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MOTUC Review – Eternian Palace Guards

Palace Guards

Palace Guards

I was pre-disposed to like these figures as I love army builder figures in general and the original MOTUC Man-At-Arms is one of my favorite figures from the line.  I had some high expectations for this set.  Did they live up to the hype?  Read on for more pics and thoughts on the Eternian Palace Guards two pack!

On patrol in the vine jungle.

Real Name: Varies

From across the Light Hemisphere of Eternia, the bravest and most noble warriors in Randor’s Kingdom were recruited by Man-At-Arms and later Clamp Champ to help guard the Royal Family. Often called upon to aid the Masters of the Universe, the royal guards are trained in multiple forms of hand-to-hand combat and are masters of many weapons, including the Power Staff and several types of Energy Blasters. Whenever the Royal Palace is threatened, it is the strength of the elite guardsmen which often repel evil. Brave Warriors like Lieutenant Spector defend the Royal Family from attack.

The Royal Guards are often called upon to assist The Masters of the Universe!

I liked seeing a Clamp Champ mention in this bio.  You don’t hear much about Clamp Champ, do you?  It’s interesting to me that they call out specifically that the guards are trained in energy weapons, but there aren’t any included.  I guess you could pretend the nozzels on the forearm armor are energy blasters as often shown in the filmation cartoon.  I’m assuming the Caucasian guard is Lt. Spector based on him being packed in with the eagle emblem (perhaps denoting a higher rank?).  Anybody else have a different theory on that?  I’d love to hear them!

Palace Guards fight Red Mutants near the Ruins of Zalesia.

Accessories

The guards come with a plethora of accessories.  You get two complete sets of removable armor, two long battle axes, two shields, four interchangeable chest plates, four different guard head sculpts, two removable face guards, an axe, and a mace.

Chop!

The weapons are all a nice solid plastic with one exception.  It seems that the mace is actually two pieces with the diamond shaped pommel being made of a more rubbery plastic.  I’m not sure why this was done, and it doesn’t really affect the playability, but it’s a little odd so I noted it.  I do love that we now have the weapons rack version of the mace!  The Moss-Man version was cool for him, but this one will look cool with all your Masters figures.

The Faceplates look great from all angles!

Also worth noting is that the shield handles are painted silver rather than cast in silver plastic.   The handle paint was scraped off  a couple of the shield handles when I removed the figures from the package and it was stuck to the guard’s wrist instead!  It was easily scraped off the figure, though and is fortunately hidden when the shield is in use.  It still seems odd that they would cast that in blue plastic rather than silver.  I ended up attaching the shields just below the wrist on the figure’s upper hand so as not to stretch the handles any further.

I’m not sure what the weapons are cast in, though I suspect it is silver plastic as there has been no flaking despite much weapon switching.  I’m not cutting into my weapons to find out for sure!

Inside of the leg armor.

The left arm and leg armor is re-used from Man-at-Arms, but since the leg armor was originally sculpted to go around the He-Man boot (you can clearly see the indentation of MAA’s boot in the pic above), it takes a little muscle to get it to fit right on the Keldor style boots the guards sport.  The right side fits much nicer as it appears to have been sculpted to fit either style boot, though it is slightly looser than the left leg.  It’s not a deal breaker, but sometimes you do need to spend a little time adjusting the armor pieces when you re-pose the figures.

An interesting thing about the leg and arm armor is that the pegs to attach the armor are located in different spots on the right side than the left.  I expected an exact mirror, but it’s a little different.  That might have been by design to minimize assembly confusion, I’m not sure why else you would do it.  The arm and leg armor is a little wonky right out of the package, but I was able to adjust it all so it looks right.  The armor does add considerable bulk to the figures and does not allow the arms to rest at the figure’s sides very well.  It’s similar to what we saw with Man-at-Arms, but magnified due to the symmetrical armor and the smaller arm holes of the guard’s chest armor.

Man-at-Arms with symmetrical armor.

The heads swap easily and the masks fit nice and tight into pegs in the helmet.  The chest armor pops on and off easily with clips – similar to Battle Armor He-Man.  The four chest plates include one eagle crest, one undamaged three stripe plate, a one strike battle damage plate and a two strike battle damage plate.  I love the inclusion of the different battle damage chest plates, though I do wish for army building purposes they had included two clean striped plates.

Articulation

The guards sport standard MOTUC articulation, but some movement is hindered by the armor.  It’s mostly the bicep swivel that’s impeded.  I wanted to have the guards hold a Webstor blaster two handed and wasn’t able to get the arm to cross over the chest due to the bulk of the chest and armor straps.  A nice thing I noticed was that the ankle articulation was nice and tight on all of my guards.

with my creativity?

Sculpt

The body of this figure is the standard MOTUC body with Keldor boots and Tri-Klops bracers.  The left arm and leg armor looks to be a re-use of the MAA armor and the right side is sculpted to match.  The chest armor is a cool blend of Battle Armor He-Man and Man-at-Arms.  The techno greeblies all over the chest piece clearly identify this gear as being related to what MAA currently wears.

I gave Lt. Spector a blaster pistol.

I think my favorite head sculpt of the bunch is the Snake Man.  I love the scale detail, the burning red eyes and the three tone paint job of his flesh.  There’s a cool gradation of green from his eyes to mouth that looks perfectly organic.  I love it.   Maybe he’s a guard who got hit with the serpent ring, but was somehow able to keep control of his mind?  I don’t know, it looks cool enough for me that it doesn’t have to make sense!

“Phalanx, move out!”

The Qadian looks nice, though I would have liked a different color fur for him to differentiate from his chief a bit.  I seem to remember a few different colored Qadians in the MYP cartoon.  The African-American guard looks almost a little to0 happy for my taste, sort of placid.  It might have something to do with his eye paint op.  He has a bit of the ‘look up’ syndrome.  The Lt. Spector head sculpt (based on brand manager Scott Nietlich) has a bit of a worried look to him (and a severe case of the look-ups), which actually kinda works for me as the Lt. reporting to Captain of the Guard Teela.  I’d be worried too if she were my boss!

“Protect the King!”

A nice side effect of all these guards is I pulled Randor out of his spot at the back of the display and looked at him again.  I kind of gave that figure short shrift upon his initial release.  Taking another look, though, he’s really cool.  We need a Marlena, though!  I also wish I had a throne room or palace set for these guys, so my Palace guards are more like roaming soldiers.

I had originally bought 3 sets on the day of the sale.  I figured two sets would show off all the head sculpts and three would make for a nice crowd.  Well, I loved the first three I got so much and they stuck around long enough on Mattycollector.com that I ended up buying two more sets.  It’s a little nutty, but like I said, I’m a fan of army building.  That’s more than enough, though!

I like the silhouette.

I usually expect to see a discount when I’m buying a two-pack, so the price on these guys is a little high.  There is a lot of good stuff in that package, though.  Lots and lots of accessories and mix and match options for this set, so I don’t feel too bad about the price I paid.  Your mileage may vary.  I’m not sure how Matty can top this army builder set at this point.

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