Ultimate Edition Ram Man…SpartanNerd Unboxing and Review

The announcement that Mattel was passing MOTU off to another, smaller company, Super7, was scary, scary news.

I (and everyone else who cares) was aware of their work, and none of it was of collectors style figures along the lines of Masters of the Universe Classics.

Their stuff was cool…just not highly articulated figures.  They carry on the legacy of M.U.S.C.L.E.  And 3.25 inch scale figures.  Plus some pop vinyl things, shirts, all infused with pop-culture goodness.  (For instance, Aliens M.U.S.C.L.E., and Street Fighter M.U.S.C.L.E.). Puzzlingly…they have their own characters and things as well.  And I wonder how they sell that stuff?  It’s not that it isn’t cool.  But when you are selling something that feels generic next to a beloved liscenced character, I wonder how that works out?

But Super7 is going all out with Masters of the Universe.  They are making a TON of figures.  Just dropping them into their other lines…as well as reviving the vintage style figures (YES!) and also carrying on with MOTUC.

Way back in December, Super7 offered their first pre-order…the Ultimates.  You could order He-Man, Skeletor, Teela, Faker, or Ram Man.  They were costed out at about the same price as Mattel was offering figures, but with the promise of a different shipping handler (no more digital river), and the figures came with basically everything that was ever offered to outfit each figure.  For instance, with Skeletor, you got Keldor’s head, cape, and all of Skeletor’s basic weapons.  Teela got her armor set, blonde head, and blaster.

But Ram Man promised to be the same thing Mattel offered.  Just with card-back coloration.  Why Ram Man anyway?  Mattel sold him out in under 30 minutes back in 2013.  And really never offered him again.  This made the after-market price of Ram Man around or even over $200.  So Super7 was doing us all a favor by increasing the amounts of Ram Man out there.  Sure, that red vintage toy paint job will still be pricey to get, but I think the figure will go down.

Ram Man was the only ultimate that I bought, and I have a little bit of sadness that I didn’t order Faker now.  I started to, but it was too late, and the pre-order window closed.

So here is my unboxing and review of the first ever Masters of the Universe Classics style figure made by someone else!

Ram Man came in this shipping box.  It is similar, but of lower quality than Mattel’s box I think.  I don’t care either way.  Just saying.  On the bottom is the conspicuous Super7 instead of Mattel.

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I don’t know why, but Super7 opted to go with different packaging.  I’m glad they did!  This box is very reminiscent of the vintage toyline box.  You can see what you get clearly.  Ram Man in vintage cardback colors (orange instead of red.)  His ax, and his alternate head.  This is the exact same product that was offered before…I went back and checked old reviews, etc.  Besides the coloration and package, you get the same Ram Man.

or do you?

Before flipping the box over…what’s that?  A MINICOMIC?  (I already knew it was faux)

But the presence of that item back there is very, very welcome.  Mattel could have done this while all that time people were asking for minicomics.  Super7 really shows some genius in that they are quite aware of what fans are into.  If you are a MOC collector (I’m not) then it is splash like this that makes a big difference.

 

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The back of the box.  Take in the awesomeness.

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It’s like they perfectly captured the feel of the old boxes!  You get to see lots of upcoming Super7 MOTUC goodness.  There is a comic art scene at the top.  There is even instructions for swapping Ram Man’s head, with arrows and everything.

Again I must scream.  HOW HARD WAS THIS TO DO, MATTEL?

Don’t get me wrong.  I have been a fan of MOTUC.  I was sad to see Neitlich go.  But this on card packaging is perfect! Super7 is showing a lot of promise.

Now let’s open him up.  I just throw away the boxes anyway.  (If I want to look at them, I will just go back and read my blog!)

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Remember that “minicomic”?  It is really a small poster.  This I will keep!  And for those people upset that there was no “bio” for Ram Man on the back, if you flip this poster thing over, you get this!

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This is over TWICE AS MUCH INFORMATION as the Mattel bios gave you.  And then they signed it “Scrollos.”  Can we stop crying with joy yet?

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Here is Ram Man right out of the box.  Unfortunately, he has that “pee plastic” smell.  It has worn off (I’ve had him in hand for three days.), but that doesn’t ever give a good impression.  The smell of urinal cake in your incredibly expensive collector figure.

