SpartanNerd Vintage Toy Review…”Masters of the Universe Wolf Armor He-man and Snake Armor Skeletor”

This is one of the longest titles I’ve typed on this blog!

Today you get the final pictures taken with my iPhone 4s.  Good riddance, after seeing how good the iPhone 6 camera is!  (I can hear Skeletor from the MYP cartoon saying “Good Riddance!”

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This item was originally meant to be a gift set.  You are getting two figures, both with an action accessory, and a VHS tape. (GASP)

The front of the box is a nice window where you can see the figures and the video inside.

I love the SpartanWife…If it weren’t for her, I probably never would have got these!

Here’s the back…

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Everything all over this packaging is in three languages.  English, Spanish (or Italian?) and French.

Probably Spanish, aimed at the Mexican market.  Sorry Europeans.  (Seriously.  There are mega fans in Europe.  Especially Italy and Germany.)

The back of the package gives you instructions, and also shows off some other figures and vehicles from 200x.

I do miss the 200x show!

On with the review.  This packaging is just landing in the trash.  I’m not sure this could have counted as Mint On Card anyways.  The box has had some abuse.

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Here is everything assembled, for your photography pleasure.  The video is going to stay in cellophane.  I believe I will display it with my 1987 movie VHS tape.  Because neither is EVER going back into a VCR to be eaten.  That’s why.  And besides, I have “The Courage of Adam” on DVD.

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Here are the accessories.  I activated the action feature of both shields this time.  I prefer to display them like this.  Skeletor’s activates by press of a button.  You reset it by pushing that skull back up, and then the blades retract.  He-Man’s works by turning that wolf head.  His isn’t spring loaded, unfortunately.  But it looks way cooler with the blades out.

This is the first He-Man I’ve ever owned that didn’t come with a sword!

Also notable, He-Man’s helmet is removable…Skeletor’s is not.

He-Man has a wolf claw weapon.  And I’m not sure WHAT Skeletor’s weapon is.  A gun?  A sword?  I tend to think those silver pieces are meant to be long retractable tentacles.  So more of a gun.  But then again, it could be that the two silver pieces are meant to mirror Skeletor’s double sword.  I just don’t know.

As far as I know, there is no extant fiction for either character…

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Here’s Skeletor.  His shield is really heavy.  200x Skeletor tends to be sort of hunchbacked as it is.  But in order to have him stand and hold the shield, you have to bend him backwards, pretty severely.

The figure has a snake head on top of his helmet.  I thought this must be a button for an action feature.  Nope.  Maybe the Horsemen intended it to be so?  The armor is removable, but it looks to be two pieces.  I don’t feel the urge to take it off…you can’t remove his helmet, so you would have a shirtless Skeletor with a snake hat.  And what if I have trouble getting that armor back on?

I have to add that the snake hat is glued to the hooded head that was on the original, non-variant version.  Mattel really cut corners on this figure.  And I don’t necessarily appreciate it.  I do think these are cool designs.  I might not understand them.  But stuff like the mess that is on Skeletor’s head is pretty infuriating.  Why isn’t that removable.  Or at least, not GLUED TO HIS HOOD.

Skeletor is fine below the waist.  His loin cloth is elaborate.  His toes look ever creepy.  To bad he didn’t have claws on his feet, as he had in the cartoon and the Vintage figure from the 1980s.  I wish they at least painted the nails black as a compromise.

Skeletor also doesn’t have the torso punch.  How did that get left out.

I can make a comparison this time.  We have what I believe to be Battle Armor/sound Skeletor from the 200x line.  He has a spring loaded waist twist.  And you can remove his hood.  I’m just saying.

Onto Wolf Armor He-Man.

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He-man is superior to Skeletor in every way.  He has the same problem as Skeletor in that his shield is too heavy for him to stand and hold it as usual.  I am not necessarily a fan of the way the He-Man holds his shields in 200x.  Shields should strap to the arm.  Not be held in hand.  But this is an overall style criticism.  He-man’s waist twist works great.  His armor is removable.  I generally have a hard time standing 200x He-Man.  His legs are sculpted in an odd way.

He-Man’s armor is a nice gold color.  His furry shorts come complete with the little pouch that hangs from his belt.

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I tried out the sword from the 200x Castle Grayskull playset.  This sword has good symmetry with the shield, matching the other shiny silver pieces.

