SpartanNerd Unboxing and Review…Masters of the Universe Classics Evilseed

When Evilseed went on sale, I decided I would get him, only to be held off by circumstances.  I thought I would have to catch him on Cyber Monday, maybe.  But he remained on sale…perhaps he didn’t sell out?  Regardless, I ordered mine, and over a week later he arrived in this mailer.

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I quickly opened it, to reveal the sealed packaging.

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The front of the box has a nice window that has Evilseed on display.  You can clearly see his accessories…he has the tag line of “Evil Master of Plants.”  And that’s about it.  Just from seeing here…he is quite incredible looking, if you are a MIC collector.  But that’s not me.

I flipped the box over, and check it out!  For the first time, I own all of the characters on the back of the box!

Evilseed gets a new “real name” and bio, photographed here for you, oh Hub City Geeks.  But I’m just throwing away the package.  Notably, the bio says that Moss Man created Evilseed.  A good story.  But I prefer the Mike Young version that this figure is based on.

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Removing Evilseed from the package isn’t difficult.  He did have some rubber bands, and the vine-whip accessory had to be wrangled out of the blister.  But other than that, it was all good.  Notably, there was no “smell” associated with this figure.  (If you will recall, Moss Man” had a very strong pine scent.)

Here he is in the first pose I made for him.

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Evilseed has a terrific sculpt.  When I first saw this revealed, I knew I had to get one to go with my Moss Man.  The Four Horsemen hit a homerun every time!  Check out all of the little scaly looking parts.  Check out the thorns and vines.  I went back and watched “Orko’s Garden,” “Council of Evil” part 1 & 2, and “The Last Stand” today to check my facts.  I have ready other reviews, and there is some criticism of this version being too bulked up.  In the MYP cartoon, his IS skinner at the torso and waist, but the entire upper body looks almost perfect.  The thicker torso here is welcome, if you ask me.  While they could have used some amalgamation of Lizard Man’s parts, I think this was the way to go.  It doesn’t look wrong at all.  Maybe he’s been working out?

Evilseed has that terrific sculpt, and also the standard articulation that all of the other MOTUC figures have.  Rocker joint ankles, hinged knees, ball jointed shoulders, waist twist, ab crunch, ball jointed shoulders, bicep swivels, hinged elbows, a swivel wrist, and a ball jointed head that can rotate freely and be swapped out.

The cool new addition to the articulation is the way the vines look on the legs.  They are made of a more rubbery material, and are a continuation of the waist piece.  These come down and loop around the knees, which means Evilseed has both loose vines on his knees and articulation there!

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How about this face!  If he had a mother….

For real, this is one of the most evil faces ever sculpted for MOTUC.  Evilseed’s overall green color is a stark and EVIL contrast to this sinister eyes and mouth, which are bright red in color.  This is the only red on the figure…everyghing else is green, black, or brown.  This highlights the evil human nature of the figure, and even makes him appear alien.  Where his hair should be, we have this bunch of creepy looking vines/grass/seaweed.

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The torso is evidently just the same sort of Torso that He-Man or most of the others have.  But this time there is non-removable armor sculpted with he specific viney details demanded of Evilseed.  There is a very striking collar that comes up beside his head on both sides, giving him a plant/vampire look.  You can see the vine details on his back, and also two mysterious green thorns in the middle of his back.

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One of Evilseed’s two accessories is “The Scepter of Power.”  My research tells me that this Filmation artifact was in the episode, “The Magic Falls.”  I don’t personally own this episode on DVD.  I started to watch it on YouTube, when I discovered that all of those videos appear to be playing at too fast a clip, giving a chipmunk effect to most of the music and voices.  It was unbearable to me.  And As a music teacher, the difference in key created by the effect was just too jarring. Anyways, Evilseed looks really good with the Scepter of Power.  It is supposed to be for King Randor, but since I am not a fan of “Throne Room Randor” and, nor the Burger King version of the regular Randor, I decided to settle on letting Prince Adam hold it.  (He would inherit it anyway, right?)

