Masterverse 40th Anniversary He-Man- SpartanNerd unboxing and review

I am going to take a moment away from Snake Mountain, which is slowly coming together, to review the 40th Anniversary He-Man I didn’t know existed. It was at Target, where I was looking for some Christmas presents for one of my sons. At $21.00 I decided this was a good purchase

Here are some pics for reference. The big one is the 40th anniversary He-Man. You can see the art on the back of the box, and how the cardboard tray can slide out revealing the blister with the action figure inside. You can also see my sealed 200x He-Man, and also my vintage He-Man. (Might be the re-issue. I know that the Grayskull door was mine from childhood.)

I have mostly avoided the Masterverse line of Masters of the Universe toys…The first wave, which featured He-Man and Skeletor, just threw me off. He-Man’s belt was colored too closely to his skin tone, making it seem like he had a “gut,” which just wasn’t right for the character of course. This one item, plus too much focus on the Revelation show just kept me from wanting it. It seemed to me right away that this line was going to be far inferior to the Masters of the Universe Classics line, which it was supposedly replacing.

Let me settle this up front: Mattel, Masters of the Universe Classics was the line of toys the fans deserved. It was a high bar that you set yourself. Now whatever you do that is pointed at adults has to match it. The Masterverse line does not match it. I have watched Scott Neitlich’s videos and I understand what is going on…that it was a small line aimed at collectors only and sold online. I get it. But you have set a gold standard as far as highly desirable action figures.

So now that I got my sermon posted, which they will surely never read or care about, here are my thoughts on this 40th anniversary figure.

This is my first purchase of a Masterverse figure. I have seen the boxes and all of the other figures, and thank you Mattel for giving us a good box for this one. The other figures in the Masterverse line come in boring and ugly blue boxes with plain text. But this box is not only great, it is collector friendly too! You can see from the above pic that you just open the top flap (mine had a little piece of tape) and slide the tray out. I was carefully able to remove the figure without damaging the bubble. I sold all of my MOTUC figures when I ran out of room. (This is where the funding came from that got me into the Mega line). If there is anything that this Masterverse line is doing better, it is this collector friendly package. On all of the MOTUC figures you pretty much had to destroy the package if you wanted to touch the figure. After selling the MOTCU collection, I have been collecting the Mega figures on card and also off card. This is economical enough, and helps me feel like a real collector. I have since picked up San Diego Comic Con She-Ra that had a similar collector box, and also GI-Joe Classified Cobra Commander. I am sad that in the instance of the 200x He-Man that I have on card he has to just stay on the card. (That figure seems to have come down in value recently. My box is in awful shape anyway. Notice my version is the more rare “cross” on the chest version.)

The figure looks OK in the box. Let’s get him out and play awhile.

He-Man comes with this: Power Harness (armor), Power Sword, Shield, and Battle Axe. He also comes with a fist hand and a chopping hand. I guess I should count the left hand Wrist Bracer that also comes off.

His articulation is pretty good. Shoulder, biceps, double jointed elbow, and wrist with a 360 rotation as well as a hinge for up and down. The hands just pop out of their socket, and as mentioned, the left hand bracer comes off which might help you to display him equipped with the shield. The classics version didn’t have the double jointed elbows…but…I’ll say in a minute.

He-man’s head has 360 rotation and can nod up and down. He has a torso that is more likely to bend backwards rather than ab crunch. (Remember what I said about the first Masterverse He-Man having a gut?)

You get a waist swivel, legs that come out to do a split, and now thigh cuts. Double-jointed knees, boot cut, and rocker and hinge ankles.

Go have a look at my review of MOTUC He-Man from 2013. Now let’s talk. The double-joints are supposed to be an improvement on the design. But they look bad. Also, the thigh cut doesn’t do anything for me. It is kind of similar to what we had with the female figures in the MOTUC line, where when you moved their waste, you had a flat surface that just “looked wrong.” The thighs here just look wrong. No other way around it.

