Poe’s Point > Vykron Thoughts

Mattel has posted a new video with Scott Neitlich explaining the Vykron SDCC exclusive and showing off the packaging.

One thing I didn’t initially realize about these figures – the boots and cuffs are half-parts that clip on, rather than full parts that encompass the limb and snap on a la the original Toy Biz Iron Man. I understand it as a cost-saving measure, but it makes the figures significantly more like “Cosplay He-Man.”

To be fair, I think this is a great exclusive, and this post by “Prince Adam’s Dad” explains it as well as I could:

Personally, I’m unlikely to pick it up. It’s a neat concept and a cool part of the line’s history, but it just doesn’t fit into what I’m doing with my collection. However, there are plenty of people who will be interested in him. More to the point, there are plenty of people who will be interested in three or four of him to display in each of his forms and MOC.

So it’s a non-essential figure that some people will buy multiples of – sounds like the perfect convention exclusive to me.

Scott Metzger articulates what I realized is the cause of my own (mild) disappointment with this exclusive:

It’s not a bad idea, and there is an old fashioned fun factor involved here. There’s just something not so thrilling here. […] There are a lot of other unused concepts we’ve seen that I would have no problem seeing in the line, up to and including the big blowhard guy who was supposed to expand like a puffer fish (never can recall the name). Yes, he’s silly, but he’s all MOTU.  I don’t get that feeling here, maybe because two of the figures AREN’T MOTU at all, and were never intended to be. They were alternate directions the line didn’t take. I know everything and the kitchen sink can go into MOTU; that’s part of it’s core concept. But somehow knowing what these are puts them outside MOTU for me[.]

I’ve loved every previous previously unproduced/concept figure, from Wun-Dar to He-Ro to Gygor to Vikor to Demo-Man. I’ve particularly loved the way these figures still work in MOTU – regardless of whether you go by their “canonical” MOTUC bios, they look fine alongside the other figures, and you could imagine whatever back-story you wanted (or just think of them as concept figures).

But while the barbarian in this set works okay with MOTU, Tank-Man and, to a lesser extent, Boba-Fett-Man look like exactly what they are: pitches that didn’t make the cut. Tank-Man in particular looks off because of the obvious U.S. military aesthetic. He’s not just goofy, he’s incongruous (and this is coming from someone who liked Fearless Photog).

I’ve previously discussed how “He-Man,” like G.I. Joe, Captain Action or Big Jim, sounds like a name for a generic action figure toy that could be dressed up in different outfits to play different roles and characters. I think it’s to Mattel’s and our benefit that it didn’t turn out that way, but the possibility was there, and this set reminds us of that.

Final word: do I like it? I just can’t say yet. I need to have them in hand. My hunch is that the mix-and-match nature of the outfits might be more appealing in person (especially when combined with the existing Weapons Packs). I’ll be buying one set (online, after SDCC), and I’ll review it on its own merits then.

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  1. Magneto76

    I really want to know why the base for the Orb sitting on his desk is Blue instead of the white version we've seen with the Convention Sorceress….

  2. AnimateTed

    I think the real issue here is execution. Conceptually, yeah it's just an ok idea. But the execution is the big miss. The snap on pieces and the "Removable Hair" idea is just weak. Can I ask a question? Does it cost more to Sculpt two different heads (one Barbarian and one Space) than it does to sculpt 3 pieces that have to be interchangeable (head base, hair and helmet, and space helmet) I thought tooling costs were tooling cost and that a head costs as much as a weapon or accessory. Then why not just do 3 separate heads instead of 2 heads and two helmets? I think executed better, I'd be all over this. But I'm just kinda meh. And the last thing I ever want to be about MOTU is just… meh.

  3. The Big R

    What is wrong with this set? It looks cool, it's pretty cheap, and it's fun… I don't get what the long faces were about! Sure almost everyone wanted a Minicomics Barbarian-to-HeMan figure, but what is offered looks pretty cool.

    I think at this point, anything that Mattel does is going to piss off the fans. Even if every subscriber was given a free Ram Man it still wouldn't be enough to repair all the broken bridges on that road. They keep screwing customers over (and over, and over, and over…) and no matter what, people won't be happy.

