it up reveals full gruesome bionic spinal attachments. If they had just left this as a non-removable overly like the Horsemen's original prototype it would be perfect.
By contrast though the head sculpt is absolutely incredible! This is probably the most menacing and evil looking Skeletor face yet. The overall design coupled with the bony colored paint job make this look more like an actual skull. And the deep eye sockets with the red eye glow present a look of fearsome anger so fitting the character. I find myself wishing I could take this skull head, put in inside a hood and place it on a standard Skeletor body to achieve the ultimate Eternian Overlord of Evil.
As it is his helmet is removable showing off more bionics embedded in his head and adding to the overall gruesome appearance. This has the look of a Skeletor that has been through many a battle and had them taken a toll on him, yet he still stands strong and threatening.
Now as a bonus Intergalactic Skeletor comes with a second head that's not for him. Instead we get a new battle damaged head for Faker. This is something fans have long been doing in custom figures and have wanted to see in official merchandise for years. It's got a real Terminator vibe to it with the flesh torn away on half the face revealing a metallic skull with a red robotic eye underneath. Now it is worth noting that the hair on this head is a lighter shade of orange than the head that actually came with Faker, but it still looks great and it's really only in a side by side comparison that you think about it. For me this is taking over as the displayed head in my collection. Faker was thrown back up for sale to coincide with this new head's release, but sold out in Early Access.
Looking at the vintage NA Skeletor you can see why I was initially not excited to be getting this variant. (the fact that I'm not really big on variants to begin with didn't help either) It had, in my opinion, the worst head sculpt and an overall look that just didn't really seem like Skeletor at all. (the later NA variants were much better) I should have known better, given the Four Horsemen's work, that they would totally recreate the design to work. When I saw the prototype I was blown away by how cool he was and what a vast improvement he was -even more so than Hydron. Like Hydron though some of that enthusiasm went away when the final figure got "Rubenized", but thankfully the incredible head sculpt came through intact and overall this really is a great version of Skeletor. Plus the awesome Faker head adds to the appeal of getting him. At the time of this post he is still available on Mattycollector.com so good luck, while you're there buy a 2015 sub, and until next time, Good Journey.
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