The top left pic shows He-Man in the same pose as the artwork on the back of the box. (very nice art, by the way.). He has no trouble getting into this pose. The second pic shows a near-transformation pose. But can you see what I see? The arms are out of proportion. His hand is too long. This head sculpt has an unsettling facial expression. You can compare the original sculpt to the new one in the third pic. The original looked menacing. Barbaric. They have given him a more vertical head, larger eyes, and distinct eyebrows, making this He-Man appear less confident. And He-Man should exude confidence. You can really see this when posing the fist. This fist looks like Deadpool’s baby hand compared to the rest of the arm (don’t look it up if you don’t know). The backside pic shows off the way the sword fits in the harness, and the muscle flexshows the off-proportions. I will say, the furry shorts and boots have a nice wash. But there is a contrast between the molded plastic belt and bracers that seems incongruent.

He-Man goes back in the box nicely, where I think he will stay.

I didn’t have any trouble getting him back in the box. Here he is with my other carded Masters figures.

I think I believed this purchase would scratch the itch of collecting He-Mann figs again. In the box, maybe. But he just isn’t as inspiring as was the MOTUC figures were. I don’t think I am likely to remove him from this package again. Maybe when it snows.

So what do I rate this figure?

The packaging is a 5/5. The toy is about a 2/5. So this puts it in the 3/5 camp. You would think that a 40th anniversary figure would be a solid 5/5. It should be. At least it was affordable, unlike the Magic the Gathering 30th anniversary fake cards (60 fake cards for $1000). Thanks professor! I didn’t know this product existed, so it was kind of an impulse buy. I wonder if they will make a Skeletor. Surely they will. But I will probably pass on it.

UPDATE: I had a good look at the first release of the Masterverse He-Man today unsealed in a case in a store. This 40th anniversary figure has a MASSIVE chest in comparison.

ONE MORE THING: I was just moving the MEGA CONSTRUX Castle Grayskull to the top shelf…It crumbled. I guess I am taking even more of a commercial from Snake Mountain.

Mega Construx Castle Grayskull…Retrospective

Snake Mountain is supposed to arrive tomorrow!!!

Because I didn’t document the build or even do a review of the terrific Castle Grayskull, I thought today would be a good day to have some things to say about it.

Without a doubt, I had never put together such a large set of blocks. I picked up the Lego Batmobile meant for adults from a thrift store once like fifteen years ago, but it had 900 something pieces if I remember correctly. And a big problem with that was that the pieces were mostly jet black. Castle Grayskull was a 3,508 piece build. YIKES! And in this case, Mattel boasts a new color…”Grayskull Green,” which is what most of this set was made of.

Here is the completed facade.

When you see it in a picture, say on the front of the magnificent box, you don’t realize how each little exposed stud or piece of flat brick or rounded block (barrel style) had to be carefully placed by a designer. You can see from the front of the castle here that the bottom is very heavy. The way the side towers curve around is a genius design, and one that reflects some of the quirkiness of Mega Construx builds. The instructions, (two thick almost catalogues) breaks each step down into a manageable project. For instance, each tower was handled by the bottom half, then the top half, and then connect to the main structure. See those olive colored pieces? I thought of those as a “reward” every time I got to place one…it broke up the monotony of Grayskull Green. I wonder how much psychology went into that choice?

Here is the back

The roof was really kind of a nightmare. Each one of those shingles had to be placed just right in order for the panels of roofing to fit together properly. Some have right handed slants, and others left handed. Some point up and some down. And they better be aligned properly! The “handle” at the top. NEVER USE IT AS A HANDLE. I certainly haven’t. The castle is definitely too heavy for that. This is there for the aesthetics of being true to the original.

Speaking of being true to the original…this castle is actually a model of the Masters of the Universe Classics castle. It maintains many features that that play-set has. (I am only told about this from Pixel Dan videos and the like. I don’t own one and have no room for it anyway. And $700!). See that “mouth” shaped wall underneath the triangular “eye” windows? That’s a break away wall!

