Your Home for Toy News and Action Figure Discussion!

First Look – Masters of the Universe Classics King Grayskull

The Orb of Power

Round and round! What goes around comes around! We are knocking on the door of December 2010 and marks the official two year anniversary of the inception of our beloved Masters of the Universe Classics line. Can you believe it? However, as I am sure you are aware there was one figure that unofficially kicked the line off at SDCC 2008 – the heroic ancestor of He-man, King Grayskull! Being a limited convention figure with a follow-up release on Matty Collector that was not open to international orders, getting the King was difficult to impossible for a lot of He-Fans and secondary market prices for him today certainly indicate that that trend continues. Not to worry though, as things have a way of coming back around, the first MOTUC figure has now become the latest MOTUC figure in the form of November’s fourth quarter A-list variant. He does have a slight deco change and includes some brand new accessories so read on to get the skinny on all of the stuff that is newly new.

D'vann Grayskull's Bio

For a guy that was around 500 years before Adam and Adora and gave his name to the whole “Grayskull” thing (it is kind of a big deal) D’vann here (not be confused with what your grandmother calls the couch) is a relatively new addition to the Masters mythos. Introduced in the 200x cartoon series, the character served as window to the backstory of He-Man and to some extent, the Horde and the Snakemen. Pretty much everything that made He-Man what he is started back with the mighty king, from his sword and power, to Castle Grayskull, to the Sorceress to Battle Cat was eluded to as beginning with KG. If you have been reading the card back biographies of the past MOTUC figures, you will know that this theme has been greatly expanded upon by the Mattel MOTUC team. “He-Man” has become a title rather than a name and there have been many between D’vann and Adam (Vikor, Wun-dar and Oo-larr are few of the “named” historical He-Men that we know of thus far), though Adam is the only direct descendent of KG. This has certainly added a new and different feeling to the overall MOTU mythos and I am curious to see where it all goes in the future. There are still a lot of loose ends out there, but we are only a couple of years in at this point.

Kingly, indeed.

Before I get to the actual figure, I want to pause a moment to point out a couple of things from the packaging, something that I have not done in awhile. First, the outer mailer box now haw the phrase “The Powers of Grayskull” printed under the title. I believe this is a first (though I could be mistaken) and I am wondering if it will continue for all figures or for just those that are KG’s contemporaries. Also, as I am sure you have noticed, there is a blue lightning effect that is painted on the bubble between the two half-swords that KG is holding. I think this is a cool idea because it helps illustrate the power of the halves coming together, but I wish there was a little more detail to the coloring. Not a biggie for me though. Finally, if you look at the picture of the bio, you can see the shield illustration for KG. Now, I might not being seeing it and acting a fool, but for the life of me, I cannot figure out what is being represented in the picture. At first I thought it was the statue of KG, but I don’t think so now. I have an email out to TG to see if he willing to spill the beans, but if anyone can identify what is going on there, please leave a comment below and help me out.

You can finally have grizzly dismemberment with your KG
Sword Sheath

For the figure itself, what we once thought would be a simple redco of the original has actually transformed into a pretty substantial variant in both look and engineering. Oh, and accessories. Yes, he does have the promised red cape with white flocking on the top, but all of his “metal” has more of a silver tone rather than plain gray in the belt, armor and gauntlets. I have to say, I had fully planned to leave the original KG on my shelf as my display figure, but now, I am faced with a serious quandary. I really like the colors on this version and the paint on the face is much improved so he does not suffer from the same “staring at my own eyebrows” look of the original. His hair does have a rather heavy gray wash to it so it will probably be a case by case basis on how much your personal figure has. I was fortunate as there are no globs or thick patches.

Yeah, it fits
200x He-Man?

This version of KG looks really regal to me, and if you have the TRU Ghostbusters II gift set, you can borrow a hat to make him very holiday festive as well. I think this will be my “court” KG and the original will remain the battle Grayskull. The red also looks good as a match with He-Ro’s cape, so that is tempting for the display as well. A word of caution, take care of your toys – the white flocking on the cape is going to be very susceptible to scuffs and stains, so take care indeed.

Matters of State and War, KG is outfitted for any occasion
The Powers of Grayskull
D'vann and Ro are on a first name basis

As you can see from the photos, his armor, head and cape are removable, something that the original figure did not enjoy. I like that Mattel did this and I think there are going to be a lot of KG figures sold on the 15th just so 200x fans can get their preferred “techno vest”. It fits Adam just peachy. He did keep the thicker boot cuffs so that does retain his extra height over most of the other figures. Oh, and his front ponytails, cape and furry shorts are made of a more pliable plastic than the previous incarnation so posing works a little better here. They are not made of the softest plastic in the world, but it is a noticeable change. The peculiar thing is that this red cape is a mirror image of the original brown. If you look at the picture above, you can see that all of the details and sculpt queues are reversed. Interesting.

