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MOTUC Feature – Thunder Punch He-Man

I’m not a big fan of main character variants in my collection and Thunder Punch He-Man was a figure I sadly did not know about until I was an adult surfing the internet toy sites looking for a nostalgia fix.  The only He-Man variant I really remember fondly was the original Battle Armor He-Man.  In fact, my wife actually remembered more of this version than I did, asking me “Is that the one with the CAPS!?” when I cracked this guy open.  You know it’s bad when your wife trumps your toy trivia knowledge.  While I wasn’t hotly anticipating this figure, there is still quite a bit to recommend.  Click through for more pics and thoughts about Thunder Punch He-Man!

Thunder Punch™ He-Man® Bio

Real Name: Adam of the House of Randor™

When Skeletor® banished Randor to Despondos™, he used Faker® to convince the royal court that He-Man® was not only a Gar but also responsible for the King’s “death”. This ruse turned the people of Eternia® against He-Man® and he and the Masters soon became renegades in their own land. Driven to the underground City of Tundaria™, the Masters reformed as an elite attack squad. They returned to the surface, and found not only Skeletor® ruling Eternia®, but King Hssss™ and a newly returned Hordak® also challenging for control. To enhance his strength for these new battles ahead, He-Man® used the Powers of Grayskull™ to energize his weapons, giving them a new Thunder Punch™ to combat evil!

Loading the Thunder Punch

It seems like the quarterly variant bios now do a lot of the heavy lifting in terms of moving the overall storyline along.  I do really like that Faker being a blue copy of He-Man was actually useful for something in this story.

The Thunder Punch armor is treated here like the battle armor, as another iteration of the Power of Grayskull.  I don’t have a problem with that, but the Thunder Punch gear looks technological in nature to me, so I was thinking perhaps it could be some sort of power boost from the cosmic enforcers (well, one who didn’t quite stay nuetral) or some sort of ancient technology.

Powered Up!

The idea that the ‘Most Powerful Man in the Universe’ needs power-ups every so often doesn’t quite make sense, but it’s a fun fan exercise to try and come up with real story reasons for these toy-selling gimmicks.

Accessories

Thunder Punch He-Man comes with a shield, a removable back pack that opens, a blast effect, a sword and a ‘cap’ that can be placed in the back pack or in the front of the shield.

The backpack has a hinge that opens up to reveal a cap  holding mechanism on the other side of the large dial on the back.  There is some cool techno detailing with metallic red paint to highlight on the back of the pack and it opens and closes easily.  I love the contrast between the techno looking pack and the rest of He-Man’s barbarian style garb.  That feels like MOTU to me.  The pack can be removed from the harness, but it’s a little tricky to get it back on, so I only did that once.

I like to keep the cap on the front of the shield as I think it makes for an interesting design.  The shield is made of stiff plastic and has a brilliant vac metal coating.  I was initially worried about all this vac metal in MOTUC, but I kind of love it now.  It makes for an interesting and unique look on the shelf and I think it photographs beautifully.

I also love that you can store He-Man’s power sword in the front of the shield.  Storage space is essential for a figure with this many accessories.  Speaking of the sword, it’s the standard power sword we have seen many times in the line, but cast in a translucent yellow plastic.  The clear plastic makes this version a little more fun to photograph because you can play with light more and give it a “powering up” glow.

I may not care much for variants, but I love all the variations we have got of the power sword.  I swear I’d take that sword in any color Matty is willing to crank out.  I can’t explain it, but I enjoy having them all.

My favorite accessory by far is the Thunder Punch blast effect.  This thing clips on to the newly sculpted fist securely and serves as a nice visual representation of the Thunder Punch power.  I’m a big fan of these kinds of effects and would be happy to see more included in the line.  It takes me back to the days of the old SOTA Street Fighter Figure line with it’s swappable hands and blast effects aplenty…Sculpt

Thunder Punch He-Man is mostly a re-use of the standard He-Man body with Tri-Klops forearms, newly sculpted accessories and, most importantly, a fist.  Yes, He-Man finally has a decent fist to punch his foes heads in.

The sculpt on my He-Man’s fist looks a little rougher than I expect from hand sculpts in MOTUC, but I think that I just got a particularly gloppy paint job on mine as I’ve seen others online that look perfect.

Articulation

Thunder Punch He-Man has the standard MOTUC articulation and it’s hindered only slightly in the ab crunch by the large harness.  The ankles are the newer Vikor-based boots, so the ankle joint is tighter than the original He-Man figures.

Paint

This is one part of the figure that stood out to me as a bit odd.  The vac metal is always a bit worrying to a toy fan, but it turned out quite nicely here.  The other paint issue is the matter of He-Man’s paleness.

We are used to seeing a pretty tan He-Man, so when Veebs posted his first look pics, the paleness of this He-Man’s skin was a little shocking.  I had joked that he lost his tan in the caves of Tundaria, but Mattel has said it was a design choice to differentiate him from the other He-Man variants.

Whatever the reason, I’m pleased with the final result (now that I’m over the initial shock).  I’ve seen a couple of customs where they put the Thunder Punch harness on a normal tan He-Man figure and I don’t think it looks as good as this version.  The paler skin contrasts a lot nicer with the red armor.

Once again, the Mattel team has taken a figure I wasn’t overly excited to get in theory and made the reality a fun and desireable figure.


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