For some reason I don’t have great pictures of the inside…You get three floors. Everything you would expect is there and more. There is a trap door operated by the throne.

There is a jail, this time with an operating cage door. The jaw-bridge opens, though the sword key is just a gimmick and unnecessary. There is a computer, an elevator, a weapon rack (actually two), and a trainer. In the top dome, there is a hidden attic where the orb is kept.

Here is the Sorceress and the Goddess in front of the the orb. (Can these two be in the same place at the same time???)

This set came with the Sorceress, the Green Goddess, Skeletor, He-Man, Man-At-Arms, and red Beast Man. Oh. And let’s not forget Zoar. (So did this set come with THREE OF THE SAME CHARACTER?)

IMPROVEMENTS TO THE CASTLE.

There was a Skeletor head set that came with mini-comics colored Trap Jaw featuring an improved turret gun. I highly recommend it! The gun that came with this doesn’t look like the original, and also doesn’t fit well on the parapet.

The Talon Fighter and Point Dread. This vehicle set came with instructions to retrofit Castle Grayskull with the Point Dread castle piece so that you can park the plane on top of the tower. (A feature of the vintage toy). This makes the castle six to eight inches taller, so the SpartanNerd hasn’t ever done this…my shelf space won’t allow for it unless I place it on the top shelf, which takes away the joy of seeing it. (Snake Mountain might have to go on the top shelf…)

One day during the Coronavirus lockdowns, I decided to take the castle out and get some photos.

NOT A HOAX! NOT A DREAM!: MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE: THE SUNBIRD LEGACY

Here is my take on an Earl Norem classic. I used the Masters of the Universe Classics figures (and 200x Beast Man), and placed the Mega Construx castle in the background as proportionately accurate as I could to the original art. (I did the best with what I had with me.). Notice that I removed the pawn from the top. I actually prefer it this way.

After getting this picture and a few others outside in the woods, the castle crumbled in the bucket that I used to bring the stuff. So I had the privilege to build it again! FUN!

Mega Construx She-Ra vs. Hordak and Mostroid…SpartanNerd Review

The Monstroid. Here is a toy I DID NOT have as a child. I had around 80% of He-Man and Masters of the Universe items. But the Monstroid wasn’t one of the things I had. I was aware of it from catalogs and the He-Man magazine. And the Monstroids were the giant robots He-Man and She-Ra fight at the Fright Zone in the He-Man and She-Ra Christmas Special. This toy doesn’t resemble them much, however.

So this is my first Monstroid.

Don’t you love the title. Is there another character here?

Here is the back of the box.

I didn’t spend much time looking at the back, as will become evident as I document the build.

Here are the sides of the box. Very nice artwork on these Mega Construx Masters of the Universe sets, I must say.

Enough gawking. Let’s open it up!

You get these four baggies. Because I have been building these, by now I know that the minifigures will be in bag number 1. So let’s get them out of the way first.

This is our very first Hordak in Mega Construx minifigure form. Also, our first Evil Horde member. Here we have the toy-accurate Hordak. I am a little disappointed that we didn’t get the bat staff. But we did get the Horde Crossbow, which is important for all Horde members in the future.

She-Ra. As I assembled this, the first thing I said was… “Those boots are so stinkin’ cute!” And they are indeed! Of course, I didn’t own She-Ra growing up, nor did I care to. As an adult, now I have TWO! (200x in box.). One thing, though. Check out the head sculpt.

It’s all one big thing. With the male characters, you can remove their hair. But She-Ra keeps with the apparent standard that the girls have to have their hair sculpted to the head and non-removable. Why, exactly?

One more thing. The cape. Both Hordak and She-Ra have a cape, and they are interchangeable. But Hordak looks pretty dumb wearing that short cape. The long cape looks good on She-Ra, and will look good on other characters as well. (Sorry, no pics of the cape swap.)

