And so, Mattel just revealed some of therir new lineup for the year, including the “Filmation” MOTUC subscription – figures of cartoon characters who never got any toys before! So of course, the real question is: Just who are these guys?
Icer is kind of an oddity in the series – he’s a one-shot cartoon-only villain who never got a toy, but he was also Skeletor’s henchman, and looks like he was made from existing toy parts (like everybody else). So the usual ways to tell if he’s a cartoon-only character just aren’t there. Was Icer planned as a toy, but scrapped? Or was this just a happy accident?
Icer’s episode is titled, “The Ice Age Cometh,” in one of the most-overused puns in the English language. It’s a pretty basic episode – Skeletor wants to control Eternia’s weather, so his henchman Icer decides to take over the planet’s weather control station. And it’s easy to do, because not only is every non-He-man on the planet an idiot, this one’s guarded by a little kid. Icer takes over, and He-Man must stop him. He-Man wins, and Icer runs away, sweating/melting.
So, what makes this plain guy memorable? It’s simple – Icer has a really unique voice (done by the same guy who voiced He-Man, though you couldn’t tell) and a slow manner of speaking, sounding a little bit like Boris Karloff on one of his grim days. Also, he’s got the awesome power of freezing anyone and anything he touches, which forced He-Man to fight him from a distance.Since he never came back, we are forced to assume that he melted to death somewhere in the wilderness. Poor Icer.
And is the toy accurate? Yes, it is. Icer threw an icicle once, which is the closest thing he ever had to a weapon – thus, that’s what he gets here, plus one artifact from the cartoon (The Staff of Avion).
Like Icer, Batros had only one cartoon appearance. Unlike Icer, Batros wasn’t exactly one of Skeletor’s henchmen.
See, Batros was an independent villain with his own agenda, and that agenda was:
STEP 1: STEAL ALL OF ETERNIA’S BOOKS
STEP 2: ???
STEP 3: PROFIT!
…Wow, I never thought I’d get to use that joke! Anyway, that’s Batros’s plan, and he does succeed in stealing all of the books, somehow. The episode never really makes it clear how he did it – was it magic? Seems that way, except he dropped a few books en route back to his fortress, so who knows. Anyway, Skeletor eventually found out about this and bullied Batros into helping conquer Castle Grayskull, so He-Man was there to fight everybody off. When you last saw Batros, he was on a rock that He-Man threw over the horizon. We are left to assume that when Batros landed, his body was crushed and broken, and he bled out in the rubble. Batros is survived by one son, named Bruce Wayne.
Batros is actually a pretty memorable villain – he’s intelligent, capable, fits in with other characters in the show, and is very clearly vced by Lou Scheimer, FIlmation’s executive producer. Yes, the cartoon was so cheap that THE BOSS voiced characters in it.
And is the toy accurate? Yep! Batros’s wings were connected to his arms in the cartoon, in a lucky little coincidence. His personal insignia looked like a knockoff Horde logo, and he also didn’t use any weapons (relying on magic), so I have no idea what the toy will be packed with.
Man, I hate that spelling. In the cartoon, it’s Shokoti. SHOKOTI. Eh, it’s not too bad – one running joke in the episode was how Ram-Man positively could not pronounce her name right. Shokoti appeared in one of He-Man’s rare two-part episodes, The House of Shokoti… though she really only made her appearance in Part 2. Her presence in Part 1 was more of a cameo.
Of the Big Three ’80s toy cartoons (He-Man, Transformers, GI Joe), He-Man has probably aged the worst – it’s kind of painful to watch today. And this in spite of the fact that a lot of good writers (J Michael Straczynski, Larry DiTillo, etc.) got their start writing for He-Man. The thing is, though, sometimes you can see a hint of good writing peeking through – House of Shokoti is one of those episodes. It’s also one of those odd He-Man episodes directly paying homage to H. P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos, for what it’s worth.
In Part One of House of Shokoti, He-Man is pitted against Lord Masque (we need a toy of him!), who is trying to unseal an ancient pyramid and free his mistress, Shokoti. When Masque seriously injures Orko, He-Man flat-out kills him by breaking his mask, causing Masque to dissolve into shadows.
In Part Two, He-Man’s archeologist friend and Stupid Child Assistant explore the ruins Mask wanted to open, with the kid eventually freeing Shokoti because he’s a Stupid Kid. Shokoti, an immortal sorceress, immediately gets to work awakening The Sleeping Beast, an ancient tentacled monstrosity from out of time. She and her floating, tentacled servitors overwhelm He-Man and Ram-Man with ease (!!!!), and it ends up being the kid who frees He-Man just in time. He-Man crushes the Sleeping Beast under a statue, and the effect causes Shokoti to disappear, as well.
So, Shokoti’s toy? It looks just like her… which is funny, because I’d have preferred if they took some creative liberties to give her a skirt or a loin cloth or something. And she’s got one of her little servitors, too, so that’s awesome!
So, there you have it. The first three of the six Filmation figures coming this year. I don’t know who the others are, though I have a feeling we’ll be getting Lord Masque this year or next year. And now you know who they are, too!
So, did I forget anybody?