Behold. A figure I should already have….
When Mattel decided to make 200x Snake Armor He-Man and 200x Battle Armor King Hssss into a two pack, they didn’t account for the amount of money required to have a rubber torso alt form for King Hssss. Notably, they also didn’t include a transforming sword or snake armor shield for He-Man. This pretty much left a bad taste in my mouth. (If you read my review, also a bad smell!) The two figures were incredibly well sculpted and painted, so much so that I stand by my rating after all this time. ( And they don’t stink anymore.)
Serpentine King Hssss arrived in a mailer not unlike all the others. (I’m not showing you that boring picture to save data.) There is a prominent “Snake Men” sticker on the front. And you can see King Hssss crammed comically into the package. Notably, he was tethered down tight with rubber bands! I paid $26 for the figure, with free shipping thanks to Mattel “opening the vault” in honor of the San Diego Comic Con this year.
Here is the back of the box. A new bio is here, furthering the mythos of King Hssss in the Masters of the Universe Classics canon.
So what’s inside, SpartanNerd. Here is everything!
Notice that awesome transforming sword for He-Man, and his extendable Snake shield? I didn’t see that either….We got the figure, which for the first time ever sports snake legs for King Hssss, a snake inspired spear, short sword, shield, rattlesnake club, and a mid-transformation head. (These weapons are repaints of what came with the Snake Army builders. I don’t have those.)
A little bit of rant. The mid-transformation head is undeniably cool. But by all accounts, head sculpts are the most expensive part of a figure. WHY NO SHIELD AND SWORD FOR HE-MAN INSTEAD OF THESE REPAINTS!
I said that. Now I’m going to move on. I guess if I really want those items, I can get them custom made. Now that Masters of the Universe Classics has switched hands from Mattel to Super 7, I’d bet we never see those items. Not that I don’t give those guys any credit. I just think someone who has been nagged at by millions of fans and is a multi million dollar company will probably listen more readily. Maybe. Finishing He-Man properly is probably on the bottom of their list.
The figure is tan colored, and adorned with snake markings up and down his body, including his legs. The legs are just regular legs like you would expect. My figure has weak ankles. But this is the case forty percent of the time with this line of figures.
Now, allay your concerns about the bendy plastic. This toy can seriously bend every way you want. The main head is hard plastic, the same as the “buck,” and can only swivel back and forth. But every other snake on this figure is pliable and can be posed how you want. And will stick, for the most part.
How bendy is he? Lets ask Vikor.
You can properly flatten him.
You can make him look very big to scare off predators. (Mongoose eat snakes.)
It turns out that King Hsss here can hold all of the weapons he came with as well.
I am becoming more of a fan of the figure that can hold lots of weapons. (Modulok, ahem.) These fit loosely in the snake mouths, but make an intimidating effect, similar to General Grievous from Star Wars.
The transformation works just the way you would expect. You just pop the torso off, and attach it to the pair of legs you want. Making not only an impressive 200x snake form King Hssss, but also for the first time ever, King Hssss Saturday morning cartoon watcher. (He appears to be wearing a shirt but only underwear down below.)
Now Snake Armor He-Man has a proper foe to do battle with!
So lets look at that other head, shall we?
This really could pass as a different snake man. It’s cool. It has the green around the back, and the monster snake face on the front. The green doesn’t so much match the 200x figure however. Check the picture below. The backdrop of green will help you see the different shades
This head definitely works better on the MOTUC vintage take on King Hssss.
I should note that the head seemed a little harder to snap onto the ball joint of both figures. I believe it to be the way the neck is built up on the figures main buck. The colors certainly match the vintage style better. A puzzler,…we get an alt head meant for the vintage figure, with the torso for the 200x line…
Finally, we can get some proper comparison in.
Yes. I compared these in my earlier review. This time, I wanted to reminisce about how me and my brothers used to think of King Hiss. (That’s his correct name!) The green body suit, with mask or eye make-up, was considered the “good guy” disguise. Then when he earned He-Man and the other heroes trust, the skin would come off! When you look at the figure on the right, you can really see how we might have thought that. He doesn’t really look evil. Unless you are scared of snakes, which none of us were. (Our mother is, however!)
Now lets compare the two snake forms. I don’t think a single Masters fan will prefer the vintage style torso to the 200x torso. It is much larger and more impressive. There are snakes everywhere. While King Hsss the first was bendy to a point, you get an incredible range of poses with the newer one. Finally, the new version doesn’t have the rabbit teeth effect. Yes, I understand it was modeled after the vintage toy. But it just sucks compared to the 200x version. The only thing that the older torso can do that the new one can’t is that it had a hinged jaw.
So. Ratings time.
I suppose to be fair, I have to rate what came in the box. I am going to give this item, as it came in the box, as it stands as a stand-alone figure, a 5/5.
It has lots of play value. It looks impressive. You get lots of weapons. The only negative about this particular item is the ankles are a little weak. But not so bad that it can’t stand.
But I have to give Mattel a 2/5 on this one. We should have got the Snake Armor He-Man shield, as well as the sword that could open up and blast snake men. It is all a big mis-handling of the property. The Horsemen delivered an incredible sculpt. The toys themselves are filled with fantasy play value. But we should have gotten all of that the first time around. They could have charged more money for the figures, or maybe split them up into two separate items. This is essentially what they wound up doing. Using another SKU that they were trying to save.
BOO Mattel. However, this is an incredible figure, and I have enjoyed playing with it for a few hours today, and it has a prominent spot on display in my nerd closet.
The SpartanNerd rates Serpentine King Hssss 5/5. Do you agree or disagree, Hub City geeks? Let me know in the comments!