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Here’s Skeletor with the other 200x villains in my collection.  Too bad we can’t see Two-Bad’s faces.  (get it.  “Two Bad.”

SpartanNerd’s Rating

Here goes.  Whhhhhh…..(sigh)

What these figures ARE is kind of a mystery.  Snake Armor Skeletor kind of makes sense.  Skeletor is the enemy of the Snake Men.  But we never saw him in the cartoon wearing this.  On the other hand, He-Man was decked out especially for the Snake Men.  But what was Wolf Armor He-Man?  There were no wolf enemies.  I guess this was just a variant like the “Jungle Attack He-Man” or “Smash Blade He-Man.”

Skeletor’s figure has a very compromised feel to it.  Like they intended for it to be more than it is.  But had to cut corners.  So there is no action feature.  And the helmet is not removable.  And they didn’t bother with a new head sculpt…hence the hood is still there under the helmet.

Add to these problems the fact that the figures can’t stand properly because of the weight of the shields, and the fact that He-Man doesn’t come with a sword.  And the score is pretty low.

But I don’t dislike these figures.  They are fun!  I think the shields’ action features are cool.  Especially Skeletor’s with the spring loaded blades.  He-Man’s shield, with the blades sticking out around it is especially cool looking.

I rate 200x Wolf Armor He-Man at 3/5.  His sculpt is great.  He has a cool shield.  It is a nice variant.  He looks cool on the shelf.  With the downside of not coming with a sword, or being able to stand holding the shield without being contorted.

I rate 200x Snake Armor Skeletor as 2/5.  He has a compromised feel.  Unremovable Helmet.  Dubious removable armor.  A strange weapon.  And can’t stand naturally holding the shield.  On the other hand, the action feature on the shield is fun, and the overall look of the figure is nice.

I’m not even going to bother rating the tape.

Because these figures look so cool on the shelf, and that is their main function, I am going to rate them probationally 3/5 as a set.

That’s right.  The SpartanNerd rates the dubiously named:

200x Masters of the Universe Wolf Armor He-Man and Snake Armor Skeletor Gift Set *

3/5.

Do you agree?  Let me know in the comments!

*I added the colon because it is supposed to be funny.

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DC Universe vs. Masters of the Universe final breakdown

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INITIAL REACTIONS

Way Way Way back in the day I was soooo excited about DC vs MOTU.

Eventually I came to think about this story as second rate to the other Masters stories we are getting.  DC seems to be pandering to the fans of MOTU, but want to put forth the New 52 heroes in the minds of those fans as well.  As far as I know, the only official way to get these books was to go to a bricks and mortar store…(you couldn’t subscribe to them from DC.)

THOUGHTS ON THE ART

I hear a lot of fans talking about the art being inconsistent.  I noticed a few things myself.  Teela’s armor is different.  Sometimes it looks like her “battleground Teela” skimpy clothes.  Sometimes it looks more like Man-At-Arms armor, femaled up.  Roboto is another one that is inconsistent.

The covers list a barrage of artists.  This is one reason for the inconsistency.

I like how there are a few splash pages in every issue.  Some are very powerful, like the one where He-Man kills Superman.  (I am especially fond of the red-eyed image of Skeletor in the clouds, looking on the action with pleasure.)

Whatever criticism can be leveled at the art, it has been far more consistent than the other Masters of the Universe comics put out recently.  (The mini-series, annuals, and ongoing)

SURPRISES  (LOTS OF SURPRISES HERE)

The jawless, hulking version of Skeletor.

Queen Marlena is back on Earth!

The fusion of Orko and Horde Prime

The sword of power won’t serve the unworthy…sounds like Mjolnir!  (Superman is worthy.  Action figure time!)

He-Man can activate the power of Grayskull in the sword as a remote weapon!  (He uses it this way to destroy the Skull of Power.)  As far as I know, this is the first time that has ever been done!  (I think I will ask James Eatock about this.  If anyone knows, it’s him!)***

The age old question, answered.  “If He-Man and Superman were to get into a fight, who would win?”  Apparently He-Man.

OUTSTANDING QUESTIONS

How come The Death of Superman wasn’t more pronounced in the larger DC Universe?  Why no books spent on a funeral or mourning the loss of Earth’s greatest hero?  Why no replacement clones or cyborgs?  If DC were serious about He-Man having killed Superman…even if it only seemed to be so, wouldn’t they have created more hype?