Was there another character? He wasn’t mentioned in the title. OH WELL…

Must

Not

Be…

Just kidding. Here is Prince Adam in his Mini-Eternia blue vest.

Nobody asked for this…and because the set is titled She-Ra vs. Hordak and the Monstroid, it is like he was tossed in last minute. I’m glad to have him, but we already have a Prince Adam in toy accurate/Filmation style. (Pictured, we also have the first extra piece. An extra handle for the shield.)

Here I would have rather had an ally for She-Ra from her girls toy line. Or maybe another Evil Horde member. I would have rather had Prince Adam on card in this style. It just doesn’t make sense what they did here. Do we even have a Prince Adam on card? Notable, he does have the Alcala-style Sword, but in black.

Here is the set of all three.

Let’s look at how the build went, and I will let you know what I was thinking as I worked.

Here is the front of the instruction booklet. It is the same art as the front, with less textual clutter.

Below is the art on the back. It shows off the Battle Cat that I won’t be getting, and the Land Shark that I reviewed already here on SpartanNerd.com.

It’s time to talk about how we name things, boys and girls. Here is the Brick Separator tool. NOPE. WAY TOO NEGATIVE. It has been re-named the BUILDING TOOL. See what they did there? They went from a negative description of what the item is to a positive description featuring something it can’t do. It can’t build. It can only separate. But, there is hope!

Here is the contents of baggie 2. If you have been following my blog, then you know I have to set all the pieces out classified in order. So here that is.

Here is the infamous “impossible” slab of three and then two.

The next picture shows off what has to be the dumbest face in all of MOTU. And that is saying something. These are tampograph stickers…I know it is of the original toy, that I don’t have emotional attachment to. Perhaps people out there disagree with me?

I mean…the Monstroid is a crab, right? Here is baggie #2 completed, along with the included extra parts.

I made another funny joke! (Notice I included Prince Adam as an extra part. When I got MOTUC Orko, Prince Adam was included as an “accessory.” That must be what they are doing here also.”

Here are the contents of Bag #3.

“I’m not seeing it.” The thought that ran through my head.

Remember when I said I didn’t grow up with this toy, and also I didn’t spend time studying the back of the box? Well, as I built this part, I thought, “What is this? It looks like a transmission?”

Turns out I was kind of correct. Here is the rest of Bag #3 assembled with extra parts.

What that part is…it’s a “winder.” When you turn it with your fingers, it makes the yellow axle spin. Except, it didn’t work for me…(More on that as you keep reading.)

On to Bag #4.

As I organized these on the mat, I coudn’t help but kind of be reminded of assembling the Lego Batmobile so many years ago. And then Castle Grayskull. All these parts are the same color, and they kind of intimidate me.

Here is bag #4 assembled, which was the legs. It reminds me of a Dwarf Spider Droid from Star Wars: Attack of the Clones and Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith.

Here is the full set in a mock of the front cover. Also, the extra parts.

One problem, You are supposed to turn the winder, which turns the axle, which is plugged into the bottom of the main body with the arms. When you wind it, the monstroid spins around on top, swinging Prince Adam around. But mine wouldn’t work. I wound up disassembling it again, where I had to finagle with that “transmission” piece and make sure the gears lined up correctly. This didn’t take that long, because it is really a simple build. But I was alarmed.

Now for some shots of the Monstroid with other similar sets.

Point Dread and the Talon Fighter is a couple of hundred pieces larger. Monstroid doesn’t feel as grand either.

Maybe it’s not fair for me to compare the Monstroid to the Battle Bones. Battle Bones is close to a hundred more pieces, but look how much “more” it is. I am fond of the face on the Battle Bones…I mean, I guess the head is one of its main features. And then I have the emotional attachment to it also. Also, I paid three times as much for Battle Bones…(San Diego Comic Con exclusive.)