Ram Man looks great, though.  I like how there is a gold paint-hit all around the studs on top of the boots, and even on the cleats on the bottom.  That same paint-hit goes around his skirt.  Ram Man has “Michelin Man” pants on.  This is what the vintage and 200x version had.  So it is a part of who Ram Man is.  The cloth pieces of the armor are sculpted with little laces…very nice.  The “metal” parts of the armor are just flat silver.  Which is boring.  At least is shiny, if it is done in matte.  The skull on his belt needs more paint or something.

Ram Man’s face is very impressive.  There doesn’t seem to be that much age-range in MOTU.  If a character has gray or white hair, they are old.  Otherwise they seem to be mid twenties.  Filmation differentiated them by making their voices sound different.  (Man-At-Arms, Randor.)  But in toy form, you lose that.  The wrinkled, grizzled face of an old veteran knight suits Ram Man perfectly.  And it takes a character who is usually billed as a “moron” somewhere new.  Somewhere respectable.

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The back of Ram Man is what you would expect.  The back of the knees are unsightly, but I’m not sure that could be helped.  You can see the little hook on his back as well to hold weapons.  Maybe more flare could have gone into this?  I understand that some of this torso had to be re-tooled.  The Ultimate Editions are obvious re-use of the tools Mattel had.  But we were told early that something was wrong with Ram Man’s shoulders.  If they re-tooled this, maybe they should have made more of a big deal out of this little clip.  Of course, I might be completely off base.  Maybe this part of the tool was fine, and they saved some money.  It’s just a small gripe.

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I would never display Rammy like this.  But I wanted you to see the articulation points.  Ram Man has everything you would expect.  But his armor style restricts the movement somewhat.  Ram Man won’t be sitting down or manning vehicles.  He has boot cut swivel, as well as knee swivel and rocker ankles.  His arms have ball joints at the shoulders, swivels on the elbows, and rotating wrists.

He can twist his torso above the belt.  And it seems that he has a rocker joint for his upper torso.  But I can’t make that joint move, and I am afraid of breaking him if I force it.  I don’t see a reason to move that joint, I’m just saying.  Ram Man isn’t a yoga master.

His head is on a ball joint, and you can get a surprising amount of movement out of it considering that it has such a large helmet sculpted on.

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WE INTERUPT THIS RAM MAN UNBOXING WITH A RANDOM PICTURE.  Help!  Squeeze has BattleGround Teela in a figure eight hold!

Back to business…

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Tell me this isn’t a classic image!  (Proving AGAIN that the rock that came with Marvel Select Thor is the best part of that action figure…)

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Ram Man has two accessories.  The un-helmeted head, and the axe.  The alternate head has the same face-sculpt, but you can see the ears, and you can see the metal piece that is the top of his skull, explaining his super power.

What I don’t like is the neckline…it seems that his head is floating on top of a silvery-gray nothing.  I don’t know what the solution could have been, but for such an outstanding figure, this feels like the shoddiest part.

The axe is well done…but fits loosely in the hole provided in the fist.  It has a dark coloration on the handle, which is nice, and for the record it fits snuggly on that clip on the back of the figure.

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And here is the classic team from Filmation.  It seems like Ram Man, Orko, Teela, and He-Man found themselves in a disproportionate amount of episodes, with Man-At-Arms featured somewhere as well.

And just to humor that new Bio story…

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Anytime we can use Draego Man is a fun time!

So how do I rate this figure?

I feel like the basic figure plus the packaging deserves all 5/5.  The alternate head (no-neck) issue is a problem, but it isn’t how most people will display Rammy.

Opening this package hit that special note…rarely hit anymore.  The feeling of opening a vintage figure fresh from the store.  I just want to say thanks to Super7 for doing such a fine job in that department.  The nostalgia is thick here, and if you like MOTUC, you should get Ram Man or look into getting more of their classics offerings.

I hope they put out more ultimate editions.  If they put out an ultimate Fisto, I’m the first guy that is going to sign up to buy!

The SpartanNerd rates Ultimate Edition Ram Man from Super7 at 5/5.  Do you agree or disagree?  Let me know in the comments!

