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First Look – Zombihamma Customs “Vintage” and “Cartoon” Heroic Master

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It is not like I really have to say this, but it is such a cool time to be a Masters of the Universe fan. There has been quite a lot of merchandise that has been hitting the shelves for the past couple of years from glasses to stuffed plush, and it all culminates in the granddaddy of all MOTU merch: the Masters of the Universe Classics line. In its quest to become the greatest MOTU (and possibly collector) toy line of all time, the Four Horsemen are doing some amazing things with the characters that we have loved for decades. I mean, we just got Castle Grayskull for Pete’s sake! That is pretty awesome, if you ask me.

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While I have pretty much been draining my bank account for Eternian plastic the past several years, 2013 has been a particular bear because, in addition to official product, some uber-talented “Third Party” creators have ratcheted up their games to bring us MOTUC-compatible kits and add-ons that just make collecting this line even more amazing. Guys like Alvis Underground, Kevin Kosse, Joe Amaro, and others have made some great items that have become essential pieces in my collection. Well, now longtime Fwoosher Zombihamma has entered the fray and we have a First Look at two of his most highly anticipated items: the “vintage” and “cartoon” Heroic Master heads!

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You know Zombihamma, right? He is a huge MOTU fan and you might be familiar with a little piece of work he did called the “Castle of Power,” right? Yeah, one of the most amazing “fan made” items I have ever had the pleasure of seeing, let along owning, the Castle of Power is something that comes along just once in a lifetime. It (obviously) took a massive effort to produce, so I just cannot see something like that happening ever again (others have tried, but I have yet to see anything produced from those efforts). However, Zombihamma might have scaled down his offerings in terms of size, but that does not make them any less impressive.

Right now he has several different pieces and kits available (which you can order via the “Castle of Power” Facebook page) that include a “General” conversion kit for the Horde Trooper body, a Legendary “King” and “Wizard” statue, an all-new and original character in the Mino-Tor conversion kit, a “Future King” head, and the Heroic Master heads featured herein. Don’t worry, we will have looks at some of the other items coming soon, but if you don’t want to wait, I believe that everything is still available as of this publication.

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So why target THE most well-known and popular character for variation in customized form? Well, despite all of the official variants, there have not been any versions of our Heroic Champion in his vintage toy or cartoon form. The Classics version is influenced by the vintage toy, but it has a personality all of its own, and cartoon variations are not something that has been offered in the line yet, so this is treading fresh ground. While these variants have not been offered yet, that does not negate the fact that there are a lot of fans demanding executions like these, and they seem to be getting more and more popular each day. So our good Zombihamma is a man of the people, and he is giving the people what they want — and in absolutely spectacular form.

My favorite of the two has to be the “vintage” version because it captures the look and feel of the original toy so perfectly. While I love the Classics version, I think an effort was made to make him look a bit more handsome, dashing, and gracefully heroic. That is absolutely fine as that is how his characterization has progressed over the years, but back in 1982 the original figure was made to capture the brutish barbarian he was originally modeled after. Yes, this face is more grim of character and there are more lines and bone features than the official version. The expression is fierce too, and you can tell that it is taken from a moment in time when our hero is gnashing his teeth, just before he takes down an evil foe with his trusty battle axe. The head is also more rounded so it fits in nicely with the bulbous features of the Classics line. The head comes in two parts, with the head being one and the hair being the other. I am not sure if this was done due to the actual production process, but I am betting it is also a tip of the hat to some future projects coming down the pipeline. Hmm …

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The other variation is the “cartoon” version of our Heroic Master, and I have to say that I am surprised that we even need this kit at this point. There has been such strong and vocal support for animated versions of a lot of the characters, so I would have thought that Mattel would have taken advantage of the opportunity by now. However, that is no loss for me because Zombihamma has done a fantastic job recreating the look. This is a tricky thing, to try to balance the simplified animated looks with the Classics aesthetic, but I think a great balance has been struck here. I think the hair is the toughest balance to strike, but there is just the right amount of splits for the details without alienating the basic design of the source material. I also thing the expression does a good job of meeting in the middle when it comes to the more realistic and serious approach of Classics, with the more child-friendly tenor of the old cartoon.

Now, with all of Zombihamma’s kits, you have the choice of getting the unpainted “DIY” version, or the version that is all painted up and ready to go. I opted for the painted versions, and that man’s paint skills run right with his sculpting prowess. All of the skin tones match well to the appropriate base bodies that you would use for these, and the details are crispy clean too. Zombihamma’s molding and casting quality is right  up there with some of the best that you will find out there today, and each of the heads sit well on the neck pegs right where they should, so they don’t float too high or sink too low.

Wowee! It is great to have another awesome player in the MOTUC third party arena, and I am absolutely thrilled that it is Zombihamma. He has been a stalwart member of the action figure community for a long time, and I am so glad he is going to continue to share his talents with us. Like I said, you can get your kits via the Castle of Power Facebook page, and I promise you will not be disappointed. I am not sure what he is cooking up next, but whatever it is, sign me up!

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1 thought on “First Look – Zombihamma Customs “Vintage” and “Cartoon” Heroic Master

  1. I’m generally pretty wary of third party offerings, but MAN is that cartoon head beautiful…

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