Thursday, 1 May 2014

Opinion: MOTUC 'Filmation' Hordak

Yesterday, after essentially being forced by leaked pictures, Mattel revealed their Masters of the Universe Classics figure for this years San Diego Comic Con.

Mattel usually use this slot to release something that wouldn't fit in their regular releases of $25(ish) figures. Last year we had a Rock people twin pack, using the extra budget to pay for the large rock pieces. Previously we've had dual costume Queen Marlena & Cringer, Vykron with outfits to create 3 looks and so on.

Among this year's predictions were Rotar & Twistoid (due to their unusual shape) or, after they appeared in the mini-comic that came with the subscription figure, Laser light He-Man & Skeletor. Or perhaps Filmation Hordak.

Which turned out to be correct.

People have been clamoring for a Filmation-style Hordak for a long time. I count it as the only Filmation variant I want (I just don't see enough of a difference for He-Man, Teela etc and I simply don't like Filmation-style Clawful, amongst others). There were a number of things 'expected' from this figure: the blue colouring (obviously), a big selection of alternate arm attachments (in the She-Ra cartoon Hordak was always shapeshifting into things), plus a Filmation-style head, something much more angular and robotic-looking than the vintage toy look. Maybe, if we were lucky, Mattel would redo the armour to be more boney. Oh, and Imp, Hordak's little sidekick, as an accessory.

So here's the figure -

Out of the list above we've got blue, Imp and one alternate arm. Disappointment on a big scale.

Mattel has said they won't do a Filmation head because they want a 'unified style' for the Classics line. This being a rule they broke when they produced 200x-style Whiplash head, mini-comic Skeletor head, Filmation-style power sword, 200x Keldor swords, NA Skeletor head...

As for all the arm weapons we were expecting... Not sure why we haven't got those. Considering the minimal new tooling on this figure I'd have thought we could have got a few, at least. Even a bunch of repainted Trap-Jaw/Roboto/Hurricane Hordak weapons would have been a welcome addition.

I guess we got Imp. But even then most fans won't get the 'Imp as treasure chest' accessory that you can only pick up if you attend SDCC. This, again, is bound to annoy loyal subscribers who are the only reason the line continues.

I've seen fan photos with custom heads on and it makes a HUGE difference to the figure. As it is, it's a cheap repaint that even the least-talented fan could have made in a few minutes on their own.

And to charge $30 for it!

Personally, I feel Mattel have really wasted the slot here. There was no reason this figure needed to be an SDCC exclusive and doesn't use any of the advantages this particular con-exclusive slot provides. I can only think that the Rock people last year were a complete disaster sales-wise and thus Mattel needed to cut back on the figure cost this year.

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