Son of Zorn Basic Figure
Item No.: No. 12408 Manufacturer:Funko Includes:Sword, Bandolier Action Feature:Swaps parts with other figures Retail:$14.99 Availability: January 2017 Other: No Grayskull powers here
Love it, hate it, or didn't watch it, Fox' Son of Zorn is one of the most bizarre entries on major network television today. The premise is somewhat simple - the He-Man-esque character Zorn comes from a country that's a lot like Eternia with more barbaric rituals, and he had a kid with an American lady. Now he has to try to be a dad to his kid while also holding on to his admittedly ridiculous past - it's one part Perfect Strangers, one part 1980s TV commercial, and one part family sitcom. It's a little dirtier than its inspiration - it also features the utterly wonderful and underused Artemis Pebdani - but the thing most toy fans were asking was "So we're totally going to get an action figure, right?" I'm surprised to say yes - two of them! Funko cranked out a regular version and an "office" version, but they're both inspired by the vintage 1980s Masters of the Universe and similar Remco figures of that era. There are no action features, but you get six points of articulation and ball-jointed hips. If you like old He-Man stuff, you'll probably want this.
I was delighted to hear this figure was coming, mostly because I really enjoyed the TV show. To see that they did a durable, retro action figure - which clearly has a very limited market of a certain kind of very grateful fan - makes me utterly delighted. This is exactly the figure that it should be.
Standing almost 6-inches high, this chunky figure stands well and looks a lot like a 1980s action figure - but it's not one. The head is hard plastic, and the long red hair features a bald spot. His sword is long and pointy, not flexible or rounded off for children. You can, however, sling it in a loop in his bandolier. The entire figure feels sturdy and thick, even the hands are on the stiff side. As such, you may need to fight it a bit to get him to grip his awesome sword.
Deco is arguably better than it should be. The head is pure 1980s simplicity with black dots for eyes, white teeth, and some of the best scruff I've seen on an action figure in recent memory. (I'm just coming off a bunch of disappointing Hasbro Cassian Andor beards.) It's obviously not a vintage Mattel toy, but it certainly looks enough like one to make the grade. The real surprises in deco are his belt buckle and sword hilt - the sword is painted in yellow, red, and brown with a black "Z". This is a radical departure from most vintage figure weapons, which were completely unpainted. Similarly, his furry briefs have a matching "Z" symbol in a box that looks a little like a TV set. It's yellow surrounded by red, set in a large silver buckle. The furry shorts are brown, and the belt is a different brown. He has those retro strange boots and a complimentary set of gold, smooth, and completely boring-looking bracelets. Fans of the original He-Man cartoon will no doubt recall that the title character had similar accessories - but the toy was a bit more ornate in this regard. (Blame the perils of animation budgeting.) The look is, unquestionably, there.
Super7 is working on additional retro He-Man licensed figures, while Zoloworld continues to crank out its nifty Realm of the Underworld action figure line. This style still has some life left in it, and I hope we see a few more like it - but not too many - before its fire burns out. Headbutt Man, anyone?
I was fortunate enough to get my hands on one of these early - I'm in the business - and I love it. The muscles and pose aren't exact copies of anything, but any 1980s kid can probably identify the proportions as compatible with He-Man and his friends. I don't actually have any He-Man toys in that style from that era, because my parents and friends decided that I didn't, but I loved the cartoon, I love the modern line, and I am digging Son of Zorn as one of the few new bright family TV viewing spots we have. I like this toy enough that I'm hoping to go over to the local collectible toy shop Toy Anxiety and see if I can't get him a vehicle or something or other. I've already pestered people at Funko for a Death Hawk, but I'm not too hopeful - I see it as something of a miracle that this exists in the first place, especially at a reasonably low price given what it is and its potential target market of (to swipe from the great Andy Kindler) guys my age who are me.
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