Battle Ram…SpartanNerd Unboxing and Review

Snow in the south.  What does that mean to the SpartanNerd?  While others slide their way to work…skid their way to the factory…get stuck in piled up traffic on their way to punch the clock at the warehouse, or to worry sick about the progress at the house building site, the SpartanNerd stays home.  Teaching has its perks!  And while even other teachers might get bored, sitting in their wool socks binge-watching the Netflix, the SpartanNerd stays busy…bringing nerdtainment reviews to the masses.  (Whoever you are, beloved readers, thank you!)  Someone out there reads what I publish, and this run of reviews is just for you!

I ordered the Battle Ram right before the year ended.  This is something I haven’t ordered before simply because of price.  I was seriously psyched when they first announced this item a couple of years ago.  $110 was just too much.  Then they were going to stick ridiculous shipping costs.  But not during the MattyCollector closeout event!  The Battle Ram was HALF OFF.  And I got free shipping too.  (I only paid $55 for the Battle Ram, which also comes with a new Man-At-Arms.  That’s incredible, people!)

I have been excited about this for quite some time.  Ever since The Four Horsemen revealed their original sculpt at the San Diego Comic Con…(I only saw pictures, like most of you readers.  I have never been to San Diego.)  I mentioned as well that the Wind Raider never has been my favorite vehicle.  To me, it always seems kind of generic for some reason.  And as a kid, the wings broke off and it was forever funkified by bathtub water.  (Because you see, we naturally made it into a boat as it didn’t have wings anymore.)

But on to the Battle Ram.  My original Battle Ram is still with me!  Keep reading for a comparison time!  (Shout out to Pixel Dan.  Who unquestionably probably doesn’t read this blog.)

The Masters of the Universe Classics Battle Ram came in this shipper box.

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This box is huge.  And when I see this giant mailer, I realize how big a MOTUC vehicle has to be to accommodate that nearly seven inch scale.  I have some other large MOTUC items.  But this is set to be the largest yet!

I am re-using this box this time, to cart my vintage figures back over to the school to put on display for the rest of the school year. (Now I have to make room in the Nerd Closet for this beast of a vehicle!)   It is nice and sturdy, and suits all kinds of re-use purposes.  I know, there are some collectors out there who have each of these in storage.  Come on guys.  Really?  Just.  Why?

(I am known to throw the packaging away, usually.  It’s just cardboard!  The item inside is what’s important to me.  And like Rob Base says.  “Their your toys.  Play with them!”

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You can see all of this goodness is really crammed into the box.  Man-At_arms is prominently  in front of the vehicle.  Maybe an odd choice?  They could have seated him on it and maybe saved some space?  But I suppose having the figure displayed in the window box is more important to MOC collectors.

The back of the box shows a diagram of the Battle Ram with some details.  It even goes as far as to point out that the Griffin Head is the custom piece done by Duncan.  This diagram is going through a little bit of pain to point out that the Jet Sled in front isn’t the same as what’s in the package, I think.  The other details are cool.  Isn’t Gwildor of the Tadorian race?  Or is that what creature’s head is depicted on the missile?

This is a nifty box.  I will have to check the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Art Book and look at the other schematic drawings of vehicles preserved there.  This drawing might be in there also…

Time to knife open the package!  There are lots of rubber bands tying the Man-At-Arms in.  And worry-ingly, check out this problem.  On the Roast Gooble Dinner podcast, I heard lots of people talking about Jitsu’s ponytail getting broken off in the package.  Looks like potential for something like that happening here…

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Thankfully, I managed to free the scary piece of hair without damaging it.

And here is the product, as vanilla as I can show you, right out of the package.

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Now readers…I am going to post the review of Man-At-Arms in a different post.  This figure deserves a fair review like all of the others, but I am afraid the Battle Ram is so awesome it overpowers old Duncan!

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So how big is it?

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Here are some other large MOTUC items I have just for reference.  (I hate this picture).

The Griffin’s impressive wingspan is a little bit longer than the Battle Ram.  Megator seems just the right height to get splattered in the face by the missile!  (That is a real working action feature!  The missile is a bit rubbery, but not too much!)

