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First Look – Masters of the Universe Classics Man-E-Faces

It is Masters madness lately ’round here! I am going to get this out of the way right now and say that, even after more than week since the end of SDCC 2011, I still have Masters of the Universe on the brain. I mean, in the last year or so I have always kind of had it on the brain, but since the Mattypalooza panel I have had trouble really concentrating on anything else. There were lots of things unveiled at the show across a ton of toy lines that have me excited: Gremlins, Marvel Legends, Voltron, the possibility of a Metron figure all come to mind; but I can say with full confidence that Masters was the grand slam. I think fan reaction can back me up on this, but the excitement from the teams that make MOTUC a reality is also at a fever pitch. We will have a couple of Comic Con Conversations posted in the next couple of weeks, including a VERY in-depth chat with the Four Horsemen’s Eric Treadaway, but by now you have seen all of the pictures (if by some chance you haven’t, swing on over to our best pal site Action Figure Pics to see them) and have heard all of the news. I could go on and on about how juiced I am to finally get the Star Sisters, or how Icarius (see: Flipshot) looks like a flyboy bad ass, or that the most perfect rendition of one of my favorite Masters of all time, Fisto, is coming in February – not to mention the possibilities with the newly-acquired FilMation rights (Shadow Weaver!!!) but, well, let’s not forget that we still have a new figure going on sale this month. Yup, it has taken me a bit longer than I expected to get this First Look up, but I am pleased to bring you a preview of the August 2011 figure, a classic MOTU character in every sense of the word – Man-E-Faces!

Vintage Stylings

It is funny, or perhaps sad, that I can rattle off every single MOTU Classics figure’s release month without even thinking about it. Zodac? May 2009. Grizzlor? November 2010. Bow? February (originally supposed to be January) 2011. But August has always been special to me since it is my birthday month and I am always excited hear who will have a born-on date similar to mine. So far, August’s record is pretty flawless and boasts some of the most impressive figures in the line – Tri-Klops in 2009, Whiplash in 2010 and now Man-E-Faces in 2011. If Spikor is the August 2012 figure I think I will plotz, though I would happily give up that spot if he shows up earlier than that! But back to Man-E-Faces, he is continuing a proud tradition of August releases and he is also deep into a pretty amazing release schedule for 2011. So, given all that is going on right now in the MOTU world, it might make it a little tough to stand out from the crowd, even in your particular release month. However, I do hope that he is not glossed over by the community because what we have here is the best figure of Man-E-Faces yet. Duh.

Man-E-Bios

Mr. Faces is actually one of the figures that I thought Matty would hold onto for a Q1 figure to help sell subscriptions. Let’s see, he is from the vintage line, he has multiple display options, he has an intriguing back story and he is definitely a heavy-hitter. Not that I am complaining in anyway, I was just surprised to see both Perkedo here and Clawful show up at Toy Fair in February for releases in consecutive months. It is actually a great combination and we are really rumbling towards getting the vintage line filled out; don’t worry though, there are TONS of characters still to get through so this line is going to be rolling for a very long time.

There are a couple of stories surrounding this figure, as I am sure you know – first, he does include a secret accessory that was removed from this sample so not to spoil the surprise. I am going to guess it will be an extra head with different faces, maybe He-Man, Skeletor and Beast Man, but it could be something of a relative small size judging by the space it occupied in the package.

Man-E-Accessories

The second story was that fans were able to take part in a vote to determine the color of Man-E’s skin. As you know, the vintage (and 200x) figure had very orange skin, or maybe it was a suit but the very popular card back art (and other media including the FilMation show) always portrayed him with a more traditional “caucasian” skin tone. So those options were put to a vote (with Toy Guru pulling for the former and the Four Horsemen the latter) along with a hybrid scheme of the other two options. In the end, the middle road was taken and Man-E got his scheme, but don’t worry if your choice did not win, I smell a refresh of the character at some point with a new paint scheme. Personally, I feel like the final figure turned out to be more of the traditional flesh tone than either the orange or the winning hybrid, but that is cool with me as this figure is definitely a “card back” Man-E-Faces.

Man-E-Generations

Sure, he does have a lot that resembles the old figure, but his helmet shape is much more rounded like the old art and his gun is more proportional to him when the vintage figure had a huge blaster. The first quality definitely makes him feel more human to me but it does not take away the fact that he is also a robot… monster! I had a feeling this is where the Four Horsemen would go for their influence for the figure and they have had great success with card back art in past – Mer-Man and Tri-Klops come to mind. All the the little electronic details and tubing look really nice and as you can see, just like the vintage figure, he shares his trousers with Trap Jaw and some of the other more modest Masters that choose to be more conservative than what furry shorts can offer.

