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First Look – Masters of the Universe Classics Battle Armor Skeletor

Eternia is a dangerous place. There are muscle-bound warriors, wizards, beasts, dragons, giants, snake men, bee guys, crab people, spider dudes, plant gods, fish warriors, robots, flying simian-like creatures, skunks, ninjas, ghosts, giant cats, techno-dinosaurs and just about anything that a fantastical imagination can fathom can be found living somewhere in its vast landscape. Whew! So whether you are struggling for victory on the side of good or evil you should, nay – MUST be prepared for anything. Even if you are the Evil Lord of Destruction himself, you need to be ready for battle in the offensive and defensive sense. This is why the Eternian Battle Armor is probably the most practical fashion statement in the history of either hemisphere. It just makes sense that one comes well protected, at least for the upper-body, especially if you are already going out in only your shortest furry shorts. Plus, and especially in these Classics times where everything is so nicely detailed, Battle Armor makes you look even more bad ass.

Battle Armor Skeletor's Bio

Even though he was the cause for many a fan boy swoon at SDCC 2010, I think Battle Armor Skeletor was pretty well expected for a release in the Classics line early this year. I mean, He-Man brought out his Battle Armor in January of last year so, not to be outdone, it was only natural that Skeletor fight to keep up with the most recent fashion trend. Timing of an official Skeletor variant also made sense with this version as it is in line with the vintage order of things (will Dragon Blaster be next? I hope so!). In this case, the wait looks like it has turned out to be worth it – this is on awesome Skeletor figure and I almost hate to admit it because it is a good figure on its own merits, but BA Skeletor leaves BA He-Man in the dust. The Horsemen had all cylinders clicking when they created this figure.

I have to admit that Battle Armor Skeletor got a bit of a bad rap with me as a kid. I liked the standard version of He-Man and Skeletor as kid and as a big kid, they will always be my default versions. I, of course, had BA Skeletor as a kid, he might have been the first Skeletor I ever owned, and I trotted him out when he was appropriate to the battle, but once I got the “regular” Skeletor, he was never my standard Bone Head. That is, until one faithful Christmas when I left my regular Skeletor at my cousin’s house and they lived a good 3 and a half hours away. I did not realize I had done this until I got home and by then, there was no way we were going back just to rescue him. It took a good eight months before I would see him again and in the interim, BA Skeletor had to step up and fill the role. Not that I did not like the figure, but man, I missed my regular Skeletor.

Close-Up

In the end though, I think it was good for me as I have never had a real attachment to the BA He-Man figure, but over the years I have realized just how much I love the form and function of BA Skeletor. Seriously, this new version could become my new default display Skeletor, or if not, he is going right on the desk, close at hand because he is a lot of fun. Plus, as mentioned before, this figure has gone and found a way to make the biggest badass in the Dark Hemisphere even more of a badass. I know, I am biased toward the Eternian bad guys, but this figure is really going to pop on your collection shelf.

The first thing that struck me about the prototype at Comic Con and as a final figure in hand is the color. While this figure does have the vintage coloring and it is certainly the main Skeletor palette of purple, blue and black, every shade, tint, finish and paint detail just seems to be amped up a notch from before. He, of course, utilizes the standard Skeletor head from before, but engineering and design really took the current factory (Mattel really needs to stay with this one) to task and improved the paint work on the face. This is like a perfect hybrid of the standard Classics Skeletor face and the Toys R Us pack version. All of the greens and yellows are there from the standard, but they have been cleaned up to look much more crispy clean than before, like the solid yellow from the TRU set. As a result, I consider this to be a marked improvement over any previous incarnations of the bone head and I hope that Mattel keeps the mask or paint pattern or whatever was used to achieve this as it is a real winner.

Skel-E-Faces: Standard, TRU, Mo-Larr Victim and Battle Armor

His feet are also different from the previous Skeletor figures he have gotten (post Demo-Man mash-up, of course). Instead of taking cues from the original Skeletor art from the vintage card backs and giving him blue feet, Mattel listened to the call of fandom and followed the pattern of the old BA Skeletor toy itself and gave him purple feet. Now, due to the sculpt of the feet themselves, it does not really give the illusion of “boots” at first glance like with the vintage figure; he has also had his toe nails painted in a lighter color further adding to the call out of being barefoot. However, despite these points, the effect is still there that he is wearing so manner of boot, just don’t look too hard at it. Whether or not you feel the effect comes off successfully will dependant on personal taste, I like the choice just for some variety amongst our Skellys.

Battle Armor Skeletor needs support socks for that heavy armor

He has also exchanged his more “Roman-esque” trousers for the standard furry shorts, just like the original figure. They are, as expected, solid black in color and while they might be monochromatic, I appreciate the reference to the old figure and again, it makes for further variety with our Skeletors. The feet and shorts may very well be minor tweaks from a design perspective, but I think that subtle changes like this help further cement the viability of the quarterly figure. Sure, this is not a major overhaul like the Keldor figure or the up-coming Battle Ground Teela, but it sure does make me excited for the attention and care a figure like Dragon Blaster Skeletor will get. Can you imagine?

