With Masters of the Universe Classics fans are getting to see major and minor characters mingle, with less popular villains like Karatti being given an astonishing 21st-century makeover courtesy of Mattel and the Four Horsemen. I'm not saying that he's a worthless character, but his vintage New Adventures-era release goes for about the same price as the new one. Take that as you will. It's pretty amazing Mattel puts its resources on lesser-known characters like the Space Mutants for the hardcore fanbase, and the final product is actually pretty good.
At about 7-inches tall, Karatti is new-ish. The arms and legs have elements from previous releases of characters like Trap Jaw, Roboto, Optikk, and the like with all-new accessories like amazing chest and crotchial armor plus a new head and all-new weapons. The head sculpt has wonderful detail with red hair in what basically amounts to space mutant cornrows, plus a metal mouth matches the rest of his armor. The deco is bizarre, mainly because this is one of very few instances of black-on-black in the line. The eyes are sunken pits painted in matte black, with the eyeballs in glossy black. This is almost impossible to notice without the use of a bright light or a flashlight, and while I appreciate subtlety it's a strange place to put it. The black plastic weapons also have painted black detailing, again this is a nice thing to think they considered it but ultimately those pennies could probably have been better spent since it's really tough to notice. If you stick this guy on a shelf in an average room you'd never notice the extra paint. Mattel's move to a $25 price point shows you that they're going to put the money back into the line, but it's another figure where a couple of shortcuts probably would have been just fine.
The axe gun is another delightfully goofy accessory sort of like what Slush Head came with and as a twofer, it's hard not to like it. The very notion of simply rotating a weapon for it to transform from a firearm to a melee weapon is so simple that it boggles the mind that it doesn't happen more often with toys these days. The sword can be best held in a sort of a backhand grip, which is oddly painted. Why paint black the part of a black weapon that will be held by the figure, so you won't see it anyway? I really don't get it. The weapons are perfect for the figure, it's just that they're arguably too good.
The new armor is great. He;s covered in dents and scrapes, just like the 1990 original. The color matches nicely, except the eye color seemed a smidgen redder on the original. I would have loved to see Mattel add some silver or other "scrape" color paint to the various dents and scarred bits, but you can't have everything. After all, there are numerous sculpted wires, hoses, and pouches - one of which did get some paint detail. It's also extremely subtle, the gold paint on the dark gold plastic is something an action figure fan might notice, but also might miss completely. It proves Mattel is putting the money into the toy, and that's appreciated.
The overal engineering of this figure is fantastic, even though it's effectively the same dang figure we've been buying monthly since 2008. The joints are much stiffer and so far, this figure seems like it's destined to stay standing without additional support. That means a lot to me as a collector, because I can't tell you how many times figures like Astro-Nautilus or She-Ra decide to take out anyone in their path. I've never considered the Space Mutants faction to be essential in my Eternia collection, but dang if they don't make for great action figures. Even though I have little (OK no) memory of watching this character on the cartoon when it first aired, the bizarre design seems just as oddly fresh today as it did in the 1990s. If you like the design, you'll be pleased with the look and feel of this figure up close. As you can see, my only real complaint is that Mattel seemingly made it too good.
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