The point is, this is one hulk of plastic.  I can’t imagine owning Castle Grayskull.  That thing makes this vehicle look small…

As in the vintage model, the Jet Sled detaches from the Battle Ram portion.  The MOTUC version doesn’t do so as easily, however.  You have to wiggle it with a little bit of force, and there is a definite “SNAP” sound that happens, as the tabs that lock it into place seem to be stressing a little bit.  And that is my only complaint about the entire vehicle!

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You can see that this time we have the snake head version of the Sky Sled. (War Sled, props to James Eatock).  I won’t be displaying the Battle Ram with the snake head.  I’m not sure if the snake head version is ever depicted in media attached to the Battle Ram?  I will always have the Griffin head version on the front.

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Teela makes everything look better!  Sky High villainously belongs on the snake version.

The new Jet Sled War Sled is exactly like the other.  You should go and read that review right now if you haven’t.  Because they are the same item.  Just one has a griffin head, and one has a snake head.  (Really, it is a fantastic vehicle, that I rated 5/5.  I have had tons of fun flying it around and scaring my cats.  Sorry that some of the pics of Sky High are inexplicably missing, but the Jet Sled pics are all there.)

The Battle Ram is a display piece…as such, you can do the traditional thing…

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Or you can go 1980’s playtime, full on!

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Check out the backside of the Battle Ram.

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I don’t remember this detail.  This large mask thing…was it ever a sticker on the vintage Battler Ram?  This detail is sculpted on, like every other detail of the Battle Ram.  But this mask thing is very conspicuous.  The bright colors don’t really match the rest of the tank.  It doesn’t take away from it, I just found it kind of shocking because I didn’t remember it, and this isn’t on my vintage Battle Ram.  Maybe my parents didn’t apply it when they assembled it?  Or maybe I peeled it off?  There doesn’t seem to be any residue, however…

Every single knob, control panel, exhaust pipe, vent, indicator light, engine piece, all of it.  Fantastic sculpting.  I can’t gloat about that enough.  It is incredible!  It is this work that makes Masters of the Universe Classics the ultimate toyline.  Not only just for adult collectors, but this item in the hands of a kid…wow, it can capture their imagination.

Now for that “Comparison Time” I hooked you with earlier.

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My childhood Battle Ram is dwarfed by the MOTUC version.  The plastic is just about split in seam right up the middle of both the Sky Sled and the engine piece.

One thing about them both, and maybe only I notice this because I am the only music teacher interested in MOTUC in the whole entire world I am certain…both Battle Rams make the same sound when they roll!  This was the very first thing I noticed.  As soon as I freed it from the box, I set it on the floor and gave it a good push.  There is a certain “hollow” sound to the thing as it rolls.  I’m not sure what makes it so.  But it is.  It is the exact same experience.  When I rolled the new vehicle across the floor, a ton of memories flooded back into my head.  I mention how this is the ultimate action figure line…how kids can totally have their imagination captured.  Us adults can re-live it because of the incredible detail put into something as awesome as this.

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As a kid, my favorite vehicle was the Attak Trak.  But as a battery powered vehicle, it had limitations.  (dead batteries.)  What would I play with instead…the Battle Ram was my go-to guy.  And now that there isn’t even an Attak Trak for MOTUC, and there may never be, the Battle Ram takes over by force of destiny!  (That sounded cool.)

The SpartanNerd rates the Battle Ram at 5/5.  It is perfect!  The only thing close to a complaint that I can make is that it is slightly hard to separate the Jet Sled from the Battle Ram.  I believe that over time that may work itself out.  So no big deal.

The SpartanNerd rates the Battle Ram 5/5.  Do you agree or disagree?  Let me know in the comments!

SpartanNerd…250 Blog Posts!

Yep.  The SpartanNerd is getting on up there in age!  250 posts.  There have been ups and downs.  I have covered “all things nerdtainment” that I could afford.  I have made mistakes, as well as hit home-runs.  I’ve had times of not being inspired or having energy or time, as well as times where I felt a real need to blog.

I thought I would celebrate this milestone with a little pastiche of different stories of interest!

My first ever customized MOTUC figure.

Teela

My own Teela, of course!

It has bothered me for some time that I didn’t have a female figure worthy of wearing the extra bit of snake armor that came with one of the weapons packs.  I always felt that it could fit Battleground Teela;  I was reluctant to remove her hair.