So here is the Wind Raider. I could just compare the Talon Fighter just as well, I suppose. The Monstroid was $30, while the Wind Raider was $20. Both have great action features. The Monstroid doesn’t have a good place to seat a figure, though, except in the claws. So the Wind Raider winds that one. But then, the character is artificial intelligence, I suppose…(Notice, I had some more fun with Roboto!)

So how do I rate this set?

I want to be unbiased here…Like I said, Monstroid wasn’t much a part of my childhood. On the other hand, getting Hordak was outstanding, and the future looks bright for Princess of Power toys in this Mega Construx line. On the other hand, the Prince Adam here seems to be a misguided choice. I am an on-card collector, but I guess Prince Adam in blue clothes might not sell that well as an individual. The Monstroid’s mechanical problem was my error, so I won’t count off on that.

I don’t feel like this is a solid five points. Four points easily. Monstroid is reasonably cool, except for the face. I kind of wish the crab claws had springs that would really make the hands pinch though. We get Hordak and She-Ra. Prince Adam is OK with the Alcala sword. It took me an hour and a half to build, but I was mildly interrupted a few times, and I also took pictures as I went. And like the Slime Pit, I feel it should be bigger.

So I am going for 4/5. Do you agree or disagree, Hub City Geeks? Let me know in the comments. I also would like to know about your experiences with the Monstroid as a child, because I missed out evidently, and none of my friends seemed to have this either.

Mega Construx Land Shark…SpartanNerd Review

It has been nice to get new Mega Construx! The Land Shark seems to be the flavor of the month for Mattel…they have released a new “Origins” version. (I am not collecting the Origins line). You have sharks here, Roboto, and Skeletor. How are kids not going to buy this. And also SpartanNerds…

Unfortunately, my box is a bit beat up. I was also a little unnerved at the tape on the side…it made me think someone might have stolen the figures and resealed it. (Luckily, not so.). It depicts the toys in what seems to be illustrated art. What is going on with the wheels is the question. If I remember the vintage toy, it only had cosmetic treads with functional wheels hidden on the bottom.

The sides of the box are also very nice. I keep these packages…some day I will have adequate space to properly display all of them. I do display them now, but it’s crowded.

Well, let’s get to documenting the build!

This is the instruction manual. It has the same art as the front, with less text. The back shows off two other sets. I don’t care much for that Battle Cat, and it is the only set from the Mega Construx Masters of the Universe line that I haven’t purchased. There is a Havoc Staff coming out soon in the same vein that I believe I will be skipping. I have the Monstroid, but haven’t yet built it. Stay tuned Hub City Geeks because likely by the end of the week I will have a blog entry for that one!

As with the other larger builds from this line, the pieces come in numbered baggies.

Number 1 has the mini figures…what a relief!

Let’s build Skeletor first.

The new Skeletor is exactly the same as the one that came with the Point Dread set. It is Battle Armor Skeletor. And I pondered not even opening the poly bag, but the axe and the sword were loose. But after studying the issue, I realized that this version has the scratched armor like you would get with two hits on the vintage toy. Also, this one came with the purple sword, which was a puzzling omission from the Point Dread version. Otherwise they are identical. Same colors, same face paint job. Maybe the elbows on this one are a little sharper. “monster arms?” But I think this might be my imagination.

On to ROBOTO.

I used to love robots as a kid. And ROBOTO here had something to do with that. I am a little bummed that the gears are just tampograft stickers…it seemed that when they revealed this they were looking at making the gears move, and bragging about it being “the smallest pieces ever in a Mega Bloks set.” I guess they couldn’t crack that for the price. Otherwise, this was the main reason for getting this set! Classic Roboto, with a clear body. We have a new Roboto on card…but it seems to be more 200x inspired. (See the post here)

I really enjoyed photographing Roboto. Here we can see him raising his axe to meet Skeletor’s. Notice that the gun attachment can fit in the hole in his back…making a jet pack sort of look.

On to the build!

As I said before, I have to separate all of the blocks and place them with others alike before I begin. This helps me be efficient and quick. I worked slowly, taking pictures as I went. I finished it in just over an hour.

