As I consider whether to subscribe to the 2013 Club Eternia, I thought I’d run through all the reveals and pass on my thoughts.
Not too much of a surprise, as most of his body was revealed with the Snake Men two-pack. Still, it’s a good-looking figure and a classic character, so I’m happy with this reveal.
Wow. I mean…wow. This guy is a truly Frankensteinian creation.
Where to start? I’m not happy to see the Roboto chest again, given its notorious tendency to crack. I hope Mattel’s solved the issue, but you’ll forgive me if I don’t assume they have.
I do like the head and the arms, though. They’re definitely the sort of gimmick you saw on the vintage figures, and the fact that the blades appear to be articulated is a big plus. Nonetheless, these 30th Anniversary figures seem to lurch between great figures and kitbashes, and I’d have to say this one leans toward the latter. I could live without him.
Great Unrest Weapons Pack
A definite must-have for me. The Draego-Man accessories, Keldor’s twin swords and Man-At-Arms’s Millennium-style arm cannon make this set far more awesome than any previous weapons pack.
It’s odd. As much of a fan as I was of the Millennium incarnation of MOTU, I have to admit that every single Millennium-original character we’ve seen (Chief Carnivus, the Faceless One) has ultimately left me cold. I don’t think it’s just the fact that I have no nostalgic connection to them, because I did like Draego-Man, for example (and he’s grown on me even more since I wrote that review).
But I just feel no excitement for Dekker. Maybe that will change once I have him in hand…but I tend to doubt it.
Eternos Palace King Randor
I know many fans are disappointed by this figure, and really wanted a Millennium-style Randor. I understand that, but Randor is one of those characters that, as a kid, I wanted due to his frequent appearances on the Filmation cartoon. His 1980s figure was rather unsatisfactory because it looked nothing like the show version.
So, oddly enough, I find myself somewhat excited for this figure. It’d be nice if he didn’t have a bellybutton on his torso, though.
Creepy. That’s the best way to describe this figure, which looks like it was conceived by a Nazgûl and a stone tower and borne by a banshee. That face is terrifying, and the hair, while somewhat silly, also adds to the figure’s creepiness.
That said – I really like this figure. It’s a crazy-but-cool design that pays homage to the entire franchise, which is fitting for a 30th Anniversary figure. The swords and shield (based on iconography from the vintage playset) are just the icing on the cake.
I’m not the superfan of Mosquitor that Pixel Dan is, but he did have a neat design and I was disappointed he didn’t get an action figure in the Millennium era (as I hope I’ve made abundantly clear, I never considered the Stactions anywhere near a suitable substitute for a true toy).
This is a great-looking figure with some great newly-tooled parts, and will be a welcome member of my Horde collection.
When this figure was first announced, I was disappointed. But when I got a closer look at the images, Procrustus instantly became my favorite of the three giants. The “rocky” sculpt and texture look fantastic, and he gives off a very Harryhausen-like vibe I really like. I can see myself displaying him independent of a MOTU display as a generic god-monster. (He would have worked alongside the Inhumanoids, for example.)
Very mixed feelings here. As I’ve said, I genuinely expected the Four Horsemen to veer further away from the Filmation look. I expected him to be able to stand and that his helmet would be a bit more detailed, at the very least. The price point (probably around $100 with shipping) and the lack of an ability to stand may be the sticking points for me.
That said, he is Granamyr. I mean, the very fact that he exists at all as an action figure compels me to get him. We’ll just have to see where my willpower is come December.
What I know about Netossa could be etched on a postage stamp. The main reason I don’t care for heroic POP characters is twofold: I have absolutely no nostalgic attachment to them, and in general I find their designs boring. The cape design here is pretty neat, and she’s got a kind of mid-1980s-fantasy-Neverending-Story kind of vibe to her, but ultimately this is $35 (after shipping) I would regret.
I never much cared for the Millennium Ram Man, particularly in retrospect. Somehow he lacked the charm of the vintage character, though I’m not sure I can articulate how. The figure itself was short, but proportioned as if it were huge, which fits with the fact that the 4H probably intended him to be larger than most of the figures in the line but Mattel produced him smaller. He also lacked leg articulation and I think the darker red of his uniform and the way the armor tapered into thin edges turned me off, too.
This figure, on the other hand, looks great. Like others have commented, I don’t like the squinting eyes, but otherwise the figure looks perfect to me. If I end up subscribing next year, this figure more than anything will drive me to do it. (Side note: in the above pic, the legs are backward from the top of the thighs to the top of the boots, so the knees are backwards – you’re looking at the articulation for the back of the knees).
Jitsu is another vintage classic, but one I never happened to own. He’s basically Fisto‘s evil counterpart. As the last member of the Grayskull poster (well, except for the Wind Raider pilot), I feel obliged to get him.
Hey! It’s Fang Man! Remember your favorite character from the Filmation He-Man cartoon, Fang Man? No? Well, maybe that’s because he only appeared in a one episode, “The Time Corridor.” But his distinct design – and the way the episode treated him as as if he were one of the regular Evil Warriors – made him a fan favorite, and I have to admit that his figure looks pretty cool, even if, yet again, I feel like the cartoonishness of the Filmation characters is just not sitting well alongside the MOTUC style. Tempting.
A disappointment. The whole concept of a King He-Man has only been introduced into MOTUC – via the bios and the new minicomics – in the last year, so it’s not as if he has some rich tradition in the lore. I just don’t see any reason to get King He-Man when the incentive figure could be, say, Oo-Larr, or a He-Man with Filmation colors and new Filmation-style armor, head, and weapons. If they’re going to go so cartoonish with the Filmation figures, they might as well give us a Filmation He-Man. (Maybe for SDCC next year.)
Fighting Foe-Men (Dittstroyer, Shield Maiden Sherrlyn and Dawg-O-Tor)
OK, so the concepts for these figures come from three disparate sources. The “Fighting Foe-Men” was an extremely early name for the Evil Warriors when the entire MOTU concept was in its infancy at Mattel. When digging up resources for MOTUC, Mattel came across the term and it later turned up in Vikor’s bio.
The visual design for these three characters comes from a line of model kits made by Monogram in the 1980s. These were model kits of various MOTU vehicles that already existed as toys. Oddly enough, the models didn’t actually match their toy counterparts, but featured a bit more detail. The pilots weren’t included but they were pictured on the box art; the blue guy piloted the Roton, the woman piloted the Attak Track, and the green guy piloted the Talon Fighter.
Finally, there are their (incredibly goofy) names: they’re all based on the Four Horsemen’s in-studio employees.
As for the figures themselves…I like Dittstroyer’s design a lot, and the other two are okay. I’m not big on their vehicle-inspired weaponry, but that’s what weapons packs are for. I do wish we’d gotten the aforementioned Wind Raider pilot from the Grayskull poster, though.
This three-pack is far better than the Star Sisters, but it’s still three incredibly obscure characters that most casual fans will pass on.
Strobo appeared in a comic strip in the final issue of He-Man Magazine in 1988. His design clearly suggested an action figure that would use parts from Zodac and Sy-Klone. He’s certainly less obscure than any of the Fighting Foe-Men. Even better, he’ll come with an unhelmeted Zodak head as an accessory. I may try to track this one down. He’ll also come with the meteor fragment of the “Dark Star” from the story he appeared in. Frankly I think it would be nice if he came with a reprint of that comic, so people would have some idea who the hell he is.
And there you have it…all the MOTUC reveals. I’m still on the fence about the subscription, though I suspect I’ll cave in the end.