Review > Fisto (Masters of the Universe Classics, Mattel)

“The guys in Masters of the Universe don’t have superpowers…they have deformities. “

I’m unable to think about Fisto without immediately recalling that quote from a twelve-year-old old X-Entertainment review of the Filmation episode “Fisto’s Forest.” As Matt writes, “The show’s a lesson in overcoming adversity more than anything else. If these guys can get over the fact that there’s something wrong with all of them, so can you.”

Between his giant hand and his made-to-order double entendre name, Poing Super Combat Fisto has the odd distinction of simultaneously being one of the most risible and awesome MOTU characters. Yes, his name and gimmick are ridiculous, but visually he’s a bearded armored badass who would fit in perfectly in most any other medieval fantasy world (well, except for the hand).

The hand of Fisto’s vintage figure wasn’t that big; you could argue it was just a big metal gauntlet. The Millennium version,* in keeping with the exaggerated anime-inspired aesthetic of that line, had a gigantic gauntlet and featured some interesting cybernetic detailing.

And now we have the Classics version, which hearkens back to the vintage figure but does have a few Millennium touches.

Packaging: It’s the same packaging we always get. I’ve written, what, fifty-plus reviews for this line? I know I’m supposed to write each one in isolation in case someone stumbles upon it via a Web search or something, but I just can’t assay an opinion on the packaging again. Check out one of my earlier reviews if you really need an opinion, or look at the photo. And yes, I realize I’ve already written far more words than I would have actually written about the packaging, but I feel much better for having done so. Moving on.

Design & Sculpt: Again, Fisto is based more closely on the vintage figure than the Millennium one, but he comes with everything you need to transform him into the latter.

First off, I’m glad the fist is smaller. While I liked the techno details on the Millennium fist, the size made it look silly. The Classics fist is basically just a metal gauntlet, though it does have some extra touches around the knuckles and so forth that make it more than just a silver lump.

Fisto comes with two heads, one bare and the other with the metal coronet seen on the Millennium figure (though thankfully lacking the snake-themed details this time). Both share the same face and are very well-sculpted, with a lot of character in the expression. My one criticism is that the heads seem small for the body, giving him a touch of a pinhead look. I don’t know whether that would be due to the Horsemen’s sculpt or a production error.

The armor is made from pliable plastic and looks just like it did with both previous figures, though it’s designed to hold Fisto’s huge sword (but not, it should be noted, the smaller sword). Aside from the removable Millennium-style belt, which also features some very nice sculpting, everything else on Fisto is re-used from earlier figures.

[Update – the right biceps is also a new sculpt; see the next section.]

Plastic & Paint: Fisto has one of the better paint applications we’ve seen on a MOTUC figure. They’re sharp and clean, even on the faces.

The glove is molded in silver plastic but it has some small golden paint apps on the knuckles, which breaks up the monotony of all that silver.

The only odd thing is that the right biceps is painted, rather than simply being molded in flesh color. I haven’t scratched it to see what color is underneath, but I’m guessing it’s silver and that it was produced at the same time as the glove. Update: The reason the biceps is a different color is because it’s a new sculpt; it’s larger than the standard biceps sculpt, so that Fisto can better hold up his huge hand.

Articulation: Fisto features the usual MOTUC articulation: a ball-and-socket head, ball-and-hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, hinged elbows, swivel wrists, hinged abdomen, swivel waist, ball and hinge thighs, swivel upper thighs, and hinged knees and ankles. The ankles are very, very tight, with very limited “rocker” motion.

Accessories: Obviously there’s the extra head and Millennium-style belt. The belt stays on well but is easily removable via a peg in the back. [One possible extra accessory we didn’t get, but would have been cool, is an interchangeable, more techno-looking Millennium-style fist.]

As for the big sword – first, some history. Before Fisto had even appeared in the Millennium toy line, he popped up on the cover of issue #1 of volume two of MV Creations Millennium-based comic wielding a gigantic sword. Emiliano based his art on the Four Horsemen’s design for the toy, which was supposed to come with the sword – they even sculpted a holster for it on the back of the figure. Unfortunately, somewhere along the way the sword didn’t cost out, and so the Millennium Fisto came with only a “snake catcher.” **

This time the Four Horsemen made sure to include the sword. Although very similar to Joe’s sword, this one was sculpted by Cornboy and has some minor differences. I’m a bit surprised Mattel signed off on the sword; given its huge size, I would think it would set off their “anime hyper-detail” alarm. But however it happened, we got it this time.

One thing occurs to me, though; the whole point of the giant sword, I would think, is that it’s meant to thematically go with the giant fist. So why not put a hole through the gauntlet and make the pommel removable, allowing it to be wielded in the gauntlet?

In keeping with the vintage figure, we also got a purple version of the Tri-Klops sword for you to throw in your accessories box and never look at again.

Quality Control: No problems. No, really.

Overall: Fisto is a fan favorite, and I include myself among those fans. Along with the likes of He-Man and Vikor, he’s one of the characters who looks the most like a traditional fantasy warrior, which I think at least partly accounts for his popularity. With a great sculpt, two swords, two heads and a removable belt, Fisto is already one of the best MOTUC figures of 2012.

[raven 4]

* Who was called “Battle Fist” on the toy packaging (possibly due to concerns over a trademark conflict with the Star Wars character Kit Fisto), but Fisto on the Millennium cartoon.

** Although one enterprising customizer named Joe Amaro created and produced his own version of the sword (I even had one).


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  1. Bigbot

    I gave the vintage sword to Tri-Klops. It just felt right.

  2. clark

    "we also got a purple version of the Tri-Klops sword for you to throw in your accessories box and never look at again"
    au contraire, that is the sword Fisto is displayed with right now my friend. I am very happy that we finally got a 200x giant sword, although I wish it were a little smaller so that we could also display it with the 200x figure.
    Regardless, I much prefer the classic design over the 200x look. I love that the extra belt and head are included (I guarantee their inclusion helped this figure sell out so quickly), but for me he will only be displayed with them every once in a while.

  3. Monte

    This is one of the… hmm… I guess we're up to ten or so MOTUC figures I want.

    But I really want this'n.

  4. Dead Man Walking

    I believe the right bicep is larger, on account of hoisting the giant fist. That also explains why it was cast in a different color.

    • That makes sense – I hadn't notice that, but you're right, it looks a bit bigger and more detailed.

  5. I just realized Mattel trademarked the name Duncan! Can they actually do that??

    • Hmmm…well, for one thing, I suspect they've trademarked it solely for "action figures." Not for every single use of the name. You could, for example, still name a book or comic "Duncan."

      But it's a common enough name that if someone wanted to contest it, they'd probably have a case – although Mattel would be able to bring a lot of lawyers to bear on it.

    • You're probably right, but a company trademarking first names makes me nervous.

      Oh well, as long as it doesn't ruin my dream of a (smaller than 12") Duncan MacLeod action figure! 😀

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