I swear, I am not forgetting about December. I am really not. Mosquitor and Procrustus will be shipping out to doorsteps before we know it, and I PROMISE we will have our First Look features at them up before they go on sale. However, sometime you just get these certain Masters of the Universe Classics figures in your hands and, well, you just have to share your thoughts about them as fast as you can with whoever might listen. That was the obvious case with our debut of Ram Man the other day, and I guess it is that classic-character magic doing its work because as soon as I started planning out the schedule for this round of previews there was no way that I was not going to get to this one right away. In a way, January and February represent the coming of two of the longest holdouts of what most fans consider to be “must have” characters, heroic and evil. Ram Man closed a — large — gap for the good guys, and the favorite bad guy of Samurons all over the world finally comes to take his spot in the Dark Hemisphere. Yep, the oft-mysterious and always enigmatic Jitsu has arrived in Classics and he already has his eyes on the keys to Snake Mountain. Let anyone who might challenge his claim to the Bone Throne suffer a tooth-shatter wrath of his gigantic golden pimp hand.
Honestly, I am a bit confounded by the fact that Jitsu has never really entered the ranks of of the big name Evil Warriors, even after all these years. He only had a one-shot appearance on the FilMation show (General Sunder has TWICE that amount. I’m just sayin’) and got a very late incarnation in the Staction carryover of the 200x line, where, both in toy and show, he was also absent. I mean, he is a martial arts guy that has a badass topknot, a giant golden chopping hand, and is the PERFECT foil for the heroic Fisto. Plus, he was put in charge of the bionic horse of evil, Night Stalker. He just never really permeated the popular culture at large like Skeletor and Mer-Man, but that is okay — I think just about every Masters fan has a spot for Jitsu on their shelf. But woe betide those that might not, lest you suffer his golden wrath. Golden wrath. If the whole super villain thing doesn’t work out, it sounds like he might find a niche in the fetish film industry. Anyway…
The Classics incarnation and story confirms what I think we all already know — Jitsu is the recognized arch rival of Fisto. It makes perfect sense: you have a golden chopper against a titanium fist. It is not rocket science, it is simple action figure logic. Well, when you reenact your epic battles in the Classics realm, the counterpart point is carried even further, right down to their sculptural execution. Obviously, and for the most part, Jitsu is made up of the standard Classics “human” base body. However, his head was obviously sculpted by the very talented “Fifth Horsemen” Djordje (I hope I spelled that correctly, please let me know if I did not so I can make it right). He has brought his amazing talents to some of the standout figures of the line, including Tri-Klops, Bow, and, of course, Fisto. So, now that he can add Jitsu to his resume, it is like the circle is complete to make the Golden J (I just made that up) even more connected with Fisto. As you can hopefully see in the pictures, it is really cool how they compliment each other, and, like the good guy that came before him, Jitsu has quite a lot of insane detail in his head sculpt.
That is the cool thing about Jitsu as a Classics figure: he is not a wild (or 200x) departure from the vintage figure, but he is also not just a full-on recreation of the ’80s toy, either. He is a great UPDATE in the truest sense of the word. His facial features have been heightened and there are a lot of character lines around his eyes and cheeks. The shape of his head is also a bit different, and that changes his overall look. He has a much higher forehead and longer chin so his face is elongated, but not as wide. The overall size of his head might be a *touch* small in proportion to his body, but not by much at all. He looks quiet but mean, like a rare bad guy that doesn’t lose his cool, but he will take you out without blinking.
Another similarity that he has with Fisto is that he has the enlarged right biceps (painted) to show that the golden chopper is heavy to lug around. I like these little details for these figures; it makes them unique while giving a loving wink to the ridiculous nature of their unique, um, conditions? His signature chopping hand is updated with a lot of detail (but not too much) with the golden jewels on the knuckles. It is painted in a gold that is very close to the deco on He-Ro’s armor, so if you have him, you will know what to expect. Yes, gone is the vac metal of the vintage, and I, for one, am glad. Yes, I love that the old Jitus has a shiny hand, but I don’t think that aesthetic really fits in with Classics, and I am reminded of that each time I look at Hurricane Hordak.
Like Fisto, Jitsu’s right hand is his primary and devastating weapon, so anything else is just icing. He comes with this classic sword, updated in sculpt. It helps bring more nods to the “Eastern” warrior theme he has. New to the figure, and as homage to the Staction figure, are his two kama blades as well. I guess this is cool because I am not at all one to denounce extra weapons, but I literally do not know what to do with these things. Why? Well, facts about Jitsu state that he has a giant golden right hand and the left hand holds the sword. It is toy and scientific fact. The kamas can be stored on his back at least, so they can hang around and look cool, but I am not sure I would ever do anything with them. All three blades have a nice metallic orange paint on the blades so they are not flat in color and I *think* that the sword was meant to store on the back as well, just between the kamas.
Finally, and as I said in the beginning, Jitsu has never been highly featured in any media (even though we all had his figure), so there has been little to no characterization or backstory afforded him prior to Classics. Well, he now has a real name of “Chopper” in a nod to his name in the FilMation cartoon, and, apparently, he was an imprisoned no-good prior to teaming up with Skeletor. I have always been one to adapt parts from all canons and make up my own points as well, but one thing that I really like is that, after Skeletor takes off for space, Jitsu takes over the top spot in Snake Mountain. You know, I never would have thought of that, but I think it is really cool and speaks to my own characterization that he is cold, calculating and ruthless. Now, whether or not there are any other bad guys left to hang out in Snake Mountain when he takes over is not yet told, so he might just have the whole place to himself.
Jitsu. Finally. My pal Samuron even printed up shirts for SDCC this past year so we could show our support for this awesome holdout. Turns out we did not even need them and we finally have the final classic character to populate our Grayskull poster project (yes, I know we still need that mysterious Wind Raider pilot). He is finally here and there is much celebrating to be done around the Fwoosh offices around the world. I think the same will be done all over the place as we now have the longest holdout from the Evil Warriors on our shelves. Two Bad, you are now on notice. Jitsu is a fine update for a figure and he does not have any production issues to speak of, so I think he will be the success that a guy with a giant pimp hand should be. Come February, the power slapping will begin and that cocky Fisto will surely be humbled.
*Thanks for reading and thanks to Toy Guru and crew for sending this along and answering Samuron’s prayers. Don’t worry, we have more Masters goodness coming up soon!