Batman lets just about anyone into the Batcave, doesn’t he?

And the House of Mysteries?  That’s pretty easy to find too, apparently.

Does this story ignore Forever Evil?  In fact, the last line of Issue 1 says “Crisis on Whatever Earth This Turns Out to Be.”  So is it Prime-Earth?

Cyborg looks like his old self?

Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) quit the Justice League, didn’t he?  Back in Justice League #12?  (The famous issue where Superman and Wonder Woman hook up.)

The Joker appears in the last panel of issue 5.  Yes mesmerized.  But still.  His face is stapled on his head…???

Skeletor uses mind control magic on the Justice League in issue 2.  Then in issues 5 and 6, Dark Orko uses mind control on them.  They seem to have a susceptibility here…shouldn’t they do something about that?  Counldn’t Constantine shield them permanently or something?

As early as issue 4 Skeletor seems ready to do a 180-degree turn on Dark Orko…at the prodding of Black Alice.  Why was he so attracted to Black Alice anyway?  Aren’t there more powerful mages on Earth?

When Dark Orko calls all of those meta-humans, Orion is one of those, as well as Wonder Woman.  We have seen what happens when these two get together.  Shouldn’t the level of catastrophe been higher?

Dark Orko deconstructs Skeletor again, before they are transported away “FOREVER.”  (We know they’ll be back.)  So what happens to Skeletor now?  He seemed to think he could grab Horde Prime’s power somehow from Dark Orko.  Was he successful?

Apparently Constantine, or at least one of the Justice League Dark can leave earth and go to Eternia at any time.

SpartanNerd’s rating   3/5.  Not an outstanding Justice League or Masters of the Universe story.  (An outstanding Justice League story…try Forever Evil..  An outstanding Masters story, try “The Origin of Hordak.)  It has inconsistent, but generally good art.  Loose connections to the larger DC New 52 continuity.  I’m sure it was a challenge to represent all three factions of the Justice League AND the Masters of the Universe.  But the characters should be truer to themselves.  Wonder Woman should have been ready to kill everyone, for instance, after Superman was “murdered”.

On the other hand, we find the beloved character of Marlena alive and well.  Eternia is a part of the New 52 universe, and we are introduced to Dark Orko, who isn’t as bad as people made him out to be considering.  I mean, at least he can probably be brought back to his regular form.  The character is salvageable now.  And that is a good thing.

***James Eatock answered my question!  Here is his answer, cut and pasted from FaceBook Messenger!  Many thanks to James, and I am sooooo honored!

In the episode “Orko’s Missing Magic” he calls upon the power of Grayskull whilst another being is holding the sword – Whilst not a remote detonation, the power explodes from the sword, causing the villain to drop it – I hope that makes sense!”

MOTUC Figure review. MEGATOR! (grrr……..)

The BIG LOTS delivered a big value.  MEGATOR!!  Only $10!

My boys actually thought about getting my TYTUS for Christmas two years ago.  I talked them out of it, though.  I said “If they ever make a MEGATOR, I’ll get that.”  Because he’s cooler and all.

Here is my review!  (This is NOT an unboxing.  I couldn’t wait.  I ripped him right out of the package!)

Here is the complete figure, the way the SpartanWife saw him upon first opening.

The SpartanWife said “That thing is hideous….”  And she was right!

FIrst thing.  He’s Huge!  Check him out next to Spikor!

MEGATOR dwarfs the already substantial conventional MOTUC figures

You might look at that picture again, and take it all in.  Because that is the number one trait.  He is a giant among giants!  In fact, he towers over He-Man and Skeletor when they are riding on their cats!

Yep.  He comes with an extra Zombie head!

If you keep up with MOTUC the way I have, you already knew.  This head was a SECRET accessory, withheld even from the likes of Pixel Dan and other reviewers.  It was supposed to be a FAN PERK.

I love it!

Imagine this.  On Walker St.!

Here is MEGATOR with that head on!

EAT TO LIVE!

Let’s talk about that awesome weapon!  It is one of the best weapons to ever come with a MOTUC character, or a MOTU character ever!

