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MOTUC Review – Man-E-Faces

Man-E-Faces was one of my most anticipated MOTUC figures.  I already had a great deal of built in nostalgia for the character as he was a favorite of mine as a kid, but the prototype shown at toy fair this year was really exciting and surprising.  I was thinking Man-E would be held ‘hostage’ for a while to keep some of the main characters in reserve for future line-ups, so it was especially cool for me to see a favorite character hit this year.  While I have more nostalgia for the original toy version of Man-E, the cardback design is actually more appealing to me now and I was glad to see they made that design choice.  These pics took a while longer to take than I had planned, so if you haven’t seen enough of Man-E-Faces yet and aren’t trying to remain unspoiled for the secret accessory, click through for Man-E-Faces pics and thoughts!

Man-E-Faces® Bio

Real Name: Perkaedo

Perhaps the greatest actor on Eternia®, Perkaedo, the Master of Disguise, performed before King Randor™ and Queen Marlena™ at Prince Adam’s 18th birthday celebration. It was here that he drank a magic potion created by Skeletor®, that transformed him into a terrible monster with great strength loyal only to evil. With the help of He-Man® and the Sorceress®, Perkaedo was cured from this transformation, but the process left him forever split between not just two but three personalities. He now uses his powers to protect justice in his greatest role; as Man-E-Faces®, the man who is three warriors in one – fighting as a human, robot or monster!

This bio seems to follow the plot of the mini-comic ‘The Ordeal of Man-E-Faces’ pretty closely which is fine with me.  As a kid, I never really questioned why Man-E looked the way he did.  I mean, why is he wearing all that techno gear?  Did the gear allow him to shift his faces?  In the mini-comic he is presented as merely an actor and the crazy outfit is really never explained nor does it seem to really factor into his transformations.  He looks like a cyborg.  Maybe actor Perkaedo came across some tech gear in his travels and modified it so that he can project different holographic faces during his performances?  Perhaps he was a soldier injured in battle, given cybernetic implants that he modifies for use in his art?  I don’t know.  It doesn’t really matter to me, you just kind of accept the outlandish looking characters as a MOTU fan (and it’s a big part of the appeal for me), but it’s kind of fun to think about.

Accessories

Man-E-Faces comes with his vintage toy style blaster and an alternate head ‘drum’ with Skeletor, He-Man and Orko faces.  The vintage Man-E was one of my favorite figures as a kid, but I can remember never liking his gun.  Even as a child, it seemed a little clunky and misproportioned.  I was very pleased when they showed the prototype and the gun seemed to be in better proportion to the figure this time around.  The handle seems a bit shorter and the gun while maintaining it’s vintage design feels more like a pistol than it did in the past.  They cut a little groove in the sculpt of the gun near the handle so that Man-E’s thumb fits perfectly and allows for a more natural gun holding position.  It’s a tiny thing, but the attention to little details like this are part of what makes me love the line.

There is a bit of an issue with this weapon on my figure as it is a softer plastic and was a bit warped in package.  I think I straightened it out, but I would have preferred to get this weapon in the stiffer power sword plastic.

The extra head drum is a cute idea that comes right from the old filmation toon.  The sculpts are dead on to their respective MOTUC figures and the paints are sharp and clean.  The drum is easily swappable through the removeable helmet feature and works well.  I imagine that they represent Man-E using his suit technology to do impressions of the three characters as part of some performance or to crack his friends up.  I don’t think that he’s actually fooling anyone with the ‘disguise’ element, though I suppose being able to sound like Skeletor could come in handy in battle by confusing the enemy.  I did notice that my daughter played with the alternate heads as if they were a disguise that completely fooled Man-E’s enemies.  It’s a fun inclusion.

Sculpt

Man-E re-uses a lot of parts from Trap Jaw and Optikk with some brand new shoulders, a new upper chest piece and head/helmet sculpt.  The sculpt is clearly based on the cardback design and captures that feel perfectly.  I was thinking a cool variant of Man-E at some point could feature a helmet shaped more like the one he had in the toy.

The regular three heads look just like I remember on the vintage figure with the exception of the monster face.  I remember his monster face as almost smiling on the vintage figure and while the basic shape and detail here is the same as the vintage figure, they managed to infuse a bit more intensity and character into this face.  It’s a big improvement on the original.

Articulation

Perkaedo here sports your standard MOTUC articulation scheme with a bit of change at the neck.  Due to the design of the character, you (obviously) aren’t going to have the traditional ball jointed neck but there is a bit of a swivel movement for the helmet.  That’s actually a nice inclusion and a first for Man-E-Faces figure.  It helps him feel a little less stiff than he would otherwise when posing.

Paint

Paint is a bit of a controversy on this version of Man-E-Faces.  Apparently the design team at Mattel disagreed on what the color scheme should be and put it to a fan vote with the choices being cardback, original toy or a ‘half and half’ colors.  I voted for cardback since the design was clearly based on the cardback look, but ‘half and half’ won.

The final toy actually looks a little more cardback colors to me on the flesh colored sections as he’s not very orange at all.  To me, the blue part of the costume feels very close to the original figure while the purple is the only part of this guy that looks truly ‘half and half’ to me.

This version looks great, but I’ll be curious to see some repaints to straight vintage toy or straight cardback versions.  I do like that we again see the now traditional metallic accents for the techno parts of Man-E’s costume.  It’s another one of those little touches that makes the figure for me.

The eyes painted black on the human head is based on the cardback artwork.  Even though I never noticed that detail before and I’m really used to white eyes for Man-E, I still dig the black eyes.  It looks cool and is a bit more unique.

Man-E-Faces was a favorite figure of mine as a child and I spent countless hours guiding his adventures as he rapidly switched faces and allegiences, fighting He-Man just as much as he fought Skeletor.  I had pretty high hopes for this figure and I’m glad to say they met my expectations.   I can’t really convey how much I love the fact that they improved upon the one part of the figure that bugged me way back when.

Turnarounds

Previous reviews:

I wanted to mention that the design for the set in this review was lifted completely from ‘Caer Kincaid’ by an artist on Terragenesis.co.uk who goes by the name of Zaboobadidoo and thank him for the inspiration.