After bag 2, it looks like we have a boat. Roboto’s other hand could come off…a new trick. You couldn’t do this with the vintage toy! These other pieces were left over.

I was a little bummed that the teeth were in large pre-fab pieces. But I was also psyched that there are real rubber treads!

And here is step 23! We get to put the treads on. And the first thing I did was roll it and marvel at how cool it is to have real treads on the Mega Construx Land Shark! The little hook spinning around was a mystery though…I hadn’t seen any string or anything like that. A definite improvement on the original design. (You can see pics and the patent diagrams for the original toy on the BattleRam Blog.)

Here it is with the chomping mouth open. So, here’s how it works! When you push the tank, the little hook spins around. At the back of the shark’s throat there is a smooth dome…the hook bumps against the smooth piece which causes the jaws to snap! I shouted for joy when I saw this happen, and took it to the SpartanWife to show off. But what color is this? She says it’s fucia. The kid says it is light purple. Notice Roboto here doing a Terminator pose! Also, notice the growing collection of leftover parts.

We arrive at poly bag number 4, and Skeletor has Luke Skywalker’ed Roboto! These pieces are all silver, and will surely be the guns.

Here is the completed Land Shark, in action making Roboto into spare parts!

What a relief…right!

Here is the Land Shark compared to other vehicles.

You can see the scale is very similar. It makes me wonder how they might do Stridor and Night Stalker. Would they be more of the size of Panthor (pictured above) or more the size of the Land Shark?

I feel that this version of the Land Shark stands a head taller than its predecessors. (And besides the Hot Wheels one, this is the smallest!) It has working treads, and the mouth snaps with an ingenious design. The only thing I don’t like about the build is the holes in the top of the profile above the sticker eyes. I do wish we got a toy accurate Trap Jaw instead of Battle Armor Skeletor…I feel like Trap Jaw goes better with this vehicle, with the snapping jaw action. (We don’t have Trap Jaw in toy colors either.)

What do you think, Hub City Geeks? I am rating this … I mean, can I give it a 4.5 of 5? I really like it, and there aren’t enough negatives to lose a whole point. Let me know in the comments!

Masters of the Universe Hot Wheels and Matchbox- SpartanNerd’s Collection

Here is the most recent “toy-etic” Hot wheels set. Only He-Man and Teela seem to be possibly real-life cars. The others are patently ridiculous. But a kid would really enjoy them, and they roll very fast…faster and smoother than I remember Hot Wheels did when I was a kid.

I got these in a box set for really cheap off of Amazon. This might be the third time I opened it.

While these are cool, and certainly identifiable as the character they represent, This isn’t what I want the most out of Hot Wheels. This is what I want!

And we only have these three so far. I thought really hard about getting the Comic Con two pack that included a tiny He-Man and Skeletor, but I didn’t really want it for the price, when these were on the Wal-Mart shelves for $5 or $6.

They need to come out with one of these for each and every vehicle…guess who would buy them all? The SpartanNerd would, that’s who! Do you know that we haven’t had an Attak Trak in FOREVER. In any form. There was going to be one in the Mega Construx Advent Calendar last year, but look what happened there…

Most of my collection isn’t as extravagant. I will list these in order from oldest to newest.

You can see I got these at Big Lots, and I got them right around the time the 200x property was winding down. Each comes with a post that I have been tempted to open, but NAH. It is that little picture you see beside the blue burst.

I picked these up in the past five years. The cards were in pretty bad shape when I got them. I know there were more in this line because their is an eight back on the reverse side. Could these be real cars? It seems like they are. There is a brand, title, and model year beside the vehicle.

Why did they choose these specific vehicles is a question I ask myself more recently, as I have been playing Gran Tourismo 7, and you can edit the “livery” of your cars. (If I ever figure out how to do Masters of the Universe graphics, I will share here!)

