Mattel Masters of the Universe 200X Mekaneck Mattel, 2002
Day #432: June 29, 2012
Mekaneck Heroic Human Periscope!
Masters of the Universe 200X Action Figure
Item No.: No. 55624 Manufacturer:Mattel Includes:Club Action Feature:Twist waist, neck goes up plus spring-loaded left elbow Retail:$6.99 Availability:Fall 2002 Other: Reasonably common
One of the earlier releases in the 2002 revival of Masters of the Universe was Mekaneck, a later-in-the-line figure from the 1980s series who got a pretty meaty role on the 2002 cartoon as a member of the team who feels his talents aren't being best used by his team. The Four Horsemen redesigned him to look a little more mechanical and Mattel kept a neck-lengthening mechanism which was activated by his waist. Adding to the fun, Mekaneck's goggles are in a clear green plastic so with a hole in the back of his noggin, you can actually look through his eyes. It's a neat fun feature which gives the figure loads of personality, and this is precisely the sort of thing which made the 2002 series so much fun to play around with. It's a shame kids didn't jump on it, but when your show is on Cartoon Network at 3 AM, what do you expect?
He isn't as tall as the newer "classics" figures, but there's an impressive amount of detail to be found on this nearly 10-year-old action figure. The arms are covered in faux circuit grooves, rivets, and other mechanical bits which rival the current line in terms of raw sculpted detail. The figure's loincloth was crafted out of a more flexible plastic than the "classics" guys too, but unfortunately the engineering of the figure prevents the figure's legs from swinging forward so that he might be able to sit in a vehicle. His legs can move, but the skirt restricts the range quite a bit.
He's a sizable figure, but he can't really hang out with the current Masters line on a shelf without coming up a little short. This isn't to say he isn't any fun. The "periscope" action, which is activated by twisting his waist, is a simple but fun throwback to the days when action figures were designed for and marketed to kids rather than embittered forum-dwelling man-children who leave them in the packaging or on shelves anyway. A figure like this demands you play with it, it's an amazing combination of a great sculpt with good play features which are just too dang much fun to leave alone. As an added bonus, his left elbow has a spring-loaded cut joint which lets him swing his club around and smash up the bad guys. With 9 meaningful points of articulation he can't hold a candle to modern releases, but in some respects he's a lot better. I have a feeling I'll have spent more time playing with this version of Mekaneck because they actually built in a reason to pick him up and mess around with him.
Today, this figure is pretty cheap at about $5-$10 on eBay. I suspect it will get even cheaper since Mattel confirmed the character will get a modern update around October of this year, meaning that this particular Mekaneck is no longer the most up-to-date "classic" version of his costume. I suspect he will remain one of the most fun, though, swappable necks are a fun idea for the new toy but seeing the head actually start rising and looking around gives 2002 Mekaneck the kind of toy feature which Hasbro, Mattel, and other companies have slowly engineered out of the bulk of any property with the slightest amount of adult interest.
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