Well I’m glad I did.  You can see from the picture that it worked out pretty nice.  It took me over an hour of using a hair dryer and other tools to remove the hairpiece, which is really a hard piece of plastic glued on with some incredible adhesive.  Unfortunately, it left a hole in her head all across the back.  You can’t see it from the front, which is what is important to me.  I might try and customize a backside to the hood sometime to completely cover the ugly.

Yes, I can put the hairpiece back on!  So its like I have two Teela figures now!  pfffttt to all you people who own one figure that cost over $100!

I know what else you’re thinking, and yes I DID remove the bra-armor piece to see if I could make her appear more comic accurate.  The problem is…it just doesn’t look right on this figure.  She seems too…Well, your eyes go right to her bust.  And then it doesn’t look right.  She isn’t “that accurate,” ahem.  She looks better with her stock armor underneath the hood piece.  And no, I’m not interested in doing ANY painting on this figure!

Moving on, moving on.

Unicorn vs. Sinanju

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The SpartanTeen hasn’t played Magic the Gathering in quite a while.  This is fine.  I have had to find other ways to bond with him.  One of those ways is the appreciation for Gundam models.  Here is a pic of his best two.

He got the flight stands in the mail, and put them in this pose.  We kept them this way on the kitchen table for several days!  I love the action that you can sense between the two characters, Gundam Unicorn and Sinanju.

Speaking of MTG,

I bought a box of Battle for Zendikar.  And I have been incredibly pleased with my investment.  I don’t generally buy cards for their monetary value, but you just can’t overlook it when each pack gives you a full-art land, (in time will be worth $1.00-$2.00.)  But aside from that, you also get a rare as in every Magic booster.

But I have been blessed.

I’ve opened TWO Gideon, Ally for Zendikar, and one of those was a “bounty” at The Tangled Web!  (They give you a second copy if you open one.)  I traded both in for a Snapcaster Mage, which I really NEEDED.  (I figure Gideon will come and go.  Snap is forever!)

Then I traded the other for an Ugin today, to build this deck for Standard….A Re-Animator deck.  It needs some work.  Suggestions are welcome!  (I modeled it after the four-color reanimator I have been playing in Modern…where the snap caster went!)

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The SpartanKid also built a Standard deck (with my help)….He is quite pleased with it.  The only thing we tried to do really was use the colors of Omnath, Locus of Rage.  We put a lot of landfall in there.  And Scythe Leopard and Sliderunner have done all of the work pretty much!

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While on the subject of MTG cards and customizing stuff, check out what I did with my Father’s Day present…I made a Commander deck, and used the inadequate deck box that “Graveborn” came with to pretty up a Commander box!

New stuff….

I bought a Battle Droid figure at Mighty Dollar for $1.00.  The full real thing!

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I purchased and intended to review the Deckbuilders Toolkit for Magic Origins.  Maybe I still will.  But I’m not feeling it.  Here is a pic of the janky deck I put together with it though!

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I made a chessboard for MOTUC and similar figures!  Don’t steal my idea!

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The SpartanKid purchased this incredible item at Toys-R-Us…

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You get all of this variety of Halo mini-figures.  And a ton of weapons.  It comes with a display stand to boot!

Some parting thoughts….

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Remember the unfortunate situation with this very expensive figure….  He is still holding up after all this time!  His wrist hasn’t let go even once!

The SpartanKid wanted me to mention his Mega-Man Art Book.  I have never reviewed this item.  So here are two pieces of art…

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I about shouted for joy when I saw this page of a recent He-Man and the Eternia War comic!  That comic keeps surprising me with its twists and turns!  A review of issue #10 is coming soon!

Death of Hordak

Vikor remains my favorite MOTUC figure.  Maybe my favorite action figure of all time.  While I give serious props to Marvel Select Deadpool, Vikor is continually all that an action figure should be.  Incredibly detailed and articulated.  Fits any fantasy.  Is a MOTUC design.  Armed to the teeth.  I love to photograph him!

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So will the SpartanNerd make it to 500 blog posts?  Time will tell!  Hopefully the upcoming Star Wars season doesn’t make me go broke!  I keep getting tempted to purchase new things.  But I have decided that I will only purchase the best things.

So keep reading, Hub City Geeks!

