Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Review: MOTUC SDCC Filmation Hordak

I posted in the lead-up to San Diego Comic Con about the disappointment that was the exclusive figure Mattel were selling at the convention. Despite this, I still went ahead and bought it from when he went on sale there shortly after the con ended.

The figure is, more or less, exactly the same as the one that was released way back at the beginning of the Classics line. There are a couple of changes, but if you have that figure you know what to expect.

So, to the changes. The biggest one, obviously, is the colour change. In the 80s, toy-Hordak was a drab grey. The one that appeared in the cartoon, however, was bright blue. This big difference is the main reason I never had Hordak as a kid. The toy just looks dull and boring compared to the Filmation one and thus I much prefer the cartoon one.

In the 'toon Hordak was a biomechanical being (in Classics, however, he's been depicted as an evil wizard) and he often changed his form into a rocket etc. To simulate this, the left arm of the figure can be detached and replaced with a cannon arm. Or, if you prefer, a mechanical hand can be plugged (with some difficultly) into the end of the cannon for a slightly different look). It's a nice touch, though why Mattel didn't make it possible to change both arms is a mystery (Trap Jaw has this ability, for instance).

There are two other minor changes - he features the new style ankle joints, meaning they're much tighter than the ones on the original Hordak, and he has a shorter loincloth.

Everything so far is all good. The problem comes with the face. In the cartoon, Hordak has an angular, almost robotic face, but, sadly, Mattel opted against including a secondary head to represent this. The reason given was that they wanted a uniform look across all the Hordaks. Since we've already had things like an Alcala-style Skeletor head and (coming soon) both 200x and original-toy style He-Man heads, this reasoning makes the kind of sense that doesn't. It was a BIG mistake on Mattel's part not to bother with this. I could live without a more cartoon-accurate cowl, but the head... I mean, they included a staff that he never had in the cartoon and thus really wasn't needed.

A quick aside - I switched over the heads in the following photo and discovered that while the Filmation head is nice and tight on the Filmation body, if you use the toy-style head on the Filmation body you suddenly get a bobble-head effect. It's really, really loose and flops all over the place. Since the heads ought to be exactly the same, I can only assume that there is a size difference between the cowl with a cape and that without.

The right arm band doesn't fit very well since it was sculpted to fit the left arm.

In Mattel's system, this SDCC figure is a two-pack since it comes with a tiny figure of Imp, Hordak's sidekick from the She-Ra cartoon. He's articulated at the head and arms and even features a 'toon-style Horde logo on his chest, in place of the 'Classics' style one. It would have been nice if he came with a flight stand, but Mattel have made him so small this isn't really possible.

This figure has been much demanded. Many people prefer the Filmation look over the original toys and had been eagerly expecting this figure. The fact that it was let down by a stupid decision on the part of Mattel is really, really annoying. Maybe a secondary head will appear packed in with another figure at some point, though with the Classics line ending in a little over a year, I'm not sure there's time.

With the white crossbow from the Weapons Pak.

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