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SDCC 2013 – Ranking the Masters of the Universe Classics Reveals

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Ah, but you knew these reaction articles would be coming, didn’t you? We are trying to hit all the big lines that we reported on at SDCC and share some thoughts about what was said and seen, as well as things that were not said and not seen. I drew Masters of the Universe, but I am really glad because, even after all this time, I think that this was the strongest showing for the line at a convention yet. We all know that the master road map was altered to hit all of the big name characters in 2014 and 2015, and the lineup Mattel revealed proved that they are going to make the most of it. I still cannot believe all that they showed off; it truly was like Christmas (or Chanukah or Kwanza or Annual Gift Day or whatever you might celebrate in the winter) in July.

Matthew K and I had a chance to sit down and chat with Toy Guru at the show, so that feature will be along in the next couple of weeks, but in the meantime, here are my thoughts about what was shown off for 2014 and the rest of this year. I have done something similar to this in the past, so I am keeping the tradition of ranking them from the bottom up. Your opinion may (and probably WILL) vary here, but, honestly, I don’t think there was a single real stinker in the entire group. Oh, and just for posterity’s sake, we went 5 for 5 in our MOTUC predictions this year.

#16 The Unnamed One

Ah, so this is the 2014 Club Eternia exclusive figure, and the hitch is that it was not even revealed. Yep, due to a wanted air of mystery and the fact that, really, the sub is selling itself this time around with the lineup, the Unnamed One will be kept under wraps until he arrives on  your doorstep. So that means no pictures at the show and no previews as we get closer to the release date? What does all this mean? Who will this character be? I have my theories, but since nothing, aside from the included mini-comic, was shown, this gets the bottom spot by default.

#15 Standar

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Don’t get me wrong, I think this figure is an absolute hoot and is actually well done, but with so many heavy-hitters revealed, it is hard to place it on this list. It was a great thrill for Stan Lee to show up at the Mattypalooza panel to talk (well shill, actually) about the figure and the new partnership between POW Entertainment and Mattel. Did you ever think that you would own a likeness of Stan Lee on a MOTU body? If you say yes, you are a liar; however, with a bio worthy of Swingin’ Stan’s prose, I think this concept is hilarious, and I look forward to adding Standar “The Mandar” to my shelf.

#14 End of Wars Weapons Pak

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I do not think I am alone when I say that this pak is all about KOWL! Finally! The little know-it-owl has made his way to Classics, and now Bow will not be able to get away with anything without this foppish yellow bird calling him on his $#!%. It is interesting to see that he has been painted in his toy colors instead of the much more well-known FilMation brown, but maybe the door for that figure is still open down the road now that the tooling is done. Honestly, because Kowl is included, they could have tossed in anything else and I would not have cared because I want him so much, but what we did get is pretty cool. Netossa getting her sword and Rattlor getting his 200x armor are the big ones, but I really like the green Power Sword too. Toy Guru told me that Kowl ate most of the budget so that is why a lot of the weapons are not painted.

#13 Nepthu

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Ah, but I could never imagine that a character such as Nepthu would cause such a stir. This figure was actually leaked online a couple of days ahead of the convention, so he was already up in the booth on Preview Night. A lot of vocal collectors have come out in protest of this figure with the claim that he is not worthy of a figure in the FilMation sub. That may or may not be true, and I agree that there was not a lot of fan chatter about him, but he had just as many appearances on the show as most of the FilMation characters, and that totals exactly one. Personally, I don’t mind adding him to my display, even if he is a little plain. I might get some help adding some black paint around the eyes to make him more show accurate.

#12 Lord Dactus

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From here on out, the competition gets a bit stiffer and the difference in placement gets smaller because they are all so good. Dactus (formerly Dactys) has been one of the most anticipated MYP characters for a long time now, and he has been close to the top of my personal wish list from that show. Make no bones about it: he is a VERY impressive figure. He has a lot of new parts and he is very, very tall thanks to his new ankles and feet. The only thing that is keeping him from placing higher is that he really pushes the boundaries of the MOTUC aesthetic and he almost looks like he is from a different toy line. I wish he would have been brought in a little bit more, but I am still really looking forward to him.

#11 Geldor

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Our fan’s choice pick has finally been revealed! When it came down to the final vote, I went with Geldor, so I am glad he won and Matt K said it best when he proclaimed that this figures is “much cooler than it has any right to be.” The Four Horsemen did a fantastic job with him and there are few things in life that are cooler than a mustache connected to a mohawk. It is fun finally getting some reuse out of the Skeletor shorts and he even comes with a shot of the “Secret Liquid of Life.” Roll on, November!

#10 Seahawk

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Yes! One of the most prolific and well-liked of all of the FilMation characters is finally coming our way. Adora’s charming pirate with a heart of gold looks great, and they captured his look perfectly. His jacket might be a bit puffy, but it is made up for by the fact that he essentially carries an Etherian version of a lightsaber. I love that the Rebellion is growing, and I imagine Seahawk and Bow will be chasing all the ladies come November.