He-Man.org Fan Poll…The Current DC Comics

You can find the poll I reference throughout this post on He-Man.org until Sunday, February 16th, 2014 at 11:00 PM EST.

The poll asks our opinions about the current comics.  I am one of those (quiet?) people who actually enjoy the new comics, while all around the web people are bad mouthing them.

Here is how I answered the poll questions.  (Everything is a scale of 1-10, 1 being worst opinion, 10 being the best.)

Overall, how do you rate the story in the current on-going DC MOTU comic?


I gave this one a 7.  I appreciate the “secret identity less” continuity they have established.  The Dark Orko thing doesn’t bother me, and I feel it shouldn’t bother so many others.  The idea of “the buffoon” being the big-bad isn’t new, but MOTU fans don’t seem to be aware of this.  They are treating Dark Orko with the dreadful criticism deserved for Scrappy Doo in the Scooby Doo movie.
GO BACK AND READ YOUR ASIMOV, People!  (OK, I’ll lead you there, since you seem blind without me.  Check out “The Mule.”

What I don’t like is that they started the whole thing in an altered reality.  That isn’t a strong place to start.  I also don’t like the way they write Teela.  Hordak is OK, but far too many people have been killed off.  

They’ve beaten the Good Guys down over and over it seems.  There hasn’t hardly been any victory.  And I like my good guys to win in Masters of the Universe.

I almost feel like this whole current main story arc is heading towards a big reset button where the comics will transform into a more comfortable, filmation-esque story.  Everything and everyone reverted back to normal.  Or maybe a part of me wishes that would happen.

Overall, how do you rate the art in the current on-going DC MOTU comic?

II rated this one at 8.  Largely the art has been pleasant.  Some of it has been sort of Avant Garde, even.  (The Origin of He-Man in particular)

The art in this book is very high level.
And I think the hottest Sorceress design appears in this book too!



I don’t like all of the art.  There was one recent issue that I really hated…The one where they enter Subternia.  Nope.  Not my style.  Way too scribbly.

Here’s an example.  And it seemed to decay even more as the issue neared the end.




Overall, how do you rate the story in the current DCU vs MOTU comic?


Remember this post, oh Hub City Geeks?  I was so excited…You’d think I’d give it a 10.  But I give it an 8 instead.

Well…there are a couple of things that are unclear.  Is this story really in the New 52 continuity? It is billed as it is.

What has been happening in the main continuity of the DC Universe is never referenced, hardly ever anyway.  No news of Forever Evil.  And it seems Green Lantern is with the League.  Frustrating.  Didn’t he fly away after the whole mess with David Graves?

A couple of more weak things…Evil Lynn is not so good at deception.  Anyone can see a double cross coming.  Also, why wasn’t Wonder Woman more angry that He-Man killed Superman?  Everyone remember this, from the Old 52?

Shouldn’t more have been made of the Man of Steel’s demise?
As far as I know, this is the first time Superman was killed in the New 52.  I know, I know.  It was an impostor.  Still.  It is notable.

And this has been more of a Justice League Dark story, than a Justice League (regular) story.

Gripe. Gripe.  Gripe.

What do I like?  I like that this story comes right after the Horde invasion, but before the events of Masters of the Universe #7.  It is wedged in there.  I like that Skeletor’s story continues here, and that Dark Orko is revealed here.

(Shouldn’t I have separated my vote from the first question?  I guess I didn’t know they were distinguishing between the two titles.)

I like that Skeletor is gathering lackeys on Earth as well.  At least Black Alice.  And she has been entertaining.

You know what would be great?  In Forever Evil the Crime Syndicate keeps talking about “a being that destroyed our planet.”  What if that being turns out to be…Dark Orko.

I expect Darkseid.  Or someone like that.  But Dark Orko would rectify some of the seeming inconsistencies.  Wouldn’t t be cool if Dark Orko was from the Earth 3 Universe…That would be sick!  I guess we’ll find out when that this month’s issue ships!

(That is totally not going to happen.  DC wouldn’t base their universe on Mattel’s property.  Still, one could dream!)

I guess I should also mention the Unnamed One here.  There seems to be a coincidence.  The Unnamed One is Dark Orko.  And Dark Orko’s origin issue ships at the same time as the Nameless One.  Sorry for any spoilers…But you probably already knew anyways.

