This is it. It’s over. Masters of the Universe Classics is finished. Sure, next year there’s the Collector’s Choice (I susbcribed) and the animated line (I forgot to subscribe, so sue me), and what is the final figure? Controversy!
Dare, Son of He-Man is basically a concept art figure. There were two different pitches for Dare: Son of He-Man as a sequel to the original show – one early one in the ’80s which became the basis for The New Adventures of He-Man, and one in the early ’90s that never went anywhere. The series bible for the ’90s show can be found on-line, while the ’80s one is sometimes available at rare conventions. This figure is a tribute to them both, with Dare as He-Ro II because I was already produced. He showed up to a flurry of controversy simialr to that of the Unnamed One, but eh. Why focus on the negative? Either you like the concept, or you don’t. Let’s talk about the toy.
HE-RO II: HEROIC SON OF HE-MAN
REAL NAME: DARE
After He-Man returned to Eternia following the apparent defeat of Skeletor, he at long last wed his childhood friend and sweetheart Teela. Together they ruled over a peaceful Eternia, free at last from the factions that had fought over it for so long. But in his distant dimensional prison, the Unnamed One re-amassed power. With the help of Evil-Lyn’s son, he was released and struck out against guardians of the Sword of He. Dare, the teenage son of Adam and Teela, took his rightful place and claimed his father’s sword, becoming the new He-Ro, named for the legendary Wizard Warrior of Preternia. Using the Sword of Power, He-Ro fought the Unnamed One, eventually slaying him with the very power he once sought to control.
DARE! Dare to belieeeeeeve youuuuu can surviiiive! Well, there you go. Dare takes out the Unnamed One, and according to the last mini-comic, he gets to enjoy a full TV series worth of fights against Skeletor’s son, Skeleteen (what a name).
This is the last time I get to talk about this packaging, which is exactly the same as it has always been. Next year: rebranding! But for now, enjoy the perfectly servicable and eye-catching MOTUC blister pack, which would look quite at home on a store shelf.
Aaaand it’s Dare! Although he’s got a lot of his dad in him (literally, he reuses plenty of He-man parts), he’s got a lot of unqiue pieces, too. Unfortunately, the torso makes him look too bulky, and certainly more than he appears in the comics – Dare is a little skinnier than He-Man, but there’s nothing we can do about that. He also has an awkward waist cut, as his torso and belt are not sized the same. He wears two outfits, the primary one being a blue one-shoulder harness from one of his TV series pitches (the visible one). As ridiculous as having one shoulder guard seems, there is some historical precedent for it (gladiators!), and it actually looks kind of cool. It certainly sets him apart from his dad, and the look certainly fits his pants (yay, pants!) better than the usual furry underwear motif in this line.
The head sculpt is what makes or breaks this figure. It certainly looks related to He-Man without actually being him, and the detail is quite strong, but Dare also honestly looks far older than the late-teen he is supposed to be. This is him at age 30 or so, when he’s relaly gotten into the swing of things. He’s also got a ponytail, which helps separate him more from his father, though it sort of gives him a strange vibe. When shirtless, Dare is pretty much just one cowboy hat away from being Strip-Por, Heroic Master of Bachelorette Parties.
And finally, Dare has an alternate chestpiece – his techno-vest! This is pretty recognizable to anybody who saw the New Adventures of He-Man, but that’s because parts of NA He-Man’s design came from one of Dare’s two pitches (the unseen one, ironically enough). In-story, it’s his outfit when he first wielded the Power Sword, but before receiving training and becoming a full hero. It’s silver, and certainly offers some variety for him (and solidarity with one version of his dad), but overall I’d go with the harness.
Dare’s paint is… well, he’s human. We’ll start with that. He has a pretty basic skin-tone, about half-tanned for this line. He isn’t terribly pale, but he isn’t bronzed enough to stand out, either. His hair is also brown, which helps differentiate him from his father. it does make it impossible to treat him as a He-Man variant, unless you note how Teela changed her hair color, as well.
Dare’s overall color is blue – even with his silvery alternate vest, he tends toward blues, omething that matched the overall color scheme of one of his failed cartoon pitches. Again, this contrasts nicely with He-Man’s tendency toward gold or silver, even with his techno-vest – and the silver of said vest contrasts nicely with NA He-Man’s gold.
Finally, his paint is overall clean, without any really visible errors.
Dare’s articulation is MOTUC-standard, meaning that he can pose much like his dad. He moves better in the harness than the vest, but that’s about it. His awkward waist cut is partly the fault of his articulation, too, if you want to complain about something..
Hilariously, Dare’s ponytail is also articulated, which helps you put him in some dynamic action poses.
Aside from his swappable vests, Dare has two accessories. First – ad most importantly – he has his version of the Power Sword which is actually patterned after the one in the old Alcala comics. It sort of belongs more to classic He-Man with the Oo-Larr head (fighting Alcala-head SKeletor than Dare, but it’s good on him.
And he’s got a gun! Okay, why does He-Man(‘s son) have a gun? Well, you could chalk it up to his relatice inexperience, but when you take a close look at the littl epistol, you will notice something – it’s a Cosmic Ke gun! Th dude’s got a weapon somehow relating to an ultimate device of time and space, and he keeps it holstered to his belt. So what does it shoot? Time? It’s kind of cool that he has a newly-built ultimate weapon, but a little crazy when you think about it.
He’s got normal He-Man pricing, though if you subscribed, you’ll save a little individually on shipping.
THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR:
Everything about Dare seems sturdy, even his ponytail.
WHERE TO BUY:
You can’t really buy these figures from Mattel unless you have perfect tiing but Dare will probably be easy to find from secondary retailers.
So, basically the most controversial figure in the line turned out to be a good toy. If you don’t like Dare as a character, you will not want him. But if you don’t mind or even like the concept, he’s actually a really good part of the line – solidly unique (even with his nA riposs vest), well-sculpted, and just decently-made. he won’t stand out like some of the greats (see: Draego-Man), but he’s a pretty good toy going by his own merits. And the concept? Well, the Son of He-Man cartoon never got made, so it’s just a matter of what you want it to be. Good, bad, it really doesn’t matter when all that exists is an empty shell of a concept. Enjoy Dare if you want, or don’t, but the figure isn’t bad. But as the last toy of the line? Well, what else would it be? Vintage is done, and of the potential “new” ideas, there are only so many that seem “final.” Dare is rather controversial, but he represents the end of an old series and the beginning of the new – honestly, that is a nice sentiment. Ah, speaing of sentiment, now that the line is ending, I think I got something in my eye. A speck of dust, perhaps… *sniffle*