With all the hoopla surrounding Hssss and his shoulders this month, I’m not seeing Battle Armor Skeletor getting his due. This is the Skeletor variant as far as I’m concerned and I was actually anticipating him a litle more than Hssss this month. See, I never had a Battle Armor Skeletor growing up, but boy did I covet one. Click through for more pics of this month’s MOTUC ‘bonus’ figure!
Battle Armor Skeletor
Real Name: Keldor of the House of Miro
Using dark magic taught by Hordak, Skeletor occasionally creates new forms of armor and weapons to outmaneuver the Masters of the Universe. His Battle Armor was first created to help Skeletor penetrate through the Mystic Wall in order to kidnap Adora and secretly clone the Sorceress of Grayskull. The original armor was destroyed by Oo-larr after three strikes with his mighty battle ax sending Skeletor back behind the Wall. Skeletor reformed the armor 20 years later in a effort to combat a similar battle suit now worn by He-Man. Although lacking the mystic qualities of the original, his new armor was stronger and more powerful. Skeletor, Evil Lord of Destruction is now protected by his magic Battle Armor.
I have to say, I love the reference to the battle armor being destroyed by three strikes of the battle axe. That really brings back memories of how we used to play with those battle armor figures, though wouldn’t defeat be two strikes of the mighty battle axe? I mean the third strike would fix it all up, wouldn’t it? Well, that’s how it worked in the original toy.
This Battle Armor Skeletor has inspired me to think about the nature of the character. I suppose over the years (influenced greatly by the filmation cartoon, I’m sure) I have developed a perception of Skeletor as more of a behind the scenes guy rather than a direct combatant. I see him as ordering schemes carried out by others, not actually doing much fighting himself – more spell casting and ranting from his throne room than actually getting his hands dirty. There’s plenty of source material showing him taking part in fighting (the MYP show started off with a very sword happy Skeletor, the card backs often show him mixing it up with the heroic warriors, and a lot of the toys seemed combat ready), but I suppose those didn’t leave quite the impression that other media did on my young mind. Seeing the character decked out in his bulky armor reinforces his martial side and makes him seem like an even more formidable opponent than ever before.
Skeletor comes with a removeable armor with three different center plates to show off the different damage strikes and a repaint of He-Man’s axe in Skeletor colors. I love the repainted axe. It’s mostly metallic purple with some details left in flat purple. The orange Faker axe and shield were probably my favorite pieces from the last weapon pack and though it’s kind of odd and it really doesn’t make a lot of sense to have a bunch of multi-colored weapons, it appeals to me for some strange reason. I kind of want a purple version of He-Man’s shield now, actually.
The figure is mostly Skeletor with the left hand from the re-issue so he can hold two weapons. Since he didn’t come with two weapons, I would have preferred them to give him the more claw like left hand from the original release. It has a little more personality, if that makes any sense. He has the smooth lower torso from Hordak and Battle armor He-Man and his battle armor is an all new sculpt.
The bolt and rivet details from the original figure are all present here, just made to look cooler as the 4H are wont to do. A cool new bit of detail that I absolutely love is that the bat symbol is not just painted on, but rather sculpted as raised reliefs on the chest plate. It just makes the focal point of the sculpt pop that much more.
BA Skeletor has the standard MOTUC articulation. It’s slightly hindered in the arms due to the thickness of the armor piece. He also can’t look down as well as the original Skeletor due to the shape of the neck piece. The ab crunch seems to be unimpeded, however, which I was not expecting. I noticed this figure seems to have rocker ankles that work better than most of my motuc figures allowing for deeper stances. I don’t think they’ve changed anything in design, though, these just work as intended.
Paint on my Skeleltor looks pretty much perfect. The metallic paint on the armor and axe are a nice touch. The center bat symbol has some really thin detail lines and I’m really pleased to see these have no slop or bleed. The head has a paint variation that seems more similar to the original toy with a more even application of the yellow and an outline of the teeth in black. There is a subtle airbrushed looking gradation between the green of the jaw and the forehead to the yellow of the center of the face, too. I think I prefer the slightly grittier, greener drybrushed look of the original release MOTUC Skeletor head, but this is a nice variation to have and the headswap feature allows you to choose whichever one you like. I also like that they decided to paint the belt and armor details with a gloss black. It helps the rivets and jewels pop a bit.
I suppose it’s also worth noting that his feet are now purple and he actually has a paint op on his fingernails and toe nails. I don’t mind the toenail paint, it’s just a little weird to me that his feet are now purple for some reason. I know it’s a reference to the original figure, but I don’t love it. Some new monster feet more like the original monster feet from the original toy could have been cool.
BA Skeletor met my expectations completely. It’s a pretty simple Skeletor variant, but oh so satisfying in the classics style – take the vintage figure’s details and make them even cooler. For my money he’s outshone the actual monthly figure. I can’t wait for next month to put this guy on Panthor!