Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Man-E-Faces Mattel, 2011
Day #353: March 12, 2012
Man-E-Faces Human - Robot - Monster!
Masters of the Universe Classics Action Figure
Item No.: No. T5799 Manufacturer:Mattel Includes:Gun, alternate head Action Feature:Knob rotates head to reveal alternate faces Retail:$20.00 Availability:August 2011 Other: Dig it
Before his release, Mattel asked fans if they wanted this new 2011 Man-E-Faces in orange (like the original figure), flesh (like the concept art), or somewhere in between. They went with the latter, and depending on your level of hard-core-ness you might not have really given it much thought. While the 1980s and 2000s figure was orange, that never really dawned on me as I was opening this new guy up. He looks great, and while the increasingly ubiquitous "orange tan" storms the media, it doesn't seem out of the question that it might catch on in Eternia, too.
While it does trade in a little of that authenticity to the original toy, I think the new one looks, overall, better. The original figure's wires and costume made him look more robotic, while this incarnation looks, effectively, human. I noticed some forums weren't too crazy about putting the "man" back into Man-E-Faces, but I think that they retained the original head-rotation gimmick well and the sculpt of the figure is on par with pretty much the rest of the line. Unless you're a fan of the character, you may not be doing cartwheels, but I see it as a good release that has some really neat heads. Most figures have one face, and this one has six. Three seemed like a good amount, but six absolutely qualifies as "many."
Much like another Four Horsemen-sculpted figure Metamorpho, Man-E-Faces has a dial in his helmet which lets you select between multiple heads. One option allows you to view a robot, man, or monster while the "secret accessory" features He-Man, Skeletor, and Orko. I don't think it was a particularly thrilling extra, but I admire them cramming something new in there-- I'd have been even more excited were it a preview of unannounced figures, or something even weirder. As it stands, it's a neat idea but I almost wish they did it back in the 1980s. A feature like this allows Man-E-Faces to be something of an impostor, but at the same time it would give kids a stand-in for Orko, Skeletor, or He-Man if their parents only got them the one figure. Sure, all he has is a gun, but it still looks vaguely like He-Man in a fancy helmet.
Speaking of that gun, the little orange pistol rounds out the set. It's modeled after the original version from the 1980s, which was almost as orange as his skin. It's a nice (and necessary) inclusion in this set, which feels almost light on accessories until you realize that the deco on a head is actually quite expensive. Six faces to paint probably costs a lot more than one, so his lack of other weird accessories is easily forgiven. While not every figure in this range feels worth the $20, this one has an excellent degree of play value and frankly, I wish all figures came with extra heads. This sort of a figure is a ton of fun to mess with, and it gives you something cool to fidget with on your desk. Assuming you already have He-Man, Skeletor, or another of your favorites, be sure to make Man-E-Faces one of the figures you track down for your collection if you haven't already. Right up there with Trap Jaw, he's just a neat figure with a lot of fun ideas in his head. Er, heads.
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