One of the most exciting things in Masters of the Universe Classics is how they make new characters while updating older ones. I'm still waiting for Ram Man and Mekaneck, but I'm OK with that because Mattel started to dip into its rich trove of concept art. Demo-Man is a new demon character, a forerunner to Skeletor. His backstory is that he's this demon who basically got merged with Keldor to create Skeletor, but he's also a concept sketch which predates everybody's favorite 1980s toyline villain by just a bit.
With a generous quantity of new elements, Demo-Man uses the same basic buck with a few changes. He has new lower legs which have beastly feet and claws, but lack the shin joints seen on many other figures in the line. His spiked bracelets look awesome, and his outfit... well, his outfit is very retro, I guess. It feels like it came from a pre-1980s fantasy painting, because today going pantsless is not something you see a lot of. At least He-Man gets furry shorts, this guy barely has a tattered rag to cover his green junk. He does, however, have some shoulder armor which is removable), a little armor, and one of the weirdest heads in the line. Check out the rotting teeth, the (for lack of a better word) tiara, the horns, and of course the beard. Who else has a long, green beard with a bone tied in to the end? Nobody, that's who. Its only real shortcoming is an exaggerated line in his brow, which was not seen on the original painted prototype.
Even though the build and general construction is similar to other figures, it just goes to show what a new outfit, head, hands, and lower legs can do to make a new figure. Because, well, when you've got that many new parts what you're dealing with is effectively an all-new figure. The accessories are also pretty incredible-- there's an alternate Skeletor head, a spiked weapon, and a skull in a helmet. The helmet skull looks amazing, and it can peg on to a neck joint. While a nice feature, it's impractical because the head looks kinda dippy without a lower jaw. It's a wonderful bonus accessory, and adds to the "this figure looks expensive" factor, but it's not particularly useful outside the realm of scenery.
But that Skeletor head? Wow. Heads are amazing accessories, because (as you well know) it's like getting a second figure at no extra cost. (To me, I mean, Mattel obviously splurged to make this.) The head pops on to a Skeletor body nicely, and has a freaky green color with even more ghoulish teeth and sunken red eyes. By comparison, the normal Skeletor head-- while a classic-- looks like it came from the 1980s. The texture and detail here is incredible, with separately sculpted teeth and an expression that looks like he should probably be hanging around with Eddie on an Iron Maiden album cover. $20 for just this head as an aftermarket, fan-made add-on would have been worth the price, but seeing it as a bonus with Demo-Man is nice too.
Since nobody really subscribed to MOTUC with the hopes of getting Demo-Man, it's hard to say that he's an essential purchase. It's new, it's cool, it doesn't look like anything else I already own-- to me, those are strong selling points. If you're just holding your breath for remakes of all your old favorites, well, you're missing out. Demo-Man's insane green color and wonderful accessories-- look at the serpent head on his sword!-- this seems like one where they decided to put just a little more effort into it. I didn't come to the table expecting a lot from Demo-Man, but it really did deliver the goods nicely. Extra heads for other figures may be my new favorite bonus accessory. And here's the real last thought-- I was doing a lot of reading on the old designs and some concept art sites say that this figure's name is (or was) De-Man at one point in the early days of the original line's development, to provide an analog to He-Man and, more obviously, "demon."
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