    Even the reveal of Frosta (a figure .org members have been screaming for steadily since 2009) has just turned into another thing to get mad about. I am not defending Mattel or saying what they do with QC and the lies they tell constantly is OK or right to do by any means, but it's just such a bummer to see a very, very small minority of fans complain about everything and anything. I used to really enjoy the .org and the comments there but there seems to be a "new guard" of very vocal fans who are just not realistic with expectations, and the mouths seem to move much more than the wallets with all the complaints (it's not rocket science; you don't like the line, don't buy it.)

  4. The only element I like is, in fact, Rocket Pack Man ("Ropan"?) But I like the concept enough that I am very much on the fence about whether to make a play for the set. But the whole thing seems to be too Centurians to be MOTU.

    Now give me Four Horseman developed Rockman two packs (which could be done in a way to allow for troop building options) and I'll open my wallet.

  5. Fallen Eldor

    Good analogy to the 1994 iron man figure, but in 2012 on an "adult collectable" it just feels childish…[He said without a hint of Irony.] I'm really curious why these parts were not designed in the style of Fisto's & Trap Jaw's belts? As for the designs…Didn't Roger Sweet design and make these in a week? Because it shows…The 4HM should have taken a LOT more creative liberty with these things. I honestly think they could work if a few things were changed. I've some ideas about how to do so that involves something akin to Guile becoming stranded on Eternia and repainting scraps of prototype Horde Trooper body parts to become "Tank Man". As for the other one, I have a picture of Boba-Fett raiding King Leonidas wardrobe after crash landing in Sparta..

    "non-essential figures" … "perfect convention exclusive to me" I just don't understand this sentiment, It seams illogical. First off, everything is available from mattycollector. It seams that Mattel have learned from the Gleek Tragedy. Nothing is really exclusive anymore. Secondly, EVERY figure should be essential. "non-essential figures" + poor sales = "killen of lein". Once the end comes, I want to look upon the MOTUC collection as if it where a Marvel Legends Fin Fang Foom or vintage Tytus & Megator. Fought for long and hard, well earned but most importantly complete! I concede that trying to "complete" a toy collection is like expecting Moses to walk the streets of Israel, but like the afterlife you want to at least hope it's a reality! As to your penultimate point;

    "He-Men: the Masters of the Multiverse"
    Lost in time and space due to the Cosmic Key malfunctioning, the Most Powerful Man in the Universe's heroic exploits inspirer legions
    of heroic warriors from across the vastness of the multiverse to rise up against the forces of evil and proclaim them selves "He-Men"!
    Upon each new world that Prince Adam visits he puts right what once went wrong secretly hoping that the next world he visits will be his own.

    Each story could be a potential gold mine of variety and character selection that could be spun off into it's own thing. Just imagine:
    Coming in 2019 "He-Man and the Military Masters"
    Coming in 2020 "Ro-Bo-Man and Masters of the Manchines"
    Coming in 2021 "Dino-Man: Masters of the Human-Riders"
    Coming in 2022 "Major Matt-Man and the Masters of Spaaaaaaaace!"
    Coming in 2023 "She-Man and the Fairy Fashionistas"

    All kidding aside, the Universe is a big place, I think there is room for everything. Anything that keeps the brand alive and in people's mind is a good thing. Mattel should only be limited by marketability and creativity! "He-Men and the Masters of the Multiverse" may not be MY He-Man, but I don't begrudge people other then Prince Adam using the name so long as they DON'T LIVE ON ETERNIA and/or run around half naked in animal fur!. At least with the above idea, we'd get something new as opposed to another recycled ineffectual plan from Skeletor to seize Castle Grayskull in another new continuity!

