Loyal Subjects Blind Box Masters of the Universe…SpartanNerd Unboxing and Review

img_9785

He-Man.org indicated that these were coming to Wal-Mart, and on that very same day I went to investigate, only to find that they only had Transformers and Power Rangers Blind Boxes by the Loyal Subjects.  I don’t live near Wal-Mart, nor do I like going there.  So it was another two weeks before I went back to look again.  And there it was.  I got the second figure from the case!  Why not more?  This little box has a steep price of $12.95!

The box is very nice.  It has a shiny treatment, that isn’t foil.  Instead, it is just…slick and shiny.  It makes the images of the figures and characters really pop!  There is a Filmation Castle Grayskull motif to the box as well.  And MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE is plastered all over the box.  It is nice to see the brand on store shelves again!

Let’t talk blind bag/blind box.

I have bought so many Magic the Gathering Booster packs, that I am done.  I am only buying the singles I want, unless the packs come with some other product.  (Think Planeswalker Packs, or Fat Packs.)  Other than that, the only way I am opeing a pack is if I draft it or win it.  That’s because you get burned so often.  And there is no telling what’s inside.  Blind Boxes/bags have the same problem.

I’ve only opened one Blind Bag/Box for myself in my adult life, and I did it for the school children.  It was a Nina Turtles Mega Block Mini Figure.  I gave them all a speech about how the picture shows lots of different characters, and kind of gets your hopes up.  But then when you open it, it won’t be what you wanted, probably.  I told them that my favorite was Donatello, but I was OK if it was someone else.  We also discussed the rare and chase figures that it could be, and how those are ways that the company gets you to buy more.  My turtle turned out to be Michaelangelo.  And now he sits on top of my white board.

So this is the second Blind Box/Bag I am opening.  Do I hope it’s He-Man or Skeletor? Certainly!  Do I hope it is a special rare flocked red Beastman.  Heck Yeah!  But realisitcally, I expect it to be something else.

The box is so nice, I decided to open it carefully. I intend to display the figure atop the box!

img_9792

Inside the box was a foil bag.  This is the second layer of security to keep prying eyes out!  The house doesn’t win if you know what figure you are getting.

img_9793

Here is what was inside!  Tri-Clops!

I don’t own Masters of the Universe Classics Tri-Clops…(who does?)  But I do own my vintage one still.  But I won’t be showing you that.  He is in WAY AWFUL shape.  his visor is busted off, so only the top layer remains, making him look eyeless but with some kind of deranged hat.

A little talk about Tri-Clops.  As a kid, I played with Tri-Clops all the time.  He was SO FUN. The eyes spinning thing was AWESOME!  But his sword was the other big thing.  Everyone knew this was the coolest sword in MOTU.  He-Man’s sword was shorter and lacking in detail compared to Tri-Clops.  And when I couldn’t find He-Man’s, and didn’t want to use Prince Adam’s LAME pink sword, I would use Tri-Clops sword in its place.

This fully posable vinyl figure comes with a miniature copy of that same sword!

IMG_0474.jpg

I am trying a new tactic in photographing Tri-Clops.  I am using the “Crafs Man”s method of having a trash can as a diffuser.  Great results!  You can see Tri-Clops very good here.This is just about as vanilla a pose as I can get you.

IMG_0476.jpg

You can see the holster on the back of the removable armor.  This removes just like you would expect, but you have to pop off his head.

IMG_0480.jpg

Tri-Clops spinning eyes works really well.  Not as loose as the vintage, but still pretty cool.  You can see he IS fully articulated.  As a two-and-a-half inch figure, it is pretty incredible how much articulation they got into him!  Ankles that swivel, hip-thigh joints, torso swivel, jointed arms, swivel wrist with hands that can hold weapons, and head on a ball joint.

IMG_0484.jpg

Most vinyl figures around my house are of the “Funko” philosophy.  Not much articulation.  Tri-Clops takes pointers from a different line of figures, I think.