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Not bad at all.

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The other accessory is this vine-whip creature.  You can position it almost anywhere on his body.  I think I might try and order more of these!  I think he should have come with more of them.  Watching the MYP version made me realize how ridiculous and over-exaggerated the vines that Evilseed controlled were.  But it worked really well in that cartoon.  Evilseed even made T-Rex sorts of plants, and hydra plants also.  He also would use them to transport around on…Mattel could have given us an interchanging waist so we could display him as seen transporting around on a “trunk” of vines!

In getting this figure, one of my aims was display him in battle with Moss Man.  Here is my first attempt!

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Even with the “plant god” head on, Moss Man appears to be from a different line entirely.  Both are green, but the flocking on Moss Man blurs his details.

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Evilseed looks pretty good with Moss Man’s weapon, but the seed-bag armor with knife doesn’t fit properly across Evilseed because of the collar piece of the armor.  It fits loosely around his waist, which is something I do with Moss Man sometimes.

It might be better to use it to imprison him…

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Heheh…looks like Orko is going to set him free…

Evilseed was a part of Skeletor’s Council of Evil…We can compare Evilseed to Count Marzo and Skeletor by reenacting a scene from the cartoon.

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SpartanNerd Rating of Masters of the Universe Classics Evilseed.

Evilseed has terrific sculpting.  He is highly articulated, even specifically for his figure.  (With the vines around his knees.)  His paint looks good, and there was no “pee plastic” smell like I detected from King Hsss and Snake Armor He-Man.  He comes with two accessories…the only complaint I can level is I wish we had MORE vines.  But this can be easily done.

So I give MOTUC Evilseed a 5/5!  I am not the least bit disappointed in this figure.  Every detail matches my specifications!  There are some people who complain that this isn’t Filmation’s “turnip head” version.  But I don’t even like that version…it was even a reason I might not subscribe to that little add-on sub.  This 200x version looks evil, not goofy.  He is ready for battle…ready to kick some plants!

The SpartanNerd gives Masters of the Universe Classics Evilseed a 5/5.  Do you agree or disagree?  Let me know in the comments!

SpartanNerd Review…He-Man: The Eternity War #8

DC’s remix of Mattel’s classic property has recently received a lot of love from fans and critics, including the SpartanNerd.  However, this time, I don’t feel as good.

Some background.

In issue #5, The Goddess/Sorceress/Teela reveals that destiny has three faces…Serpos, Zoar, and Horokoth.  Serpos was the ancient god of the snake-men.  Zoar has been Serpos’ replacement for ages for the Eternians, and Horokoth a god for the Horde.  The Goddess thinks the Age of Horokoth is inevitable, and wonders if He-Man could, or even should prevent it.

Issue #6 shows us a dystopian future where Adam becomes King He-Man, and rules with an iron fist.  He has enlisted his former enemies, Skeletor’s minions, to be a big part of his army, and is fighting against She-Ra, who leads the former Masters of the Universe as rebels against him.  We see him married to Teela, who reverts to green Goddess mode and we realize it was a vision given to Adam of what the future is to become if He-Man beats back the Horde himself.  So He-Man breaks the sword!

Issue #7 is more back-story for Skeletor and the Havoc Staff.  Evidently, strangely, Skeletor became the Evil Overlord of Destruction by breaking the time-space continuum and preventing his own murder at Hordak’s hands…an event that had to happen because the skull on the Havoc Staff is his own skull, only twisted by demonic magic.  Skeletor also tells us that he helped raise Despara/Adora/She-Ra, but because it is Skeletor who is talking, who knows if he’s telling the truth?

After all of these exciting stories, we get issue #8.

A break in the jaw-dropping revelations.

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We get some fighting and some narrative in the first few pages.

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We see Adam leading the charge with a gun-arm reminiscent of what Man-At-Arms uses.

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We see King Hsss/Randor….(But why?)