  6. Andy

    Yes Poe, it fits the premise of a convention exclusive. But years prior, we've gotten King Grayskull, Queen Marlena, Orko and Prince Adam. All more or less essential characters that have appeared in MOTU media. So you can see why people were quite underwhelmed by this years offering. Also, when the line finally ends in 201_ & you're lamenting why they never got to 'X' figure, you'll start to think "Man, if only they used the 2012 SDCC slot, we coudda had him/her"

  7. JediCreeper

    I think what I like most about it is how unnecessary it truly is… even he-ro had a history and place in the line, but this, these toys of prototypes of toys that didn't happen can easily be left out and ignored and not hurt anything. I'll likely do what Poe is doing, buy a set online later, in this case, the military, and I expect to use at least on of my extra he-men to goof around with all the extra bits.

    but mostly I'm happy that I don't need to spaz over someone getting me the SDCC version nor, ultimately, if I don't end up getting it (which seems unlikely, this doesn't seem like a fast sell out to me) I won't care

    the perfect exclusive

  8. dayraven

    i've been pronouncing it /vih-kron/ in part to help differentiate it from vikor, and i was quite happy… until toy guru spoke. why does he always have to ruin things by talking?

    the clip on bits are no surprise to me, i noticed that too from the photos. i think that it needed an explanation says a lot about the fanbase… but i digress. i still look at this and think there was potential to make three unique characters, and it was blown in favor of a slapdash execution that does not really pay a skillful homage to the original rough protos, nor do they make a satisfying update. in trying to serve two masters, they failed both.

  9. The way I see it, haters gonna hate. Some folks just need to realize they don't HAVE to buy everything. This is supposed to be an SDCC Exclusive — so its not like its taking away toolin' money from a potential Ram-Man or Mod-u-Lok.

    These make a perfect exclusive because its not a must-buy and then there are those who will buy multiples… heck one of each to display out of box and one of each to display MIB.

    • Fallen Eldor

      Unless they use that tooling money to make Ram-Man or Modulok! 😉 Both have vastly different body types and are expensive investments if only used once. The sooner we get them, the sooner the
      new tooling can be reuse on future figures that would need a larger or smaller sized body types.
      Given the fan's reaction, I think this is gonna be another Mo-Larr. I doubt the few people buying multiples can make up for that.

  10. It's a neat idea, but a really lazy execution imo. I don't hate it, but I certainly won't buy it. The whole thing screams 'last minute job' to me – now, that may not be the case, but it just comes across that way… Slapdash and lazy!

  11. Reverend Ender

    They couldn't do better than 360p on the video?

  12. Mecha-Shiva

    Kinda like him,reminds me of Centurions or something where his suit changes for different purposes,tankman for armor/long distance,barbarian for melee and flightsuit for speed and flying.

  13. AmericanHyena

    I’m sorta non-plussed by him / them myself. I actually noticed the clip-on nature from the initial reveal (the wrist cuffs give it away).

    The alternate two designs do very little for me–at least on that body. I suspect the space costume might be significantly improved if used on either the Icarius, Bow, Optik or Photog bodies.

    I mean… I’ll probably get it while I’m down there. $30 in person isn’t really that different than $20/$22 shipped and the basic viking look will probably look pretty decent next to Vikor (once those ugly shin guards are removed).

    The fact that there ISN’T a DCUC exclusive eating up funds does make me more inclined to say “why not” and pitch in for a character I’m lukewarm on.

  14. Newton Gimmick

    That's exactly how I thought this figure would be. Right down to not having hair.

    • Mario

      Same. No surprises here.

      I'm so relieved that I needn't worry about anything at SDCC (thus far) this year from the companies "I do business with", 'cause 2012 is shaping up to be one of the costliest years yet.

  15. Mysterious Stranger

    I get what you're saying about the other two costumes not fitting in with MOTU. But I get a strong New Adventures vibe from the Space Man outfit. So with the Barbarian fitting in the classic MOTU and Space Man fitting in NA that just leaves Tank Man. And honestly he looks like something Filmation would cook up for the cartoon. Like something Orko would accidentally create when casting a spell or something.

    • Misterbigbo

      I also get the NA vibe from space man, and as such feel he fits in the line. Tank man there is about as incongruous to the line as Rio Blast will be, and there are plenty of folks who want him.

      As far as I can tell, many (most?) who complain about these guys are doing so from the same old perspective of "why aren't we getting [insert MOTU/NA/POP figure here] instead?" I get it, but it is getting tired. Has there ever been an SDCC exclusive that has been universally appreciated?

    • Probably Orko with his Prince Adam accessory, and Queen Marlena.

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