This month, Masters of the Universe Classics released a two-pack of figures… but hey, you’re gonna get a bonus. Rather than review the whole thing at once, both toys are going to get the individual review treatment!
The 200X cartoon did a lot of good things for the He-Man franchise in general, but MOTUC seems to have gone out of its way to ignore it. And then this year, there’s the 200X mini-sub. And this two-pack of Snake Armor He-Man v. King Hssss, which finally gives us our 200X He-Man… sorta. The head can go on a regular He-Man body for a “traditional” He-Man from the show, but his armor design is something else entirely.
SNAKE ARMOR HE-MAN: THE MOST POWERFUL SNAKE HUNTER IN THE UNIVERSE
REAL NAME: ADAM OF THE HOUSE OF RANDOR
When the Snake Men returned to Eternia from their banishment in the Void, Adam used the Power of Grayskull to create upgraded armor more adapted to combat his new reptilian enemy. Equipped with a venom-proof shield and a cordite snake pincher. Adam is now fully protected in his Snake Armor, ready to fight off King Hssss and his army of snake warriors! Eventually, Adam was forced to used his armor to battle against his former friend and mentor Duncan who had been hideously transformed by the Serpent’s Ring into a Snake Man. Refusing to kill Duncan, Adam’s Snake Armor was destroyed by Snake Man-At-Arms’ newly invented neutralizer blaster which could disrupt the Power of Grayskull itself!
The second season of the 200X cartoon was Snake Man-themed, and for the sake of selling toys, they gave He-Man a brand new suit of armor meant specifially to fight them… except the toy barely got a release anywhere, and was hard to find (other He-Man variants were annoyingly common, however, and pretty much killed the line). So, fun trivia, I never had the original Snake Armor He-Man figure because it just never turned up in my neck of the woods. And now that Mattel has made a Classics version of him… let’s take a look!
These guys came in a special extra-large package reminiscent of the beast designs, which shows off both figures nicely as well as leaving rom for their respective bios. It looks good, and fits in with the regular packaging, too!
Let’s get this over with: He-Man’s snake armor is ridiculous. Half of it is bulky and restricting, and the other half leaves some of his vital organs and artery exposed. It’s nominally patterned after an actual armor type worn by Roman retiarius gladiators – that is, the trident-and-net variety. But the thing is, gladiator armor was designed to be flashy and expose weak points, not for practicality. A retiarius had to defend his exposed spots because it made for a better show, and He-Man isn’t even properly armed for the job! Still, though, his galerus (shoulder guard) and manica (arm guard) look great, and have better detail than a lot of stuff in this line. He-Man stands out, and if you can ignore the exposed skin (which we do for female warriors all the time), then it looks great overall. It matches the cartoon design while somehow managing to fit in with other MOTUC figures, which is no mean feat.
The head sculpt is important, as He-Man’s heads are swappable – and now we finally have our 200X figure! Thisversion of He-Man lacks the traditional pageboy cut, instead opting for a mussed, half-anime half-real life ‘do that fits the character pretty well. He looks a little boyish wih his hair like that, but it’s not like He-Man is Conan the Barbarian, or anything.
Overall, his new sculpt is excellent. The armor is not removable, which makes sense considering that part of his torso is painted silver. But it’s a good use of a long-requested yet complex design for the big guy. But I do want to bring up the fact that a retiarius’s light armor meant that they were considered the weakest and most effeminate of all gladiator types. Poor He-Man.
He-Man’s snake aror is a busy design, full of insignia, gems, and who-knows-what-else. Luckily, the paint is up to the job, delivering crisp, clean lines over a surprisingly complex design for this line. He-Man’s face also fares well, especially with the various shades used for his hair.
He-Man’s paint makes the figure work just as well as his sculpting, and it’s good to see how well it came out. The bar has been raised!
He-Man 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 hinged ankles. His armor does not get in the eay of his movement, despite how it may seem.
He-Man bears the 200X Power Sword, which in Classics canon is the techno-knockoff of the real Power Sword, yet usable in a pinch. It looks almost identical to the old toy (the basic one – SNake Armor he-man had a special version that shot a projectile), except that it lacks the single articulation point the 200X toy had – a rotating hilt. It’s also really accurate to the cartoon, though, and the paint is fantastic on this crazy sci-fi barbarian weapon. It straps nicely onto his back, too.
He-Man also has his special anti-snake claw. The clamp clips in to his manica, and is meant to catch Snake Men before they can bite him. It looked silly in the cartoon, but awesome on this toy. Great for some action poses, at least.
But He-Man is missing something… his shield! The one from his bio! it’s kind of odd that he’s lacking the accessory, but it msut have costed out of the set. One wonders if it will be included with another figure in the line, much like one of King Hssss’s important accessories.
Expect this set to run ylu $60-$75 and up, which is hard to swallow.
THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR:
He-Man is pretty dang sturdy.
WHERE TO BUY:
This two-pack sold out on Matty after about three days, so run off to the secondary market!
I knew that this figure would be good, and was not disappointed. I lack the original toy, but in a simple photo comparison the new one completely overshadows it in every way. This two-pack serves as an awesome preview of the 200X mini-sub this year!
Don’t forget to check back on Friday to see the other half of this set: battle Armor King Hssss!