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And then the war is over.  We see the next day, Adam sitting on the throne petting Battle Cat.  (Not Cringer…hmmm…)

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Basically, just one day after the war, and the snake-men seem less loyal to Adam.  They were showing astonishing loyalty to He-Man.  Now, not so much.  Fisto has to call down this snake man who is about to execute Imp.  Evidently, the snake men are supposed to know that prisoners are to stand trial.

Adam is catching cold.  The Goddess thanks him for relinquishing his power.

I didn’t photograph the next parts, but here is a summary.  Skeletor turns on She-Ra like we all knew he would.  They transport into Hordak;s “Vault of Souls,” where he steals most of the souls, and then entices She-Ra to fall into the vault by throwing a locket with Marlena’s picture into it.

Act III…, Hordak finally makes his intentions known.  The Eternians have one day of peace granted by him, (I guess because he’s such a nice guy.)  Next he shows the future of those who are going to escape him to the planet Primus.

He uses the Eyes of Grayskull…

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And destroys their future lives and their offsprings lives on Primus.

Wait another month, fools, for the next installment.

My quandary with this book comes in several ways.

First of all, why was King Hsss there?  Is he making the snake men less loyal?  Did Adam meet him in battle?  All we get is a strange picture of him saying “sssso weak,” referring to Adam.

My next problem is…we didn’t see HOW Adam led them to defeat the Horde at Eternos Palace.  All we get is “The day after liberation.”  A whole book could have been devoted to just that.  And SHOULD HAVE.  We would have seen Adam as the strong leader he evidently is, apart from the Power of Grayskull.  But the writers took the lame way out.  “The next day…”  “The day after Liberation,” “After the battle.”  But we see none of the action.  And action is one of the reasons why I like comic books.  BOOOOO!!!!  And just think how much more the rest of the story elements in this book would have meant?

My third gripe…this isn’t a stand-alone book in any way.  Lets just say, for instance, a person goes into a comic book store and says, “Wow!  A He-Man comic! I remember He-Man!” and picks this up.  They will be put on their tail.  Without knowledge of the series pretty much as a whole, you couldn’t understand what was happening in this book.  The stupid looking Fright Zone/Castle Grayskull abomination isn’t self explanatory enough.  The Green Goddess isn’t the Filimation Sorceress, or even Teela.  The Snake Men are fighting WITH the good guys?  A major nostalgia parade is rained on with an issue like this.  Sometimes Nostalgia is the only thing that sells books about 1980’s properties.  But this didn’t have to be the case.  The book could be much more accessible if there was a brief page at the front that explains what has been happening.  This has been done in MANY comics before.  Basically all of the Conan comics.  The modern Star Wars comics.  Marvel’s current Secret War also give you a little background and some premise.  But here, it is “jump in and read for the first time, and leave confused.”

My fourth gripe…New Adventures never does seem to be able to get ahead, does it.  I never watched the show, but read the few mini comics that were printed.  My brother had Slush Head and New Adventures He-Man.  I myself am not completely unattached, and hope the best for New Adventures because there are hundreds of fans.  But those fans just got dumped on. Hordak destroyed Primus.  And we just got to see it in one panel!  We could see it, and the future Masters of the Universe, who were also evidently destroyed.

Oh Hub City Geeks, I believe this comic was necessary for the advacement of the story.  But there are many things wrong here.  I hope things don’t turn south from here on out.  The only redeeming quality here is the art, which is consistent with the better art printed in DC’s run of Masters of the Universe.

The SpartanNerd rates He-Man: The Eternity War #8 a 1/5.  This is one of the lowest scores I have given a modern comic.  It is a necessary read to have the story.  But pitiful delivery.

SpartanNerd Project…Earl Norem Poses

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I had this crazy idea.  Really more of a dream.  I could get each person who is interviewed in the Masters of the Universe Art Book  to sign their article.  Or maybe a piece of art.  I know it never would happen…I am not a well traveled person.  But it was a fine thought.

