Mattel Masters of the Universe 200X Ram Man Mattel, 2002
Day #410: May 30, 2012
Ram Man Heroic Human Battering Ram
Masters of the Universe 200X Action Figure
Item No.: No. 55576 Manufacturer:Mattel Includes:Axe Action Feature:Spring-loaded legs for ramming action Retail:$6.99 Availability:August 2002 Other: Repainted in a red outfit with brown shoulder pads later on
As a kid Ram Man was one of few Masters of the Universe figures I had access to, as in, my neighbor had one. I rather liked the ramming action, it was fun to make him jump around and this figure, released in 2002, kept it pretty much intact. The sculpt by the Four Horsemen was a million times better than the original, and Mattel (thankfully) kept in action mechanisms and actually marketed the line to kids. The new cartoon was pretty good, the figures were quite nice, and they combined the fun features of the original 1980s line with amazing new sculpts, good deco, and oh yes - distribution so bad it's almost legendary. If you wanted to buy a variation of He-Man or Skeletor you were in good shape, anything else meant you had to be pretty vigilant. And this is coming from me, who decided it would be a good idea to, in 2002, start doing lots of midnight toy runs in hopes of finding Trapjaw, Orko, and Ram Man. I mean, Mattel friggin' hired McFarlane Toys' best talent to do He-Man. How could you not have been excited? And there were vehicles and playsets too... this was supposed to be an exciting time! Sadly, pegwarmers, tiny 6-piece cases, and less than the best reaction meant this line wouldn't see its second birthday. First released in the summer of 2002, Mattel had no representation of or knowledge of the line when I visited them in New York Toy Fair 2004. The final waves were de facto international and online exclusives, unless you shopped at Aldi's, and really, who does? But I digress. Happier times! Ram Man.
The lovable dunce of the original show had limited articulation due to the ramming mechanism. This release actually has a jointed head, shoulders, and wrists, and a sorta jointed waist. The mechanism really owns this figure from the waist on down, but the detail is quite good with really good armor and springy legs. While not as articulated as most other action figures in 2002, they were better than the original He-Man line and frankly, they were just as (if not more) impressive than their Hasbro siblings in Star Wars, the then-newly relaunched G.I. Joe line, and even Bionicle. 2002 was a damned good year for figure collecting.
Rammy's meaty fist has a hole in the middle for his axe, which, unfortunately, is not as impressive as the figure. It's good, but the figure is downright impressive. The axe slides into the hole, and well, that's that. You can also store the axe in a clip behind the figure's neck, so that's a nice plus. I appreciate that.
The sculpting is impressive, with lots of rivets and tiny details. Folds in the leather armor, a little wear and tear, plus other odds and ends are backed right into the figure. Sadly, the paint budget is quite low and you can tell that, compared to the Matty Collector line, it almost looks cheap. Back in 2002 nobody was crazy enough to paint 70 individual rivets when you could just cast the figure in red or silver plastic, and call it a day.
Ram Man is built around a mechanism which allows him to jump, or to ram things, depending on your imagination. The figure can be pushed down, so his legs go up into his body. A switch on the ankle releases the figure with a powerful push, letting him hit things or jump or whatever it is you feel like doing. It works fairly well, not as well as the original, but there was definitely a greater emphasis on the mechanisms and play functions in the 1980s. By 2002, you had collectors and almost a decade of McFarlane Toys to contend with.
Today, this figure isn't worth much and he isn't hard to find. Heck, even the vintage 1980s figure is worth less than $5, a bargain! As of when I write this, there has been no announcement for a Masters of the Universe Classics Ram Man and it's speculated they're holding back on him for budget reasons and/or "we gotta save a few recognizable players for the end!" conspiracy theories, both of which sound reasonable. The 2002 Ram Man is too short for your Matty collection, but he's still a fun and nifty figure in his own right.
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