Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Vykron Mattel, 2012
Day #506: October 11, 2012
Vykron Ultimate Eternian Chapnion
Masters of the Universe Classics Action Figure
Item No.: No. W8912 Manufacturer:Mattel Includes: Space costume, Tank costume, Barbarian costume, tons of gear Action Feature:Change costumes, swap hair, etc. Retail:$30.00 Availability:July 2012 Other: Based on unused early Roger Sweet concepts for He-Man
While technically a concept He-Man figure, Vykron borrows the original concept art for the character and applies it to a new character with a new name. Rather than being the most powerful man in the Universe (or his grampa) Vykron is an Eternian Champion, which is to say a Gladiator, which is to say Eternia's WWE. The alternate outfits are basically vanquished foes, or alternate costumes ala Mick Foley. The main outfit is the barbarian, which was how the figure was packed out for Comic-Con 2012. (The other versions were sold on Matty Collector a couple weeks later.) Borrowing heavily from the stock He-Man buck, Vykron gets new hands and forearms, plus a new head. The costume elements are new, his vambraces are snap-on accessories over his boots and the furry cape/harness pops on and off like all the rest. Particularly interesting is his helmet and hair, which are a single, removable piece which can be replaced for the space outfit's helmet. (The tank head is a complete head and must be swapped completely.) Vykron's barbarian weapon is a mighty axe, which is, unsurprisingly, quite cool. My only gripe about this mode is the black paint from the hair dried on the human head and at least on my sample, it can look sort of ugly without it. Solution: leave on a helmet at all times.
Simultaneously the most interesting and my least favorite costume, the Space Man borrowed heavily from another action figure line. The original prototype used the helmet and backpack of Boba Fett, a 12-inch Kenner figure from 1979. The influences remain on this new version, which is decked out nicely with added wings on the jetpack, new gauntlets, new vambraces, and a gun. I had some difficulty getting this outfit tabbed into place on the figure, but (at least from where I sit) that's OK. I didn't much plan on displaying him this way, as its orange and grey look feels more at home on Cloud City than near Castle Grayskull. I'm not saying I dislike it, it's just that when paired with the really cool barbarian and completely insane tank man, it loses something.
The tank man outfit is, without a doubt, the single greatest thing Mattel will make this year. Ugly, out-of-place, and oddly American, it's just superb. I squealed like a little girl when the San Diego exclusive announcement went live and this picture was there.
The figure has snap-on leg and wrist armor, a tank torso covering, and a turret for a head. A rifle weapon almost seems like overkill, but I'm glad it's here. The mouth grille reminds me a little of Darth Vader, and the strange blue window eyes give him a fairly ominous air-- it's amazing to think this was a concept for a hero figure in a flagship action figure line! It reminds me a lot of a male version of Japan's popular Mecha Musume statues, where a girl and a model airplane are merged into a single entity far less gruesome than it sounds. Tank Vykron has amazing deco, the green paint has some scrapes and damage which bring it to life in an extremely fun way. I like this figure so much, I'd buy it if it weren't part of Masters of the Universe, just like Optikk, Draego-Man, and quite a few other out-there releases.
Gygor may have killed Vykron, but that didn't stop him from selling out at Matty and SDCC quickly. Its original price of $30 isn't too bad when you think of it as a figure plus about a third of an accessory pack. On eBay, samples can run anywhere from $30 to $60, and my only real beef with it was a few misshapen parts. Tank Man's barrel head was shaped a little funny, but it wasn't anything a little boiling water couldn't fix. This item is just so odd I can't help but love it, and I hope you got one and loved it too.
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