Today I’m catching up on a 2013 MOTUC figure I missed with a look at the May 2013 subscription figure Karatti!
Real Name: Stickel-Vat
Karatti™ has a head as hard as the rocks of the desert region of Denebria™ where he lives. Unfortunately for the other evil mutants, he also possesses as much brain as one of the rocks. Although armed with a laser axe, it is the terrible bone-crushing karate blows that make him so fearsome. Fortunately for the Galactic Protectors, he is as cowardly as most of the other inhabitants of Denebria™ and will only attack those whom he knows to be weaker than himself. He gladly allied himself with Skeletor® who offered promises of power and wealth to all who aided him in mutiny against the Horde. Karatti™ uses his combat moves to fight the Galactic Protectors.
I like this bio, though I’m not overly pleased that he is mentioned as a coward. He’s a formidable combatant, so it seems weird to me that he’s also a coward, but that does fit with the stereotypical ’80s karate villain as cowardly bully trope.
To me, this guy looks like such a bad-ass that it’s disappointing he’s a wuss.
I don’t have a lot of experience with the New Adventures cartoon, so I’m not sure how much this coward idea fits in with his portrayal there.
Karatti comes with a knife and an axe/gun. Both are made from stiff, solid black plastic. The gun has some detailing with gloss black that’s barely noticeable, but a nice touch.
The sculpt and design of the weapons match pretty darn closely to the original figure’s weapons, down to keeping the “clip on” aspect that was necessary because the original figure had two Karate-chop hands.
The gun is meant to go in the right hand, but it can also be held pretty well in the normally useless left hand with the wider grip.
I’m not sure it was intentional or not, but I prefer it like this because it allows him to dual-wield his weaponry.
A lot has been made of the reuse of the Trap-Jaw arms and legs on figures like Karatti, and I can’t say I disagree with the objections too much.
The arms work really well for Karatti, but the legs are only passable if you squint.
That said, I let it slide because the head sculpt is so damn cool and the armor is beautifully detailed.
The shape of Karatti’s vintage head-sculpt eyes were kind of sad looking. The 4H straightened out the giant sunken eyes so that it calls to mind the blank stare of a human skeleton.
The jaw/mask section in the ‘toon is really a metal jaw like Trap Jaw’s, but here it almost looks like a rebreather mask.
I’m not sure that was the intent, but I like it. I think that the short, red cornrow hairstyle has also been improved quite a bit here and lengthened to be closer to dreadlocks. The textural detail of those dreads is also slightly bone-like, which is pretty rad.
I think this in conjunction with the mask and armor does give him a few visual allusions to the monster from Predator. That’s good in my book.
The armor and the jaw also have some pretty cool battle-damage details, including claw marks and blaster scorches. The visual allusions to Predator and the battle damage make me ascribe personality and story ideas to this character: he’s a bad-ass hunter/tracker/hand-to-hand combatant for the mutants.
The back of the armor contains a ton of awesome ’80s tech detail.
The only thing that would improve this sculpt for me is if there were a clip to store one of his weapons. I love that kind of thing.
The chest armor is pretty substantial, so you really don’t get any ab-crunch movement.
The leg movement is also hindered by the crotch piece. It’s a little too stiff and substantial for high Karate kicking.
Fortunately the shoulder armor allows for decent arm movement for Karate chopping.
Paint is good with sharp paints including gold, black, and purple armor detailing. There is a nice dry brush to bring out the hair sculpt detail.
The skin is a bright, vibrant green and there is some sharp tattoo work on the face. A subtle detail you might miss is the gloss black eyes within the large black eye cavities on the face. The only weakness is that I wish there had been a wash to bring out the battle-damage detail.
The New Adventures of He-Man is the corner of the MOTU world I am least familiar with, so I had no nostalgia connection to this character at all going in.
This figure on its own is just cool. He strikes an impressive profile and the translation to the MOTUC style just works for me. He looks like a tough intergalactic hunter to me.
I’m looking forward to many more mutants to come from MOTUC in the next few years.