These Millennium-based figures are always a bit tricky to review, because the characters they’re based often have had minimal character development and never had a toy. One or the other is generally required for me to establish enough of a connection to a figure to get excited about it – though if the design is awesome enough, a lack of characterization can be an asset, because it allows your imagination to run wild (see: pre-prequel-era Boba Fett, Draego-Man). But if the figure has had minimal characterization, no childhood nostalgia for a vintage toy, and a relatively uninteresting design? It becomes really hard for me to get excited about that figure.
To be fair, Dekker had an entire episode devoted to him during the Millennium cartoon’s run. Titled “The Island,” the episode established Dekker as a former tactician for King Randor and a mentor to Man-At-Arms. Written by Michael Halperin, who wrote the series bible for the Filmation cartoon back in the early 1980s, “The Island” is one of the series’ more memorable episodes (“memorable” in that I vaguely recalled that there was an episode devoted to Dekker and had to look up all the preceding information).
Ultimately, Dekker is just regular a guy. In a world populated by people with cybernetic suits, giant freakish metal hands, or reptilian ancestry, he’s the MOTUC equivalent of a guy in a suit. He’s like Ra’s Al Ghul in the Dark Knight Movie Masters line – a character first and a figure design second. But unlike, say, Filmation King Randor, Dekker is a regular guy
Packaging: If you’ve seen one MOTUC package, you’ve seen them all – it’s the standard blister, with the vintage-box-art inspired graphics.
Design & Sculpt: The only parts of Dekker we haven’t seen before are his two interchangeable heads, his tunic, and his boots.
The tunic has a great sculpt and is nicely detailed. I have no complaints on how it looks, but on its effect on the figure’s articulation: it restricts the legs almost entirely. The tunic for the plastic is very hard, so moving his hips in any direction is nearly impossible. While perhaps it wouldn’t have been episode-accurate, I think the Four Horsemen should have slit the sides of the bottom of the tunic to free up the legs.
The new buccaneer boot sculpts are great.
We also get one “young Dekker” head and one “old Dekker” head. Both sculpts are great, and I appreciate the way the braids on the older sculpt don’t inhibit the head movement.
I do question the usefulness of the “young Dekker” head. We don’t really have any other characters who quite fit the “young Dekker” era – I suppose you could argue that Keldor, Count Marzo and King Randor can work, along with mustache-less Man-At-Arms. But I can’t really imagine being able to create a display in which using the young Dekker head would make sense. On the other hand, I can’t think of another accessory except a helmet-less Man-At-Arms head, which probably wouldn’t have made much sense coming with Dekker (though it would have made a lot of fans happy, increasing his value).
Plastic & Paint: Dekker has a lot of color, which I appreciate. The paints are applied a bit thickly in places, but on the plus side there’s not a lot of bleed or slop.
Articulation: Dekker has standard MOTUC articulation (click the link to see it if you need a listing), but as mentioned above, the hip articulation is severely limited by the tunic.
Accessories: Dekker comes with a mace. It’s interesting, because this isn’t just a re-use of Man-At-Arms’s mace but a new “techno-mace,” no doubt meant to double as a Millennium Man-At-Arms mace. Sadly it has two problems: it’s orange (which may or may not be accurate to the episode, I can’t remember), and more disappointingly, it’s made from soft plastic and tends to sag. I like the sculpt, but wish Mattel could have managed to swap the plastic used for the tunic with the plastic used for the mace. Then Dekker would be able to walk and have a mace that didn’t sag like an old-timey bologna.
Quality Control: I truly, truly hate the “Keldor feet,” because they almost always curve in a little bit, no doubt due to the way they’re yanked from the mold still warm. There’s a smidgen of that here, but it’s not too bad.
Overall: If his rather plain design doesn’t bother you, then Dekker isn’t a bad figure at all. If it weren’t for the way the articulation is restricted and the saggy weapon, I’d have given him an extra raven.
I appreciate Mattel’s effort to make MOTUC so all-inclusive of every era. But I just don’t buy the idea that these Millennium characters – Chief Carnivus, The Faceless One, Dekker – have enough of a fan base to warrant their inclusion in the line over important vintage figures that still haven’t been remade. And while Carnivus and Faceless One at least have arguably interesting designs, Dekker is a guy in a tunic.
Perhaps I’m wrong. Perhaps, were I still deep in the throes of full-on MOTU obsession, I would love the hell out of Dekker. But even when I was watching the Millennium cartoon, I know I would have wanted Prahvus or Lord Dactys before Dekker. On the other hand, Dekker was put into development at a time when the MOTUC subscription was doing very well. Ever since the 2013 subscription’s near-death, I think I (and other fans) have become more sensitive to the idea that there are a limited number of characters left and each character like this takes up a potential spot that could have gone to another character who may not get made.
But that’s not Dekker’s fault, really. And that’s why I revised this “Overall” section from the earlier version and added an extra raven.
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