A ball and chain, with a METAL chain.  This is a dangerous weapon.  I mean, even for real humans.  One of the first things I did was twirl it around.  SpartanSmurf #1 and #2 both said, “uh…you probably shouldn’t do that, Dad.”
MEGATOR (I must insist on all caps, guys!) doesn’t have as good of articulation as the other figures.  This is fine though.  The size makes it work.  He doesn’t have hip swivels or ab crunch, for instance.  The only articulation I really miss is shoulder and elbow swivels.  But all you get is a hinge.  and that’s good enough.  In fact, you can make MEGATOR swing that weapon around and around and around!
My rating for MEGATOR is 5/5.  Sure, his articulation isn’t great.  But SIZE MATTERS.  I have know about the rare vintage TYTUS and MEGATOR figures for some time.  I never expect to actually own one.  But this figure has gone beyond my expectations.  And the weapon and the zombie head make it even better.
So now I want a TYTUS!  I know he has a vacuum cleaner for a weapon…..But still, he would be awesome against MEGATOR!

First Ever UNBOXING review! Orko/ Prince Adam

Hooray!

My heart leapt.  Literally skipped.  I had gone into Big Lots the day before, hearing the news that MOTUC was showing up.  But none were on the shelf.  The manager informed me that they would probably appear on the truck that was coming overnight.  He was right!  And the first figure I saw floating on the shelf was ORKO!  Knowing the kinds of things I know, I knew that was a Two for One!  You got Adam as his “Secret Accessory!”  And marked $10!  Score!  I had to look hard to find others.  But I did.  (See previous post)

So let’s get down to it.  Of course tons of other folks have already done this.  But this is mine.  TAKE THAT, webhogs.

These two friends come in the standard MOTUC packaging, with the lightning bolts, and the ALL CAPS font.  From here you can see Orko, his wand, his flight stand, and his book os spells.  You can also see Prince Adam’s belly and arm.  I looked in the top, and saw that Adam comes with an alternate head.  I seemed to have forgotten this detail.  I was looking for the pink sword.

Here’s the back, and that “Oh so controversial” bio!  I mean, I don’t have strong feelings against it.  But some people think this story takes away from the jester that Orko is.  But everything here seems to be established fact if you are condensing Filmation and Mike Young stories, other than the bit about him being assigned to guide Zodac (or is it Zodak?)  Interesting, the Sword of He is Trollan in origin……

AND NOW BACK TO THE SHOW.

When I removed the outside package, I could see it all.  And Adam comes with TWO pink swords.  (One half sword and one whole sword.)  If you are reading this, I probably need not bore you with the details why.  But basically everyone that comes with a Sword of He gets this treatment, except Keldor, apparently.

Removing everything from the package took a lot of careful effort.  There were a ton of rubber bands.

So here’s Orko, all decked out for display.  I really dig the flight stand!  This is NOT the San Diego Comic Con exclusive version, that could turn invisible in water.  He can’t hardly hold the spell book.  HIs arms, elbows, and wrists are articulated.  His head can move behind the scarf.  The hat is non-removable.  (Unlike the vintage version)  The wand looks like the wand we saw on the cartoon.  (which one?  In my old age, it starts to run together)

This is hands down THE GREATEST ORKO EVER.   I had the vintage one as a kid.  I always thought him too big, considering his scale on the cartoon.  Then the 200x version had WAY TOO MUCH exaggerated detail for my taste.  Though I thoroughly enjoy that cartoon.

Now for Adam.

First things first.  Adam has the weakest ankles I have yet seen in MOTUC.  Shame on you, Mattel.  He can hardly stand up.  I had to perform surgery with clear fingernail polish.  He should have just been right.  His angles are so loose, I saw them wiggling around in the package.

After some fiddling, here he is standing with his sword aloft!  Adam’s shirt is non-removable.  Other than that, he is an exact repaint of He-Man.  Now for the alternate head.

This head is smiling.  I tried putting it on He-Man.  Besides maybe a slight different shade of skin color, they are exactly the same!

So here are my new acquisitions.  Not bad for a ten spot!  I’ll just have to cut back on a meal eating out I guess.

These two were always featured as friends.  I am glad to have them bundled together.  Overall, I am very satisfied with Orko.  He gets a 4/5, missing a mark because he can’t hold the book too good.  Adam gets 3/5.  He is an excellent figure, with great paint, and a beautifully sculpted extra head.  But his weak ankles really hurt his score.  What would you give him?  Let me know!

