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MOTUC Review – Fearless Photog

Fearless Photog makes good on an a very old fan create-a-character contest prize and kicks off the new Masters of the Universe Classics 30th Anniversary line this month.  Click through for more pics of this beautifully bizarre MOTUC figure!

 

Fearless Photog™ Bio

Real Name: Jey

Apprentice to Gwildor™, Jey often daydreamed of life as a member of the Masters of the Universe®. His dreams became a reality when he was selected along with five other inventors by the science council to journey to Eternos to present his latest creation; the Photog Emulator. During the presentation, a slight miscalculation led to a flux overload merging Jey with his invention. Finding he could drain his enemies’ powers and display their defeat on his chest, Jey called himself the Fearless Photog™ and was offered membership with his idols in the Masters of the Universe®. He fought heroically during the Second Ultimate Battleground helping to defeat several of Skeletor’s warriors, including Clawful® and Whiplash®. Photog drains his enemies’ power, displaying their defeat for all to see!

Yowch!  Head merged with a camera has to be the most painful origin story in MOTU yet!  I like it in the sort of classic ‘freak accident of science’ origins of most of the Marvel Universe super heroes and it’s cool to add some more science know-how to the heroic warriors.  It’s a little horrifying for such a cheerful looking character, though.  I think I prefer fwoosher Ibentmyman-thing’s idea that he was a survey bot from Marlena’s ship or fan artist extraordinaire Gbagok’s idea that Photog is a creature used by UK MOTU comics watcher-like character Scrollos to observe all the action on Eternia.

Accessories

Photog comes with what I’m guessing is a flash bulb inspired shield and camera inspired gun.  The shield was in the original design drawing from Mattel and the gun is a new creation by the Four Horsemen.

I think both of these accessories are well done and fit well with the overall aesthetic of the figure.

Sculpt

Photog has a new head sculpt, torso, and belt/pelvis piece and re-uses the gloves from Zodac, thighs from Demo-Man, boots from Keldor and the He-Man shoulders, thighs and biceps.

The head sculpt is pretty fantastic and the highlight on this figure for me.  I love all the sharp techno details and etched panel lines.  The design of the camera-head from the drawing has an almost Kirby-esque looking technological feel (to me Photog feels like one of those outrageous, ‘only in comics type’ characters that Kirby would have created) and that’s captured here.  I was glad to see that the view screen chest is a new piece rather than an armor overlay as that usually makes for better overall pose ability and a more natural at-rest stance for the figure.  The lenticular sticker on Photog’s chest has a nice bit of running animation with an almost 3D effect.

There is also an additional point of articulation on the interior of the lens that makes up the bulk of Photog’s face, allowing you to extend and retract it as if he were focusing.  I think it’s a cool touch and my son absolutely loved that feature.

Articulation

Photog has the standard MOTUC articulation minus the usual boot swivel due to his Dem0-Man style calves.  The joints are all nice and tight and the new pelvis piece is fairly flexible allowing for decent hip movement.  The neck has a good range of motion, much better than I would have thought with the large camera head.  He does have a shorter neck than most MOTUC figures, so while the head is removable, it’s swapping utility is limited.

You can put Photog’s head on other figures, but it’s pretty loosey-goosey and you can place other MOTUC heads on Photog’s body, but they end up looking comically squat.

Paint

The Paint is really nicely done on this figure.  His arms are cast in yellow plastic, but it looks like there is some darker airbrushing there that helps define the muscles and knock down the often cheap-toy look of figures cast in yellow or red plastic.  The head and belt are painted a shiny light blue metallic that catches the light beautifully.

I love that the articulated interior of the lens is cast in an ultra clear plastic.  By leaving just the interior and the front of the lens clear, they got a great looking lens effect.  I like the different ways the light reflects off this piece and found it interesting to light and photograph.

Say Cheese!

I’ve seen some figures on-line that have this part cracked and it does make me wonder if it’s due to the crystal clear plastic or some sort of assembly error.  Mattel definitely needs to figure out what the issue is before they use this kind of material again for this line.

I don’t see a crack on mine, fortunately, but I have to say the missteps along the way with this line are starting to bring me down.  I hope Mattel can get a handle on this stuff soon.  I want to just geek out about how cool these toys are, not deal with digital river for returns or compare figure defects with my fellow collectors!

Thanks, but we’ll take it from here, Camera-Face…

I never knew about the original create-a-character contest as a kid and I learned about Photog online some years ago, so I didn’t have a built up burning desire to see this figure made.  I do think it’s an interesting part of MOTU lore and it’s a very cool thing to go back and finally realize this guy in plastic.  For the 30th Anniversary line Photog has been overshadowed for me by Draego-Man, who was an immediate new favorite, and I wasn’t looking forward to this figure very much.  I have to say that the final figure does have an undeniably absurd charm in hand and looks great with the other MOTUC figures.  He fits and he’s fun.

Mo-Larr doesn’t realize he’s a joke.

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