Overall, how do you rate the art in the current DCU vs MOTU comic?

The art here is on par with all of the other DC New 52 titles.  I am fairly pleased.  I rated it 9. (It still isn’t Todd McFarlane.)


How are the costume designs for the MOTU characters in the DC comics?


Now here is one I can be 100% behind.  I love the new designs!  It bothers me a little bit about Skeletor not having a bottom jaw, but in the same way the Joker doesn’t have a face, so….



I gave this one a 10.  I hope they make figures of the Masters with these designs as well.  Maybe even a mini-subscription, like they did a couple of times before.

Do you agree with my opinions?  Let me know!  I will have to follow up and compare my votes with the final results.


SpartanNerd Blog…Blog Photos the way they Should Be!

I have a few really nice figures, and am always reviewing them on this blog….

But up until now, I have only used my kitchen table….Or maybe the “Protector of the Keep” playmate for Magic cards or comics.

But not anymore!

The SpartanWife got me an early Valentines present…And I was completely surprised and blown away by it.

A LIGHTBOX!

Now I can take really good pictures, and edit them like a pro!

Here is a sample!

D Arts MegaMan!

i switched out the armor on Snout Spout last week.
I like my elephant warriors to be more savage!

Teela has proven to be the hardest to photograph.
I think her face is a bit too shiny for the spotlight.  Here I gave here a cooler treatment,
with mystical blue lighting.

Here is Marvel Select Thor, with a black background and a filter.  I wanted an antique look.
I am especially fond of how the hammer turned out.

Skeletor is an interesting one to photograph.  So much detail!  This black and white filter really makes the trio of Panthor, Havoc Staff, and Skeletor feel like they came from a horror story.

A good pic of the details on Panthor’s face.  The Sepia filter makes it feel bronze, or clay even.

One thing, Skeletor’s eyes can hypnotize you if you stare too long at them.
There was masterful design and execution on the face sculpt and painting of Skeletor.

I think this is my favorite picture I have taken with the new equipment.  Nothing too fancy.  But it feels like the cover of a Conan the Barbarian comic book.  I tried to have Vikor hold Teela over his shoulder, but their facial expressions are too calm for that pose to work.  Still, Red is the perfect color to go behind Vikor.

I tried to get a “Catalogue” feel on He-Man and Battlecat here.  

And here he/they are.  Two Bad looks like he leapt off of the comic pages as well.

I have a lot to learn about taking pictures for reviews, and editing them as well with iPhoto or other software.  But I am off to a good start.  The lightbox is a 3X3X3 cube with two spotlights and four background colors.  I have found that sometimes the light reflects on faces a little too much, as in the case of Teela, Mega-Man, and Two-Bad above, but I was able to recover most of the time with editing.  I need to spend more time previewing before shooting, I think.  And also maybe moving the lights back or something.  I also took a few pics right before my iPhone battery died, and I believe that caused them to be a little blurrier. (I took some Pokemon pics that were unusable.)

There are also size limitations.  He-Man and Skeletor barely fit on their cats in the pics.  I cropped down what you see.  But the Griffin is way too big for the lightbox treatment.  And so is Megator, really.

Still, it is a great start and I am having a blast.  Comment on the photos!

(Also check out my recent blurb about Born of the Gods, where I also used the white reflecting material as the background for the cards.)

Oh yeah.  My rating.  The Polaroid Lightbox gets a 5/5!

It folds up for easy transport and storage into a little baggy with pouches for the lights.  It also came with a camera stand that I will have to try out when I use a real camera sometime instead of an iPhone.  I won’t fault it on it’s size.  Really it is perfect for most action figures, and I am a beginner.

SpartanNerd Unboxing and Review…Marvel Select Thor

I have reviewed an excellent Marvel Select figure before, Deadpool, which you can read here…(And probably should)

I say that because, unfortunately, Thor doesn’t stack up to Deadpool as a figure.  Let’s see why!

Here Thor sits on the shelf at the Tangled Web in Spartanburg, yelling “Purchase me, mortal.  Thou hast the power!”

First of all, the packaging.  Thor comes in a beautiful Marvel box that displays what you are getting very clearly.  Also, there is nice comic book artwork on the left. side.