I picked up He-Man, Skeletor, and Teela at Ingles Grocery Store. I got Evil-Lyn at the Barnyard Flea Market. All within the same six months. But Beast Man was elusive. I went to conventions, toy stores, flea markets. I couldn’t find him. It seems that Hot Wheels collectors go after Volkswagens. And then you have the MOTU collectors going after Beast Man, and this created a bottleneck. When I ordered the most recent Mega Construx, I ordered it along with them for a steep price. All in the name of completion…

I mention above that I wonder why they chose the cars they picked for each character car design. I don’t know, but at Ingles right now on peg they have Superman, who is the same Mercedes Unimog truck. So either it is the heroes get this truck, or maybe it is the graphics.

I am in no way an MOTU die cast car completionist, but there IS one out there I am still looking for. It is a box truck with the simple Masters of the Universe logo on the side. I saw it somewhere for $10, and didn’t pick it up. (Oh I should have…). So now this is what I am on the lookout for.

I really enjoy looking at my Hot Wheels/Matchbox collection. How about you, Hub City Geeks? Let me know in the comments!

SpartanNerd Review…Mega Construx Slime Pit

Back two years ago, when I decided to begin collecting the Mega Construx Masters of the universe, I frantically searched to find everything I could. But the hardest thing to get was this guy.

I’m talking about Battle Bones…Not the Wind Raider. (You can frequently still find the WR in stores.)

When building the Battle Bones (a San Diego Comic Con item), I couldn’t help but think, “They could re-purpose this head into a Slime Pit.). And I thought surely they would.

But that’s not what we got. Keep reading to see my experience!

We got a Skeletor Head Slime Pit.

Now this was an unexpected idea. I suppose I was thinking larger. But in scale, I guess this makes sense in context to the scale and size of Grayskull. But not in respect to the vintage toy, but in respect of the size of the Mega Construx minifigs. On the other hand, the Talon Fighter dwarfs this.

This Skeletor head is the same mold as the others, only this time in slime green. The picture on the package shows us Horde Zombie He-Man, and also the Slime Pit. At first I thought the green behind the mouth was a wall, but I realized that it was just the hollow inside of the Skeletor head. I kind of wish that was different. That it was a proper wall. Oh well! We are talking about something that costs less than $10. And I could build that wall if I really want to.

When you get the package off, this is what you see. The gray brick will be the floor. Here is the instructions with something else in there.

Here are all of the contents. I am thinking, “He-Man must be in the bag with the green stuff, with some other slimy pieces.” Nice extras, you know.

So I opened the instructions next.

It turns out that something extra in the instructions was rubbery slime pieces. The only slime that came with this set. BOO! Here are all of the pieces separated out. This is what I must do when I open a building set. Set them all out, sort them by type and color. But there aren’t many pieces with this Skeletor Head. The package said 70 pieces, but each minifig is around 20 pieces. (When I counted, I counted 73 when including the head and the floor. Am I wrong, Hub City Geeks?)

This is a cool, green slime He-Man. As I assembled, I couldn’t help but think about The Green Goddess, who apparently shattered when people opened her MOTUC package.

No extra slime pieces here. And here is the second thing I would improve about this set. There should be more “sliminess” to it. It isn’t even very gross. I remember the toy as a child really freaking out my mother. And she took that slime away from us and we never got to play with it. (Hope you are reading this now, Mom.). I believe this should have come with more things to make it even more gross-out. Maybe a can of slime. Or just more rubbery pieces. Or even green pieces. OH WELL.

Now on to the assembly. Let me preface this by saying that I prefer building LEGO’s to any other bricks like Mega Blocks/Construx. I have put together plenty of the different kinds over the years between the SpartanNerd and the Spartan Kids. Lego bricks have aesthetic principles and roundly stick to a certain vision of kid friendliness and pop sensibilities. (SpartanNerd takes a bow for that sentence!) It isn’t like Mega Construx doesn’t have this, but the Lego thing never does anything that involves winging a piece on a stud, or other questionable hi-jinx that might compromise the structural integrity or even make a more difficult build. The Mega Construx I suppose is aimed at an older audience, so I guess older customers might not even care. But who am I mostly writing this blog to?

