The Filmation one-episode-wonder Fang Man hit Club Eternia subscriber’s doorsteps this month. Let’s take a look.
Fang Man – Evil Fanged Minion of Skeletor
Real Name: Scutes Ignis
Evolved from the ancient Dragosaur species, Fang Man spent his youth in the Valley of Dragons. Skeletor recruited Fang Man after discovering his ability to control the fire-breathing dragons to do his bidding. Fang Man used the Dragosaurs of the past to assist the Evil Lord of Destruction in his evil plans when Skeletor used the Wheel of Infinity to go back in time and stop Castle Grayskull from being built. Eventually, defeated by He-Man, Skeletor abandoned Fang Man in the past where he resides with his ancestors on Dragosaur Isle, waiting for the return of his master. Fang Man has piercing teeth and uses his mind-control ability to manipulate fire-breathing species.
Hmmm. Pretty cool power for Fang Man, but it does step on Beast Man’s toes a bit, doesn’t it? It does fit with his dragon-riding appearance in the Time Corridor episode. And does he control all dragons, or just certain kinds?
The Filmation series did have a variety of Dragons, some talking and intelligent like Granamyr and some not so much. I’m going to say that Fang Man probably isn’t going to be overriding Granamyr’s mind any time soon.
The part where Skeletor just abandons Fang Man in the past also fits with the episode as Skeletor did just bug out through a portal after He-Man tossed the Wheel of Infinity to explode.
Though I just assumed that he went and picked up Fang Man off screen since he must have taken Tri-Klops back with him at some point. Who knows? Maybe both Trike and Fang were stuck in the past for a good long while before Skeletor bothered to retrieve them! That does explain why we never hear from the character again.
Netossa’s loss was Fang Man’s gain it would seem. Fang Man comes with a new sword, a magical macguffin in the Wheel of Infinity, and a vaguely sci-fi looking thing.
The new sword appears to be modeled after the “Sword of the Ancients” from the “Masks of Power” episode of the Filmation cartoon, but there is a slight twist that I absolutely love: the hilt of the sword in the cartoon has a decoration that looks slightly skull-like. On the toy it’s actually shaped a little bit more like a stylized version of Fang Man’s face!
You can just make out the snout and his teeth. So really it works as both things — a unique sword for Fang Man and it passes for the Sword of the Ancients. The sword is made of a nice stiff plastic, so there wasn’t any warping on mine and the sculpt is nice and sharp.
It makes me extremely happy that they included the magical macguffin, The Wheel of Infinity, from Fang Man’s only Filmation appearance with his figure. These objects of power often served as the plot drivers on both the Filmation and MYP toons and it’s a really cool nod to the fans to get them in here.
I wish they had included stuff like this with the figures when I was a kid, they would have served as play motivators. The Wheel is also cast in a nice solid plastic. The backside is not sculpted, so your display options are slightly limited, but the front looks very good, though I have a slight quibble. I feel like the infinity symbol is not correctly aligned with the hourglass symbols around the edges.
I think it would look better if the infinity symbol was on it’s side when you orient the hourglasses to their upright position.
His third accessory is not known to me, but I’ve been told it’s from Fang Man’s animation design sheet, which I vaguely remember seeing, but can’t seem to find now. It’s not in the episode, so I’m not sure what it’s supposed to do. My first instinct is that it’s some kind of taser weapon. It’s also made from stiff plastic, and the simple bold design recalls some ’50s outer space men designs. That definitely works for me.
The 4H managed to transform the standard MOTUC body once again into a new shape using minimal new parts including a new shirt, shorts, neck extension, and head piece. The torso is the Buzz-Off/Whiplash version, the arms and legs are the standard Tri-Klops version, and the boots are Keldor’s.
I think the shirt and neck extension work perfectly to give us the longer lizard like neck. The head sculpt captures the Filmation design perfectly, but amps up the detail with skin folds and wrinkles.
His skin is textured quite a bit and even the tongue has a pebbly texture. The shirt also has the design from Filmation, but extra details brings him more in line with the non-Filmation stuff. There have been added costume folds, piping, a leather texture added to the belt, and some extra rivets on the collar. I really like the new belt buckle.
I think it says something about Fang Man, his running around with his face on his belt buckle. A cool detail on the shirt is that it gives the impression that the dinosaur fins continue down Fang Man’s back beneath his shirt.
His expression is really crazy. Since the mouth is always open and his eyes wide, Fang Man looks quite unhinged. I think it works for a villain personally. I like how the fangs turned out on this figure. They seem sharper than some of the Snake Men teeth we have seen.
As you might expect, Fang Man sports the usual MOTUC level of articulation. The neck has two pivot points, but the movement isn’t quite as good as a regular figures’ head due to the shape. The tongue is actually articulated, which is a fun feature, though I mostly leave it in the center position as he was in the show, I like the option.
One qualm I have is I would have preferred a hinged jaw. You can open Fang Man’s mouth since the plastic is pretty soft, but it won’t stay open. Another slight issue is that his shirt is clearly sculpted in order to have him hunched forward at the ab joint. This helps give him the dinosaur neck that makes him unique, but if you straighten out that ab joint it’s a little bit awkward because you see his reptile belly. Fang Man’s shorts are made from super soft plastic, so they do not hinder articulation at the hips at all.
Paint on Fang Man is good. The blue of his skin is amazingly bright blue and there is a nice subtle muscle shading to enhance the sculpt.
A cool feature I like is that the eyes are gloss yellow and the tongue is a glossy pink. The gloss on the tongue makes his tongue look extra slimy gross and the eye gloss catches the light well to bring life to the large orbs. They also make good use of a shiny metallic orange on the zapper accessory, and the Wheel has some costume detail highlights. The sword is cast in a flat gray, and the hilt has some great metallic paint on it.
Fang Man is a winner in my book. The 4H have clearly put a lot of love into elevating this one-hit-wonder into a stunning MOTUC figure, and while he is not somebody I remember from the ’80s, I can imagine how gratifying it would be for kids from the ’80s who saw Fang Man and wanted a figure of him to finally get their hands on him today. I think Mattel translated this design perfectly from Filmation to MOTUC. More like this, please.
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