Something is rotten on Eternia. Something is causing the residents of the Light and Dark Hemispheres to convulse in disgust as they try to outrun the vile stench of evil and we could not be any happier. After many years of waiting with great anticipation and tightly covered noses, the Evil Master of Odors is finally ready to make his revamped debut in the Masters of the Universe Classics line. That’s right, all new form, same old STINK! If you have not figured it out by now (or if you have been living under a rock in the Caverns of Rakash), the one and only Stinkor will be causing postmen to run for their Fabreeze in May as he makes his way to collectors around the globe. The skunk man formerly known as Odiphus is one of those characters that just, ahem, reeks of the qualities that makes the MOTU-verse what it is. Stinkor, the Evil Master of Odors indeed. How can you not find an appreciation in that? Oh, and read all the way to the end for an added bonus!
I am going to come out and say this right now: if you collected Masters of the Universe toys as a kid and did not have Stinkor, I feel very sorry for you. I mean, you were really missing out on a toy of unquestioning fun. I am not sure that I can put into words the deep appreciation I have for a toy marketing ploy that involves a bad guy that uses his horrendous body odor as a weapon, but I can assure you, that appreciation goes to the very fiber of my being. The humor involved in that just speaks to me and even after 20+ years of it being a part of my life, I still find it amazing how the MOTU mythos can take those hilarious concepts and make them completely awesome and, when needed, 100% serious. Sure, I find the humor in it now, and it was fun to use my old Stinkor toy for devious schemes as a kid, but when Stinkor joined the battle, he was as hardcore as anyone on Eternia.
The fact that I had such reverence for Stinkor as a kid though made it so I actually used him pretty sparingly in my backyard battles. I mean, you could smell the guy from across the room so if he entered the fray of battle, everyone from He-Man to Trap Jaw would be barfing all over themselves. Enemies and allies alike could not escape. Can you imagine being Two Bad with TWO noses in Stinkor’s presence? Not to mention poor, poor Snout Spout. That guy had (has) it tough enough without his questionable power being used against him. But Stinkor is a skunk man of no apologies and when you mess with the skunk, you get the stink.
Coming into the Classics line, it was just a matter of when Stinkor would be released, not if he would. I mean, from a design perspective he is about as “reused” as you can get, even going so far as to have the same head as the vintage Mer-Man figure. I think we have learned by now though that the Four Horsemen use the limited condition of the past as opportunity for the present, so Stinkor is not one of those Classics figures that can draw a 1:1 comparison to the vintage, there is a lot more going on. Oh, and I know that some people speculated that there might be a chance that Mattel would not give him the built-in smell since this is an “Adult Collector” line. Really? Stinkor not stink? I don’t want to live in that world.
So let’s just make first things first: Stinkor’s got the stink, just as promised! Toy Guru has reported that they were able to find the original formula for the vintage stink and apply it to the new figure. My personal assessment is that the Classics Stinkor smell in relation to the vintage is the same as the comparison between the new and old Moss Man figures. It is pretty much just as you remember, but I don’t think it is EXACT. It is very close to me though and while I think that I have that old odor etched into my brain, my vintage Stinkor has lost his smell so I cannot make a direct comparison. I will be interested to see if someone better positioned to make the comparison finds the same likeness I do, or if the smells are, in fact, exactly the same.
The good news is that the odor (patchouli, how hilarious is that?) is mixed in with the plastic so it is not going anywhere and let me tell you, it is STRONG. But here is the thing, it is really only strong if you have the figure right up to your nose. If you do, he is wonderfully vile, but I don’t think the smell carries off of the figure as strongly as the Classics Moss Man pine. My toy room does not smell of plastic hippie after a few days the way it did of the Evergreen Forest a couple of years ago. I think this will be good news for those that did not want a powerful stink to their figure (heathens!). So, the smell is strong, but it does not carry and unless I am incorrect, I think the stink is only mixed in with the plastic on the torso. It is very distinct in his lats and chest, but I don’t think his heads, or even his legs, hold the scent. Mattel did do their darnedest to hold the smell in though, the card bubble does not have the normal vent holes typical in this line. All I know is that my Stinkor stinks and since he was my vintage counterpart menace to the refreshing Moss Man, the modern-day circle is now complete.
