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First Look: Masters of the Universe Classics Laser Power He-Man and Laser Light Skeletor


All who worship evil’s might, beware my POWER — the LASER LIGHT!” Wait, I am mixing up my properties again.

It works, though, doesn’t it? What might be the two most obscure figures from the Masters of the Universe vintage line, the “Laser” figures are finally coming to Classics, just in time for the wrap-up of that aforementioned vintage line. They are being released under the “Holiday Figure” banner we have seen in the past, and, for the first time ever, the release is being included in the Club Eternia Subscription. While these are coming at the tail end of a barrage of figure two-packs released in 2015, this one might just be the best of them all, and for those of us that never even knew that Laser Power He-Man and Laser Light Skeletor even existed in the ’80s line until many years later, these two fill some substantial gaps in our modern collections.

Frankly, for being a concept so immersed in a gimmick and so derivative from the original design of the characters, this set is a heck of a lot cooler than it has any right to be. Let’s face it, in terms of their place in the history of MOTU, the light-up figures would probably be a forgotten footnote if not for their rarity (they only had a limited release in parts of Europe, if I remember correctly). I don’t say that to be down on those figures, it is just that they were released so late and represented the fourth(!) variation of He-Man and Skeletor, that even the children of 1980s excess would likely be tired of the variant theme by that point.


However, in Classics, like so many other figures that have come before, these figures have found new life, and those wizards in New Jersey have worked their magic again and have arguably made this set the best in the list of variant figures in this line. Hyperbole? No, not really. While this set might not be for everyone (and, really, what release is?), but for me, only the Battle Armor figures really come close in terms of uniqueness and quality that these figures bring to the table. The Dragon Blaster and Thunder Punch figures both had some issues, and, really, the recent Terror Claws/Flying Fists set just isn’t all that exciting, especially in the wake of this release. These figures offer a lot new things to line, and I don’t just mean that they have “light-up” powers.

Now, those light-up features might be the defining point of the original releases, and they do, obviously, play a large role here, but the set offers more than just that, but I will get to those things in a moment. For the light effects, they are extremely well done, and while your figures will forever be sporting some pretty big backpacks to accommodate the feature, all of the aesthetics work together to make it work with the theme. The packs are actually fully sculpted so they are not just big boxes on the backs of the figures, they’re made to fit in with the overall character designs. These guys are like the transition looks between the classic He-Man and Skeletor and their New Adventures looks, and the battery packs actually help to support this.

For He-Man, the light effect is limited to his sword, and the design actually takes the blade shape from the vintage Power Sword and the theme of the New Adventures version. The sword has a cord that runs to the backpack where it is permanently attached. While He-Man’s armor has the tabs that separate, the pack is actually permanently attached, but it seems as though, at some point, it may have been intended to be removable. The left side has a spot to store the sword and the power-on button is on the top of the pack. When pressed, the sword lights up near the hilt and stays illuminated for about ten seconds. While it is faint in normal light, in the dark it is actually quite bright, and as you can see in the pictures, it illuminates in a very cool fashion. Additionally, these figures have a secondary light-up theme that can be activated by holding down the light-up button for a second or two; doing so will cause the light to pulsate and flash like the sword is powering up. That latter feature is actually really cool, so be sure to try it out.

Skeletor, meanwhile, carries his light effects in his actual “body.” This goes really well with his Techno-Virus infection from the Classics canon (something that I actually like), and the sculpt and change in look that this figure has over the rest of the vintage variants is really quite striking, and it is a perfect bridge to the New Adventures. Skeletor’s inner eyes light up red and his right hand and forearm is cast in translucent red plastic where the second light source emanates. This can run right into the Havoc Staff that has been cast in the same red plastic, so the Laser Light effect runs from his body right to his signature weapon. Now, unlike He-Man, this does come at the cost of the right biceps swivel, elbow hinge, and abdominal “crunch” movement, but I’m actually surprised by how much this doesn’t bother me. Hey, he still has the wrist-twist, so that is something, but how much you care about the loss of articulation will vary and will likely be affected by how much you care about action features. Again, the power button is on the top of the pack, and Skeletor does have the secondary light-up effect as well, and with his eyes, it makes it extra creepy.


Aside from the light effects, these figures actually have significant departures from the original character designs for He-Man and Skeletor as well. Personally, I like the variety and how these figures follow the lead of the originals, but the looks will likely divide the collector base, as these things tend to do. Beginning with He-Man, the new head sculpt is what stands out the most. I have to say I like a lot, and the longer I have this figure, the more I like it. The original vintage figures were released after the debut of the Masters of the Universe movie and the old figure most certainly had shade of Dolph Lundgren built into it. It was a neat idea since no “movie” He-Man was ever released, and I dig that they kind of went for the same thing here, without getting too close to likeness issues. The head sculpt is really, really nice and detailed (though he does have some massive lips), and this is my favorite Classics He-Man head just after the vintage toy version that came with Oo-larr.

The detail does not stop with the head, though, and new blue costume has a lot of detail built into even the most unlikely places. The harness is, of course, unique, but the trunks and the books have a ton of small sculpted details to them as well. The belt has removed the “M” from the original and has brought a new pattern in its stead. I am not sure if anyone will be sad about that — I guess the “M” was there to represent “Man” after the “H” on the harness that is there for the “He” portion, but I am not sure. Either way, the removal doesn’t bother me in the least. He-Man wears shiny silver gloves in this release to help shield him from the power of the laser sword, and in that, we also got wrist hinges with this release, and that is always important when it comes to He-Man.

Skeletor also take a drastic turn in terms of looks from the rest of his vintage variations, but, again, this look does so much to support his transition to his New Adventures look. Skeletor’s natural form is breaking down, so his skull is getting rougher and more grotesque, while his body is being overcome by technological parts via his infection. This allows for a lot of great details in the body, arms, and legs, and, in fact, there are very few spots on this figure that do not have some kind of sculpted embellishments, but it all works together and does not get too busy. Along with the backpack, Skeletor’s cape is permanently in place, but his hood is removable, and for the first time in this line, the hood actually looks natural while being a separate piece from the head. Looking back at Eldor, it is a SHAME that Brandon Sopinsky wasn’t a part of this line earlier because this has been carefully engineered not to flair too high above the head. I really appreciate this attention to detail and I hope that these things continue in the line.

Oh, and don’t forget that this set also includes the last two issues (those are #7 and #8) of the mini-comic story. I am not going to spoil the actual story, but if you have been enjoying them so far, you will dig these. If not, I doubt you are going to change your opinion. I will say that there are some funny cameos (see below), and there is some pretty heavy fan service as well, especially if you actually pay attention to the “politics” around Classics and MOTU in general. I guess I am glad that the story has concluded, even if it isn’t really for me, but I am sad that Axel Gimenez did not get to finish the art on the last book. No matter your feelings on the story, his art has ALWAYS been a highlight.

I count myself among the many that was not overly excited for this set, but I have been completely turned around: there is a TON to love here, even if the light-up feature is not your bag. It is well-done on both figures, but the new sculpts and personality that comes with the spot of these variants in the story line work perfectly as the “bridge.” These figures are definitely the most fun to play with in the dark because that gives the light features the best chance to literally and figuratively shine, and for me, it recalls the final battle from the movie quite pointedly. Now, this set is going to run you a bit more than a standard two-pack, so look for a $60 charge in December for this set. While I feel this set will likely still be divisive, I think a lot of people will pleasantly surprised by all that this release brings.

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*Thanks to the team at Mattel for sending this along for a First Look, and thanks to you for reading! We are one figure away from completing the vintage lineup!

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