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MOTUC Review – Kobra Khan

Thankfully I was one of the lucky ones whose Kobra Khan subscription figure arrived early this month.  In an attempt to remain current, he’s leapfrogged the Sorceress and Shadow Weaver for review (I’ve got something in the works for those two).   Click through for more pics of this appropriately green March MOTUC figure.

 

Kobra Khan™ Bio

Real Name: Khan of Clan Kobra

A descendent of the ancient Snake Men™, Khan became fascinated with the many legends of their victories in the Great Wars. Breaking into the archives of Eternos Palace™, he learned that the great King Hssss™ had been locked in the Void at the end of the war. In a ruse to free his King, Khan joined forces with Skeletor® and, with the help of Evil-Lyn®, they acquired Zodak’s staff, the key to freeing his Snake Men™ brethren. Together he and Evil-Lyn® opened the Snake Pit portal releasing Hssss and his ageless army, returning their terror to Eternia®. Khan went on to loyally serve Hssss, controlling his prey with his evil hypnotic mist!

This bio feels in-line with Khan’s portrayal in the 2002 cartoon, though I seem to recall they needed some other item from Zodak to open the pit, not his staff, but I honestly can’t recall for sure.  I guess I need to re-watch those episodes.  Personally I like the origin in ‘King of the Snakemen’ where Skeletor releases Hiss thinking it will bring him more power, when he’s really just buying himself a lot more trouble.

Either way, Khan ends up a bit of a shifty character and a spy which makes for more of an interesting character and a great jumping off point for stories.  Plus, he sounded like Starscream in the 2002 cartoon and that’s a clear signal he cannot be trusted.

Accessories

Kobra Khan comes with an alternate head, a little lizard friend, and a red blaster.

The alternate head is very similar to the vintage based head sculpt except he has a flared cobra ‘hood’ that the vintage figure never had, but the Filmation toon and 2002 version did feature.  I love that they included it in this version.  It’s way more appropriate for a guy named Kobra Khan to have a more cobra like head.  The way I see it, the hood flares out when he is about to strike with his venom and as I recall, that’s how it worked in the 2002 toon (again, I need to re-watch).  I would have liked a third, closed mouth sculpt as Khan wasn’t always hissing at people constantly, but that’s nitpicking really.

The blaster is super cool and very similar to Zodac’s except the prongs on barrel flare forward.  I love old blaster designs and this is a great variation.  If I had to pick a nit on this gun design (and this is something that bugged me as a kid with Zodac) it’s the 90 degree angle of the barrel to the handle.  The hand grips are sculpted to hold guns at an angle, so the blaster firing hand position is a little awkward.  But that’s something MOTU fans have probably gotten used to over the years and I imagine I’m one of the few that is bugged by it.

The last accessory is Kobra Khan’s little lizard pal, or “his little matey” as Eamon refers to him of the He-Man.org podcast.  Scott Nietlich jokingly named the creature Pixel in honor of toy reviewer Pixel Dan on a particularly amusing walk-through of the Toy Fair 2012 MOTUC line-up and I’m sticking with that name, even though he’s called ‘Fang’ on Mattycollector.com.

I do actually remember this little creature playing a significant role busting Khan’s snake-men buddies out of Eternos prison, so I was delighted to see that they included him.  Fun little surprises like that make this line that much more enjoyable to me.  He’s sculpted to rest on a very specific part of Khan’s shoulder and stays on there pretty good when Khan is sporting his original head sculpt as long as you don’t mess with it.  When he has the hooded look, The tail is really wedged in there between the hood and Khan’s back and is not going anywhere.

Sculpt

Kobra Khan re-uses the He-Man shoulders, biceps, and legs; the Whiplash hands and forearms; and the Skeletor feet.  He has brand new sculpted heads accessories, torso, lower torso and boots.

The brand new torso sculpting on this guy is fantastic.  I’m so glad they went for a new torso over an overlay piece here.  The design of the scales is really unusual and not really something I ever liked on the vintage figure, but somehow straightening out the proportions and the sharp detailed sculpting makes it work for me now.   Khan is a bit of a stylized creature to begin with, but he almost has an art novou feel to him with the large pleasing curves in his scale design.  It’s surprisingly beautiful.

The new boots have some great scale detail, which is cool and makes me think of the original ‘monster boots’ guys like Skeletor had in the vintage line.  They have the great ‘hidden peg’ ankles seen in MOTUC figures like Vikor.  The only downside is that they almost make the regular monster feet (sometimes known as ‘duckfeets’ online) look a little too smooth in contrast.  It makes me wonder if the Whiplash feet would have been a better match here.

The head sculpts are both fantastic.  The beauty of the original design can really be seen with the sharper modern sculpt and reproduction techniques.  I was originally really only interested in the hooded version, but the original head design has won me over in hand.  Plus, now he has fangs!

Articulation

This guy sports the standard MOTUC articulation.  He does have a very soft lower torso piece, so that articulation is not as hampered by that as you normally expect it to be.

The ab crunch seems to have slightly less range of motion that you usually see in a MOTUC figure.  It’s probably not something that most will notice, but I did note it whilst posing the figure for photos.  It’s probably due to the big scales right around that area.

The joints on Khan are all really tight and he holds poses well.  The elbows seem especially tight, like there is a ratchet point you have to power through to get him to bend his arm all the way.

Paint

Paint on Khan is pretty flawless since he’s mostly a nice matte green plastic.  There is a great deal of muscle shading to bring out the details and all the different greens and browns applied here and there to his different scales are done cleanly.  it looks like there is a wash to bring out the scale detail on the monster boots, which is nice to see in this line every now and again.

Khan’s little buddy, Pixel, also gets a brighter green overspray to give him a little color variation.

Overall

Kobra Khan is not a figure I had as a kid, so the nostalgia factor doesn’t help this guy out at all.  I came to like the guy in the 2002 cartoon (what I remember, anyway), so I was looking forward to the character and the proto at comic-con made me look forward to the figure.

The 4H knocked this one out of the park again and the production figure lives up to the prototype in every way.  It’s crazy how close we are to completing the Evil Warrior faction in MOTUC and it’s really nice to add somebody to King Hssss’ side of the shelf.

I’m looking forward to adding more snake-men with the army builder set later this year and hoping that Mattel will focus more on that faction in the rest of 2012 and in 2013!

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