First off, for anyone who hasn’t heard, I’m not going to Toy Fair. There are a variety of reasons for this, but the nail in the coffin was the blizzard. It’s a bummer, but I’ll be doing my usual armchair coverage from here at home. Which, yes, means actual posts here on the site.
It feels like it’s been a while since we’d had a good Digital River/Mattel screw-up. Even the subscription section of Mattycollector was more or less working! But it couldn’t last, and someone digging around in a public image directory stumbled upon a bunch of images of previously-unrevealed Masters of the Universe Classics, Club Infinite Earths and Club Black Freighter products. I’m not sure who first posted the images, but it may have been the DASH blog.
Typically for Mattycollector, the images unfortunately aren’t very large, especially the ones of the biggest reveal, Castle Grayskull. I’m also a bit surprised that they’re using unpainted images; if they’ve gotten this far, I would think the Four Horsemen would try to get the whole thing painted in time for Toy Fair, and Mattel could just wait to snap a few of their own photos at the event and post them on the site.
Looking through the He-Man.org thread on the reveals, most people are psyched about Grayskull but a few note that it seems a little small and narrow. I think this was always going to be an inevitable aspect of it, just to keep costs down. It doesn’t bother me much; I’m already worried about where the heck I’ll be able to display this thing.
If you look behind Clawful, you’ll see what appears to be the Grayskull “robot” or “astronaut” – who was represented by a cardboard cut-out in the original playset. That’s pretty damned cool. I’m guessing it’s not articulated, but we’ll find out on Sunday for sure.
Let’s see…what else?
OH HAI MANTENNA.
Yes folks, Mantenna is coming!
The 4H and Mattel seem to have gone all-out on Mantenna – there’s a ton of new tooling there. The design of the legs looks great, though we’ll have to see how functional they are (and with four ankles, you’ve got to wonder what the odds of having a problem ankle or two are).
I think this is some of the Horsemen’s best work on MOTUC or even anything else, and rivals the Mantenna Staction.
Next up is Batros. If you weren’t an avid fan of the 1980s Filmation He-Man cartoon – or even if you were, but you haven’t watched the show in years – you may not remember who this guy is (that will be a theme for the next few reveals). Here’s his Wiki Grayskull page. He appeared in one episode “The Great Books Mystery.” He looks pretty cool, if a bit simplistic design-wise, but that’s the trade-off you get when you get all the new tooling for a figure like Mantenna – they’ve got to save the money somewhere. Batros’s head, feet and maybe his calves/boot-tops look like new tooling.
Filmation seems to be the big theme for 2013, because next up we have Shokoti.
Shokoti appeared in twice as many episodes as Batros, a two-part called “The House of Shokoti.” The 1980s He-Man cartoons didn’t have a whole lot of two-part episodes and Shokoti was played up as a pretty powerful villain, which made her appearance memorable to fans.
I haven’t watched the episodes recently, so I’m not sure what the deal is with the little Cthulhu Muppet, but the Shokoti figure looks like a good translation of the cartoon character.
Finishing out our Filmation-themed trifecta is Icer. Another one-hit wonder, Icer appeared in “The Ice Age Cometh” (proving once again that Eugene O’Neill’s most enduring contribution to pop culture was creating a go-to reference for the title of any ice-related album, TV episode, or NHL news report). One thing I like about Icer is that’s he’s basically just one of Skeletor’s Evil Warriors. That, combined with his cool translucent design, the neat accessories, and the fact that I just love ice-themed characters make this the Filmation figure I’m most excited about. It’s worth noting that he (apparently) comes with the fan-demanded Staff of Avion as well.
In his write-up at ItsAllTrue.net, NoisyDvL5 states “No word yet on how the three Filmation figures will be released, but I strongly suspect they won’t be part of Club Eternia.” Maybe I’m out of the loop on MOTUC, but why would that be the case? I can see how they might be a three-pack a la the vehicle pilots, but those are part of the subscription. It’s too late for a new “Filmation Sub” now. So I guess Noisy is speculating that this will be a big non-sub item, like Granamyr? Given that 2013 seems to be a big year of budget-tightening for MOTUC, that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. But again, maybe I’m out of the loop?
One commenter on IAT wrote:
People are speculating on the Filmation figures because during the last panic/threat/complain-off that is subscription deadline, there was the impression that people’s interest in the line was waning and finishing off the vintage line in the sub was top priority. Somewhere down the road, they’d look into another format of possibly pre-orders for ancillary characters. I think I’m getting this straight, this is cobbled together from Toyguru appearances on Roast Gooble, Youtube and Matty. So that’s why several people are questioning the bulk of Filmation leaks from last night.
I was thinking, as I looked through the reveals, that it was a little odd these obscure Filmation characters were being made when it had been made clear that finishing off the vintage toy line was a priority, but I figured that had just run up against Mattel’s desire to get what they could out of their deal with Classics Media for the Filmation rights.
But wait, there’s more! SO MUCH MORE!
We’ve already seen New Adventures He-Man sans helmet and armor, but here he is all geared up. While I’m not a fan of the original NA cartoon, I like the way it’s been incorporated into MOTUC and I like this figure – especially the new ball-jointed right wrist, allowing for the classic He-Man pose with sword-raised. I can only hope Mattel produces one more “regular” He-Man with that joint – perhaps as an SDCC exclusive? Fingers crossed.
And here’s Castaspella. Yep.
Moving on to DC Comics, there were three
The Huntress. I’m pretty sure this is the version with Jim Lee-designed outfit from Batman: Hush. It’s my personal favorite outfit, so while I didn’t subscribe to CIE this year, I may try to snag her on the day-of sale.
Next up we have Fire, whom I don’t know at all and therefore can’t muster up any excitement for. To try to pretend I’m excited about this would be disingenuous, but to those who have always wanted a Fire figure, your time has come.
And finally, it’s everyone’s favorite psychopathic rapist, the Comedian!
He looks fantastic, but I have to admit that even years after I stopped collecting DCUC, seeing those same re-used hips (with the “just a hint of underwear” sculpting), thighs and boots always bums me out a little.
So, what are your thoughts on the reveals? Excited? Disappointed? Wondering if there will be any surprises at all on Sunday?