But not soon after the book was published, one of the greatest artists of Masters of the Universe passed away.  Earl Norem.  I wrote my thoughts right here on the SpartanNerd Blog.  (Link)

To help illustrate my love for Norem’s work, I thought I would attempt to emulate it with the incredible Masters of the Universe Classics figures.  So here is my attempt at “The Sunbird Legacy.”

A few Caveats have to apply.

  • The figures have one expression.  Some have alternate heads.  But you still have a limitation.
  • The hair can be wrong.
  • Norem didn’t always paint the weapons the same way.
  • I don’t have the diorama piece.  As this stuff becomes more available to me, I will see about photographing some of it.

I chose this picture because I thought it was one of the most do-able.  My favorite is the one with He-Man on a lion and Skeletor leading an elephant army, with the space battle among the meteors a close second.  But you’ll see.

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I tried the Snake Armor He-Man head.  But it doesn’t look as good as the original.  In the picture, Skeletor’s sword is more of a scimitar.  The closest I had available is Draego Man’s sword.  The Havoc Staff is bigger than the one in the painting.  This proves to be the biggest problem.  I felt like the pose above was too…boring.  Not capturing the motion of Norem’s work.

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This photo is closer to Earl Norem.  Still not perfect.  It is really hard to get Skeletor to balance like this.  If you look at the Norem at length…(as I have,) you can see that He-Man and Skeletor have very parallel hips.  He-Man’s figure can’t quite stress his head back or hold his shield at quite the same angle, and still keep balance.  (He-Man has weak ankles.)

The colors are pretty good.  The white background is about as good as I could do.  I applied a filter to mute it a little.

So, Hub City Geeks.  What do you think about my new venture?  Can you do better?  Send me your pics, and let me know in the comments!

SpartanNerd…Follow up on “He-Man: The Eternity War”

I have been very impressed with the current run of DC masters of the Universe.  “He-Man: The Eternity War” has really been developed.  And we are seeing the characters presented in ways we have never seen before.

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Here is a pic of all six issues I have.  I have two of the covers from Issue 1.

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The version with the toys came only to subscribers, if I am correct.

What is so impressive?  Here are issue by issue thoughts.

Issue 1.  Hordak returns to flesh, using He-Man’s blood, drawn unintentionally by She-Ra in the preceding story arc.  And then he becomes a super charged version of himself by tapping into the power of Grayskull.  See what I mean…We’ve never seen Hordak presented like this.

Issue 2.  Man-At-Arms converts Roboto into a flight suit to take out the Horde’s orbital disruptor.  (This weapon wiped out most of the Masters of the Universe and the Eternian army in prior issues.  Kind of a mini-death star.)

Issue 3.  The deal with the Eyes of Grayskull returns from the digital-only books that began DC’s current run on Masters of the Universe.  She-Ra finds the Eye of Chrono and unintentionally leads Hordak to it.

Issue 4.  She-Ra takes a beating, but Skeletor rescues her using the eye of Chaos, which he had in his possession.  (Now Skeletor has both eyes!)

Issue 5. Skeletor witnesses She-Ra use her sword to heal herself, and asks her to heal him.  Then he explains that he has had a change of heart and doesn’t wish to be constantly defeated, as he has seen over and over in different versions of himself as he traveled the Multiverse.  The Green Goddess (or Sorceress, or Teela, what should we call her now?) lets He-Man know that “The Goddess” (adding to the confusion) has three faces, Serpos, Zoar, and Horokoth.  Eternia has witnessed the age of Zoar, but she fears the Age of Horokoth is inevitable.  He-Man chooses to look at the future behind a door with the Horde symbol on it, (which means Horokoth, the destroyer now.)  He sees himself as King He-Man, with the normal skinned (and naked) Teela as his queen.  A military state is evident.

Issue 6.  “The Problem with Power.”  He-Man sees a vision of the future.  DC uses King He-Man…an impressive draw to this story…the cover is magnificent.  We see more of the kingdom that King He-Man will bring about.  Notably, Skeletor’s allies are now his allies, while the “Good Guys” are now “The Great Rebellion!”  At the end, He-Man breaks the sword in half, destroying it and relinquishing the power to return to the form of Prince Adam.

