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MOTUC Review – Demo-Man

I’m catching up with MOTUC reviews in advance of the February onslaught, so let’s take a look at this new character based on early Skeletor concept art by Mark Taylor.  Click through for more Demo-Man pics!

Demo-Man™ Bio

Real Name: Uqquz’ Zekul-Mshqx

Realizing his pupil Keldor™ had no intention of releasing him from Despondos™, Hordak® merged him with an extra-dimensional being called Demo-Man™. While this saved Keldor’s life, it also drove him temporarily insane and convinced him to open a portal to Despondos™ and lead what he thought were “his people” to Eternia®. Hordak® intended to use this ruse as a means to escape once the portal was opened, but the new merged being “Skeletor®” was quickly defeated by Oo-larr™, the jungle He-Man®, and Hordak® remained trapped. Soon after, with the help of Evil-Lyn®, Skeletor® gained control of the powerful spirit inside of him, increasing his abilities ten-fold. He was now the true Overlord of Evil™ and one of the most dangerous men on Eternia®!

This bio reads a lot like Mattel trying to clarify and clear up the original Skeletor bio that introduced the Demo-Man/Keldor merge.  I personally would have preferred to read more about who the Demo-Man was prior to the merge; what he was like; who were his foes and such, though I do appreciate the clarification that Skeletor is in control of the demon inside him and the merge was really more about a power-boost once he got control.

The idea of the merged beings was something I didn’t initially care for in the bios, but I’ve come to like it more since reading this bio and Benty’s MOTUC Class of 2011 tale.

Accessories

Demo-Man comes with an impressive array of accessories with a mace, a scimitar, removable armor and two alternate heads (well, more like 1.5 extra heads).

The weapons are seriously wicked looking with a deadly battle worn look.  The sword is so chipped and worn it makes me think Demo-Man picked it up off some derelict corpse at the site of a massive ancient battle that was never quite cleaned up.  He doesn’t care about sword maintenance, this guy.  If the damn thing cracks, he’ll just smash your head like a grape with his massive mitts.

The mace is also appropriately scuffed up and attached to this thick cord with a handle at the other end.  The cord is sculpted in a curve so it looks nice at rest and even cooler when posed sailing through the air.  I feel like it gives battle poses a real sense of motion when you have Demo flailing that mace about.

From what I’ve read online the above alternate Skeletor head sculpt is actually the main draw for this figure for a lot of fans, which is totally understandable.  I don’t think it looks particularly good on the Demo-Man body, but it’s amazing on your spare Skeletor (read: the one that came with Mo-Larr).

Man, I wish I had a Castle Grayskull

Based on the artwork of Alfredo Alcala (the artist on the first mini-comics), this is a great variant of Skeletor as the Alcala version is Skeletor for a lot of fanatics.  I vaguely recall the comics from my youth, they are something I really rediscovered as an adult fan, so I don’t have the nostalgic connection to this version that many have.

I do think those earlier mini-comics are probably the coolest media connected to MOTU and this version of Skeletor is beautiful artwork perfectly realized in 3D form.  Plus it’s just damn cool.  Look at those teeth!  I’m going to go ahead and say he’s the creepiest iteration of Skeletor for sure.  The sculpt is amazingly sharp and I love the texture worked into the bone face.  I’d love to see Mattel include more alternate head sculpts for variations on figures in the future rather than making me buy a whole new figure to get this version (FILMATION SKELETOR WITH ARTICULATED JAW, PLEASE!  Just include a Filmation version head sculpt with the next Skelly variant.  Pretty please, Matty?)

The other accessory is the skull from the original concept art.  It can be used as a head and popped on MOTUC figures, but doesn’t look too great.

As an action figure fan, I appreciate unexpected inclusions like this one, especially in these days of cutbacks and shrinking profit margins.  As a diorama/display nut, I can see popping this guy into shots here and there for some cool barbarian carnage set dressing.

Sculpt

Honestly I didn’t care for the Skeletor concept artwork when I first saw it (which is weird because I love the Vikor design and Mark Taylor’s work on the line in general).  I think I misinterpreted some of the construction lines as indicating a furry character and he felt more like a Beast Man than Skeletor to me.  I also wasn’t understanding the beard/teeth area in the drawing.  It just looked weird to me and not in a cool way.  As I said before, I was also not really on board with Demo-Man/Keldor merge either.  I have to say the Prototype really helped turn me around on the drawing at least!

It’s weird, but somehow giving that concept art the MOTUC treatment made me love the design.  In 3D I can tell more what’s going on with the head as it looks like a bearded creature whose face is rotting off.  I also love how they managed to get a real change in stance for this figure by making some small modifications to the existing body.

The longer forearms and fists do help lend Demo-Man a slightly more ape-like physique.  The sculpt of the shirt also adds a bit of bulk to his back and shoulders to give him a stockier hunched over build.  He looks more powerfully built than the standard figure, which is tough to achieve.

Articulation

Demo-Man has the standard MOTUC articulation minus the twist at the calf. His movement is not hindered by his armor or his clothing as they are both made of perfectly soft plastic.  The design of the shirt is also nice in that he can rest his arms at his sides and doesn’t get that body builder pose that some figures with overlay parts like this have.  If you stretch his ab crunch backward all the way, you do get a peekaboo belly button which is a bit of a dorky look, but not a deal breaker.

Paint

Demo-Man is cast in a very bright, solid lime green plastic and has extensive darker airbrushing along all his muscles.  The darker shading makes the high spots look almost like they are glowing.  It’s a brighter than the prototype and was a bit of a shocking change.  [sarcasm]Fortunately Mattel gave me an extra month of looking at reviews and pics from guys who got their Demo-Man early to get acclimated to the idea[/sarcasm].

I have to say, this figure does not photograph as well as he looks in hand.  I tried a lot of different lighting set ups and they, for the most part, blow out the shading on the muscles.  One paint op I love is t the horns on Demo’s head.  There is a wash there that brings out the detail and gives it a realistic bone feel.  The skull also has a great grungy paint job.

Demo-Man’s beard has a wash and some dry brushing to bring out detail.  There is also some dark wash around the eyes that looks great in person, but creates a dark green ‘V’ between his eyes in photographs.  The one real paint flaw for me here are Demo-Man’s teeth.  The wash is really dark around the mouth and only small portions of the tops of the teeth get the tan paint.   The contrast would be too high for my taste even if the whole tooth was painted and as is the teeth can look like chicles close up.  I think at mid distance the teeth read okay, though.

Overall Demo-Man’s pose-ability, cool weapons and monstrous frame win out over his bad teeth paint work for me.  This is a cool figure with probably the best bonus accessory yet in that new Skeletor sculpt.

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