When Super 7 took over the Masters of the Universe Classics line from Mattel I was pretty much okay with being done with the line.
I had every character I ever wanted (except for Wun-Dar, who I now consider a lost cause) and plenty I didn’t. I looked at the shift in companies as an opportunity to bail. As a matter of fact, I intentionally neglected updating my credit card information for the final few months of Mattel’s releases because I decided I didn’t need them.
Fortunately I was able to pick the ones I wanted up for cheap at GameStop and ThinkGeek a couple of years later.
Super 7 has announced a couple of things I want here and there – most notably Karg – but after years of subscribing to MattyCollector and paying for things I don’t really want I can’t justify signing up Super 7’s sets, which have all included at least two figures I do not want.
Note: Obviously this does not include the recently announced and offered William Stout Collection. I jumped on those day one.
From time to time Super 7 offers individual figures, though. And I’ve been more than happy to grab them because they’ve been fun, gimmicky things like Laughing Prince Adam and Holiday He-Man. And today’s subjects.
I was never particularly interested in the Filmation style Classics figures. They look great, but they don’t fit in with the regular Classics collection and I don’t want to start all over again. I have Trap-Jaw – who is the character I’ll buy in pretty much any form – thanks to our pal Rad Ranger, but I had no plans to own anybody beyond him.
Then Super 7 revealed that beautiful and weird Robot He-Man head, as well as Laughing Skeletor.
Those excellent pieces were to be included with all-new Ultimate figures of Filmation He-Man and Skeletor, which weren’t necessarily on my “needs” list, but were gimmicky and interesting enough to grab my attention. I was well aware that I might be inviting a case of Potato Chip Syndrome by buying these, but I hadn’t felt any particular compulsion to order any of the other Filmation releases. I think I’ll be okay.
These two arrived a day prior to me receiving the shipping notice because apparently Super 7 is now utilizing time machines to ship their products. Were they a good purchase? Did Super 7 deliver “Ultimate” figures? Am I now compelled to collect all of the other Filmation releases?
Read on and find out!
I’m reviewing these as a pair because obviously they have a lot of common qualities and features.
The first thing that jumps out about these two are their bright colors and shine. Figures specifically based on animation should have a very different look from other action figures and Super 7 has captured that perfectly. The colors are bright and unmarred by extra paint apps. The purples are purple and the browns are brown. Every color has a brightness and clarity to it that is intended to recreate the look of the animated He-Man and Skeletor.
The bodies are going to be familiar to anyone that has a Masters of the Universe Classics figure. Almost all of the sculpting and joints are identical. The major upgrades are ankles on rockers and wrists with hinges. These make a huge difference in the poseability of the figures.
I was concerned that the ankle joints would look bad, as some of the older pictures I saw online of Super 7’s first ankle joints looked terrible. But these are functional and aesthetically sound. He-Man and Skeletor can get in those sweet widespread stances for extra battle balance. Or something.
The wrist hinges are also a nice addition, but I sure do wish the one on He-Man’s sword hand was situated the other way so he could hold his sword upright like he does in the cartoon. The cartoon that this figure is based upon. Ahem.
It’s not a huge deal, though. He can still hold it sort of upright and look okay.
Both figures include multiple heads, though He-Man got the better end of the deal here. I’ll get into the specifics below after discussing the stuff the two have in common.
I’ve seen all kinds of complaints about this line since Super 7 took over. Most of them amount to the learning curve of re-launching a line that they didn’t start and that is very different from anything they’ve done before. There haven’t been any disastrous problems, but things like stiff plastic that can’t hold accessories or allow for head swaps definitely upset loyal customers. This was my main concern with these figures, as the head-swapping was a major reason why I invested in them. And if He-Man has trouble holding his sword, well, that’s kind of a lousy He-Man figure.
Fortunately Super 7 seem to have figured things out. Skeletor and He-Man both hold their weapons with no problems whatsoever. And I’ve got to say, those weapons are a nicer quality than what Mattel was releasing in the later days of their time with Classics. The plastic is firm, but not rigid. Nothing was bent or warped, not even Skeletor’s Havoc Staff. That’s impressive not just for this line, but for any line.
So both figures are designed and constructed quite nicely. The articulation delivers in almost every way and the materials and paint are simply fantastic. These are two of the best Masters of the Universe figures I own, quality-wise, which is something I didn’t necessarily expect.
Now let’s get down to the individual figures.