I can’t wait for issue 7!

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Skeletor’s romp through the Multiverse let him see many versions of himself, each one ending in defeat.  He never acquires the power of Grayskull.  Check out my Skitch below…

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“The Problem With Power” was the title of perhaps the greatest Filmation episode, where He-Man changes into Adam…a reverse transformation rarely seen, and then throws the sword into the abyss.  He decided in that episode that being He-man wasn’t worth taking the life of someone.  In this issue, there are echoes of the same, but all of Eternia is the victim as King He-Man is a despotic leader.

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This page kind of captures the state of things.  Beast Man is wearing Battle Cat’s hide as a cape!  He-Man is riding Panthor, and the Eternal Guard are riding Nightstalkers!  Also, notice the weaponry all over castle Grayskull.  In this issue, He-Man also orders an insurgent’s head on a spike…exactly the the thing Mattel told the moviemakers to avoid in the 1980s.  (I recall seeing the the Art Book instructions for “No Heads!  No Spikes!”

Finally….

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He-Man destroying “The Sword of Eternity.”  (A new name for “The Power Sword.”  Christened thus for only a few panels.)  a moving panel…Prince Adam appears so weak in the next few panels walking away, and I wonder how this is going to work.

“He-Man: The Eternity War” is a terrific read, and keen fans will see little allusions and nods.  I see it as the comic writers have a box full of toys, and are constantly playing with them in new ways.  Shaping a story the way little kids would have, and then making modern comics meant for an adult audience.

I hope DC keeps making MOTU comics.  I don’t ever want that dry spell that seemed to happen for so long to ever return.  I want to see toy versions of these comics characters.  The work is certainly deserving….

SpartanNerd Review…He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Art Book

This product is AMAZING!!!  I can’t recommend it enough!  I never purchased an art book before for myself, but the SpartanKid has Mega Man Star Force Official Complete Works.   I think that is fine…but the He-Man book blows that away!

(Many thanks to Daniel at the Tangled Web in Spartanburg South Carolina for giving me a discount!  What a great store!)

Obviously, I can’t just take a bunch of photos of each page.  (I wonder how long it would be until Dark Horse/Mattel sent me an order to take them down?)  Instead, I will summarize why I think this book is great, and include just a few pics.

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The front and the back cover are the least spectacular parts of the book.  Why does DreamWorks have a credit?  Barely mentioned here is the Power and Honor Foundation, who owns/houses/curates the art!  (I believe Emiliano Santalucia and James Eatock have a lot to do with this organization.)

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There are several document scans as well as scans of early work.  This book serves as a great visual documentary.  Most everyone has seen this image, that “Vikor” was eventually modeled after.  The original He-Man!

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You get a piece of reproduction cell art!  And you can put the image over different Filiation backgrounds!

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No one will ever deny that Earl Norem was the GREATEST MOTU ARTIST!  This book has several prints of Norem’s work.  This one is my LEAST favorite, and it is amazing!  The more I look at Norem;s work, the more details I notice!

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Here is another Norem.  There are several pieces of movie art.  And that is surprising to me.  Rights to stuff that deals with that movie always seems to be a point of contention.

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Unsurprising, there is lots of 200x art.  Here is Eternos Palace from the show.

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I have this art card.  I really like it!  I think it came with a DVD or something.  I have had it taped to my office wall before. The art book lets you see it extra large!

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The MOTUC Castle Grayskull Box art by Rudy Obrero is preserved here.  It folds out to reveal the entire MOTUC classics card back cross-sell art.  (Up to the point of printing, of course!)

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Something I never thought I would own…the MOTUC maps!  Only Masters of the Universe Classics subscribers received these, or people who purchased certain products.  (Castle Grayskull comes to mind.)  Every map is presented in this book!

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The book takes you all the way from Mark Taylor and Roger Sweet to the modern age of comics!  SpartanNerd readers know I love the new comics!  Here is one of the covers they presented in the book.  There are several other pieces of modern DC comics art as well!

