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MOTUC Feature – Snake Men 2-Pack

King Hssss’ forces received a major boost last month with the release of the Snake Men 2-Pack.  Check out more pictures of this cool army builder set after the jump!

Snake Warriors Bio

Real Name: Varies

A hybrid of three cold-blooded alien races, the Snake Men™ were spliced together and bred by the Unnamed One to serve as loyal foot soldiers in his ever-growing army. Several battalions of Snake Men™ were assigned to the Viper Lord King Hssss™ and traveled with him to Eternia® to plunder its hidden magic for their formless master. Unprepared for an attack by invading Horde armies, the Snake Army was driven into hibernation and eventually trapped in the Void by the warrior Zodak™. Five millennia later, Hssss and his reptile army escaped their imprisonment and once again took up the fight to claim Eternia®. Snake Men™ fight loyally in the armies of King Hssss™ against the heroic Masters of the Universe®.

I don’t think I’ve ever read Hssss referred to as Viper Lord King Hssss before.  That actually sounds kinda cool, like perhaps there are a few different sub groups of Snake Men with their own political groups, Lords and Ladies and whatnot.  The reference to the Unnamed One is a nice shout out to the Powers of Grayskull mini-comic and makes me wonder if they had ever decided back in the day who or what the Unnamed One was.  Beyond that, it’s a fairly simple bio and that makes me realize I actually like the bios that tell a little bit more story.

Accessories

The Snake Men 2-Pack comes with two removable armors, four unique head sculpts, a spear, shield, sword, and a spiked mace.  The armors are made of super soft, flexible plastic and attach with peg and sockets.

The weapons are all made of a nice stiff plastic, so no floppy swords for these snakes.  Speaking of swords, the spear and the sword both have a guard shaped like an open snake mouth and have a really cool wavy blade design, so it looks like a super stylized snake with his tongue out.  The handles on the weapons also have a coiled look to them, which I would assume is an intentional snake reference.

Sculpt

The four unique head sculpts provide an interesting variety of snakey looks.  The darker snake with the closed mouth has some cool horned ridges that kind of recall some of the snake warriors from the mini-comic King of the Snakemen, though there is a 2002 Snake Man background character with similar horns.

The darker snake with the open mouth and yellow snake with the closed mouth feel very much like the snake men from the 2002 cartoon and the yellow snake with the open mouth reminds me of King Hssss’ snake form.

One nice aspect of these head sculpts is that they all sit a little differently on the neck giving the soldiers slightly differing heights and postures.

The snakes have great, highly detailed scaly head sculpts.  The fangs are a little softer than I would like to see on the open-mouth sculpts, but they look a little better to me than Kobra Khan’s and King Hssss’ teeth.

There is a neck overlay that transforms the regular He-Man torso into a more snake-ified look, though I do wonder if it would have looked more snake like if they had used the Buzz-Off/Whiplash/Clawful torso.  Maybe not, since that is a more pebbly texture.  I’d like to see some customs using that body at any rate.

I’ve read a few online treatises about the travesty of reptile men having nipples and belly buttons, but that doesn’t bother me so much since I figure a Snake Man is a mixture of snake and man, and there are characteristics of both mammals and reptiles present.  I just think a scaled torso would look better.

I love the variations on the armor.  The asymmetrical armor is unique in MOTUC and is a direct translation of a background snake soldier’s gear from the 2002 cartoon.  The Snake Men symbol is bold and green on the chest and there are some cool panel trim and rivet details.

It’s my favorite of the two armors and makes me really interested in seeing how the 4 Horsemen MOTUC-ize some of the more outlandish 2002 armors like Lord Dactys’ gear.  The blue armor has more of a classic MOTU battle armor feel with some panels that feel appropriately scale like near the abs.

By mixing and matching armor and heads, you can get a few variations of snake warriors.

The darker orange Snake Man features brand new scaly arms and legs, which are reused on this month’s General Rattlor figure.  Maybe I should say these guys pre-use the sculpt intended for Rattlor since the pattern is clearly based on the vintage Rattlor figure.  The scale detail on these arms and legs are so beautifully done, I’m glad they have used them again here.

Yellow

Articulation

As you would expect, the articulation is the standard MOTUC articulation.  The loincloths are very pliable, so they do not hinder the hip articulation very much.

Paint

Paint is decent on these figures.  I find myself wishing there were a wash or drybrush on the orange snake’s scales to bring out the amazing detail on his sculpt a bit more, but I do like the highlights on the chest sculpt that give it a bit of a two-tone feel.  The lighter yellow snakes get some darker shading that almost makes them match the color on the darker snake bodies, so it almost matches, not enough for my taste, but your mileage may vary.

There is a bit of an issue on one of my dark orange Snake Man’s shoulders:  it’s cast in black plastic and for some reason is scraping off when I use the shoulder articulation.  I have four sets and this is only happening with one of the figures.

Overall

I’m not much of a Snake Men fan.  I was long gone from the MOTU franchise when they appeared in the classic line, but I did gain appreciation for the group from watching the 2002 series, and on that show, I really connected with the idea of the more background, anonymous Snake Men.  I love the idea that Hssss has an entire horde of these man-eating monsters at his command.

I actually was looking forward to the red shirts more than the named snake men, so I was extremely pleased to see this set announced.

I love army building, so I bought four sets of Snake Men.  I figured I needed at least four to display all the head sculpt variations, but eight allows me to put all four heads on both armor variations.  I don’t really care for these guys without armor, nor do I like the darker orange heads on the yellow bodies, or vice versa.

I haven’t decided if they are too similar to each other to display all together without some custom repaints yet.  I would buy another set of these guys if Mattel were to do them in green or red.

Snake Army

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