Hey, everybody! it’s another Masters of the Universe Classics opinion post, but I promise not ot turn it into a polemic about complaining this time!
So, Mattel just showed off a whole lot of its upcoming He-Man stuff. Specifically, we have packaged pictures of Extendar, Flogg, and Galactic Overlord Skeletor as well as loose shots of Skeletor and the first reveal of the San Diego Comic Con exclusive, Filmation Hordak. There was also one more big piece of news…
And the internet exploded. But I’m not here to talk about that. Let’s discuss the figures themselves.
Firstly, this is “Filmation” Hordak. It is a straight-up repaint of the regular figure, only with a new swappable arm, and Imp as an accessory.
This is Hordak from the cartoon. See any differences? Mattel already stated a long while ago that if they ever did a Filmation Hordak, it would not have a new head, but this figure is stil lacking something – the bone collar! With it, he’s his cartoon self. Without it… trust me, this toy is not worth $30. I find it disappointing, and many people are absolutely up in arms with it (no comment! I’ll be good!). My own opinion? Yeah, it is lacking. Imp is a nice accessory, but do you want to pay $30 for him?
People actually at the Con will receive this bonus – Imp as a treasure chest. It exists! I wonder how it looks when opened.
Next up is Galactic Skeletor. I don’t know if you see what I am seeing. Do you? Look closely. Look at the torso. Okay, see, I understand – they have had to tool so many new torsos this year that another one would break the bank. Thus, Skeletor’s torso was designd as a slip-on rubber cover over a regular torso, much like armor. You can see the same effect on figures like Draego-Man or King Hsss. The problem is that those figures had armor made of a thinner rubber over a slimmer torso – thus, the overall thickness was normal-torso. This does not appear to be so. It looks like armor. It is wide and bulky like armor. There is a gap over his bellybutton, too.
Now granted, Mattel immediately showed some loose pictures, and Skeletor DOES look better… but I can still see it. The figure has gone from “disaster” to “Acceptable, but OH COME ON, REALLY?” So yes, initial impressions of this are not good. I do give credit to his head sculpt for being awesome, though.
Flogg actually looks fine, but nobody cares about Flogg. He is all alone. I bet he eats at Denny’s at 2:00 AM while crying.
Extendar looks okay, too, though some people are taking issue with his belt. But neither of these latter to figures are enough to make up for the huge damage done to the franchise’s two main villains.
And finally, there is some pretty big news on the business front. Ruben Martinez, who headed up the design team for Masters of the Universe Classics, is no longer working for this brand. In his place is Brandon Sopinsky. Now, Ruben had gotten a lot of heat recently for certain design decisions, particularly bulky armor on the male figures. The official word from Mattel is that they shift their design teams around all the time, and I will believe it, but in the back of my mind I must wonder: Has the negative press influenced this decision?
Look, I will nip one thing in the bud: Scott Neitlich should not quit or be fired (it has been sugge-I WILL NOT DISCUSS COMPLAINING). This line’s existence is pretty much his baby. So yes, while he receives flak, he will be here as long as the line lives. But Ruben? He may have been more expendable. Either way, I wish him well in his future endeavors, and I know that a lot of people are excited to see the impact that Mr. Sopinsky has on future designs!
So, overall? Skeletor and Hordak both have serious enough problem to give even me pause. This year ha been the best ever so far, but the one-two punch of these figures coming at once undoubtedly harmed a lot of the line’s public image. I remain cautiously optimistic that Skeletor will look better in-hand, and I know that I will be able to work my photo magic with him, but Hordak is just not enough effort. The bones. All he needed were those bones. Is this the end of the line? No, not likely. But we now have our biggest controversy of 2014.