Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Mattel MOTUC Filmation He-Man

Masters of the Universe Classics has been going on since 2008. Eight years and it’s still going fairly strong, pretty amazing. But with all the vintage figures from the original toyline fully updated Mattel has had to change things up to keep things going. The first step was to spit the line into two groups, the Collector’s Choice line which started last month with Lord Masque, and Classics 2.0 which was recently renamed Club Grayskull which consists of Filmation styled variants of He-Man and his friends and foes. And it’s the Club Grayskull line we are looking at today with its first figure, none other than He-Man himself.
To fully emphasize the whole 2.0 vibe, the Club Grayskull figure nix the blister cards for a full on window box, also replacing the shipper boxes with a slip cover that actually blends into the box, looking like Castle Grayskull with the door firmly shut. Removing the slip reveals the figure stepping apparently stepping out of the Castle complete with a view of the interior behind him. The back has another image of the castle with He-Man in front, as well as a how this line was meant to pay homage to the old Filmation cartoon. No new bio for He-Man though, which is sad because Mattel’s throwing away a perfectly good opportunity to poke some fun at the old show’s campy side. Oh come on, you telling me you wouldn’t giggle a bit if a bio stated that He-Man typically ended a day of fighting evil with a warm glass of milk, or some other goody two shoes routine?
Anyway, enough of the box, let’s get down to business. For the most part, He-Man’s new figure uses the same buck as about 90% of the line, but what is different makes him quite interesting.  Most obvious is his outfit which is far more simplified than what we’ve seen in the past. The boots, belt, loin cloth, bracelets, and armor all have a cleaner, less busy sculpt to them. This serves the cartoon styling quite well, but what really brings it home is the head. The face sculpt is fully tailored to the cartoon design all the way down to that advertised hairdo. Seriously, Mattel made the “do” a selling point. All in all, I think it works well for He-Man.
For articulation, all the standard points are present and accounted for. Ball-jointed head, universal shoulders, biceps, wrists, ab-crunch, waist, universal thighs, thigh swivel, knees, boot cuts, and ankles. In addition to that however, He-Man also gets the added hand articulation from the NA He-Man and some better defined ankle pivots, which will make for some very epic poses.
The accessory count feels more bare bones, but the most essential one is here in his trusty Power Sword, which is a little bit of a letdown due to it being completely unpainted. I know this is for the cartoon look, but a silver blade would have done wonders for it. Luckily the Filmation Power Sword that came with Flogg a while back works great with this figure. There is even a sheath for the blade on his armor, a definite improvement. Best of all, with the hand articulation He-Man is sporting, he can even pose like he’s gonna pull the sword from its sheath. Don’t actually try to pull the sword out while still in his hand though, it will most likely break if you do.
The other accessory is an interesting display piece in itself. A simple pedestal with two divots for swords to be placed in. This has some nice possibilities to it. The boring one is just have He-Man pulling his Power Sword out of it, but let’s have some fun with this. We can have the light and dark halves displayed next to each other, which would go great with the Orb of Power. Or we could have another way to display the Sword of Power and Sword of Protection together. And let’s not forget Keldor’s split blade. For something so simple, this may be one of the more entertaining parts of the figure.
The real big question is, how well does this He-Man fit in with the rest of Classics? I’m happy to say he fits in just fine. He looks great riding Battle Cat, or even Swiftwind if you want. She-Ra also looks good next to him, as do most others. With many figures in the line already taking nods from Filmation, it’s not hard to throw He-Man in as another variant of the character.

Filmation He-Man (yes I’m calling him that) may be one of the finest versions of the character we have gotten to date and a great start to the Club Grayskull line, which now consists of only Evil Warriors (why did I bother saying friends?). That said, if you have a previous version of He-Man and missed out on this one, wait for the hype to cool down or for Matty to re-release him before hunting him down. This one’s not worth paying double or triple his original price for, especially if you already have a He-Man in his place.