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).
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.
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.
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.
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.