Review: Custom Masters of the Universe Classics Warduke Figure from Alvis Underground
Its no surprise that Dungeons & Dragons fans fell in love with this character when Ljn Toys first introduced him as an action figure in 1983. The toy's bright colors, swinging arm action, and creative mix of shapes and textures were a winning design! The toy's packaging revealed nothing about the character's history or abilities, instead simply labeling him as an "Evil Fighter". These elements I believe helped fuel children's' imaginations as they were left to decide for themselves who was behind the blue-horned helmet with piercing red eyes, and helped them imagine Warduke in worlds other than the D&D realm fighting other similarly-sized toys like Darth Vader or Superman.Source: Toyarchive.com
Warduke's bio has been fleshed out several times D&D adventure campaigns, giving fans insight into his equipment, special abilities, and magical spells spells like Devestation's Wake and Touch of Death. He was later featured in an episode of the animated D&D cartoon show called "In Search of the Dungeon Master" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvCvA2D96ZY
) in which Warduke's sword glowed and turned everything it touched to ice, helping him fell a tree and imprison the young heroes' ObiWan-esque mentor.
This popularity has lead to a variety of fan art and other media to be produced, giving us ample opportunity to show off our renewed loved for this character!
Masters of the Universe Classics offers the perfect base for this custom figure. Similar to Alvis Customs' Blackstarr conversion kit, this toy comes with a bright studded belt that wraps around and conceals the original toy's existing belt. There is quite a bit of sculpting on this custom figure, with just enough detail to emulate the vintage toy as closely as possible.
Alvis does a great job of maintaining the character's toy-like appearance, sticking to bright solid colors and just enough gloss to give the plastic an attractive new-toy shine. The figure's paint is sealed in tight and handling it I'm not concerned that anything will fall off or break. This was built to be played with. The necklace is glued in place (I removed the glue on mine) and his left hand is somewhat easy to remove (but not too easy) so its easier to attach the shield after applying
Warduke looks great posed with other Classics figures. Its easy to imagine him as Skeletor's new tool in a scheme to overthrow King Randor or to gain entry into Castle Grayskull. He has a great warlord vibe to him and could make a great faction leader, or some random brute with a chip on his shoulder.
Warduke has no articulation in his armored foot. Be sure to apply heat with a hair dryer to loosen his gauntlet hand otherwise it will be too hard and closed to allow his shield to be equipped. I'm debating whether to remove the yellow wash added to his exposed skin. If I do it will be removed with fingernail polish remover. Also trying to decide which DCUC head would look best so I can display Warduke without a helmet on.
The jewel is one of my favorite design elements to this figure. That and the impressive use of straps and rings, which I surmise would be very difficult to execute. Alvis pulled it off nicely!
All that's needed to strap his shield and sword to his back is a rubber band. Just cut the rubber band and carefully tie it to the back of the armor after looping it through the handle of the shield. The same loop can be used to slide the sword in like a sheath.
There are a ton of display options for this character. I can't wait to see what Warduke photos other MOTU fans come up with!