Thursday, 17 April 2014

Review: MOTUC Quarter 1 2014

For 2014, in an effort to counter rising shipping costs and postal company 'handling' fees, Mattel offered a quarterly shipping option for their Masters of the Universe Classics subscription. The first delivery of which arrived on my doorstep the other week. Since there's been rather a large break in my reviews, a bumper review seems like a good way to kick them off again.

You'll notice there's no pictures of the Unnamed One. This is because I have no idea where I've put him.

Most of the Princess of Power toys released in the 80s bore little to no resemblance to their cartoon counterparts, leaving many a child upset. Finally that has been corrected, with MOTUC Glimmer looking as though she's leapt out of the TV screen.

The major controversy with the figure, like a lot of the POP figures in MOTUC, is a skirt replacing the leotard seen in the cartoon. On Glimmer this really doesn't bother me at all. Whereas the skirt on Adora, for example, looking a bit rubbish, Glimmer looks absolutely fine. In fact, personally, I'd call this figure as being perfect.

I've stated before that I love New Adventures of He-Man. I have fond memories of watching the show on a holiday morning, usually twinned with COPS, while I sat in my bedroom surrounded by half-built Lego creations. I love all the NA characters so, unlike many, I don't dislike the MOTUC versions simply because they're from NA.


That armour does the figure no favours at all. It's far, far too bulky and ruins what otherwise would have been a great update. It's not quite as bad as some have ranted on the 'net, but it is bad.

Hydron comes with his crazy trident weapon thing, which looks weird yet I really like as 'alien' characters ought to have weapons which bear little resemblance to Earth ones. It's made of a very gummy plastic, which isn't so great, and has a holster on his belt where the trident can hang not particularly well.

What's always bothered me about Hydron is why he needs both the mask and the helmet. Surely one negates the need for the other? Or is he paranoid that the helmet will crack? A welcome addition to the toy would have been an unmasked head, especially since he was commonly mask-free in the cartoon. And, annoyingly, the helmet is shaped so that it forces Hydron to look down all the time.

It'd be difficult to choose the best figure in the MOTUC line, however picking the best toy is now incredibly easy. Modulok is an amazing amount of fun. You can (and I have) sat for hours building him in increasingly crazy ways. The ball and socket system works very well and the pieces are very easy to plug together, hold strongly, but are easy to pull apart again. He really is the highlight of this quarter's figures and is going to be very hard to beat as Figure Of The Year in this, or any other, toyline.

The Unnamed One
This is the subscription exclusive figure and supposedly one the fans will really get a kick out of. I think the general opinion is that TUO will get a kick from the fans back to wherever he came from.

TUO is supposed to be The Big Bad; he created the Snakemen and did various other nefarious deeds. And this is the figure Mattel have chosen to represent that character. Hmm...

It's not that it's a bad toy. I like the design, I think it looks good (apart from the bondage head, which is terrible and a complete waste of tooling budget when they are characters - such as Hydron - which are crying out for a second head) and he'd be a welcome addition to the ranks of MOTU bad guys. Just not as TUO. He's not impressive enough, not imposing enough, not evil enough.

I don't know what it is about Mattel with regard to Trollans (the species to which Orko & TUO belong) in MOTUC. They seem to want to make them super powerful. In the cartoon Orko was comic relief, a court jester whose tricks always went wrong. I'm fairly sure it was in the He-Man lore previously that Orko's tricks went wrong because of something to do with this universe and that at home they all worked fine, but now it's a Big Deal, a major story point. Heck, in one of the mini comics that came with an earlier figure, Orko kills all the snakemen! Yes, sweet lovable old Orko commits genocide!

As I mentioned, TUO comes with a second head which makes him look like someone who'd rather be locked away in a pornographic dungeon than taking over the universe. In addition he has a wand (which is perfectly ok) and a magic 'effect' which attaches to his hand. This is a nice accessory and something I wish we'd seen more of with magical characters, however it does make the figure a little unstable due to its bulk.

Overall, it was a pretty good start to 2014 MOTUC. A few design faults to be sure and I'm sure we could have all lived without TUO (was he really that demanded?) but Modulok more than makes up for any mistakes with the other figures. Roll on Q2!

No comments:

Post a Comment