Pew Pew Pew!
The human element in the human vs robot chess drama has finally be completely eliminated

The most important part of Man-E-Faces though, is his FACES! Let’s, ahem, face it – Man-E has always had one of the coolest features in a mythology that is foundational in character gimmicks. He can be a regular dude just hanging out, playing chess, or he can be a calculating robot or a viciously strong monster completely susceptible to the power of Beast Man. If that doesn’t appeal to 5 year-old kid’s sense of imagination, I don’t know what does. The funny thing about that though, when I was a kid I probably had his human face revealed 90% of the time. Unimaginative? I don’t think so, in fact, I think most kids were probably like that, but not that I have an updated version here I am going to make up for some serious lost time and keep the various faces rotating in the display. My wife suggested I should display him based on my mood so she will know that when she sees the monster face she can go shopping and leave the cranky boy at home. That is actually a pretty good suggestion.

The monster is so cool yet so ineffective...
Actor, eh? Sorry Man-E you get your name and powers from being a freak of nature. Just like the rest of your pals!

The sculpts on all of the faces (or the big head “drum” if you will) are all fantastic but the monster face really stands out to me. It is not overly-complicated and is very true to the original version, but it it just looks cool. The human face is also spot-on, but I think I would have actually preferred if his eyes were painted white rather than red. I think they would have stood out just a little bit more since he wears a red mask, but that is a minor thing and they still look great.

3 on 3!
On Eternia, Shakespeare probably actually carries a Spear.

As you can see, unlike any other version of Man-E ever released, the helmet does come off and the faces are removable. I don’t think anyone is their right mind will be displaying him without the helmet, but it is nice that Mattel made the head, helmet and twisty dial all separate pieces. This fact just reinforces my faith in my guess that his secret accessory is another head, so luckily we have less than two weeks before we find out.

In case you missed it, we are just a few figures away from completing the Heroic Warriors sect of the Masters-verse. I have to wonder if Ram Man and Mekaneck might be held hostage for awhile to help spread out the remaining heavy-hitters, but with such a wealth of characters now available for the line we won’t be at a loss anytime soon. Personally, I cannot wait to see Clamp Champ and now that Fisto has been shown, his armor is all ready. Man-E-Faces is keeping up a lot of streaks in the MOTUC line right now – August is still probably the strongest overall release month year to year, the Heroic Warriors are building up to be force and 2011 is by far the strongest MOTUC year yet. I know everyone is basking in the afterglow of Comic Con right now, especially with all of the reveals and exclusive never-had-a-figure Eternian Queen figure, but Man-E-Faces is going to sneak up on a lot of people. He is very dynamic and improves upon all of the aspects that made the vintage figure so much fun. Be sure to grab him on Matty Monday on the 15th.

Looks like Roboto, Man-E, Trap Jaw and Optikk are all moving to the 'burbs.

*Thanks for reading and thanks for the Masters of Mattel for sending this sample along, we really appreciate it!

Additional Links

Grayskull
Horde
Eternia
Heroic Warriors

9 thoughts on “First Look – Masters of the Universe Classics Man-E-Faces

  1. @dantedmc37 – Thanks! We are close to completing Grayskull.

    @Baena – Man, I know! August is always over-looked for a celebrated month for so many things. MOTUC though – can’t be beat 🙂

  2. I’m with you Veebs on the August releases. My birthday month as well, so I’ve always paid particular attention to the figs for that month. We seem to get ripped off in the calendars for whatever reason. It’s like, oh, another summer month to find a photo for? What a bore! *end rant*

    MotUC however as always treated August right!
    Really looking forward to both Man-E-Faces and Megator!

    Very much hoping the secret accessory is another three faces head! 🙂

  3. cool review of Manny. The wait ends for me in 2 weeks when he arrives.Still wondering what the mystery item is. Another master added to the lineup!

  4. love the artwork espically the first one looking like the old mini comic with the figure imposed where the original man e faces art would be. mattel is just knocking out the figures espically love that one would be able to have man e faces without his helmet for once.

  5. Excellent! I cant wait for him! Awesome job on the artwork too, I had to look twice to realize the figures were in the scenes!

  6. Great review. I wish his eyes had been painted white. That kind of bugs me, but he still looks awesome.

    And I would argue that January has been the best month for scheduled releases (not including con and quarterly figs). January’s Skeletor, Adora, Vikor, and the upcoming Sorceress beat August’s Tri-Klops, Whiplash, and Man-E-Faces in my opinion.

    It’s great when the line is so cool you can argue about which month is better. 🙂

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