Masters of the Universe Classics is currently one of the most demanded and discussed action figure lines going right now. On the whole, we have gotten some pretty fantastic action figures representing a wide swath of iterations and mythologies of this diverse property. As a rule, though, when a character had a figure in the vintage MOTU line, that is where most of the influence comes from in translating the character to Classics. However, when you have media avenues such as the mini-comics, posters, cartoons, movie, and card-back art, it leaves a lot of places for people to find their favorite versions of various characters. Take Mantenna, for example: while his Classics figure takes most of its cues from the vintage figure, his character is very memorable from the Filmation Princess of Power cartoon. So where can the cartoon fans turn with this mostly vintage-influenced figure?
I can tell you right now that the Filmation Mantenna fans can go right to Mr. Kevin Kosse (aka TIN) for all of their animated essentials. I am positive you know Kevin from the famous Karak Nul head (and countless other works), but now he has taken his amazing talents to bringing everyone the Mantenna they never got in this line: the Filmation version! Yep, one quick Google search will show you that there are some striking differences between the vintage toy and the Filmation version of Mantenna. While the Classics figure has given us few steps toward the Filmation look (the yellow eyes and non-fused legs), the overall look is still very much vintage-influenced.
However, some artistic imagination, creativity, and talent has rendered us a remarkably simple, yet amazingly effective, add-on piece that turns this figure into a pretty spot-on Filmation version of Mantenna. Yep, all it really took to do it was a new maw. As you probably know by now, the Classics figure features swappable eyes (to recreate the action feature without action) but to accommodate this, the mouth of the figure was made to be removable. Taking advantage of this design requirement, Kevin has created a new mouth for Mantenna, and it recalls his Filmation expression to an exact likeness.
Can you see it? Well, of course you can! Not only is the mouth beautifully sculpted and painted, but it captures the more “friendly” or dim-witted persona of the cartoon version of Mantenna perfectly. He certainly did have one of the most divergent characterization from what you would interpret from the vintage toy to the cartoon, but therein lies the opportunity for Mr. Kosse to flex his muscles and give the Filmation fans some pretty incredible satisfaction.
One of the best parts about this piece is that there is absolutely nothing to it when it comes to incorporating it into your Mantenna figure. The mouth piece is perfectly shaped to fit the foot print left by the official version, and there are pegs added to the back of the piece to fit right into the holes that are used by the vintage mouth. So if you are like me and have very little in terms of customization skills, you are good to go, just so long as you can snap a little piece into place. Out-of-the-box customization is a very beautiful thing.
This kind of DIY/Backyard/Guerrilla/Independent toy making that supplements an official action figure line is very exciting right now. Guys like Kevin, Alvis Underground, Backyard Legends, He-Mike, and others are taking an already fun line and making it even better. With the work these guys are doing, it is hard to imagine you could want for anything in terms of opportunities for characters and variations within the MOTU universe, and several from outside too. I know that many a Filmation Mantenna fan was let down by the Classics figure not having a nod to the his cartoon look, but Kevin Kosse has offered up a piece to give you just that, and I feel it is pretty much just as well done as what you would get in the package. Don’t misunderstand me, that is a HUGE compliment to both him and and Four Horsemen.
So, if Filmation Mantenna is your bag, you are really in luck. While I agree that the official figure should have followed the vintage footprint, I am absolutely thrilled that another sect of fans are going to be able to get what they want out of this already rad figure. I have shared a link to Kevin’s Facebook page below, so be sure to give it a “like” and use that as a porthole to get that Filmation Mantenna you have always wanted. This truly is an exceptional piece.
*Thanks for reading and thanks to Kevin for sending this great piece along. We will have more from him coming very soon!