Author: RZ

RZ aka Rich Zilg, is a musician, producer, and writer who has been collecting toys, comics, and other pop culture memorabilia since the mid-90's. After years of neglecting to document his collection, he's recently started in earnest with The 3.75 Inch Action Figure Museum, which can be viewed at 375inchactionfigures.blogspot.com.

Guest Review > New Adventures He-Man (Masters of the Universe Classics, Mattel) by RZ

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The following is a guest review. It does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Poe Ghostal or the staff of PoeGhostal.com.

By the time I began to collect as an adult, the 1990 He-Man toy line was largely forgotten, and only really remembered by the truly hardcore. I’ve owned tons of He-Man toys, figures, books, stamps, comics, Mexican bootlegs, rubber figures, even party napkins- but never owned a single figure from the New Adventures of He-Man.

While I am a huge sci-fi fan, for some reason with Masters of the Universe, I am always more interested in the fantasy figures, more than the science fiction character aspects of the series. I love the mix of science and fantasy in MOTU, of course; it’s the juxtaposition of these two somewhat disparate genres that make MOTU unique, its presentation of a post-apocalyptic future, a savage-dominated planet with its technological past as mysterious as the magic it coexists with.

I was first introduced to He-Man through the original minicomics that came with the 80’s figures, a short while before the TV show hit the airwaves, and these comics tended to treat science and technology as a very rare thing to find in the MOTU universe. It was much more like a Golden Books version of the 1970s fantasy movement than anything else aimed at small children at the time, and the incredibly detailed Alfredo Alcala art captured my imagination at a very young age, and never let go.

So while I love science fiction, I just have little interest in a mostly-science-fiction New Adventures of He-Man series or toy line, despite the cartoon’s cool Japanese Anime art style. So combine my disinterest in the show with my disinterest in He-Man variations, and that’s not a lot of excitement for this version of the character. So when the new Galactic Protector He-Man figure from the Masters of the Universe Classics line arrived on my doorstep in July 2013, I was nowhere near as interested in him as I was other figures. But it looked pretty cool from the promotional photos, and I’ll give any unloved toy a chance.

Let’s take a look at New Adventures He-Man (or NA He-Man for short), which is a highly anticipated figure for NA fans, and the main character behind the Galactic Protectors faction (Classics code for “New Adventures Good Guys.”)

Guest Review > Clamp Champ (Masters of the Universe Classics, Mattel) by RZ

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The following is a guest review. It does not necessarily represent the opinions of Poe Ghostal or the staff of PoeGhostal.com.

Clamp Champ came out too late in the vintage Masters of the Universe line to be any interest to me in 1987. It wasn’t until the 1990s and my high school and college years that I began collecting vintage He-Man toys via comic book store blowouts and garage sales. Vintage figures carded were easy to find and in some cases cost less than a can of Coca-Cola; the doubles were fun joke gifts to give to family and friends.

But one of the figures I had a huge amount of trouble getting on a sealed card was Clamp Champ, the only black character in the original vintage line. When Clamp Champ was announced for the 2013 Masters of the Universe Classics line-up, it was of special interest to me, as I had never had it as a child or as an adult, and those tend to catch my obsessions more than things I once owned.

Guest Review > Willie, Jace, Phil, Si (Duck Dynasty/Adventure Wheels, Tree House Kids) by RZ

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One of the more interesting toy lines to come out in 2013 was the Adventure Wheels Duck Dynasty Action Figure line, made by Tree House Kids. Released as four individually carded 3¾” scale figures in June 2013, in what is apparently a U.S. Walmart exclusive, the set flew under the radar of most collectors and fans of the show. Adult collectors tend to avoid similar “budget” lines, such as Chap Mei’s offerings, or the many non-licensed lines that Toys R us and Walmart offer. So the surprise release of these toys, combined with the huge popularity of the show, has made these slightly difficult to obtain this summer.

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

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The following is a guest review.

While I have been a fan of Masters of the Universe since I was a wee lad in 1982, I know very little about Princess Of Power, or the Netossa character specifically (beyond the difficulty to get a carded vintage sample). In fact, watching the She-Ra cartoon in preparation for this review was the first time I’d done so since the ’80s. It is not through any dislike or feeling the figures are bad, “girly”, or poorly done; I’ve just always leaned towards the mini-comics, Evil Warriors faction, and the classic card back art. I enjoyed the Filmation cartoon as a child, but my days with Masters of the Universe started with a barefoot barbarian and Alfredo Alcala and ended with the introduction of the Horde and the Snakemen.

However, I feel that MOTU Classics, is an “everyone is welcome” line; a wide variety of characters that showcases the diversity of 20th-century genre fiction, as well as the human imagination. Its freakiness and combinations are what make it unique and endearing. To start excluding or pinpointing what or what is not MOTU is strange in a line that not only includes barbarians and robots, but also elephant-headed men and human motorcycles. To say these multi-color super-heroines aren’t welcome on the same shelf as my giant green cat that a blonde weightlifter rides is, to me, not in the spirit of the line, either today or thirty-plus years ago. Buy what you want to buy, collect what you want to collect, but putting others down because your taste is different than theirs isn’t exactly my cup of tea.

Being the only black female figure ever produced in the vintage She-Ra: Princess of Power toyline, as well as one of the more difficult to find figures from the final wave of POP toys, has made Netossa a popular vintage figure among She-Ra collectors since the 1990’s. It may be worth noting some fans believe that Netossa is in a romantic relationship with her vintage Wave Three companion, Spinnerella. Looking at the episode of the cartoon Netossa and Spinerella appeared in with 35-year old, 2013 eyes, it’s pretty easy to draw those conclusions, but since no one, to my knowledge, has asked anyone who worked on the show about it, fans just don’t know for sure. Their relationship is obviously much closer than some of the other characters on the show, with Netossa calling Spinnerella “sister,” and Spinnerella seeming to go to any lengths to protect her friend from harm in the episode “When Whispering Woods Last Bloomed.” Regardless of the hard facts, Netossa has become an icon of sorts for some gay fans, and her relationship with fellow Great Rebellion member Spinnerella is for many a very important part of their own personal relationship to the property.

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