FIRST EVER GIVE AWAY!

OK.  News this big deserves my first ever GIVE AWAY!!!!
DC NEW 52 and MOTU Crossover!!!
If you subscribe to my blog, and comment on this post by Thursday, May 16, 11:59PM Eastern Time, you will be in the running for a prize!  A sealed copy of AQUAMAN #19, plus a little bit more, comics related, not decided yet!  I will ship internationally!  Be sure you leave a way for me to contact you.
Good Luck!  I HAVE THE POWER!!!!!

SpartanNerd’s MOTUC He-Man Review

My first ever TOY REVIEW!!!!

Masters of the Universe Classics He-Man!

I really hoped my boys would dig into this.  I bought them a few, but they simply don’t have that much interest.  They like the way they look.  But the magic isn’t there that existed when I was a kid.  Every once in a while if I put on a MOTU cartoon, their interest will spark up.  But that is it.  They are just not as into the property as I am.

I mention being into the property….I have followed He-Man.org since I got onto the internet!  (It was Adam Tyner’s page then!  )  I was thrilled to find others that longed for the days of MOTU.  And I was so happy when they put out the 200x cartoon, and I got a few of the toys then.  (I was REALLY BROKE then.)

I don’t own many of these new figures….I mean, they cost nearly $40 a pop from Mattel!  But I fell in love with the idea as soon as it was announced, and it wasn’t long before I had a tiny collection of basic figures.  I am going to start with He-Man!  (Where else would I start?)

I don’t care much about the packaging….I usually look at it for a second, and then throw it away.  The MOTUC bios are OK with me, but I can read those anytime on the internet.  AND, I can also look at the packaging if I want to look at it for some reason.  So I normally feed the packaging to Oscar the Grouch!

My He-Man figure is the first “re-issue” of He-Man.  Apparently the “first edition” had backwards shoulders, and too much red around the eyes.  (He has been given the loving nickname of “Pepper Spray He-Man!)  Mine has none of these problems…Mattel saw to go ahead and fix their flagship character.

I have been playing with this guy for about….10 months?   He is properly broken in!  I can still hear a tight little click sometimes when I move his joints after he has sat for awhile.  His ankles are getting a little loose, though.  (He has “pin” style ankles.  You can see the pin in his shoes at the joint.

But WOW.  What an update!  You only had five articulation points on the vintage He-Man figure.  Basically on all of them.  But the MOTUC design has an articulation point on every major human joint!  There is also an ab crunch, and boot cuts so that you can point He-Man’s shins.  So a MOTUC figure is more like a vintage Gi-Joe figure, only exploded to a 6 inch (7 inch) scale.  This is the greatest He-Man we’ve ever seen,…..Heck, it is just about the greatest action figure we’ve ever seen!

Ab Crunch!

He came with the same accessories that the vintage one came with, with an updated “full” power-sword, so that you can properly display him when he is alone.  He also came with a half power sword, a throwback to the vintage figure who had a sword that could combine with Skeletor’s to open Castle Grayskull’s door.  This idea remains….but the swords do not fit together so well  😦

He also comes with his iconic battle axe, shield, and power harness.  (armor)  I think I prefer seeing He-Man hold the Battle Axe nowadays in my old age.

So what don’t I like about it?  Well, I feel guilty about owning such a luxury item….I mean, I paid nearly $50 for my He-Man in the after-market.  I have bills to pay, family to feed, and I’m a grown up.  I don’t really “play” with toys.  I think they are cool.  I like to display them.  He-Man makes a good Magic the Gathering table piece.  I even like to poke around with them, which I guess IS playing with it.  But I don’t play with it like I did as a kid.  SpartanNerd though I am, to have a full on Eternian War is sort of beneath me, I suppose I am sad to say.  To display such a war would be cool, if I was rich.  I could display him at work, but I found out quickly that he is a bit to naked for my clientele.  (Elementary School)   Maybe during a movie year!

So how will I rate my He-Man figure…..He gets a 4/5.  The point was lost because the ankle joints have become weak.  This won’t do on THE MOST POWERFUL MAN IN THE UNIVERSE!

I will bring more of these figure reviews in the future!

“With great power there must also come — great responsibility.”  – Amazing Fantasy #15 (August 1962)