Joined: 18 Dec 2005
|Posted: Mon Nov 02, 2015 11:45 pm Post subject: MOTUC: Terror Claws Skeletor vs. Flying Fists He-Man
|Greetings fellow He-Fans and She-Ravers,
Sorry for the delay in getting the reviews up, as I mentioned before I've been a little swamped lately. Anyway it's time to take a look at the next quarterly item and once again it's a two pack of variants to help complete the vintage lineup. Terror Claws Skeletor and Flying Fists He-Man.
As usual the figures come in the typical window box package we've seen for other two packs in the line. Both figures and their accessories are showcased inside. The back shows off other figures in the line, surprisingly only three this time, and presents a bio for both characters. Once more both bios are squeezed into one card.
Flying Fists He-Man's bio tells us nothing about his new armor, weapons, or power. This is really annoying as Toyguru constantly used to tell us that the Classics continuity was meant to "justify the most figures" but there is none of that here. In the vintage mini-comics Sorceress gave the ability and weapons to He-Man as a gift to help against increasingly powerful evil warriors. Okay not much of a justification, but at least they put some background into it. This bio is nothing but Toyguru fan fiction.
Terror Claws Skeletor is a little, but not much, better. At least this one acknowledges the creation of the claw for a purpose. In the vintage mini-comic Skeletor did have Spikor make them for him, but it was in retaliation to He-Man's new Flying Fists power. Skeletor wanted something to even the ground more. The Star comics gave a different origin in that the claws were an ancient artifact Skeletor had found. Not a bad idea, but it got wrecked by how he used them. Not to fight but instead he attempted to dig his way into Castle Grayskull with them. He didn't get very far before He-Man showed up and then the Horde attacked so they whole thing got quickly overshadowed. Using them to kill Gygor is much better writing even if it does add another death for no real reason.
Okay let's start by looking at Flying Fists He-Man. Overall there's not too much different here as far as the actual figure goes. He's pretty much the standard He-Man we've seen several times already in the line, just with new armor and weapons. So by now you should know what the articulation is; head shoulders and thighs on ball joints, swivels at biceps wrists waist and boot cuts, standard joints at elbows knees and ankles, and the mid torso ab crunch -though that is a bit hindered by his armor.
The real thing about this figure is the weapons. He comes with the standard Power Sword of course, however it is done all in one solid grey instead of the normal two tone paint job we usually see. The weapons unique to this variant are his spinning bolo thing and his shield which also has a spinning feature. One nice thing is that they actually are loose and spin freely, though you do of course have to manually spin them as there is no action feature to do it. Still it's nice to have this since it was an important feature that was missing with Hurricane Hordak.
Something that Classics Hurricane Hordak did transfer over from the vintage that Flying Fists He-Man did not though is the vac metal armor. The Classics version is instead just painted with a glossy silver, which is decent and clean painted, but nowhere near as shiny as the vintage toy. For many fans the shininess was part of the vintage figure's appeal so it's disappointing that it didn't carry over. The other deal was the action feature. The vintage figure was designed so when his waist was twisted side to side he would swing his arms wildly, which in turn spun his weapons when he held them, and thus made his fists fly. Without that he's just He-Man in another outfit with some honestly rather goofy looking weapons.
And yes I know my vintage figure is in bad shape. I never had this one as a kid and ended up getting this guy in a set of several figures off e-bay years ago.
Okay, that's going to bring us over to Terror Claws Skeletor. Like He-Man this is the same basic figure we've seen previously, just with new armor and weapons. The armor is painted shiny as well, but in this case the vintage figure was not vac metalized. Something odd about this variant though is that his skin tone is much darker than any previous version of Skeletor in the line. It's not as dark as Webstor's but noticeably different than other Skeletor variants. The main deal is of course his large claws. These clip onto his arms at the wrists and are hollowed out on the inside so they are light weight and don't throw off his balance or pull the arms down. While there is likewise no action feature, in this case it's not so bad since you can actually get more poses and clawing swipes in various directions instead of just up and down.
Skeletor also includes another accessory in his strange dragon skull snapper thing. Now unlike He-Man's sword this is given extra painted details in the sort of metallic look around the eyes and the red inside the mouth. The vintage version had two paint variants where some had red mouths and others didn't. On the vintage version this had a loose mid point and jaw so that it swung and snapped the jaws as you moved Skeletor's arms. For the Classics version there is an articulation point in the middle, but it holds it's position. Likewise the jaws can open and shut though they don't snap.
Like the vintage figure there is a red clip on the back of Skeletor's armor where the dragon skull can be stored when not in use. Unlike the vintage version though this is non-removable (though conversely the armor itself is) Not a bad thing considering how easily lost those vintage clips were. Good luck finding a vintage figure still with the red clip for under $70 on ebay. I've seen the just the clip itself go for $30 or more! Now the vintage Flying Fists He-Man had one too while the Classics version does not. These clips could also be used as handles making it easier to operate the arm swinging action of the figures. Both figures in the vintage line also had sculpted ridges on their backs for manual operation with your fingers. The Classics version has this sculpted into the armor for He-Man though it still blends in and doesn't stand out. Skeletor though would have his sculpted into his actual back due to the armor only covering the top half of his torso. Giving him the red clip and just doing the armor sculpt for He-Man seems like a good compromise.
Next to the vintage figure you can see how the skin tone is much darker than it should be. Also the face paint again has a bit too much green wash on it. In fact it really shouldn't have any at all! Look at the vintage one, which mine still has a very intact paint job on, and you can see the green is supposed to surround the skull face but not be on it. In fact this Skeletor seems to be the opposite. From the side you can see the green wash is only over the face area and the back and side part where there should be green is all yellow! One other difference which I personally don't mind but nitpicky fans are jumping on is that the vintage version had the normal belt and furry pants while the Classics version uses the Skeletor belt piece. I have no objection to the extra detail, but some folks insist on perfect reproduction even if it means less detail.
I have mentioned before that I'm getting a bit worn out on variants in the line, particularly of He-Man and Skeletor. (Let us never forget that was a key factor in the premature end to the 200X line) Still Skeletor looks cool in this version. This is something that seems to hit most of the counterparts variant wise. Skeletor still manages to look great and be awesome even lacking the action feature of the vintage versions, but He-Man not so much. Without the actual feature it's just the same figure over and over. Thankfully the upcoming Laser variants actually will have action features. Meanwhile this is a good set to get A He-Man and Skeletor, but if you're swamped with variants already it's not fully needed. It's not that they're bad it's just there's getting to be too many variants. Particularly this year since they had to cram so many in so that all the vintage versions were done by the end of 2015 as promised.
The set is currently marked as no longer available on Mattycollector.com so if you want them now check the secondary market (or wait for them to reappear). Until next time, Good Journey.
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