In He-Man fan communities, the Masters of the Universe Classics line needs - deserves every characters from The New Adventures of He-Man. I assume to a lot of fans, these guys are to MOTUC what prequel characters are to Star Wars necessary for the hardcore fan and optional for anyone only interested in the original incarnation. Me, I like 'em - I don't have much love for that second generation cartoon but New Adventures Space Mutants Skeletor is neat. Bulky, but neat.
The 7-inch figure includes a healthy mix of new parts mixed over a few reused elements - the armor, shorts, and legs are clearly new as are all the accessories. The color of blue is pale, with metallic highlights painted to bring them out a tiny bit - but only in the right lighting. In the dim caverns in which I write this column, it's difficult to tell that Matetl put in the extra effort. Little blue tubes on teh arms and purple wires on the hands are brought out, which is really pretty spiffy. I just wish it was easier to see.
The sculpt takes its inspiration largely from that space Skeletor figure from so long ago, with a pale face and some green as the bone recedes. I'm glad they ignored the animation design, as the toy is a lot cooler. There are all sorts of sculpted bits on the purple chest piece, all left undecorated - just like the original toy. His shorts have a skull on the belt and even more cybernetic enhancements, which makes for an interesting contrast to the largely magical nature of the character as presented in his first incarnation. Unlike the cartoony, toy-like head for the original Skeletor this one is a big more grotesque with seemingly electronic eyes, wires in the skull, and an aged, cracked, perhaps even disfigured boney head. The deco brings out the detail nicely, giving it a visage more akin to scary props and decorations for Halloween than an action figure. Kudos.
The only thing I don't care for here is the bulky armor - the fact that it's a baby blue overlay means Skeletor just looks tubby. The sculpting is good, and as a separate piece it seems just fine and dandy. The armor covers the entire body, and even has a turtleneck of sorts that goes around the neck to give his physique that all-over cybernetic look. I'd say it's mostly successful, and some of the girth can be hidden if you pose his arms just right. The new Havoc Staff is pretty swell - it's covered in all sorts of unnecessary elements, just like the original> Tehre seem to be dagger buts, skull bits, a tentacle, a marshmallow, and so on. It stands out from the classic ram's head model and is, overall, the correct accessory for this particular figure.
Rounding out the set was a requested bonus accessory - a cyborg Faker head. The hair is a little less dirty than the existing Faker and Battle-Armor Faker heads, coming in a little closer to the original toy's color from the look of things. With the red eye and exposed cybernetic skeleton teeth, it feels more like a Terminator figure of sorts. I dig it, it's a perfect fit on your existing Fakers if you have one. As figures go, for a simple redeco, Faker has received quite a few nice little upgrades over the years. I'd go as far as to say that's my favorite thing about this action figure line in terms of rewarding long-term fans - it's great to see there's a happy reason to have collected them all.
I'm someone who doesn't see a burning need for New Adventures characters, yet I tend to like them all. This version of Skeletor is a radical departure from the norm, making him interesting as well as non-essential. I don't necessarily need this line fleshed out, but i quite like the figure and was excited to hear he was coming. If you need a new version of this character, it ain't a bad one. As it didn't sell out quickly I assume he may be cheap for some time. As such, go ahead and treat yourself to one. If not for you, think of poor Faker, and how much happier he will be with most of his pretty face blown off.
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