Recent days have brought two new announcements to light that I’m pretty excited about.
The first is the announcement of a new “renewal” version of the Ultra-Act Ultraseven. While Ultraman is fairly well known to even the most casual pop culture observer, Ultraseven’s eponymous series is actually more fondly remembered in Japan. Bandai has been revisiting the Ultra-Act line to produce newer, better versions of figures they’ve done before, and having done Ultraman, Ultraseven is next on the list. I’ve been watching the series (Amazon) and so far, I have to admit I think Ultraman (Amazon) was a more entertaining show, but I’m only about a third of the way through Ultraseven.
Next up is the next S.H.MonsterArts figure: Kiryu, a.k.a. Mechagodzilla III.
This one’s a bit of a surprise. Kiryu already had a pretty good
Soul of Chogokin figure about ten years ago. I’d been wondering if Bandai would be reluctant to revisit these characters for S.H.MonsterArts for that reason – I guess this answers that question.
The SHMA version will likely be slightly shorter, better articulated, and feature a bit less diecast material than the SOC figure. I never got the SOC one and it goes for big bucks on eBay these days, so I’m more than happy to spend my money (looks like it’ll be about $100) on this version. Kiryu is my second-favorite Mechagodzilla design, so I’m psyched about this reveal. Now all we need is a Kiryugoji (the Godzilla suit from this movie, soon to star in IDW’s Godzilla: Rulers of Earth) to go with him.
I had hoped the next SHMA reveal would be a 1964 Mothra, but with this character, Bandai has shown they’re going to produce figures from all eras.
My grandfather on my mother’s side was a Navy helicopter pilot. His favorite helicopter was the Boeing Vertol CH-46 Sea Knight. He never took it into battle – the Navy was a bit squeamish about the prospect of being financially responsible for his seven children and widow – but it wasn’t for lack of trying.
My grandfather passed away in 2009. A few weeks back, my grandmother passed away as well, and my mother and her siblings began the bittersweet process of divvying up their parents’ belongings. My mom asked me if there was anything I wanted, and I remembered the helicopter model that had hung in their breezeway for at least twenty years (and is probably even older than that).
Released in December 2012, Procrustus is a giant sized figure similar in size to the earlier giants Tytus and Megator. He measures in right around 12 inches from the top of his head to the bottom of his feet, although his posture is slightly hunched over. While he’s not a very well known Masters of the Universe character, Procrustus is an exceptionally well made figure possessing all the charm of a stop motion creature designed by the late Ray Harryhausen. Procrustus was quite the surprise when he was revealed at SDCC last year, but he was one of those nice surprises; a somewhat off the wall characters that still manages to fit in well with the line.
All right, let’s get down to brass tacks: So who exactly is Procrustus? Procrustus is an immortal being who lives at the center of the planet Eternia and is responsible for literally holding the planet together. Procrustus appeared briefly in the vintage minicomic “The Magic Stealer” which was part of the second series of minicomics from 1983. In the story, Skeletor is using some kind of magic siphon, and one of the side effects of that is that Procrustus is lured to Eternia’s surface. While He-Man is traveling in the Attak Trak, he comes across the giant crawling out of the crust of the planet’s surface. He-Man instantly recognizes Procrustus, referring to him as a “the god who holds the inner world together with his many arm.” While we can speculate that He-Man might recognize Procrustus from his description alone, interestingly enough, Procrustus recognizes He-Man. What can I say? He-Man’s kind of a big deal on Eternia and we can only assume that stories about him have made their way down to Eternia’s core. From the dialogue between the two, it is implied that Procrustus is literally responsible for holding the planet together in some way and if he neglects his duty for too long, Eternia will crumble. Somehow, the lure of Skeletor’s magical siphon clouds the giant’s judgment, making it difficult for Procrustus to resist, so He-Man shoots him with the Attak Trak. This seems to knock some sense back into him, as shooting someone with an attack vehicle usually does. He wishes He-Man well and that’s about it for Procrustus in “The Magic Stealer.”
I grew up with He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, but admittedly my connection to the characters runs pretty thin. I love the major players like He-Man, Skeletor, Beast-Man, Ram-Man and Man-at-Arms. I’ve also got a soft spot for others like Clawful and Merman. Modulok is about as fringe as I get.
Although I’m aware of most of the He-Man lore, I’ll fully admit that there have been some characters in the Masters of the Universe Classics (MOTUC) line that I didn’t recognize at all, yet that hasn’t stopped me from buying many of them.
I love the Four Horsemen and they’re my principle reason for subscribing this year. That said, when hearing that King He-Man would be the Club Eternia exclusive this year I was a bit curious. I knew that King He-Man was from the unproduced Filmation cartoon show (He-Ro Son of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe) and wondered how the Horsemen would handle him.