Lizard Man. The He-Man cartoon had a lot of characters who never made it into the toy line, and Lizard Man is one of the most memorable. He appeared in more than one episode, he was a good guy, AND he looked different than all the ‘roided-up freaks the line was known for! In the show, Lizard Man pretty much just hung around the good guys, sneaked past villains, and once let He-Man toss him into a window to check on the Sorceress. But since he was different – unique – hey, the character’s memorable. And nowhe finally has a figure of his own.
In the show, Lizard Man’s powers were pretty much limited to… running away. He reminds me a little of that old anime, Ranma 1/2 – not the gender-bending, but the martial arts. The “Saotome Ultimate Technique” involves running and hiding, and the “Crouch of the Wild Tiger” is where you get on all fours and beg. Yeah, that’s pretty much Lizard Man, but when you’ve got He-Man, why bother with fighting?
LIZARD MAN: HEROIC COLD BLOODED ALLY
REAL NAME: GAYN
Known as ‘Lizzie” by his friends, Lizard Man shares many attributes with his Reptile brethren, but chooses to align with He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. Although he deals with discrimination due to his genetic connection with the cold-blooded Snake Men, he is good-humored and has a warm heart. With his agility, balance, and fighting skills, Lizard Man is a devoted member of the Masters of the Universe, displaying his bravery whether fighting Skeletor’s henchman or being tossed into the air to aid the speedy rescue of the Sorceress. With his strong, thrashing tail and light, agile body, Lizard Man stealthily fights the forces of evil.
Ah, racism! I love how the bio acknowledges that Lizard Man is discriminated against by pretty much everybody, but then claims that he’s totally okay with it. Suuuuure. The mental picture I’ve got right now is He-Man saying something racist like, “You’re a credit to your people, Lizzie,” and then grinning like he knows the lizard can’t challenge him. Jerk.
Same as everything else in this line. There’s a little sticker about the glow in the dark feature on his diamond accessory, but that’s it.
Lizard Man looks like he stepped right out of the cartoon! Seriously. Every single line and texture on his sculpt came from Filmation, so you shouldn’t expect any kind of realism. Of course, since this is a plastic object, it means that Lizard Man will be a lot more consistent than the cartoon’s off-model craziness, but that’s neither here nor there. He’s got a ton of new tooling, with really only his arms and legs coming from Modulok.
The Masters of the Universe Classics line doesn’t really have a single unified style. Yes, you can tell that each figure is part of the same line, but when you compare folks like Gwildor and Blade to Lizard Man or Modulok, you can see the clashing styles.
Lizard Man’s expression is great. Depending on the circumstances, he’s either giving a very earnest smile or a psychotic grin. Oh, Lizzie! But he also looks like a frog. A lot ike a frog – the foreshortened snout, the (nifty) translucent wbbing in his hands… if not for that tail, he’d be Frog Man. But it’s all in how he was designed for the show.
Lizard Man’s paint is crisp, clean, simplistic, and true to the cartoon. It also seems odd. Overly simplistic, even when compared to other cartoony characters like Fang Man. It isn’t bad, but the figure comes off looking more like a child’s toy than others in this line. This is odd, because honestly the paint is perfect. At least, it’s perfect to the cartoon. Perhaps he should have been stylized a little bit, or perhaps not. Poor, poor Lizard Man. He never gets a break.
Lizard Man has ball-and-socket shoulders, hips, elbows, and knees, a ball-jointed head, swivel wrists and waist, hinged ankles, and absolutely zero tail articulation. You heard me. Nothing. Nada. It’s odd, because is tail is glued/pegged into his loincloth, and all that they would have had to do was make the peg eound to give it a swivel. But nope. Nothing. If you want him to crouch or kneel, that tail is gonna get stuck in the way.
Lizard Man also lacks a proper ab crunch, or rocker ankles. He’s surprisingly limited when compared to other figures in this line, articularly when you take the tail into account. It’s odd, considering how flexible Lizard Man is supposed to be. The good news is, since nothing about his sculpt or outfit impedes his joints, Lizard Man is flexible enough to take a climbing pose! So, provided you can suspend him against a wall, you’ve got a good pose for him.
Lizard Man comes with two accessories… both of which belong to Skeletor! In fact, the smaller of the two is the Diamond Ray of Disappearance from the show’s first episode! When you open the case and shine the diamond, you can make people disappear. ‘Course, in the end He-Man just smashed it. The item is a nice little cartoon artifact, and the gem even glows in the dark! It’s got a little indentation on the bottom designed to fit over Skeletor’s hand, which it does – though not too securely, it can fall off. Of course, it’s also an excellent prop for a marriage proposal.
The other item is Skeletor’s sword from the cartoon! Skeletor has kind of an amusing weapon history – the original toy (and the mini-comics) gave him a copy of He-Man’s power sword, the old cartoon gave him one with a bone-hilt, and the 200X cartoon handed him a double-bladed split weapon. This is the first time that Skeletor’s toon sword has shown up in plastic, and although it suffices, the sculpt seem a little oddly soft, and it’s made of that weird not-metal gray plastic Mattel uses. It looksmore toy-like than most action figure weapons out there, and its size is wrong – the handle is just a little too thick for Skeletor’s hands, though you can bend his fingers until it fits.
So, what else could he have had? Well, to be honest, Lizard Man never really used anything. But even a generic weapon would have helped him a little bit.
These things cost about $40 after all is said and done. Rumble grumble razzum frazzum grssk. Digital River had a billing issue with subscriptions, and accidentally overcharged people – though they did refund the extra, thankfully.
THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR:
Lizard Man has nothing particularly breakable, but his right bicep tends to connect poorly to his shoulder. It isn’t fragile, but he’s got a noticeable gap there.
WHERE TO BUY:
This guy should be making the rounds on the internet by now. Honestly, Google and comparative price-matching are your best bets.
I’ve ragged on Lizard Man a little bit, but he’s just not the greatest thing this line has produced. He isn’t bad, though. He’s just not perfect. But aside from those complaints, this is the first time a really popular character has been made in plastic, and he looks just like he did in the cartoon!
He just has those tiny flaws here and there messing things up. Don’t get me wrong, I like him, but he needed just a little more. Slightly more complex paint, or better articulation, or some more accessories… but then, thinking about it, he’s really got the pieces he needs, and this figure is pretty much exactly what fans have wanted.