While Stinkor is a vintage character that we all love to remember, the Classics figure is actually a pretty sharp departure from the vintage figure in terms of construction. He does, however, conform to the vintage card back standards that find use in characters like Mer-Man and Man-E-Faces. See, the vintage Stinkor figure actually shared the same body type with guys like Mer-Man and Skeletor but this new version borrows from the “furry” interpretation of the skunk man (which I think is appropriate) and is made up mostly of the Beast Man body. The forearms, hands, shins and feet are vintage figure inspired though. The paint patterning on the body recalls the old figure too, but like Mer-Man, Stinkor has a new neck overlay to add to his skunky build.
Speaking of Mer-Man, Stinkor does borrow the vintage toy Mer-Man head. I know a lot of people, even has kids, have a strong dislike of that fact (as well as the Moss Man and Beast Man sharing) but I have to say that it never bothered me. The different colors and paint jobs always made them so different to me that I never really thought of them as being the same. I always thought that the head was more appropriate for Stinkor anyway. I mean, Mer-Man has always been my favorite figure and character, but I was always a little disappointed in his head sculpt as a kid. In fact, since I am such a fan of the card back Mer-Man head in Classics and use that in my main display, the vintage head works even better for Stinkor now. The best part is though, you now have the freedom of choice when picking your smelly head.
For a guy that got NOTHING original in the vintage line, the Horsemen sure did pull out all of the stops for the Classics figure. As mentioned before, he does have an alternate “modern” head that actually looks pretty skunk-ish. Or 200x-ish if we are not being coy. I have a feeling this will probably be the one used in most of the displays around the world since it is completely unique to Stinkor, but the verdict is still out for me. Like Kobra Khan, I REALLY like both of the heads so I hope I can come up with a meaningful way of displaying them both in my collection. While the vintage Stinkor head looks really mean, the new one also has some personality to it, but it might have been funny if he had a wincing expression to emote the fact that he cannot stand his own stank. Either way, both of the heads are winners.
Stinkor also includes an all-new mask, set of air tanks, gun and (what I think is) a pressure gage(?). Finally, the Stink Man gets his own! Again, I think a lot of people will be very pleased to have mask and tanks because it adds another dimension to his look. I am of the mind that Stinkor is strong enough to withstand his own smells, so mine will not be requiring neither. The mask is sculpted perfectly to hold to the modern head with no effort and if you have the NECA Stinkor station, the air tanks certainly take their inspiration from there. For weapons, he has is old standby repainted Weapons Rack shield and a new gun. Look, for me, Stinkor is his own weapon and anything that pistol could possibly fire would pale in comparison to the power of the funk, but I am glad to have more to add to my arsenal. The gun is a new sculpt for the line but I could see it getting used down the line as a repaint with another character; it is not really distinct enough to scream “Stinkor”. I do hope that we get a blue version of the Zodac or Kobra Khan gun in the upcoming Weapons Pak though since there is vintage precedence for it.
I also want to mention that, like Draego-Man and Thunder Punch He-Man, all of Stinkor’s joints are tight but he does not have the rigid movement in his elbows like Kobra Khan. I am also happy to report that, unlike Thunder Punch, Stinkor’s shorts are nice and flexible and do not inhibit his leg articulation in the least. Furthermore, I want to add a big “in your face” to Mekaneck since Stinkor wins the Classics race for their shared armor. From now it, it will be Stinkor’s and Meky will have to wallow in the atrocious funk of a hand me down. Score another one for the bad guys! Woo!
In due fashion, this is certainly the year of the vintage figures as we celebrate MOTU’s 30th. Sorceress, Fisto, Kobra Khan, Thunder Punch and now Stinkor all add to the classic ranks (ranks? Stinkor? See what I did there?) and Spikor will be along in July to further them even more. From a character standpoint, I am thrilled to add Stinkor to my Snake Mountain display, even if he has to stand off to the side. Fans of the vintage as well as the modern should be able to find a configuration with all of the accessories to fit their needs with this release. Same for the pro and anti-stink factions. He smells, but it does not carry so hopefully that is the best of both worlds. Take heart, fellow MOTU maniacs, the character that was dismissed by FilMation for being too ridiculous will be coming to your displays next month. It is just another dimension to the diverse mythos we all love so well. Smell ya later.
But wait! There is more! Bonus!
Shipping alongside Stinkor in May are the all-new Snake Mountain Stands! The compliment to the Grayskull stands, these are just what you need to make all of your Evil Warriors feel nice and important. You can reposition the stalagmite as you like around the base, just like the Grayskull wall piece. They come five to a pack and I am keeping my fingers crossed that they will continue and we can get stands for the Fright Zone and Crystal Castle!
*Thanks for checking this First Look out, even though it stinks and thanks to Toy Guru for sending him along, even though he himself does not stink. Next: onward to the DC Universe and its brave new release pattern!