$24.99.  Not bad.  The Christmas fund will cover it.

The back of the package gives you a nice little backstory for Thor as he is in Marvel Comics.

Apparently, Thor is the son of Odin’s mistress….

Time to tear into it!

Here is what you see when you open the box.  In case you are wondering, the little pamphlet shows off other Marvel Select figures as well as Marvel Mini-Mates.

Thor was strapped in with those stupid bread tie things.  I had to resort to cutting the left foot’s wire-in with nail clippers, because I was afraid I would damage the figure.

What vile power can bind the God of Thunder?
Here he is, freed from his prison.

Let’s discuss his articulation.  Compared to the previous Deadpool figure, he theoretically has mostly the same articulation points.  But I used the word Theoretically for a reason.  Actually, only the bottom joint of his double jointed knee moves.  Furthermore, his left leg is tighter than the right leg.  He has rocker ankles, that are quite stiff.  What about his arms?  Well they are pretty tight.  But his hands are sculpted into permanent positions.  No finger articulation.  Just Hammer Holder and Bruce Dickenson “Metal to the Masses” pose  (Thanks Puller, for that bit of poetry!).  His head is hampered by his hair and cape.  The hair and cape are not movable…They are stiff poses.  So really, he isn’t all that much articulated.  In fact, his coolness as a toy is lessoned quite a bit.  He seems more like a statue with posable arms.

Here is what his back looks like.

Now for the really important stuff.  Thor uses a “real man’s hammer!”  (The SpartanNerd’s friends will recognize this saying….)

nicely sculpted detail, it even has a loop.  This is what Thor uses to swing the hammer like a bola, I gather.
Pay attention to the bottom of the handle.  That little bulb of lacquer is going to be a problem.
I wanted to remove Mjolnier from the hand of Thor.  But, that little
blob of stuff made the hammer too fat to get it out of his hand.

I hope you’re reading my captions.  That’s right.  I couldn’t get it out without force.  Force is the enemy of handles made of soft plastic.  I was so afraid I would bend it, I seriously considered leaving it in his hand forever.  But it is the job of an internet reviewer to come forth with all of the truth.  So I pulled it out as straight as I could.

You can see, I didn’t bend it much.
Thor also comes with this stand…er…rock…err…meteor thing.

OK.  He has peg holes in his feet.  But it isn’t any easier to make Thor stand.  Why?  That cape is quite heavy.  Also, his right leg is looser than his left leg.

I believe he stands better without the rock!

Not going to give you a picture, but my MOTUC figures stand quite nicely on that rock!

Here he is holding Vikor’s sword.  He is a tad taller than MOTUC figures.
The scale seems larger.
It makes this awesome sword seem less awesome.
Two vikings.  This is the kind of Thor story I like.
Teela makes a fine barbarian bride for Thor!
Someone’s a little jealous….Vikor, you’re going to mess around and bend your axe!  (Too late!)
Deadpool…”What’s your excuse for being less articulated?”
Thor…”I don’t have to be.  I am immortal.”
Deadpool…”Well, I am unkillable!”

How do I rate this Thor figure?  I am quite a fan of Thor, and I like the Thor movies.  In general I like the comics also, recently having read the whole Ghor the Godbutcher series in the Marvel NOW events.  (I will have to review that story sometime.)  I bought this figure for those reasons.  Plus I already knew the Deadpool was really very nice.  But I was disappointed in the quality of this figure, it feeling more like a statue and less like an action figure.  It only came with one accessory, and it can’t stand on its stand so good.  His articulation is hampered.  And you can’t do anything about it really because the cape is glued on and the hair is stiff.

So I am going to give it a grade of 2/5.  It gets the two points really only because he looks so awesome.  And looks awesome with Vikor and Teela.  But he could just as well continued to look as good on the store shelf.  On the other hand, he wasn’t expensive.  And comparable comic book statues cost over $100.  So looking at it that way he would be a 4/5 as a statue.  (Not having as precise a sculpt as a statue because he was meant to be an action figure…if that makes sense?)

Do you agree or disagree?  Let me know, oh Hub City Geeks!  And be on the lookout for more awesome reviews by the SpartanNerd!