Customizing action figures has been around practically since the dawn of the action figure itself (or certainly since Mego left certain gaping holes in their World’s Greatest Superheroes lineup). But it’s only in the last decade or so that we’ve seen a growing industry of fan-made figures and accessories, from reproductions of long-lost Star Wars weapons to Masterpiece Grimlock‘s crown. These efforts are of varying degrees of legality, but often they’re no different than Remco creating a He-Man knock-off line in the 1980s and selling it with the phrase “Plays with Masters of the Universe and other toy lines.”
On that note, today’s reviews are of two weapons that can “play with” Masters of the Universe Classics, but are also neat accessories in their own right.Â They’re the brainchild of Jeremy Sung, a.k.a. SpyMagician, and his company Spy Monkey Creations. I’d like to thank Jeremy for sending along these review samples.
So far, SMC has created two items: the Master Blade of the Empyrean and the Witching Axe of Ruination. The Master Blade is intended for Zodac, while the axe looks good with Skeletor.
Each weapon comes in extra flavors: the Axe has an orange version for Faker, while the Master Blade has a red version with a clear blade for Zodac, a red version with a blue blade for Zodak, and a black version with a clear blade for the upcoming Wun-Dar.
Design & Sculpt: The Master Blade of the Empyrean takes it stylistic motif from Zodac’s armor, with the “W” shape on the hilt.Â I chose the blue blade for Zodak, as I think his design better matches the science fiction look of the Master Blade. The sculpting is very good, with clean straight lines along both sides of the blade, and circles around the grip.
The Witching Blade of Ruination appears to take its cue from the first He-Man episode, “The Diamond Ray of Disappearance,” when Skeletor famously used an axe instead of his iconic Havoc Staff throughout the episode; like that axe, the WAOR has a “crystal ball” at the top and is twin-bladed. It also has a skeletal face between the blades, somewhat resembling a ram’s skull like the Havoc Staff, but with enough stylistic differences that Mattel’s lawyers won’t come calling.
The Witching Axe is quite large, too. It’s a barbaric weapon for a less civilized age.
Plastic & Paint: The sword is molded in clear plastic and there is silver glitter throughout the weapon, both giving the sense of an energy blade. The hilt and pommel are painted red, with the “W” shape left clear, which adds a nice touch.
The Witching Axe has been designed to match Skeletor’s sword; it has silvery, lighter paint along the edge of the blade, much like Skeletor’s sword. The eyes and nose of the “skull” are also filled in with flat black paint.
The orange Witching Axe has similar highlights, with darker orange for the skull parts.
Quality Control: Both weapons are very strong and sturdy, reminiscent of the weapons that came with He-Man and Skeletor and not the more rubbery weapons we’ve seen since then. They are easily of a production quality on par with MOTUC itself.
Overall: There’s no question at at $10 apiece, these are a bit expensive for fans already paying $20 per figure. But if you love MOTUC and are looking for some diversity from all the staffs and swords, I highly recommend these weapons. They look and feel like something Mattel and the Horsemen might have made. And while yes, I did get these review samples from SMC, I would have bought them myself if he hadn’t been able to spare a set. SMC has big plans for the future (see my interview with Jeremy) and I eagerly await their next items.
You can purchase them directly from Spy Monkey Creations’ store.
I am happy with my purchases from SpyMonkey. Looking forward to the next customized accesory!
Love the Axes of Ruination and the Empyrean Swords. All AWESOME! 😀
My Zodac sword definitely was worth its money.
And these weapons actually are among the most unexpensive MotU custom accessoires I've ever stumbled upon. Heck, I remember one guy demanding 25 bucks for 200x weapons such as a Snake Armor He-Man shield! And a friend of mine paid insane prices for "COTU" accessoires that turned out to be of a pretty bad quality.
@Garrett AI: it depends on what you're expecting. SM's stuff is a much higher grade plastic than you've seen in ANY of the mass market toys recently. and really, even than most of the direct market stuff… that BotE is like eating utensil hard man, no warping, no bending, that sword will likely outlast the fig it's given to. and you get creative flourish that you're just not going to get elsewhere, like the choose your figure colors.
you also get a VERY small production run and handmade stuff… ask any artisan, handmade equals expensive, but it also equals quality. if you pose 'em and forget 'em, yeah, it's likely not your cup of tea… but if you're a chronic re-poser (and who isn't w/ motuc?) or god forbid, a player, these are damned near indispensible.
I bet people wish there was a place to order eradicator
are you kidding me? $10 for an accessory? that is madness.
Personally I think Spy should offer a sale if you buy all three.
Suppose I might order a sword for Zodak. That looks really cool.
Somewhat related, I wish there were a place to order replacement visors for the DCUC Eradicator.
they REALLY need to sculpt a Zodak head without the helmet. they would sell tons!!
@PrfktTear: Good point. I don't think $10 is too much for the amount of work put into these, but I suspect sales would triple at $6 or $5 for each weapon.
Not knowing how much resin is required to make each piece, though, there's no way to know just how much it costs to produce each item.
I buy resin toys — which are priced anywhere from $20 to . . . well, no real limit — but designer toy fans are used to paying more for toys than I expect MOTU fans are used to paying.
I LOVE Zodak's display in the last pic. Let me guess– Superman Blue's electricity with Indiana Jones' (the 6 inch figure from the Disney parks) base?
Considering what people pay for the Transformers fan made creations, these are pretty cheap it seems.
I'm sure I'll go back and forth on displaying the axes (particularly Skeletor's), but I'm pretty sure I'll be leaving Zodak's sword in his hand forever.
they look awesome and fel awesome… yes, it's 10 bucks… but in a world where 10 bucks doesn't buy a decent figure anymore, it's nice to know that at least, you won't regret spending the money. look at it this way… two frappacinos can be drank in a single day… the witching blade of ruination lasts a lifetime.
The Articulated One
"There’s no question at at $10 apiece, these are a bit expensive for fans already paying $20 per figure"
That sums it up for me, but I totally understand why they have to charge that much. They look amazing, but I just can't keep investing this much cash into MotUC.