#9 Hydron

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Talk about a long time coming. The space for the Galactic Protectors on my shelf is about the only open real estate left. Icarius FINALLY gets some company and I think Hydron turned out great. Sure, it is a little weird that a space captain is dressed in a scuba suit, but at least he looks good doing it. The 4H continue to show that the potential for coolness has always existed in the NA designs, they just needed to be successfully realized.

#8 Strong-Or (Strong Arm)

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In the span of less than a year, we have amassed the three missing FilMation members of the Evil Warriors. Yup, Fang Man, Icer, and Strong Arm (called Strong-Or due to a trademark thing) can finally join the other denizens of Snake Mountain. I have always considered them just as big a part of the crew as most of the other Evil Warriors, just that they did not get figures in the 1980s. I love the look of this guy and his giant “strong arm” is big without being ridiculous. The Horsemen have done a great job in plussing up the FilMation designs to fit in Classics, and Strong Arm is a great example of success.

#7 Goat Man

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Are you kidding me? We are getting Goat Man! One of the most obscure, but also demanded and neat-looking, characters from the entire mythos. The minion of Skeletor that never really was, Goat Man will hang out in Snake Mountain, but will also go on a tour supporting the heavy metal band he is going to start with Scareglow and Castle Grayskullman. I love the head sculpt and the sharp red paint, but the fact that he comes with a bitchin’ hammer and the mini-comics version of the Staff of Avion seals the deal. I need to get my ass to a traveling convention stop next year.

#6 Horde Troopers

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The Trooper has been one of my most anticipated items in this line for what feels like forever. I am going to be so broke come October because I am going to need at least five, no seven, no eight sets of these guys. They are the original and ultimate army builders of the MOTU world. They look very much like their vintage counterparts, only made better in the Classics aesthetic. I know some people take issue with the size of the eyes, but they don’t really bother me. The only reason this did not rank higher is because the parts to make GENERAL SUNDER were not included. Rassum. Frassum.

#5 Glimmer

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It’s about freakin’ time. Can you believe it took getting into the SIXTH full year of the line to finally get Glimmer? One of the most important members of the Great Rebellion? The good news is that it looks like she is totally worth the wait and aside from her hair maybe not being quite pink enough, she is perfect. With everything that was shown, though, it is hard to compete with just being great amongst a cavalcade of beautiful freaks. Hopefully the PoP dam has been broken and we will see many more Rebels in 2014.

#4 Modulok

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If you are making a subscription lineup to tempt people into signing up for a whole year, making Modulok the first quarter oversized figure is the right way to do things. Remember all that speculation about how he was going to have to heavily share parts if he ever even got made? Yeah, none of that happened. In fact, it looks like he has every piece that was included in the vintage count and you can even make him about 95% FilMation accurate, which is good because that is what I prefer. The Horsemen really outdid themselves with the “Beast of 1000 Bodies,” and even though he was never my favorite Horde member, it will be hard not to make him the centerpiece of that display. All of the little sculpt details are fantastic and it will be a long seven-eight months’ wait for him. Oy.

#3 Sky High with Jet Sled

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So what do you get with this set that is arriving in September outside of the sub? Well, you get the final character piece to the Castle Grayskull poster in the enigmatic Sky High, and you also get the demanded front half of the Battle Ram in the Sky Sled (now Jet Sled, again due to trademarks). That is pretty damn cool. I will need a couple of these for some Palace Guards or the Foe Men, and Sky High will take over piloting the Wind Raider as soon as he arrives.

#2 Plundor

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All I can say is that, “Haters gon’ Hate”! If you are a Plundor hater, well, all I can say is, “Deal with it” because the fact that we are getting this figure is insanely awesome. I have talked at length about the merit of the character and how he is really as evil as they come, but the fact that we are adding the giant purplish-pink rabbit to our collections is outstanding. He looks perfectly evil but stunningly cartoonish all at the same time. I am in love and I cannot be happier about getting him, uptight internet warriors be damned!

#1 Two Bad

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So, I love the Evil Warriors, but Two Bad has never been my favorite member of that crew. That being said, the figure is perfect and the time is right to release him. This is the most important figure announced for the 2014 subscription and they pulled out all of the stops. I am thrilled they made him/them a standard-sized figure with a larger torso, and the sculpt details in the faces and scales are as cool as we have seen. 2013 was the reveal of Ram Man and 2014 belongs to Two Bad, but who will lead off 2015? Tung Lashor? I think he would be a very strong candidate, but we will just have to wait and see.

Honorable mentions go to Loo-Kee for just showing up (I am sure he is coming sooner than later), Mantenna for looking so incredibly fantastic in production, Castle Grayskull for being huge (and for having INCREDIBLE box artwork), and Huntara for winning the fan vote — she will get a figure at the end of 2014.

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So those are my thoughts about the reveals. Sound off below with your own. Regardless of where the figures place, this is probably the best sub reveal Mattel has ever had and 2014 is going to be great, which is good because there are still a lot of characters to do, so I need several more years of success.

NOTE: Photo credits to Matthew K and Robokillah

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