It’s easily my most anticipated line for 2008, so let’s see how MOTUC measures up in this advance review!
Since the announcement of MOTUC at this year’s past Comic Con, I’ve been hotly anticipating the release of these figures. The line looked like exactly what I’ve been wanting from a MOTU relaunch. Not a re-imagining, but a straight-up tribute to what made the line great in the 80′s combined with today’s standards of paint, articulation and design.
And thanks to a very good friend, I have the chance to review the first 2 figures in the line. Do they measure up? Let’s find out!
He-Man is very similar to the Comic Con Exclusive King Grayskull. But in terms of body construction he’s got a a few key changes. There’s the new shorter loincloth, which allows for better hip movement, as well as shorter boots making him slightly shorter than King Grayskull. (The fur cuff at the top of his boots are about half the thickness of King Grayskull’s.) He’s got the same airbrushed detailing on the musculature, though it looks slightly more precise than Grayskull. The only weakness in terms of deco is that the fleshtone on his face is painted while his body is molded in fleshtone plastic, making his face look glossier than the rest of his body. Otherwise his decos are clean and precise.
As anyone following the line knows, MOTUC was set to launch with He-man at the end of October, but was delayed due to the need to retool the harnesses to fit properly possibly by adding pegs, and to make heads removable. Whatever Mattel did clearly worked out fine as He-Man’s harness fits perfectly with no pegs or holes anywhere on his torso. He-Man’s head also pops of fairly easily (moreso than King Grayskull) indicating that the interchangeable heads on future MOTUC figures should work fine.
He-Man’s accessories include the same Power Sword, shield and axe that accompanied King Grayskull, as well as a new "half-Power Sword" and a classic iron cross style harness. The half sword is rigid and very slim, unlike the classic half sword and should form a full sword when combined with Skeletors Power Sword that is practically the same thickness as the solid sword. Nicely done. He-Man’s harness is 2 pieces and snaps together securely via 2 pegs. It also includes double center strap to hold his sword or axe.
All in all, He-Man cam out very nicely. He’s got a good selection of accessories, clean decos and is a great base upon which to build the rest of the line.
Beast Man is fantastic, and really shows the potential of MOTUC. Pictures do not do the figure justice. The sculpt and paint ops are strikingly clean and wonderfuly subtle. The combination of clean paint washes and drybrushing on this figure make it look almost more like a custom painted figure than a production toy. It’s almost a shame these are online only, as pictures just cannot do this figure justice and seeing him in person could sway a lot of naysayers. While the intial pictures made the figures look bulky or stubby, especially compared to the 200X MOTU line, seeing Beast Man in person makes you realize that they are very well proportioned in addition to being beautifully painted.
As with He-Man, the harness issue seems to have been solved with no need for pegs in the torso. Unlike the classic harness, however, this new one has no strap on it it simply sits on Beast Man’s shoulders and is held on by his head.
UPDATE: I didn’t realize initially that Beast Man’s shoulder armors are also removable. Unlike the classic ones they don’t have a peg they simply slide on over the hand and up the arm. They fit securely on Beast Man but can only be forced onto He-Man’s larger biceps and will end up stretched out as a result.
In addition to his harness, Beast Man’s only other accessory is his whip, this time all plastic unlike the string on the original. It’s molded in soft pvc and is about as nicely done as a simple whip can be!
So do these first 2 MOTUC figures measure up? I’d say so. While He-Man may have slightly fewer decos than Beast Man, he has more accessories. Despite delays and difficulties with the website, this line looks like a winner. I really hope fans give the line a chance. While $20 may seem high for a single action figure, Mattel is delivering quality product here. I hope they are able to offer some of the standard figures in addition to the exclusives at conventions as I really think that seeing the figures in person will sell fans on this line.
’Til next time, I leave you with some comparison pictures!