The brand new, ready-to-start-next-month Masters of the Universe Classics 200X add-on subscription has found a way to bring new attributes to Classics, even in the latter half of year six of the line. One of the most welcomed changes is that this is the first time an entire subscription lineup has been revealed before the end of the buy-in period. Yeah, that end of 2009 bit did too, but that was not a real subscription and the line certainly did not live and die by that model at that point. So it is cool that we already know all of the characters that we are getting here, and, to me, it does not take any of the sheen off of the process. I liked knowing that I was secure in plunking down my money because five of the six figures were winners in my eyes, and I was ready to welcome them into my collection from the outset. Then there was EVILSEED. I knew from the moment I clapped eyes on this figure that I would have a difficult relationship with this 200X interpretation of a classic character.
I have made absolutely no attempt to hide that, in the dividing debate about which version of Evilseed is better — Filmation or 200X — I stand proudly with the former. I am not going to get into all of the particular reasons as to why that is, I just find it to be a superior design and characterization. So, in seeing this figure revealed, and without the ability to swap parts for the other version, I was very prepared to roundly hate this figure. I was pretty much ready to throw a classic Internet tantrum about not getting my way about it too because that is why the Internet was invented, right? But no, and you might see where I am going with this, there is no way I can do either of those things. Why? Because even in under the condition of having a design that I do not prefer, it is damned near impossible to hate this figure.
This line just keeps doing this to me: any time I think I will be uninterested, or, at the very least, not excited about a particular figure, they pull me back in! Trust me, being in a “Godfather III situation” with a toy line can be blissfully frustrating, and I give the Four Horsemen full credit/blame for it. They pull me back in! Yeah… philosophical pride be damned, but this is a fantastic figure. The 200X subscription is off to a pretty rollicking start with the fantastic Callix and now this, so fans of that era already have a lot to be happy about in the first third of the subscription. I still think Callix is the better figure of the two, but this Evilseed gives you just about everything you could possibly want for this version of the character.
Now, to be fair, I have never really HATED the 200X Evilseed motif; I just never found it to be as striking as the original. That said, there are several features of the design that lend themselves well to an action figure, so the Horsemen had quite a bit of opportunity to make things like his thorns and vines work in plastic. What can I say? There were successful (duh), and the age old mixing of existing and new parts found some new methods with Evilseed, and Mattel was up to the task with making the engineering work. So, even if you are not a fan of this design, it is very hard not to appreciate this toy from a “good action figure” perspective.
Evilseed has been brought into the Classics aesthetic pretty seamlessly. He is more detailed than a lot of the figures, but the details are in the spirit of Classics, so his strong lines and skinny build have been rounded and beefed up to fit with the modern interpretation of the vintage line. Like Callix, he does borrow several foundational parts, but I cannot really call out any character detail that was sacrificed since the new pieces do a great job of capturing his unique features. The added thorns and vines are shaped and positioned in a way that certainly do make them feel “evil,” and even though pieces like the shins and forearms have a lot more sculpt lines details to them than the standard parts, the Horsemen made everything jell together pretty well.
The shoulders, forearms, hands, shins, and feet are definitely the most recognizably new additions are far as foundational parts go. They all have vines and/or thorns throughout to accomplish the look created in the MYP cartoon, and since they are pretty specific to Evil Seed, I am not exactly sure where they would ever be able to be reused for another character. The feet and hands might be able to be repurposed as “reptilian” parts, but even that might be a bit of a stretch. It doesn’t matter, though, because these parts work so well to establish the required look for Evil Seed, so Mattel might not need the long-term planning for future of the new parts. I want to mention that the new shins are lacking a place for the standard shin twist articulation to be added, so this figure does lack that point.
Two other new pieces are his chest overlay (not removable) and his hip piece. The chest is mostly vine-ridden and said vines wrap around Evil Seed’s lats to help further disguise the standard MOTUC chest that lies beneath. This piece also includes the ridiculously large (but accurate) collar piece that keeps the spirit of many over-the-top 200X details. This is probably my least favorite part of the body design, and I think that if the collar were positioned around the head just a bit closer, it would look more organic and plant-like. However, you cannot fault the figure for being the way that it is because, as I said, it is accurate to the source.
The hip piece is also a very cool new part because of the vine construction and engineering. The vines that come down the thighs and loop around the knees are actually part of the hip, so it saved having to create new thigh pieces but they still allow for the hip twist articulation to work. This is a very clever bit implemented by the Horsemen and Mattel Design, so kudos to the team for pulling this off flawlessly. Everything works together nicely and the engineering on the figure is great with no soft or loose joints to mention.
The head sculpt on this guy is also very nice and spot-on to the source, so if this is your preferred version of Evil Seed, you should be pretty happy. Again, no detailing was sacrificed, but the head was widened just a touch to fit that Classics aesthetic. The eyes and mouth provide the only break in the green and brown of the figure with some vivid red, so it is effective in its use. Personally, I have never found the head to be particularly plant-like in its design, but that certainly does not take anything away from cohesion of the overall look. He does have the evil portion of his characterization down, that is for sure. My 3-year-old daughter (who cares a lot about this type of classification) instantly stated that “he is not nice — he is MEAN,” so there you go.
I mentioned before that the sparse red used for the eyes and mouth is quite effective, but barring that, Evil Seed is a lot of brown and a LOT of green, just as he should be. Actually, if you think about most of the characters in the 200X subscription, with the exception of Veena, they are all pretty monochromatic. But, hey, Evil Seed is a plant, so he should be green and there is also a lot of subtle shading and airbrushing on his body to bring out some of the details. This means that his paint job is pretty flawless, so I don’t think there will be any beefs in that category for this figure.
Evil Seed comes with two accessories: one for him in the little vine creature thingee, and the Scepter of Power, a Filmation artifact. The vine can wrap around Evil Seed’s arm, and I suppose he can use it to bash someone, or it might bite a good guy, but I don’t think he really NEEDS it, but it is nice to have. The Scepter of Power is a cool choice for an accessory as I always love getting new artifacts, but I will likely give it to the Eternos Palace Randor figure until our King Miro comes along.
So, not being my preferred version of Evil Seed, this figure turned our really well. It captures the look and feel of the character, and the new parts are very well done. Let’s face it, if we were going to get a 200X subscription, there was no way that this guy would NOT be included, and the Horsemen did a great job. My hope is that now that this version is out, we can see the Filmation version in a variant slot in 2016. It has the potential to be a really cool figure, and then the Filmation fans can be satisfied as well. I would continue to include this figure in my personal canon, as maybe a henchman to the real Evil Seed, “Evil Weed” or something like that. At any rate, MOTUC has taught us that there is room for all in this line.
*Thanks for checking this out, and thanks to the team at Mattel for sending this sample along. On to SDCC and new Classics reveals!