Saturday, 17 August 2013

Review: Masters of the Universe plushies

Masters of the Universe was 30 years old last year. To celebrate Mattel sold a load of licenses to various companies for a whole load of merchandise - t-shirts, letter openers - all kinds of tat. It's the greatest amount of branded Masters stuff on the market since the 200x cartoon ended.

One of the licenses was sold to Comic Images for soft toys. The first wave came out last year, although I've only just got hold of them. It comprises of He-Man, Skeletor, Beast Man, Trap Jaw and Battlecat.

All the toys are very heavily based on their appearances in the Filmation cartoon - to the extent that I'm 99% sure the printed faces are directly lifted from cartoon screenshots. They're all in a slightly deformed style, which works better for some characters than others.

Yes, I'm talking about you, Battlecat.

Battlecat is by far the 'worst' of the bunch since Comic Images have taken a four legged animal and turned him into a humanoid. Saying this, I love his goofiness and he's by far my favourite for this very reason!

The actual 'best' looking one is probably Beast Man. His super furriness works incredibly well and it's very difficult to fault the toy in any way. Trap Jaw is so-so. I'm not sure the 'jaw' really works that well. It's not bad, but the look isn't as good as the others. He-Man and Skeletor are great. Skeletor's hood is fantastic, whereas He-Man's hair...

Well, I have some crazy children who like being mean to heroes.

In addition to the five characters there's one more plushy in the range which instantly took me back 25-odd years. It's He-Man's Power Sword.

This thing is 30 inches long. With this in my hand I was little Damian once again, running round the house with it down the back of my shirt, proudly drawing it out and yelling 'By the power of Grayskull!' The children were quite glad I restricted this activity to the house. However this did result in the light fitting being whacked on several occasions. There's a stiff (presumably plastic), pole inside to hold the sword rigid and the outer plush padding means that it's perfect for clobbering people with free from fear of (serious) injury. Here's hoping Skeletor's staff and She-Ra's sword follow soon!

These toys are a lot of fun and a perfect way to entice the next generation of Masters fans. Just remember, that power sword is far too big for little hands - it's much better in the hands of Dad!

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