So, uh, yeah… how do you follow up a preview of a figure like Mantenna? A figure that is now (probably) the best figure in the entire Masters of the Universe Classics line? Well, I suppose by taking it in a different direction. Mantenna is a highly-demanded, vintage, newly-tooled, monstrous, four-legged member of the Evil Horde. In contrast, we now bring you our preview of the Club Filmation Nepthu figure; he is an obscure, cartoon, mostly reuse, humanoid, two-legged independent villain. I am not sure if those are exact opposites of Mantenna’s qualities, but at least they are different. The funny thing about it, though, is that they do share at least one commonality, and even though it might surprise some people, they are both nice MOTUC figures.
Oh, Nepthu – you really know how cause a discussion around the MOTU corners of the Internets, don’t you? Sometimes the talk and politics around a certain figure are just too much not to mention, I suppose, but that tends to happen when reactions to any reveal (especially in this line) are mixed. I have seen the span of reaction and emotion range from “cool” to “meh” to “STAB STAB STAB” on his inclusion in the Filmation subscription, but why so much ado about Nepthu? I suppose popularity of the character is what is open for interpretation here, and even though ‘pthu here has just as many appearances in the old show as most of the original characters, there has been a large (or maybe just loud) segment of the community that feels he is not popular enough to warrant a figure, at least not at this point.
I suppose I could see that, I mean, he has never topped any fan choice polls that I have ever seen, but all figure lines are sprinkled with characters that don’t carry as much popularity as others. I suppose I would call Nepthu a “universe builder” for the MOTUC line. If you are not familiar with that term, it is something that has been used a lot in the DC Universe Classics line to describe exactly what you are guessing: characters that fill out the more expansive universe; they are the guys that enrich an overall collection, even though they might not be major faction leaders. So for an all-in type like me, even though I would have preferred to get General Sunder, Evil Seed, Zilora, or a host of others first, Nepthu struck me as figure that will make my collection more diverse, and it is always good to have a new and independent villain for He-Man to smack around.
So, starkly apparent and chart-topping popularity aside, Nepthu’s Filmation episode is actually one of the better stories, and his figure turned out nicely. Plus, he might just be the nakedest figure in the whole run of Classics if that is your thing… Anyway, Nepthu brings a bit of Egyptian charm and influence to our collections with his name, costume and Sun Scarab. Like most magical artifacts in cartoons, the Scarab brought Nepthu near-unlimited power, and he gave He-Man and Man-at-Arms a tussle with the sand creatures he created. So the Sun Scarab was a natural accessory to include with the figure, and it looks pretty much exactly as you would expect. There are some added details to the orange jewel, and Nepthu was given Count Marzo’s amulet hand so he can hold the scarab properly.
Also included is the crystal form of Zoar the falcon. If you recall the episode, the Sorceress flew over Nepthu’s temple in her Zoar form right after he gained the Sun Scarab and he decided to make the falcon the symbol of his house. So he imprisoned her, and when she tried to escape he turned her to crystal. The figurine is not articulated, but it has a lot of crystalline details that make it look really cool. It is cast in a slightly yellow clear plastic so you have to hold it to the light just right to see all of the details. Zoar’s feet are sculpted as if to claw a perch and the tail feather make it so she cannot rest on a flat surface. I think a stand was originally planned, but it was dropped so you will need to donate one of the previously released stands, or you can rest her on Nepthu’s arm.
The Nepthu figure itself is based mainly on the standard male base body and makes use of the Bow boot and the aforementioned Count Marzo left hand. For new pieces, he gets a head (duh!), a removable collar, new biceps, and a new loin cloth that looks more like linen than furry shorts. All of the pieces come together to make a rather convincing and colorful Egyptian motif, so while he was not originally a really anticipated character for me, I have ended up being quite fond of the figure. I like the blues and orange and white working together, and there is just a touch of green on back of his little hat thing. His skin tone is also pretty unique from any other figure in the line so far; it is almost as if they were going for a “bronzed” effect, but it works well. He does not really wear a whole lot, but like I said, the design sews together an effective Egyptian look. So, if you do want him to be a completely independent villain, he will actually look really good hanging out with your Snake Men. I don’t know, maybe he can be a sort of sympathizer or vessel for them.
If I had one bone to pick with the actual figure, however, it would be his face sculpt and paint applications. There is nothing poor about either of them, it is just that, well, they don’t make him look like much of a villain at all. In fact, his expression and features look downright “friendly” to me. The picture on his bio card shows an image from the show of him smiling, but it is obviously a malicious smile. If that is what they were going for, I think it loses something in the translation to 3-D. Also, one of Nepthu’s most distinguishing features is his thick eyebrows (or Egyptian-style “guyliner”). The thick black lines above his eyes help add to his evil look, but that does not seem to be represented at all in the figure. It is a rare and curious aesthetic design miss, but I wonder why, if there is a reason, that it was left off. I think it will be easy to recreate, though, and Nepthu might have a date with some black paint in the near future.
Yeah, so even though Nepthu was not ever really on my radar for getting a figure in MOTU Classics, now that I have him, I rather like him. He makes for a (literally) colorful adversary and he really helps to bolster the overall collection. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE old Bone Face, but I like how the Filmation crew was not afraid to sit Skeletor occasionally to introduce new challenges for He-Man. Classics should be all about that too. It just goes to show that one Filmation Subscription is not enough, and we need another in 2014 and in 2015! So, give Nepthu a chance, if the character is not for you, that is fine, but if you are up in the air, you might just like him better than you thought you would. He ships in October to all Club Filmation subbers.
*Thanks for sticking with us and thanks to Toy Guru and team for sending him along for this preview. We still have more to bring your so keep it right here.