Accessories. Note the green neck peg

The Battle Armor itself is the real winning spot on the figure, for paint and sculpt alike. For the function of the “battle damage” it is no secret that this Classics figure does not execute in the same manner as the vintage version. So, if you have the Battle Armor He-Man figure (I know you do) you know exactly what it is to change out the chest plates to illustrate the various stages of the titular battle damage. I know this process brings passion to many fans, some love the action feature work around while others still opine for the traditional “rolling barrel” mechanism; but no matter your opinion, this swappable plates add consistency to the standard set last January. Skeletor also carries over the flat and featureless lower abdominal piece from BA He-Man (and Hordak for that matter). Again, opinions on this piece are pretty divided but what I can tell you is that lacking definition is not so apparent with Skeletor as the dark purple coloration obscures the form for the eye much more than He-man’s silver.

Ha! Skeletor can suffer your onslaught all day. Or at least one more time.

Apart from the Battle Armor function, damage pattern and lower abdominal piece, the BA Skeletor armor carriage is completely unique in terms of sculpt from He-Man. The plating and black framing on the armor is designed in a more angular fashion and if it is possible for plastic armor to look “evil” this rig does. I really like the purple plastic the armor is cast in as it has an almost pearlescent quality to it which, if you think about it, it essential for creating the armor effect. When your armor is silver, they eye is already playing along with the “metal” effect, but if you are wearing purple armor, it needs a bit of a boost to help it along. My favorite part of the armor though is the bat pattern on the actual removable plates. They are painted VERY well and I do not see any slop of loss of line integrity on this sample. The colors also pop right off of the armor, especially the almost sea foam green and hot pink. I know, you would not think these two colors would have anything to do with Skeletor, but they work and they are very vibrant. I love it when a new color palette is introduced into a toy line and even though it is a relatively small detail, the colors are very striking. I can honestly say that of all of the various armors we have gotten in this line so far, from He-Ro to Randor to Hordak, the Battle Armor Skeletor armor is most certainly my favorite. Hooray for variants because I am suddenly wanting a Battle Armor She-Ra, Faker and maybe even Teela and Scareglow.

Ready for Battle!
Even more ready for battle!

For accessories, first and foremost, BA Skeletor does not come armed with the Power Sword as he is shown on Matty. However, for the first time in the line we get a crack at the standard battle axe in the Skeletor colors. I am quite glad for this as the weapon just seems much more appropriate for sortie fighting dangerous enough to require additional armor. It adds to the savage portion of the savage techno sword and sorcery that makes up the very being of Masters of the Universe. The cast purple plastic matches well with the armor itself and Skeletor can hold it just fine. While I am always appreciative of new accessories, I am going to get selfish now and say I want the purple standard shield, like now. C’mon Matty, He-Man is walkin’ around like he owns the display shelf with his shield. Bring balance.

Better than peanut butter and chocolate. And He-Man and Battle Cat. That's right, I went there.
Hope you got a lot of Palace Guards last month. You're gonna need 'em.

I am fan of Battle Armor Skeletor, even much more than I expected for an A-List variant figure. I am usually more into getting new characters, but this is not just a great Skeletor, but a great figure overall. Like his He-Man counterpart, BA Skeletor completely sells the look mounted on the saddle of Panthor. The armor versions were made to go with the cats and BA Skelly fits in perfectly with Panthor. April can’t come soon enough now, right? I know that with Battle Ground Teela making her debut in a few months this figure might already be a little lost in the fray of 2011 quarterly figures, but this is a really fun figure and I think he will have a nice reemergence in popularity once fans start getting their mitts on him. Get yours on March 15th at Matty Collector.

Melee!
Battle Armor Faker

*Since he is the man at the wheel, I am going to just assume that Toy Guru has his own battle armor and thank BA TG for making this First Look possible

Additional Links

Grayskull with Battle Armor Skeletor

6 thoughts on “First Look – Masters of the Universe Classics Battle Armor Skeletor

  1. This maybe the best looking Skeletor paint job done to date. I wish he was made with boots instead of the paw feet but a what can you do. April has to hurry up so I can put him on Panthor. Now both He-man/Skeletor can finally have that B/A Battle until Oo-Larr comes out. His B/A looks better than He-Man’s if you ask me. Another cool review & I love the new upgraded poster with the classics figure on them!

  2. Man you seriously did not just give us a shot of Battle Armor Faker… I bought a second Faker figure and will be buying a second Battle Armor Skeletor for my own BA Faker project, which I’ve been planning since I made this! I was hoping to get the first shot of him up but you beat me to it! 😛 I’m debating whether or not to paint the chest armor orangee in the purple areas, but we’ll see. Maybe some other changes too.
    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3631/3594147167_13f84a3220.jpg

  3. Damn Skelly looks good on Panthor with the Battle armor! We’re almost done with that poster too.

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