As the 2014 Club Eternia subscription struggles to meet its minimum, there has been a lot of negativity surrounding the way the line has been managed by Mattel. While such discussion is certainly justified, we at PGPoA thought we’d put together a list of reminders of what makes Masters of the Universe Classics so great, and why you might want to consider subscribing if you haven’t yet.
10.) Army builders. For the first time, MOTUC offers a variety of awesome army builder figures, often with alternate heads and weapons to offer as many custom looks as possible. The Palace Guards, the Snake Men and the upcoming Horde Troopers are all excellent examples of great army builder action figures.
9.) Thunder Punch He-Man. Because PUNCHING.
8.) Castle Grayskull. Everyone loves a good playset and a big chunk of that is our nostalgia for all the cool ones we had growing up. Sadly prices have risen and demand has fallen so the once staple of the our “play pattern” is all but lost to us forever. Well, after several strong years of figure sales MattyCollector did the near-unthinkable and brought us one of, if not THE, most iconic playset of the 1980s – Castle Grayskull. And what’s more, they did it IN SCALE with the 7” figures of the line AND reconstructed the full playset – not just the front wall or the drawbridge by the full kit ‘n kaboodle. Sure there was a lot of controversies around this piece at every step of the way – heck, it IS MOTUC after all – but the fact remains that the biggest toy company on the planet tried something new and innovative for such a major corporation – and it succeed. Nemo Eight saw the castle in person at SDCC and was totally blown away by it. This is absolutely the crowning achievement of the line and this will be the centerpiece of any display. The MOTUC Castle Grayskull is the most unique of all modern toys. It is a reason to rearrange your furniture because it is too cool and impressive to NOT have on display! We’ll never have a 6” scale Millenium Falcon or Colonial Marines APC or Star Trek Shuttlecraft, but by gum – we have the power! We have Castle Grayskull!
7.) Vikor. Considered by many to be one of the best, if not the best MOTUC figure, Vikor is essentially the Four Horsemen’s take on Conan. With a fantastic sculpt with lots of new parts and some excellent weapons, Vikor won over even the most diehard fans of other MOTU media as well as drawing interest from many non-MOTU fans. He is perhaps the best barbarian action figure ever made.
6.) Weapons Packs. There were weapons packs in the vintage MOTU line, but never anything like the ones we got in MOTUC. While many of the accessories were repaints, they were often repaints that made sense or looked even better than the “normal” versions, and the sets often contained unique – and awesome – items, such as Man-At-Arms Millennium-era arm weapon and Keldor’s split swords.
5.) The Four Horsemen. Nearly every single MOTUC item is designed and sculpted by one of the best design studios in the business, the Four Horsemen. Not only are the sculpts excellent, but the use of a single studio allows the line to maintain a consistent look across all eras and factions (although there has been an overly cartoonish element creeping in with some of the Filmation characters).
4.) Articulation. Classics is the first MOTU line to be not just well-articulated but almost super-articulated. You know the drill:
- ball-and-socket neck;
- post/disc ball jointed shoulders;
- post/disc ball joined hips;
- Biceps swivel;
- Wrists swivel;
- Waist swivel;
- Swivel at the top of the thighs;
- Swivel wrists;
- Hinged elbows;
- Hinged knees;
- Hinged abdomen;
- Hinged ankles, with varying degrees of back-and-forth “rocker” motion.
While it’s true there were sometimes issues with the articulation (particularly the ankles), it was still great to finally get this level of articulation on a Masters of the Universe line.
3.) The Beasts. The vintage MOTU line had its share of large monster toys, but it was left to MOTUC to provide some of the greatest examples of them. In addition to fully-articulated Battle Cat and Panthor, fans got the never-before-released-in-North-America Tytus and Megator, as well as new additions such as Gygor, the Shadow Beast, and the Griffin. And of course, the mother of all beasts, Granamyr.
2.) Previously-unproduced characters. It took thirty years, but Mattel finally carried through on its promise to produce Nathan Bitner’s Fearless Photog. Even better, figures like Draego-Man and Castle Grayskullman came along for the ride (and yes, the Mighty Spector and Sir Laser-Lot too, but the good outweighed the bad). And we even got figures of characters who were made into prototypes but never produced, such as He-Ro. Now where’s my damned Eldor?
1.) Character selection. The one thing MOTUC boasts that no previous line can is that it is, by far, the most comprehensive MOTU line ever made. It boasts characters from every medium and era:
- Early design concepts (Vikor, Demo-man, Vykron)
- Early minicomics (The Goddess, Mer-Man)
- Early DC comics (Battleground Teela)
- Vintage MOTU (He-Man, Teela, Hordak)
- Vintage POP (She-Ra, Frosta)
- Filmation (Fang Man, Shadow Weaver, Sea Hawk)
- Unproduced vintage figures (He-Ro, Fearless Photog)
- New Adventures (Optikk, New Adventures He-Man)
- Millennium era toys (Battleground Evil-lyn)
- Millennium cartoon (Chief Carnivus, Dekker)
MOTUC is THE Masters of the Universe line. Although some can (and will and should) argue about the distribution method and the scale, this toyline has produced more excellect action figures of more MOTU characters, reaching deep into all the different incarnations and versions of the mythos, than any toyline preceding it. This extends beyond the characters into individual artifacts made into accessories, army builders, vehicles and larger creatures, all of which have been worked into the mythos.
So while you may not like the way the bios went about incorporating all these different factions and eras into the same universe, we’re still lucky to have such a massive character selection from across the entire history of Masters of the Universe.