The last part of the book was looking ahead, concept art, etc.  I wonder how much of this is DreamWorks.  (That is who is working on the current movie project, right?)  At least we already know that the gold plated Battle Cat armor is being used in He-Man and the Eternity War storyline.  But what about Skeletor at the bottom?

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The book takes you on a grand trip through the history, present, and future of Masters of the Universe.  I neglected to show you…

New Adventures art

Pre-Ternia art

Princess of Power art

An early Beast Man (too similar to Chewbacca)!

MV Creations work (Looks like Emiliano and Val put there differences aside for this project)

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And oh so much more.  If you like Masters of the Universe, this is the book for you!

Can I say anything negative about the book?  I wish it had the full art of Norem’s He-Man and Skeletor’s epic fight, where Skeletor commands elephants and He-Man is riding a lion!  This is the first piece of art you see when you get past the gift-wrap print that is found on the hard-cover backing.  But it is partial.  (That is one of my favorite Earl Norem paintings!)

The other thing is…and maybe I’m wrong.  But the book is 400+ pages.  And the pages are HEAVY WEIGHT.  I am concerned that the book may fall apart over time with lots of use.

I give the Mattel/Dark Horse/Dreamworks He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Art Book a solid 5/5!  Hopefully the Power and Honor Foundation will be able to continue putting out books like this in the future!

SpartanNerd On Card Review…Masters of the Universe Hot-Wheels and Matchbox cars

I teach in an elementary school…so my toys are welcome!

I have a habit of opening most things I buy, but I decided to keep these cars on card.  Notice I didn’t say “Mint On card.”  No the packages are a little banged up etc, and they were when I got them for that matter.

 

These cars hang on my office wall, and the students really enjoy looking at them.  In the past I have also displayed my 200x He-Man with Iron Cross Variant MOC as well.

Here are some pics of the cars I have.  The Matchbox cars were purchased on clearance at Wal-Mart or Big Lots, and the SpartanWife got the newer Hot-Wheels for me for Father’s day a few years ago.

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Here is my complete collection. I hang these on my office wall.

 

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The backs of the cards…The Hot-Wheels (right) shows off the other cars in the line.  Too bad I don’t have more of these!  On the other hand, the front packaging of the Hot-Wheels cars is more boring, featuring the same “He-Man on Battlecat” art for each different car.  The 200x Matchbox cars show a picture of the car’s corresponding figure.  But the back of that package is bland, only showing you the same sentence in multiple languages.  The good thing is that you get to see what that mini-poster looks like…(top right.)

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The orange car features the Masters of the Universe logo.  The truck features side-panel art of the three towers.  I would point out that the current MOTUC ideas really show a desire to bring out the three towers, though there doesn’t seem to be any official way for them to happen.  This little car is another example of that.  Anyone else notice that He-Man is wielding his axe in his LEFT HAND!

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I decided not to remove the price tag stickers for fear of tearing the print from the card.  That poster bugged me for a long time.  It never occurred to me to see what it was a pic of by looking at the back of the box!  But I was strong.  I never opened it!  I like how the He-Man has that Iron Cross on his chest…just like my Mint On Card figure!  I like how Skeletor gets the Limo!  That fits him soooo well!  Man-At-Arms gets the armored tank also.  But Stratos’ and He-Man’s choice of car are more puzzling.  Why not make Stratos have a plane?  That totally could have happened.  He-Man gets a Sedan?  Really?

Overall, I enjoy looking at these.  I am always finding something new.  Did anyone else notice that the Matchbox cars are facing the opposite direction of the Hot-Wheel’s cars?  See…I have really studied these things!

I rate them…On card…4/5.  Mostly because He-Man gets a Sedan, and not a Monster Truck, or Dodge Viper, or some other muscle car.  Nope.  His is Cab Forward Design.  And Fuel Efficient, of course, with 30 MPG (Hwy miles.)

 

What would you rate them?  Let me know!