IMG_0482.jpg

IMG_0487.jpg

These Sonic guys, who I really like to photograph, have all of the same articulation points as Tri-Clops.  And are the same size, but not muscular, of course.

IMG_0486.jpg

I DO have the Tri-Clops sword that came in the MOTUC weapons pack.  The sword that isn’t painted green, but is painted like a traditional sword.  I thought it would be cool to see Tri-Clops hold it.

IMG_0489.jpg

He is larger than Mega-Bloks or Lego mini-figures.

But smaller than MOTUC figures.

IMG_0490.jpg

So what does the SpartanNerd rate the Loyal Subjects Blind Box Masters of the Universe Mini Vinyl Tri-Clops?

I think there is some “Masters of the Universe” fan tax added to the price.  I think this item is worth $12.95 on a blister card.  But not as a blind bag.  If I bought three more of these, I could have three more Tri-Clops.  That’s a bummer.  I don’t even want one more copy.  The one I opened here is enough.  And this is enough deterrent for people who collect stuff.

The product though is terrific.  These vinyl figures do real justice to their source material.  I have to complain about just a little bit of paint slop on the back of his furry shorts.  But otherwise, he has excellent features, and you feel like you are playing with a miniature Tri-Clops.  (you are, actually.

So I am going to rate the Loyal Subjects Masters of the Universe Blind Box Mini at 3/5.  This would have been a 4/5 if it was carded, and 5/5 if there wasn’t any paint slop.

So do you agree or disagree?  Let me know in the comments!

 

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.

IMG_6009

IMG_6010

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.)

IMG_6015

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!

IMG_6016 IMG_6017

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

IMG_6018

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!

IMG_6019

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.

IMG_6020

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

IMG_6021

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!

IMG_6022

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!)

IMG_6023

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!

IMG_6024

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?

IMG_6025 IMG_6026

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)

Sculptures

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 Unboxing and Review…Masters of the Universe Classics “Snake Armor He-Man vs. Battle Armor King Hsss” Two Pack

I always wanted to have Snake Armor He-Man from the 200x line.  Unfortunately, I’ve never seen one in stores, and apparently it only was sold in Europe.

When Mattel revealed the MOTUC version, as a double pack with 200x King Hsss…I was very surprised.  Here is a company that has consistently said they weren’t going to do “anime stylized” figures.  I, like everyone else interested, watched Pixel Dan’s video review…and I knew this would be my next purchase.  Then came the big news of a 200x subscription line…I am still deciding on that.  But I am very glad to know that they are visiting that old line and bringing new figures from the show that were never released, like Ceratus and Calix.

I ordered this as soon as it was available on February 16, and today it arrived on March 2.  Not so good.  Not that the amount of time the shipping took has anything to do with the value of the figure, but it is kind of a bummer that it took so long.

Anyways, on with the review!

IMG_5668

The toys arrived in this mailer box.  Similar to what we have seen in the past.  You can see the names of the figures prominently on the front.

IMG_5669

Removing the inner box from the mailer reveals this packaging.  It is similar pakaging to what we got with the Palace Guard two pack.  There is a Snake Men sticker conspicuously on the blister bubble.

Flipping the box over…wait a minute.  (sniff sniff).  What’s that (sniff sniff) smell?

I’ve heard of new car smell.  And there is/was a blog or show on the web “That New Toy Smell.”  But I never actually smelled a new toy outside of a toy that was supposed to smell.  And I have to say, it isn’t very pleasant.  It is a strong smell, that overcomes the packaging.  I heard complaints on Roast Gooble Dinner podcast about some of the new plastic Mattel using smelling “like urinal cakes.”  I wouldn’t quite describe this smell as that bad.  It smells of chemicals, though.  And like new paint.

Onto flipping the box.

IMG_5670

We get some pictures of other snake men in the line, notably Tongue Lasher, my favorite Snake Man…until today!

The bios are interesting, and you can read them on your own time, Hub City Geeks.  I am just throwing this packaging away.  (As I type this, I am looking at the two figures on my kitchen table, and they continue to smell funny.)

