Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Draego-Man Mattel, 2012
Day #385: April 25, 2012
Draego-Man Evil Fire-Breathing Menace
Masters of the Universe Classics 30th Anniversary Collection Action Figure
Item No.: No. W8898 Manufacturer:Mattel Includes:Wings, flame sword Action Feature:n/a Retail:$22.00 Availability:April 2012 Other: Created by the Four Horsemen
Behold, Draego-Man! As the first and so far only villain in the 30th Anniversary 6-figure sub-line, he's gotta be good. I mean, the heroes seem to be drawing a lot of criticism, so a bad guy, designed by the Four Horsemen, is sort of like toy collector catnip. If you don't get high off this new figure smell, you're missing out, man.
Draego-Man is expected to be the best Masters of the Universe figure of the year. Collectors went nuts for it, and it's in line with the Four Horsemen's own great lines which frequently feature mutant or animal warriors. Unlike those figures, though, Draego-Man is largely made up of existing figure parts. His arms and legos? Mostly from King Hssss. The tail? Whiplash. The boots? He-Ro. The long loincloth and feet? Hordak. How can the Horsemen do such an awesome job with so few new parts? Well, they're used to it-- if you look at their other lines, like 7th Kingdom and The Outer Space Men, it's actually what they do best. They're experts at making a little paint, a new head, and a new sword go a long way.
I'm not sure if I like the figure more than I do the idea of this figure. The execution is superb, although the endless positivity displayed for this figure is, frankly, astounding. I don't know if you read the various He-Man forums, but man, those are some angry people. So seeing Draego-Man get heaps of genuine love, well, it's unsettling. The figure is worthy of much praise, particularly if you compare it to the Four Horsemen's own line 7th Kingdom. For $22, you get a big dragon with big wings. It doesn't matter if you don't like He-Man or not, this is a figure which, standing on your desk, will impress passers-by and stands alone as a cool thing in its own right. Fearless Photog, Mighty Spector, and Sir Laser-Lot may require some degree of explaining, but Draego-Man? He's just cool. People get dragons. It's in our DNA.
He includes but one weapon, a sword of fire. It's made of surprisingly rigid plastic, and the hilt looks nice. It appears some light purple paint applications were dropped from the handle since the prototypes, presumably due to costs, but it's still great and odds are nobody really noticed anyway. Also, some of the purple paint from the hilt have rubbed off prior to my opening it, and the paint is on the figure's hand. So it would probably have been a good idea if Mattel did not paint the grips of their guns if the figure will be holding it, because now the sword is basically undisplayable unless in Draego-Man's hand. The first shots of this figure showed him with a normal sword and a shield, plus a flame whip. These items were removed for cost reasons, although to be honest, one or two accessories is really plenty for most figures. The flame sword is, certainly, a great start, although I think I might look into some sort of Spy Monkey Creations accessory, or steal something from Xevoz to pimp him out more.
The sculpting is largely better than many offerings in the line, with amazing detail in the head and wings which should delight fans and non-fans. The horns on his head (actually surprisingly rubbery) don't seem like a thing we'd have seen in the old days, and the huge wings seem too big to be a reasonable retro thing-- but I totally can imagine an alternate universe where a Draego-Man with flapping wings existed. The head is covered in scales and you can even see some of his teeth, the noggin is covered in ridges and, oddly, I do find myself wishing an alternate head was included. This is a figure that practically begs to be able to breathe fire.
While this figure did take longer than some fans expected to sell out, he's gone, and already commanding premium prices on eBay-- $35ish is about normal pre-shipping. He took about two days to sell through, which, frankly, ain't bad. If I were forced to pay $40 for this figure, I don't think I'd complain too much. Compared to Revoltechs and Figmas and other imported collectible figures, he's still impressive. If the price is right, get him. I have little doubt this is Mattel's Figure of the Year, and it seems that this is the toy to beat. Unless Hasbro and Mattel have something awesome up their sleeves for Comic-Con, this has got to be the best of 2012.
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