There’s been buzz over a “new” Masters of the Universe film that is about as likely to be made as I am to skydive in a snowmobile. But hey, remember the two that actually came out in theaters? You had The Secret of the Sword, which was just an overlong episode of the cartoon (and a stealth She-Ra pilot), and you had The Masters of the Universe, starring Dolph Lundgren. You know, the one that spent most of its time following a couple of wannabe pop stars. Yeah, that one.
Well, that movie brought back Skeletor, Evil-Lyn, and Beast-Man, but then made up a bunch of other henchmen: Blade, Saurod, and Karg. Mattel currently has the rights to produce Masters of the Universe Classics figures for any of the movie characters who had already been produced as toys in the ’80s – so, Blade, Saurod, and the comic relief dwarf Gwildor. And the first of that group that we’re getting is Blade!
BLADE: Evil Master of Swords
REAL NAME: Ritter
A pirate from the Kylax system, Blade arrived on Eternia in a spell of light cast by Skeletor to increase his forces. Agreeing to join the Overlord of Evil for the right price, Blade sold his services and took part in the Second Ultimate Battleground, fighting blade to blade with He-Man himself at the top of Viper Tower. He later traveled with a small renegade party, paid to seek the Cosmic Key from its inventor. Although he failed in this mission, his deadly mastery of the sword has left its mark, becoming one of the most wanted men in Eternian history. Blade uses his duel[sic] swords to battle heroic warriors – for the right price!
I think the grammar in these things keeps getting worse. The last few sentences are a strange mishmash of run-on sentences and misplaced homonyms. But anyway, they gave Blade a pretty good background while tip-toeing around the movie. Apparently the film’s events happened without Skeletor, since Skelly left Eternia pose-Ultimate Battleground. And making Blade a pirate is clearly an eye patch joke, but come on. He never struck me as a sea or sapce pirate. The dude’s a pure medieval sword-stabber, through and through. He could just as easily wander onto the set of Conan or Krull or wherever else, and fit in just fine. But either way, here he is Blade is a pretty highly-anticipated figure, and seeing him in Classics form is definitely big news for the line. So let’s take a look!
Exactly the same as the rest of the packaging in this line! It’s A-Okay.
Blade as portrayed by Anthony De Longis is not a big, huge, bulky bodybuilder. But since this is Masters of the Universe Classics, remember that neither were Bow or Sea Hawk, and look at what happened to them. So Blade is big. Real big. Too big to hold a sword two-handed – his pecs and biceps just take up too space! Hilariously, the very same thing happened to Arnold Schwarzenegger while filming Conan the Barbarian. He had to lose weight to play the role! But Blade is a little too big.
Blade’s head sculpt is awesome. It’s certainly more realistic than most MOTUC figures, though it certainly fits into the line (at least no worse than Fisto or Clamp Champ). He’s got enough of De Longis to be recognizable, but not so much that he seems out of place for the line. They managed to work his weird chinstrap/head wings thing, and his facial scar looks fantastic.
And then there’s the armor. Blade wears chain mail. His armor is pretty bulky. You can see this in photos. A huge concern was just how awful his armor would look, and you know what? It’s bulky. It actually floats a little bit above his shoulders and chest, filling out his torso space hilariously. That said, the plugs are in the back, so it is a lot easier to take on and off than other MOTUC armor. It also isn’t as bad as it sounds. See, Blade wears chain mail. When you wear chain mail, you have padding underneath it, preferably thick cloth. If you do not do this and just wear chain mail as-is, then you can expect to earn yourself a few new piercings. So Blade’s chain mail is actually realistic. It doesn’t match the way he looked in the movie – he lacks the brown undershirt and movie-Blade’s mail wasn’t padded – but it matches the way it would actually look on him. So I am willing to give it a pass.
As for the details, the armor is fantastic. The chain mail looks realisic, and he has that faux-Hordak emblem (movie Skeletor?) on his chest. His new wrist gauntlets are nice and Shredder-y, with what looks like some kind of blade gun on his wrist. He’s also got knives strapped to his legs, so if you do the math, this guy’s packing. The armor does not interfere with his articulation very much, thankfully.
Blade’s Paint is just as awesome as the paint jobs we have been seeing all year. His colors are more muted and “realistic” because of his source, but he has a surprising number of apps with minimal slop – from the stitching on his boots to the individual links of mail to his eyebrow or scar, I have to say that Blade’s paint is pretty good.
Blade is articulated just the same as any MOTUC figure – ball-and-socket shoulders and hips, ball-jointed head, swivel biceps, waist, wrists, and shins, hinged elbows, knees, and rocket ankles. The thing with MOTUC figures is, they are very poseable, but juuust in a lot of natural poses. Blade can take a few really good sword stances, but he can’t fight realistically. None of them can without camera trickery.
Seriously. It’s the pecs. His little T-Rex arms just cannot reach around that massive, beefy chest. He and He-Man have to fence one-handed at all times, and they can’t swing very widely. But you can put him in a lot of decent poses, so it is ultimately all right.
Blade has great accessories. Blade has awful accessories.
Aside from his armor, Blade comes with two swords and a laser whip. The swords are interesting – one is patterned after his movie sword, one after his toy sword. And in theory they are great designs, buuuuuuuuuuuuut… the issue is execution. Toy Sword is a curved cutlass with a full hand grip, and Movie Sword is more like a traditional broadsword. Both weapons are blunted, soft-sculpted, and underpainted. They are cast in that odd gray plastic that does not really look like metal, and stand out against his well-done chain mail, And they just look so dull! The Movie Sword’s hilt is also way too wide for his hand, and can bend his hand out of shape. But they do slide nicely into the loops on his belt, which is great.
Blade’s laser whip came from that famous scene in the movie where Skeletor had He-Man stripped to the waist, and then Blade whipped him while Skeletor sat on his throne and ordered, “Kneel before me, my slave!” I guess in the the original movie script, Ram-Man, Fisto, and Extendar show up to save the day. Anyway. ANYWAY. The whip is nice – it has a full handle, and it curves well for more than a few poses. It also hooks into his belt very well (tough I have to wonder the logic about a live laser hanging off your hip), and helps add more atmosphere to some of his poses.
First you start at $27, then you add awful shipping costs and taxes, and before you know it you’ve paid $40 for this figure. BLAH, I say! BLAH!
THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR:
Aside from making sure that his movie sword does not warp his hand, you should watch those head-wings – they are very soft. Other than that, nothing is wrong. Blade is pretty sturdy.
WHERE TO BUY:
Matty sold out of Blade (of course), but you should be able to find him everywhere. Hi, BBTS, I keep shilling you!
Almost. This figure is allllllmost perfect. Up until you see those swords, even the supposed “flaws” are justified – his armor is realistic, his articulation matches a bodybuilder’s physique, and so on. But those swords are so bad that a lot of people have swapped them out for Vikor and Fang Man’s weapons, respectively. But if you can ignore or excuse those, then you’ve got a great figure.
And Blade really is fantastic. He’s almost too realistic for the line, yet he somehow fits in even with the cartoon-themed figures! And bad swords or not, he’s a great addition to Skeletor’s evil warriors.