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Masters of the Universe Classics Feature – Horde Troopers

Horde Trooper_01The Horde Trooper 2-pack came and went with the quickness this month, leaving many collectors with less impressive Horde Armies than they may have originally planned.  I was lucky enough to get my order in, and I fervently hope Mattel decides to put this figure back into production because I think all Masters of the Universe Classics collectors need a Horde hoard.  Let’s take a closer look at the Horde Trooper 2-Pack!

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Horde Troopers™ Bio
Real Name: Horde Drones Serial Numbers 2549 and 3849

In his factories on Etheria and later Eternia®, Hordak® mass produces countless robotic enforcers. Each is dressed in armor similar to the foot soldiers of his home planet Horde World. Linked to a central computer brain, Horde Troopers™ can be programmed to follow any evil command they are given. With the robotic strength to overpower all enemies of his empire, Hordak’s troopers are more than a match for most enemies. On command from their master, the vicious troopers attack heroic warriors until He-Man® lands a powerful punch – causing them to fall apart!

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The bio here is pretty inoffensive.  I do find the idea that the troopers are linked to a central computer brain interesting since they seem to be all pretty independently incompetent on the She-Ra cartoon.

Horde Trooper_05 Horde Trooper_06 Horde Trooper_07Accessories

Each Horde Trooper comes with his own Horde crossbow, Filmation-style stun baton, a vintage figure-style staff, and a shield in the shape of a massive Horde symbol.

Horde Trooper_08The crossbow has a bit of a trooper-visor motif on the head and is made of a semi-pliable plastic.  The plastic is pretty thick, but I found that the crossbow arms got a little warped in package and the handles have a tendency to sag a bit.  I don’t think it looks that good in the trooper’s arm because the stalk can’t really fit into the crook of the trooper’s elbow, so he holds it like a big pistol.

Horde Trooper_09The stun baton looks just like it was pulled from a cell of the Filmation cartoon.  It’s made from a fairly stiff plastic and I haven’t noticed any warping. The staff is a perfect translation of the vintage staff, and though it is made of a stiffer plastic, I noticed some warping in the packaging.

Horde Trooper_10 Horde Trooper_11It’s also tough to correct because it’s that tougher plastic that holds it’s shape well, so the heat-and-pop method doesn’t quite work.  The shields are a neat design and look more ceremonial to me since they have massive holes in the design that would limit their battle utility.  I think they look great in concert with the vintage staff as a sort of ceremonial or royal guard look.

Horde Trooper_12 Horde Trooper_13 Horde Trooper_14Sculpt

This figure appears to be a 100 percent new sculpt and is pretty close to the vintage design with one main exception.  The head seems a little rounder and higher set than the vintage or cartoon heads.  That could be due to the armor not resting as high on the body in the production figure as it does in the prototype or the vintage figures.

Horde Trooper_15 Horde Trooper_16 Horde Trooper_17In fact, the new techno-detailed torso is a little slimmer than the standard MOTUC base body, and the effect is that the trooper is swimming in his oversized armor a bit.  You can set the armor in place so that the eyes look like the little yellow triangles we are used to seeing in the cartoon, but it will slide down eventually.  This is a little frustrating, and I am looking for a permanent solution to keep the armor at the right height.

Horde Trooper_18That flaw aside, the sculpt is pretty amazing.  The details are sharp and beautiful and the proportions give the guards a powerful profile.  When the armor is aligned correctly they look perfect.

Horde Trooper_19 Horde Trooper_20 Horde Trooper_21Articulation

In addition to the standard MOTUC articulation, the Horde Troopers have swivel/hinge-combo elbows and knees.  The ridged sculpt of the arm and knee joints does hinder the articulation slightly and does not allow for a 90 degree bend at either joint.

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The Horde Troopers have a light overspray of a darker gray over most of the armor that nicely highlights the technological details of the sculpt.  One of the troopers in each pack has two blaster scorch marks (one on the head and two on the chest armor).

Horde Trooper_25 Horde Trooper_26 Horde Trooper_27In theory, I like the battle damage paint marks and they look cool in practice, but having them in the exact same spot on every trooper doesn’t quite work when you have an army.

Horde Trooper_28 Horde Trooper_29I’ve been told that you can buff the scorch mark off the armor fairly easily, but the head mark would need to be painted over since the head is cast in black plastic and painted gray to match the armor.

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The Horde Troopers were my most wanted army-builder set from MOTUC ever since they introduced the concept in the line.  It’s extremely satisfying to pose Hordak or Horde Prime with an army of stormtroopers and Mattel pulled out all the stops on these guys.

Horde Trooper_33The problems I have with the armor looseness probably wouldn’t be such an issue if I didn’t have my particular collecting sickness of building massive armies of figures.

Horde Trooper_34When you have a bunch of one figure, the little issues are magnified.  I was very glad to grab all of the Troopers I wanted in the sale last month, but that joy is tainted somewhat by the fact that so many people were not able to do the same.

Horde Trooper_35I understand Mattel’s issue with re-releases not performing well for them, but I wish they would come up with a way to get more troopers out there for the fans.

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