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Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics He-Man Mattel, 2016
Day #1,411: March 31, 2016
Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics He-Man Action FigureHe-Man
"Filmation He-Man" or "He-Man 2.0"

Masters of the Universe Classics Action Figure
Item No.:
No. DKC32
Manufacturer: Mattel
Includes: Sword, bricks to store sword
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $20.00 ($30.00 to non-subscribers)
Availability: February 2016
Other: Premiere Club Grayskull Figure

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Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics He-Man Action FigureAny toy line that lasts more than a year (or even two assortments) will inevitably see refreshes of its star, and Masters of the Universe Classics has offered new costumes and new upgrades for He-Man. This 2016 line changed the logo to "He-Man and the Masters of the Universe" to better match the original cartoon show and its animation style. Often called "He-Man 2.0" prior to release, this action figure is basically a new take on the regular He-Man - only more tan, and more stylized. It's the same height, with fewer accessories than the original. It's also screamingly essential to non-hardcore fans, particularly if they haven't yet bought a He-Man.

Since I never had a He-Man as a kid, I only knew the character from the cartoon and the toy commercials. To me, He-Man was a tan, blonde man with a sword and a pageboy haircut. While a little goofy, this take feels more legit to me - and Mattel and the Four Horsemen did a decent job here. Articulation has been given a slight upgrade, adding bend-and-swivel wrists to his hands and rocker ankles to the all-new boots. For better and worse, the added movement on the boots created visible cuts which caused some fans to freak the heck out. I can understand why, but since those are on the sides of the ankles I don't much see them when I have the figure standing on my desk and it's not a huge deal. The power vest, belt, bracelets, and boots have all been a downgrade in terms of detail - elements have been removed, resulting in a smoother appearance more in line with the streamlined look of America's favorite budget animation house of the 1970s and 1980s.

Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics He-Man Action Figure

His head sculpt is clearly the reason to buy this figure, and it's a lot different from the original head or the "toy" head from last year with Oo-Larr This one has a closed mouth with no visible teeth, slightly more mischievous eyebrows, and a hint of a smirk. This He-Man looks a little smug, and given his secret identity he's entitled to an air of superiority. The new vestments are given a look more in line with the cartoons as well, with fewer details on the shoulders and a bigger, cleaner cross on his chest because... I guess He-Man is German? That would answer a lot of questions.

Accessories are decent, but less impressive than previous releases. The first He-Man gave us a sword, axe, and shield - which would have been great. This one has a Filmation Sword, now unpainted, plus a little grey pile of stones in which you can store this sword and another sword. The sword itself has a blemish from the mold on the handle, and the word "CHINA" on the opposite side so neither one is really going to look good when placed in the display bricks. The sword looks wonderful in He-Man's hands, but there's no real value to the stand accessory since He-Man also has storage on his back for the bladed weapon. Why wouldn't you want to keep it on his person or in his hand? I wish they put something else in there... at least Skeletor gets both a sword and a staff.

Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics He-Man Action FigureI'd hesitate to call this a "2.0" figure because really, it's just a new head with wrists like Bow and some new accessories. It's not a full new version - but it's a solid half-step up in the right direction. Articulation is better but not significantly improved. It's not like Mattel gave us double-jointed elbows or otherwise improved articulation with hidden pins in the elbows. It's a good figure. I would argue this is the go-to He-Man for the fan who isn't necessarily a collector because this is the He-Man you remember seeing on the cartoons. There is still room for more improvements, but my guess is He-Man as a property is probably going to remain a collector's-only affair for a few more years until Mattel gets sick of it - and then it quietly goes away until the movie happens. If it happens. At least we got a cool figure out of it, because really, I can't think of anything I'd rather see than heroes and villains that actually look like the ones I saw on TV. If you can get him at a fair price - and word has it another run may be coming - you should get him.

--Adam Pawlus

Additional Images

Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics He-Man Action Figure Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics He-Man Action Figure
Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics He-Man Action Figure Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics He-Man Action Figure
Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics He-Man Action Figure Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics He-Man Action Figure
Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics He-Man Action Figure Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics He-Man Action Figure
Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics He-Man Action Figure Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics He-Man Action Figure
Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics He-Man Action Figure Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics He-Man Action Figure
Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics He-Man Action Figure Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics He-Man Action Figure
Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics He-Man Action Figure Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics He-Man Action Figure
Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics He-Man Action Figure Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics He-Man Action Figure

Click here to see more Mattel figures in Figure of the Day.

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Day 1,250: Super7 M.O.T.U.S.C.L.E. Set B
Day 1,263: Super7 M.O.T.U.S.C.L.E. Set A
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Day 1,517: Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Double Mischief
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Day 1,628: Super7 Masters of the Universe M.U.S.C.L.E. Series 2 Set C
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Day 1,633: Super7 Masters of the Universe M.U.S.C.L.E. Series 2 Set B
Day 1,639: Super7 Masters of the Universe M.U.S.C.L.E. Series 2 Set D
Day 1,645: Funko Masters of the Universe Dorbz Skeletor
Day 1,639: Super7 Masters of the Universe M.U.S.C.L.E. Series 2 Set A
Day 1,681: Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics Adora

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