Review > Hurricane Hordak (Masters of the Universe Classics, Mattel)

My childhood obsession with He-Man was relatively brief–maybe most of 1984, and part of 1985. After that, it became all-Transformers all the time until maybe 1987 or so. So a figure like the vintage Hurricane Hordak immediately had two strikes against it: it came out after my interest in He-Man was long gone (1986), and it was a guise; if I owned a figure, it was almost always the iconic standard version.*

I know I’ve written this a few times before, but I really think that without the Club Eternia subscription, Hurricane Hordak might have been the first figure who really tested my completist bent on this line. While his “action feature” is neat, he’s just not that exciting an addition to the line.

Design & Sculpt: In terms of the sculpt, this figure is nearly identical to the first Hordak with the exception of his right forearm, his cowl (which doesn’t have the attached cape) and the back portion of his armor (which features an immobile version of the “dial” from the vintage figure).

Hec-Tor "Hurricane Hordak" Kur: 0 Wins, 93 Losses

The forearm looks great with or without the attachments; without them, you can imagine it’s just a blaster, something Hordak often did in the Princess of Power cartoon. The leather straps buckled around the stump remind me somewhat of Ash’s contraption for his missing hand in Army of Darkness.

Dial-A-Dull

Then there’s the dial. We’ve seen little homages like this before on Optikk and Sy-Klone, but I do wish designers The Four Horsemen would find a way to work these more organically into the design (like She-Ra’s axe-comb or Catra’s whip-comb). For example, the dial could have been made spikier and more ornate, as if it were part of the armor. Instead it looks like a giant clockwork gear sticking out of his back, incongruous and ugly.

Plastic & Paint: Most of H. Hordak is painted similarly to the first version. This is disappointing mainly because it could have been a great opportunity to give us a blue-skinned Hordak, which was not only how he was depicted on Princess of Power but also in several of the minicomics.

The real point of interest here is the chromed armor. The vintage prototype of He-Ro had chrome armor, but Mattel went with a pliable gold-painted armor for the MOTUC version. Here they go for the real chrome. While it looks a bit gaudy, it also makes the figure more unique and it really pops on the shelf.

As you can see from the dial photo above, the chrome doesn’t take paint very well and is prone to chipping rather easily.

Articulation: Hurricane Hordak features the usual MOTUC articulation: a ball-and-socket head, ball-and-hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, hinged elbows, swivel wrists, hinged abdomen, swivel waist, ball and hinge thighs, swivel upper thighs, hinged knees and ankles, and “rocker” ankles. Unlike my regular Hordak, Hurricane doesn’t have weak ankles.

Accessories: Here’s where Mattel had a chance to be creative with this figure – and blew it entirely.

The Mace of Polyorchidism

All we get are Classicized versions of the vintage figure‘s attachments: a “bat wing propeller,” a “3-headed ‘thunderball’ mace, and a “4-pronged battle shield.” They’re all cool if rather simple, though the veins on the thunderball mace heads make me a little testy.

But the lack of an extra weapon bothers me. We know Mattel can do better. Roboto got an extra “regular” hand, while Man-E-Faces got three extra faces (heck, Trap Jaw got an extra arm and head). Can you imagine if Mattel had let the Horsemen run wild with some new attachments?

Looking at the quarterly figures since this one, Hurricane Hordak seems to have been the first of many to have little new tooling or accessories (Snake Man-At-Arms, anyone?). Evidently the quarterly-figure budget is very low compared to the monthly one. If that’s the case, I’d rather not have any quarterly figures at all and get better versions of the planned quarterly figures, with more new tooling and accessories, slotted into the monthly line.

Quality Control: I’m pretty sure my Hordak has two right shoulders, as the huge gap above the left biceps suggests. If I liked the figure more, I would probably have sent him back for a replacement (or tried to, anyway).

Overall: It’s not as if MOTUC hasn’t had its share of low-effort figures – Faker and Zodak come quickly to mind. But Hurricane Hordak could easily have been better. The plainly-sculpted dial, the very simple update of the three original accessories, the absence of any new attachments, and the general lack of imagination make Hurricane Hordak a disappointing entry in the line. For the pre-guaranteed money I pay for these figures, I expect better.

11000

Where to Buy:

* Unless there wasn’t really a “standard” version, like the various Star Wars characters – but I’d still rather have Tatooine Luke or Jedi Luke over Pilot Luke – Pilot Luke was only for when he was flying his X-Wing.

