Joined: 18 Dec 2005
|Posted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 6:50 pm Post subject: Masters of the Universe Classics: Serpentine King Hiss
|Greetings fellow He-Fans and She-Ravers,
I know it's been a while since I did a review, but not for lack of trying. At least not at first. For a while I kept trying to add my reviews to the site, but kept running into some kind of technical details where it would erase what I typed when I hit preview and/or not take any text or links that were "copy and paste"d. Since copy and paste is required to link to my pictures that created a real problem and I eventually got fed up and quit trying. I'm willing to give it another go now -and if you're reading this that means it worked. So appropriately enough we'll begin by looking at something that itself was constantly held back and delayed. Serpentine King Hiss.
The story of this figure begins back with the 200X style King Hiss variant, aka Battleground King Hiss. He was supposed to come with a new snake form torso, but due to budget restraints the part was cut from his release. We were promised that it would come packed with a later figure. Furthermore said figure was to be part of the subscription, thus if you were a subscriber you were guaranteed to get one. At least that's what was supposed to happen. Then Toyguru left Mattel and the new team messed up.
Scott had arranged and budgeted for the torso to come packed in with Buzz-Saw Hordak. At the time though the figure was going to have the standard torso with new armor. Well when the new team began working on BSH they noticed that there was extra budget money for him so they spent it on improving the figure and giving him the more vintage accurate hollow opening torso. Great for that figure, except they had forgotten about the snake torso which was what the money was supposed to cover. When asked about the torso at SDCC, you can actually see them exchange a panicked look before hastily saying they weren't ready to reveal that yet. The look on their faces told it all, "oh crap we messed up!"
So then they come up with an out of sub figure to get the torso out and responded to the justified fan outrage they we now had to pay for something we were promised to get at no extra charge by blaming Scott for making promises before they had everything budgeted out. Except it WAS budgeted out by Scott, they just messed up and spent the money on other things. Well to top it off the initial production sample came back full of problems so Mattel sent it back to be fixed further delaying the arrival of something we should have had back in January of last year!
So finally he arrives. Serpentine King Hiss (I know it says Hsss on the package, but as I've said before I refuse to use that spelling) comes int he standard MOTUC blister card package, complete with the Snake Men logo sticker on the bubble. He's really crammed in there too due to the size of the snake arms and the jutting out of his main head. The back of the box shows off other figures in the line, and actually does feature a bio. However the bio is the exact same one that was on the first release King Hiss. Nothing new bio wise to discuss so let's move right on to the figure.
Mattel opted to give us a new lower half rather than just release the snake torso. It's made up the same waist piece as the first King Hiss, and then the scaly legs we've seen with Rattlor and the army builder snake man, but painted to better match the Hiss snake form. Articulation is the basic on this; ball joints at the hips and standard joints at the knees and ankles. I must say however that all the joints on the lower half here are HORRIBLY loose. Part of it is the snake torso has a bit of extra weight to it, but mostly it's just sloppy joints. It can be balanced with a lot of work and is easier with the lighter original snake torso, but it really feels like it was thrown together hastily. (which it pretty much was) Also with the rest of the body exposed it kinda makes Hiss look like he's wearing swim trunks and is a bit awkward. I really prefer to put this torso on one of the other existing legs.
Now the torso itself is fantastic. Each of the six snake "arms" is made of the bendy material so they can be twisted around in countless positions. The main head is of a more solid plastic though, but it does have a swivel articulation point in the lower neck.
The figure also comes packed with several accessories. A shield, mace, sword, and spear. These are the same ones that came with the Snake Men army builders, but done in a more gunmetal grey and metallic green coloring. You actually can sort of fit the weapons into the open mouthed snake head hands of Hiss, but it's not the best grip so really these are more like bonus weapons for his army.
He also includes an alternate head. Now obviously this is not for the snake torso body as its head is not removable. This is for the human forms of King Hiss as it's meant to be a mid transformation head. It's actually just a well done repaint of one of the army builders, but the way the scales on the back are they blend in with the plating of Hiss' armor. It works a bit better with the vintage style than the 200X, but either way comes out.
When compared with the first snake form, this one just blows it away. Much bigger, more articulated/bendy snakes, and other improvements. The paint job is great and his eyes are more sinister as they are darker and now have slit pupils instead of solid red. His fangs look better too as they are more properly spaced apart and pointier. Plus I love how the snakes are sculpted so that they are coiled around each other making it look more like a writhing mass. This is the definitive snake form of King Hiss. It just sucks that we had to go through so much hassle to get it. I do like that Mattel found a way to offer it to everyone and included some extras to make it more worthwhile. They're even selling it at a lower price than the standard figures now. However, I can't help feeling they should have done something to get the torso to subscribers free to 2015 subscribers as it was originally promised. If they didn't want to just mail the torso out at no charge to every subscriber they could have at least e-mailed us discount vouchers to use when we bought them. While I don't like how the situation was handled, I love this torso for King Hiss. (though I prefer to display mine on the vintage style legs)
If you were a 2015 subscriber you should have gotten an e-mail last month with a link to buy it early. Otherwise Serpentine King Hiss will be available to buy on Mattycollector.com starting April 15. Good Luck and until next time, Good Journey.
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