It also is notable that LEGO doesn’t even acknowledge their competition. But right on Mattel’s website, you can see where people post their customs and proudly give the formulas, which mix the Mega Construx blocks with Lego, Kreo, and other brands. It is like Lego is the more serious “fun” brand. And Mega Construx is us casual fans. I just wanted to say this first and get it out of the way. I knew going into this I would encounter some things that feel questionable or are nonintuitive. (I built the largest set ever- Castle Grayskull. I know very well what I might see.)

BACK TO THE BUILD

We build the bottom first.

It began as I expected. Build the bottom first. These red pieces make me wish there was more red here. The Slime Pit is partially a Horde thing. Black, gray, and red are their thing. And with the bone pieces, you really evoke Hordak. (See an upcoming post!)

This connection is one of those that felt kind of janky. But after I snapped them together, it remained firm.

And here it is. Step 9. Notice how the four studs don’t line up with the five. This strictly seems to be the kind of thing Mega Construx does that Lego doesn’t seem to do. The solution works out in the end, but it just seems wrong when you are building it. That piece on top with the two studs and then the three studs is also an unusual piece.

Here are the drawn-on eyes. Tampograft I suppose. I remember when I did the Battle Bones eyes, and the Talon Fighter’s eyes, the eyes just kind of emerged from the build. This is a cheap trick, though. Yes…I know. >$10.

See those pieces that are at the nose? These are the stuff of nightmares sometimes. This time no drama. But when I did the Battle Bones and other sets, it seems like they would flick off, be backwards or hard to tell what to do from the instructions. Also, notice here that one has a different angle than the other. How are we supposed to know which to use? I figured it out, with the instrutions and all. But what if I lose the instructions? What if it is a kid building this? (What would happen would be I would help my kids build it, and then about an hour later all of the pieces would be mixed in to a giant bucket.

Here is the finished product.

I definitely see how I can improve this set. It isn’t terrible, and it is clear what is going on here. But could it have been better? Absolutely. “Horde Zombie He-Man” or “Slime Pit He-Man” is actually kind of obscure, being found only in like one mini-comic, but Mattel has made him ubiquitous as a toy in recent years. He is translucent green. Who doesn’t like that? But the rest of this set. I just feel underwhelmed. I actually said to my kid “I am thinking about getting a few more of these to add the slime pieces. And I could strip down the He-Man figures to make other zombies.”

Here are two other Skeletor Head sets to compare this to. I have them all, but these two are in the most presentable condition. And I’ll tell you why they are better!

He-Man and the Jet Sled. What wasn’t great about this? It completely captures what the original toy was. It even came with the exclusive blue armor. Placing it on a propeller at the top of Skeletor’s head makes for a goofy gimmick, but it makes good use of the real estate, and you can display your Jet Sled flying. I give it a 5/5. NEXT!

Here is something I don’t remember having as a child. But check out the diorama piece that this is! I don’t know why they chose to do Zodac this way. I would have rather had the 200x Zodak, especially since we got a Zodac with the Talon Fighter. (An astute MOTU fan will know the difference!). I guess he looks like he is wearing a scuba mask all the time anyway. Still, I enjoy the diorama. There is fun to be had here. I don’t remember this toy as a child, but it perfectly encapsulates the adventure. I will give this one a 4/5 really only because there aren’t more water features in this line.

But I feel I can only give the Slime Pit a 3/5. It is good to get the green He-Man. But the Slime Pit leaves much to be desired. It isn’t gross enough. MORE SLIME. The build has some weakness to it. I had pictured something like that Battle Bones head on a mighty horror movie wall, perhaps with some green pieces to replicate slime if not a rubber puddle or even actual slime. Instead, we get this sort of soul -less offering.

So. Hub City Geeks. Do you agree or disagree? Let me know in the comments!