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19 Comments »

Comments now closed (19)

  • I gotta say that this review is more negative than I otherwise would’ve predicted, but that testy line was brilliant.

  • HH is by no means my favourite figure in the line but he's a decent example of a quarterly variant.

    Personally I would have preferred to get the first prototype that was revealed – the one without the vac-metal that had the non-shiny gold armour. I think this would have faired better in the long term.

    Also I wish the attachments weren't so tight so that they could actually spin around a bit when given a flick.

  • HH was my least favorite figure of last year, hands down.

    The vacmetal does look gaudy compared to the rest of the line and it just continues to look worse and worse as paint flakes off.

    That dial was a really poorly executed move that still makes little to no sense. There was so much potential for something cool to be down with it.

    W ith gold armor like He-Ro, I think HH might have been a figure I really liked. As it is, he's a figure I'm pretty much afraid to touch less he continue to flake away.

  • FYI People: If your HH manages to have an encounter with an oven cleaning solution that eats Vac Metal, his Torso is Black while his Armor is yellow… Just letting everyone know…

    • More specific info, please. My Hordak, were he tro have such an encounter, would be getting a nice, antique gold paint job in place of the vac metal. Not that I have given it all that much thought. 😉

      • Well if HH were to be sprayed with say easy off… and scrubbed with a towel. (WEAR GLOVES!!) After the tedious process of removing the vac metal, it can be painted in any color. (Paint has to be sealed of course) Antique Gold would look nice. But the armor would have to be primed in Black so the color matches. (His torso is black beneath the black Vac Metal.) http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-vehwRd9I49E/TqNjxGPACHI
        He was still in progress as I painted him. His bat got a second coat of red paint (Glows under a black lightlight) and his torso was painted with glossy black to match the armor.

        • That looks very cool. I had no idea that oven cleaner would strip off the vac metal, so thanks for the tip. I assume you also did this outdoors or something, since I wouldn’t recommend hunching over the fumes in a closed area? 😉 While I dig what you are doing, I would like to “recreate” the color scheme of the original HH, just without the vac metal and possibly without the ridiculous dial, so am considering using a spare original flavor Hordak armor painted gold, which would have the added benefit of only having to strip the torso and ab pieces…we shall see. If I am honest, I haven’t the time for anything but planning right now in any event! Does the oven cleaner have any effect onthe regular paint, specifically his belt/lioncloth?

        • Not that I know of… I had to remove the normal paint (Dial, horde bat, etc) on his armor with some nail polish remover to reach to the remaining vac metal. (not shown on the pics)
          I did not have to repaint his belt or anything and I know that some oven cleaner reached his legs.

          Yes, a Well Ventilated area is important… You spray it on, leave it a few minutes then you scrub it off. After you scrub him down and remove all of the vac metal, a bath with warm water and soap is needed. Then you let him dry completely and then you prepare him to be painted… (Maybe sanding around the ab crunch so the paint does not scrape off and on the neck… as mentioned on most customizing tutorials.)

  • I really loved this figure when I got it!
    I got the armors pack number 2 that has the Roboto´s guns in Black. I put the black weapon in Hordak´s arm and it looks perfect to me!
    In my opinion HH deserves a better score than 2.

    • The problem is that you're using a Weapons pack to complement him.
      ON His own, HH is not that great.
      -His chromed finish chips like crazy.
      -His Armor is incredibly hard and shows stress- marks quite easily… (On these areas is where the chromed finish chips off first) I fear it might break off if removed too many times.
      That's just talking about general QC… In that area he is disappointing. I think Poe was Too generous with this figure… I'd given HH 1/2 Raven.

  • It doesn't look like you have 2 right shoulders, I think something just went wrong there. I was interested in picking up this figure, not from matty but after they got pretty cheap on amazon around christmas time; but I just don't want to deal with the vac metal armor.

    I'm not one who instantly dislikes vac metal either. I actually really like the look of it, when it's applied to hard plastic. Since his armor is flexible it just seems like a bad idea all around.

  • Im totally useing "guise", websters here guise comes that S is Catalina wine mixer 😉

  • If you've got an extra Hordak, I'd recommend cannibalizing this guy for parts. HH cowl looks great on the regular Hordak and greatly helps his articulation because it doesn't have the cape. Also, the arm cannon looks great on regular Hordak too.

    But yeah, I think two ravens was better than this figure deserved. It's really 1 1/2 because of the dial and the chipping paint and vac metal, in my opinion.

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