As promised, thanks to Mattel and our own JM we have reviews of both the upcoming MOTUC Faker and…Stratos!
Faker is the first straight re-paint in the MOTUC line. Some collectors love him, others see him as nothing but a cheap and easy repaint. Regardless of what you think of the character, the figure is very well executed.
The strongest aspect of Faker in MOTUC? The paint. The paints apps are numerous and for the most part clean and subtle.
Faker’s hair, belt, wristbands, hair and fur all have wonderful highlights and are very cleanly applied. He had a dark blue shade around the eyes, which is akin to He-Man’s "blush" which may or may not please some fans. The swords are very nicely done, cast in orange with a nice mettalic orange on the blade areas.
Faker’s infamous chest sticker is now a very clean tampo printed graphic.
In fact the only issue I have is with the weathering on the armor. There’s a dark brown/black wash that is not applied evenly on my sample and looks a bit out of place on an otherwise very clean looking figure.
As a figure, Faker is pretty much the same as He-Man and the only big improvement is that on my sample the face is truly matte, and does not suffer at all from the He-Man "shiny face."
The only other thing to note, and it should be true of Skeletor as well, is that the weapon loop on the back of the armor harness works a bit better than on He-Man. There’s the addition of a grooved tab that makes the weapon loop fit snugger around the Power Sword and should also allow you to put Skeletors Havoc Staff in the loop without it sliding about as much.
All in all Faker is a well executed figure and how much you like the figure will mostly depend on how much you like the character in general.
You can see the rest of JM’s pics of Faker pictures Here:.
Now the fun stuff…
Stratos is the first Heroic Warrior to join He-Man in MOTUC, and is a welcome addition as amongst the upcoming releases, the Evil Warriors far outnumber our heroes!
Stratos continues the tradition of excellent paint apps that MOTUC has strongly established thus far. His wings, cuffs and belt have nice highlights that really bring out the sculpt. Similarly the jet pack and fur loincloth have similar lighter blue details.
An excellent way to bring depth and detail to what were flat one color plastic in the vintage version. The airbrushing on his grey furry body is subtle very nicely done.
There’s even some nice sculpted detail on the inside of wings:
But there is an issue with his wings, that is in fact the first real design issue that I have had with a MOTUC figure.
It’s the way the wings are oriented. Now the vintage wings were clipped on at the wrist and had a band at the bicep. Obviously the bicep strap has to go to allow full use of his elbow articulation. So these wings are just glued on by the wristbands.
But as I said the problem is the way the wings are oriented. The wristbands are glued so that the wings are not on the sides of the forearms but at the bottom:
As you can see in the photo above, if you pose Stratos’ arms so his elbows bend forward his wings are behind his arm. If you want the wing on the side (as they appeared on the vintage version, the elbow must bend inward, with bicep facing his body. It’s not a huge problem, it’s just a bit awkward and not how I would have expected the wings to be oriented.
As an experiment I heated his arms up, removed the hands, and found it was easy to peel the wristbands off and put them back on, allowing them to rotate freely. And the area of the wrist the wristband slips over is flat on the bottom edge so it indicates that the figure was designed to have wings on the bottoms of his arms… odd.
Anyway, I think the wings look better rotated to the side:
And as an added bonus, if you swap the wings and reverse the direction, you can get the same effect as the 2002 version which had the pivoting wings!
All in all Stratos is a great addition to the MOTUC line. The wing thing bothered me a little, but as you can see it’s a very easy fix if you want to risk it!
‘Til next time!