Both figures have rubbery parts for their chest gear and loin cloths (battle diapers). But they’re different enough that I’ll look at them individually.
He-Man’s battle harness is a streamlined version with less detail than we’re used to seeing, which matches the cartoon’s look of grey straps with a red iron cross in the middle. It looks great and has a little more thickness than other versions of the piece. Another nice addition is the scabbard attached to the back.
It looks kind of lumpy and plain, but that’s pretty accurate to the show (when it was even seen on the show). I just like having a place to store the Power Sword, as I tend to prefer He-Man with a battle axe.
This He-Man leans much more towards furry underpants than loin cloth. The only real detail on this piece is the edges, but that’s great because it’s all you need. Taken together, the orange belt and wristbands with the brown boots and underpants look great and create a very specific, animated look.
He-Man comes with three alternate heads, a shield, a battle axe, and his Power Sword.
The Robot He-Man head was a big motivator for me, but the laughing head (the same one included with Laughing Prince Adam) and the “possessed by evil” head are great, too. All of them truly capture that look of the Filmation facial characteristics. They’re easy to swap out and stay put once they’re on. I was particularly impressed with the fact that the hair is a separate rubber piece. It’s permanently attached, but it gives these heads a more dynamic look.
Note: Obviously that “evil” head is from a specific episode, but I’m not up on my MOTU lore well enough to tell you which one. Get to Googlin’, kiddos.
He-Man’s Power Sword, battle axe, and shield are great pieces. The shield is the only thing with paint, which is fine. Out of all of the He-Man shields I own it’s my favorite simply because it’s so large. All of these items have sharp, clean sculpts and wonderful profiles.
When the Power Sword is sheathed it sticks WAY out over the figure’s shoulder, but you get used to it.
Skeletor’s “clothes” are made from the same rubbery, thick material as He-Man’s. His harness looks great and matches the hoods attached to the heads perfectly. This is actually a big upgrade over most Skeletor figures, as the hoods on this figure’s head are sculpted longer and fuller and drape very nicely onto the harness, almost giving the appearance of one piece of clothing.
I’m a little disappointed that Skeletor doesn’t have a sheath for his sword.
Skeletor comes with his Havoc Staff, a sword, a battle axe, an alternate head, and what I’m pretty sure is the Diamond Ray of Disappearance.
Where Skeletor gets to have some fun is in the coloring of his weapons. Unlike many other figures of ol’ Bone Breath, this one’s armaments are different from his gear. The Havoc Staff has a nice lavender shaft with a grey ram skull on top. The skull even has painted eyes, which is a great touch.
The bone sword (heh heh) is a different shade of grey. It’s so simple – just a sword with crossbones for a crossguard – but it looks awesome, especially in Skeletor’s clawed hand. I’m not sure this design ever really worked for the regular Classics line, but it’s fantastic in the Filmation style.
The alternate head is laughing Skeletor, only distinguishable from the default head because of the open jaw.
I mean, it’s a skull. What do you want, eyebrows?
The colors on the heads are wonderful. As I mentioned above, the purple of the hoods matches the chest piece perfectly. A pitch black background gives the skull the appearance of floating and the skull itself is a sickly, almost glow-in-the-dark-looking green. As much as I love the Alcala head, I think this is the best toy Skeletor head I own. Or, these are, rather. They won’t really fit in with Classics, but this is what I think of when I think of Skeletor.
This battle axe is very different from He-Man’s, which is another big change from the usual MOTU toy lines. It has an entirely different shape and a big crystal sort of thing on top. It looks menacing and vaguely magical, so it’s perfect for this guy.
Finally there’s the (presumed) Diamond Ray of Disappearance. It’s well done and the proper scale for the line, but it’s not something I need. It’ll end up a random piece of flair on a mantle or something when I need junk for pictures. Plus the figure can’t really hold it.
These are fantastic action figures. I’d say if you’re a casual fan of Masters of the Universe, these would probably be the ideal He-Man and Skeletor figures for you.
They look great, they’re fun to play with, and they include everything that you’d think basic versions of these guys should have. Granted, they’re Ultimate versions, but Super 7 and I have different ideas about what Ultimate means. But for the price point, these are as Ultimate as they need to be.
While I love these, I fortunately don’t feel compelled to track down any of the other Filmation releases. If I was going to pursue any kind of Filmation toys it would probably be in the form of the vintage style figures Super 7 is releasing, as those are what I always wanted the toys to look like when I was a kid.
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