IMG_5691IMG_5676

Both figures are MAGNIFICENT!  The sculpt of He-Man’s armor…what they’ve done with the concept is incredible!  And there are lots of tiny details.  He-Man is one of those figures I could stare at for a while and keep finding new things.  King Hsss likewise, has a remarkable sculpt, and this time, they adapted the 200x look into his Armor instead of making a new buck, or whatever.  Both figures feature loin cloths reminiscent of the 200x time period.  King Hsss comes with a snake staff and a shield, just like the older version…

IMG_5695

No shoulder swapping has been done to the new King Hsss!  The older version has a certain nostalgia, but the newer version carries Egyptian details.

He-Man has received a new head sculpt, and this is what has people excited the most about getting these figures, I think.

IMG_5692

No more fish-head haircut for He-Man  Notice that there is a sword holder on his back, designed to hold the 200x sword!

IMG_5681

He-Man also has the claw accessory that was prominently featured in the cartoon.  It just clips right into his gauntlet.

He-Man and King Hsss have all of the articulation of other MOTUC figures: Ball jointed head, ball jointed shoulders, bicep swivels, rotating wrists, an ab crunch, rotating waist, ball jointed legs, knees with a hinge, and rocker ankles.  Neither figure has a boot cut swivel, but that is generally unnecessary.

King Hsss’ head swivel is hampered by his headdress a little bit.  Otherwise, all of the joints feel tight and the figures stand very nicely.  I would like to point out that the loin cloth on both figures hampers their ability to ride on a steed…He-Man can’t properly ride Battle Cat (if you happened to get Battle Lion and armor swap.)

You can remove King Hsss torso and swap out with the snake form from the previous figure.  Mattel is promising a 200x snake form to be packed with a different figure.   I feel that the older snake form looks like a buck-toothed rabbit.

IMG_5696

You can try trading He-Man’s head sculpt onto different figures, and vice versa. You can make a truly 200x regular He-Man now if you have King Grayskull’s armor.  Or you could take the armor off of the 200x He-Man, and use that…it fits the classics figures just fine.  (I don’t have these options available, sadly.)

FullSizeRender

IMG_5699

But putting that 200x head on Prince Adam looks SWEET!  He looks like some kind of model, don’t you think!

IMG_5700

Here is a COMPARISON TIME:  Wolf Armor He-Man 200x and Snake Armor He-Man MOTUC

IMG_5701

Hsss’ staff and shield are given to us in muted colors this time.  I especially like the staff in this color.  It looks extra evil.  And the darker colored shield is also better than the brighter shield we got before.

IMG_5678

He-Man’s sword is the same as the other swords we have from 200x, but this time the cross on the hilt is highlighted in black.  Some things are lacking in this department for He-Man.

IMG_5704

Sure we have awesome new armor…(incidentally, non-removable armor).  But Snake Armor He-Man needs a snake shield.  He also needs a sword that can open up to fire the power of Grayskull at Serpos, like we saw in the final episode of the 200x series.

So what’s my rating?

I had a blast coming up with cool poses for each figure.  They look absolutely awesome together.  My favorite thing is the action pose you see above, where He-Man is fighting King Hsss.  This armor lends makes you believe this figure is a real snake fighter!

But no way around it…I have to take off some for a couple of reasons.  We didn’t get all we need with these figures.  King Hsss missing his alt mode.  He-man not having a transforming sword or a shield.  And then there is that smell.  That has to be enough to really effect some people’s fun.

But the positives really outweigh the negatives.  The sculpts are amazing.  The customizability that is opened up with these figures is also very nice.  The figures are fun to play with and look at.  I can’t say enough about all of the details.  The paint is very intricate as well.  This has to make up for some of the bad.

So I am going to rate this set a solid 3/5 or a cautious 4/5.  If you are a fan of 200x, or just the snake men in general, then this product is for you.  I mentioned above, this sculpt of King Hsss has promoted him to my favorite snake man.  And I really like the part swapping options opened up with the new 200x head sculpt.