I didn’t know about the New Adventures of He-Man for years. You know, the sci-fi He-Man sequel series that nobody liked. Skeletor sported a new design in the show, one with an interesting origin. In the mini-comics that came with the toys, he was injured in an explosion and healed by becoming a cyborg. The cartoon had him always in that state. Masters of the Universe Classics, however, chose to tie his transformation in with Hordak’s infamous “Techno-Organic Virus,” which roboticizes anyone.
SKELETOR: INTERGALACTIC OVERLORD OF EVIL
REAL NAME: KELDOR OF THE HOUSE OF MIRO
Wounded by Hordak’s final buzz saw attack at the end of the Second Ultimate Battleground, the victorious Skeletor mended his body with a techno virus from Preternia. Having learned of the might of the Horse Empire, he abandoned Eternia in search of a grander prize – the entire Universe! Finding a Laser Gate at the far end of his own galaxy, he passed through it to the Tri Solar System just above the planet Denebria. It was here that he recruited the Horde’s Mutant Army in a plan to lead them in mutiny against the Empire. Skeletor was followed by He-Man, She-Ra and many of the Masters of the Universe, who had themselves allied with the Galactic Protectors. Skeletor now fights a new intergalactic battle; to rule the universe and to destroy He-Man once and for all!
In the series, Skeletor was nominally Flogg’s second in command, but really manipulated and ran the whole thing. And of course, his final battle was with He-Man. He also had a different voice, which was slightly deep-pitched and sounded a lot different than we are used to. It worked, kind of, but the new voice helped make the point that this was not the same Skeletor we grew up with.
When this figure was first revealed, New Adventures Skeletor tore up the internet with awesomeness! They took a so-so design and made it the creepiest thing ever! But then photos of the production piece came in, and the war started. For me personally, this figure is divided – he is so awesome, but also has so much wrong. So let’s have a look!
This is the same as it always is. Seriously. I have written about MOTUC packaging twice-monthly for over half a year now. Enjoy!
AAAAAAAARGH! WHAT DO I DO? This figure manages to both be fantastic and full of suck. Before it came out, this figure was fraught with blood-shedding controversy, and not even I can really compliment the whole thing. And yet it has a lot of good points, so many that it still seems awesome – its reception has been fairly positive, in fact! So, let’s get the horrible elephants out of the room while we can. First off, his shoulders are reversed… maybe. The look is close enough that it is easy not to notice, and, in fact, you cannot swap them back because of peg sizes, but they are technically backwards. So get used to that!
But the biggest issue – the REAL issue – is his torso. Mattel couldn’t budget sculpting a new torso aong with everything else, so for Skeletor’s unique chest piece, they molded a rubber “armor” overlay, and glued it over his body. Certain characters in the past, such as Draego-man and Fisto, have permanent armor that is thin enough to work. But Skeletor’s is the same kind of thick, wide suit that plagues figures like Blade or Hydron. So, he’s chunky. But that isn’t the worst of it.
Skeletor’s “armor” skin lifts off from his waist, letting the original torso piece’s belly button slip through! His belly is a belly shirt! The only way to counter this is to bend him forward at the ab crunch, leaving him hunched but covering his stomach. This is really awful, and an instant suspension of disbelief-buster. It really, really drives me nuts. The suit is glued on and covers the neck, and cannot be removed without cutting. His cape is also permanently attached, thus denying Skeletor a lot of customization.
But… everything else about this figure is fantastic. Look at that head sculpt! It’s the craggiest, creepiest skull Skeletor has ever had – which makes sense, as by this time he is pretty weathred and scarred. His body shows the effects of the techno-organic virus all over, with little wires and cables and pistons poking through his skin. He even has some tech in his jaws, and a surprisngly large amount in the back of his head. Skeletor’s spine is now metal and poking through his skin, his ribs are lined with cables, and his chest plate is part of him. His armor has a surprising number of skulls, and his crotch piece does not inhibit his leg articulation. Skeletor is pretty much all new tooling, although his hands came from Horde Prime. They are pretty well-disguised, though.
So what am I going to say about Skeletor’s sculpting? It’s utterly fantastic… but has some of the worst issues in the line. Bah!
Oh man, Skeletor’s paint job is fantastic! It follows his usual rules, but upgrades them with little subtle details. As one example, note how his skull changes the closer it comes to his flesh.
Not 100% of Skeletor’s robo-details are painted. A lot are flesh, in fact. But enough are metal, and enough are metallic blue, to fit. All of his colors work and match what they need to be, and I really have no complaints about this paint job.
Skeletor 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 rocker ankles. His armor design limits his torso articulation a little bit, and his head is restricted because of the extra rubber surrounding his neck, but he is just as good as any other armor-wearing MOTUC figure – a little better than most, as his armor does not block his armor that badly.
NA Skeletor comes with two accessories, three if you count his nifty removable helmet (and it’s really nifty). Thing is, he only needed one, and the second is a bonus! First up is Skeletor’s staff – it’s a new, improved Havoc Staff with a techno theme and none of the goat skulls as before. The staff could use a paint wash, but it is big, thick, and fearsome-looking. It is less likely to accidentally get bent than most staves in the line.
But it’s his other accessory that is truly awesome – a battle-damaged Faker head! Faker is the ill-fated robot clone of He-Man. You know, the one with blue skin. This is a Terminator-style half-ruined head, and the painting and sculpting are fantastic. The thing is damn creepy, too. And the best thing? I lack a Faker, but the head works awesomely on Skeletor’s body! NICE!
I am not a fan of MOTUC pricing. It’s technically $27, but shipping and tax put it at about $40.
THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR:
Aside from usual quality control – always make sure that a figure is in good working order – take care to make sure that his leg joints do not become weak under his weight.
WHERE TO BUY:
NA Skeletor is still available from Mattycollector! Buy him there… but when he’s gone, you’ll have to check eBay or Big Bad Toy Store.
This figure is simultaneously awesome and terrible. The question is, which wins out? I assumed that it would go down in history as one of the line’s worst figures. And frankly, a lot of people have taken an X-Acto knife to fix it. Any toy that needs to be “fixed” in order to work is a failure. But the awesomeness of his general sculpt and paint job is so good that even normally-negative fans are singing his praises. So, what do I say about Skeletor? He’s awesome, but has massive flaws. From the waist up, he is perfect. His waistline is horrendous, but if you can survive it than you have the greatest techno-cyborg lich ever!