Lots of new accessories
The Orb of Power

Another spot where this figure really wins is in the accessories/weapons department. Like his November foe Grizzlor, D’vann is loaded with them. He has the He-Man shield and a redeco of the Power Sword, this time in a “phasing” look. It is like a great cross between He-Ro’s sword and the original KG sword and I like it a lot, it will certainly be my display piece. I also really dig the Orb of Power in execution though I am still not complete sold on the idea of the Orb itself. It is made of hard translucent blue plastic with lots of sparklies in it so it matches the tip of his sword. It will look great inside of Castle Grayskull if Mattel ever decides to give us one in this line. Hint, hint. Nudge, nudge.

The Swords of Grayskull
The new Half Swords - the stick together!

Finally, there are the two half-swords, and you know what? They are ALL new. Yep, Mattel has gone and re-engineered the design on these and they now lock together in an all new way (see the photo). Of course, I was skeptical of this as none of the previous half swords stay joined at the tip of the blade, so I wanted to test it out. It put the two halves together last night and wouldn’t you know it, when I got home today – STILL TOGETHER! To me, this is a BIG deal and I REALLY hope that Mattel uses this mold going forward. You have to make sure that the blades are not at all warped out of the package, if they are it can be fixed with a little hot water, but these two stay together tightly. Kudos to the design team on making this demanded improvement, I know a lot of people will be very happy about this.

Umm... better take this before I meet my untimely death

Whew! This figure really snuck up on me! He has always been on my radar to get for his accessories and for the fact that I am a MOTUC completist, but I am very pleased to say he is the most pleasant surprise in the line I have had for awhile. I think for all that did not get the original, this will serve perfectly for them and getting to choose which version you want to display if you do own the 2008 version will be taxing indeed. I am very excited to have the PoG characters and Horde fleshed out more in future bios, but this one really has me jonesing for the Snakeman. Benty has called them MOTU horror and he is right – scary stuff indeed and we know that KG’s brother met the same fate as Zodak’s. I need me some King HSSS!

The Griz doesn't stand a chance!

*Thanks for reading and be online at Matty on the 15th as this figure is not included in the subscription and you will not want to miss out. Also, thanks to the Master of MOTUC himself, Toy Guru for making this Look possible. Lots more to come!

Additional Links

It's the Sword of Many Colors!

12 thoughts on “First Look – Masters of the Universe Classics King Grayskull

  1. Great figure & review! Does anyone know which head are they using for 200X He-Man shot? The skin tone makes me doubt because I’m colourblind 😛 Could it be Prince Adam’s head?

  2. Brett and AJ are right. The illustration is a shrouded figure sitting on the throne of Castle Grayskull, drawn by the late great Alfredo Alcala for one of the “original four” minicomics packaged in with the first year’s worth of MOTU figures. I want to note that “King of Castle Grayskull” isn¨’t the chronologically first of them (That would be “He-Man and the Power Sword”), but it is the one that solidifies the idea of He-Man as the protector of Grayskull’s secrets, and Skeletors attempts to break in.

    Also, by the text of the minicomic itself, it is revealed that the “future king of Castle Grayskull” that the illustration lifted for KG’s bio comes from is actually… (20+ year old spoiler alert!) … He-Man himself! So in a weird, roundabout way, that picture being used for King Grayskull sort of makes the whole thing come full circle.

    Love the reviews, by the way. Keep at it. 🙂

  3. What I think you’re seeing is Grayskull sitting on his throne. His right arm appears green in the light and his face is shadowed. His cape hangs over his left shoulder and continues over the knee.

  4. the promise of this figure is what initially got me into MOTUC, as i loved the episode of the 200X show he was in. i’m stoked they’re re-releasing him so i can (hopefully) get him at a decent price. if mattel’s zany and lovable site doesn’t prevent me from getting him entirely.

  5. The illustration on the shield of King Grayskul’s bio is from the original mini-comic, “King of Castle Grayskull”, in which Teela is the guardian of the castle and is awaiting the true king’s return. Skeletor shows up and tricks her into believing he is the real king. I guess it can be considered the first appearance of King Grayskull in any MOTU-related material.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *