So… are your thumbs twiddling? Is your foot tapping? Have you been checking your calendar multiple times a day just to make sure we are, in fact, getting closer? The time leading up to the San Diego Comic Con can be a trying time for action figure collectors. Sure, the big dance is coming in about six weeks, but the present time is just mired in a stretch of a lot of non-information. The companies want to make a splash with all of their new reveals at the show, so we get very little information about our favorite lines during the spring, and the last month is particularly quiet.
However, we find ways to pass our time while we wait, and is there any better way than to make lists? Well, probably, but until we know what Masters of the Universe Classics characters will tempt us into our 2015 Club Eternia subscriptions with figures, we have some countdowns that can distract and set some order to what we do have already. Yep, it is Top Five time and we are going to start with my personal favorite MOTU faction: the Evil Warriors.
Yeah, I am a fan of the Rebels, and loves me some Horde, but at the end of the day, the Evil Warriors are my bread and butter and will always be my favorites. So what figures capture these characters the best in the Classics line? Below are my picks (feel free to disagree) for the figures that I find to be the best updates and faithful translations from their 1980s counterparts. Sure, figures like Draego-Man, Blade, and Two Bad are fantastic, but I find these five to be the tried-and-true epitome of the goal of Masters of the Universe Classics.
Tri-Klops gets a lot of love as a character, but, to be honest, I am not sure why. Pitting him against the likes of Spikor, Clawful, and the other characters in this list leaves me wanting more in terms of his character design. Sure, the rotating eyes gimmick is neat, but a dude with the ocular equivalent of a rotary phone dial on his face has a hard time stacking up against crab men and giant spiders with grappling hooks. However, I know an amazing update to a figure/character design when I see it, and Classics has made me much more of a Tri-Klops fan than I have ever been. The vintage design is completely intact, but all of the details are perfectly embellished to make him stand out. Have you ever peeked under that visor? Insane.
4. SCARE GLOW
I am such a mark for Scare Glow. I was in love with the vintage figure from the moment I learned of its existence, and it was such a “white whale” for me as a kid. Finally getting the figure is one of my most vivid MOTU memories. So, needless to say, when the Classics figure was announced, I was over the moon and the work the Four Horsemen did to update him remains one of the best translations of the entire line. His design is so toyetic, even though it is one of the more odd executions; I mean, a muscly body with glow-in-the-dark bones is out there, even for MOTU. Everything was carried over so well, and his face is so scary now, just as it should be. Plus, he got one of the coolest new back story updates, and that Grayskull reliquary and key is still my favorite “new” accessory in the line.
When I was a kid, the Evil Warriors had a “Big Three,” and Whiplash was a tried-and-true member of that group. However, just being a preferred character does not get any figure a spot on this list — they’re judged on their merits in Classics. Like so many others, Whiplash is a fantastic update from vintage to modern, and all of the little details that make him so memorable are present and accounted for. I think of all of those things, his vintage head sculpt is my favorite – it is so beaten and uglied-up, Whiplash stands out even in a lineup of abominations. One of the things that makes him so successful overall, though, is the fact that you get multiple display options, and if you are into that whole 200x thing, well, just like getting a Whopper at Burger King, you can have it your way.
2. TRAP JAW
I am fully aware of the fact that many, many people probably place Trap Jaw firmly at the top of any respectable Top Five list, and there is certainly a good argument for it. I mean, how cool is this figure? I think “insanely” is the right word for it, both for aesthetics and personality. You know Eric Treadaway has his favorite characters, and the love and care that was put into the look and design of Trap Jaw is nothing short of wonderful. He has everything the vintage toy had, right down to the rad loop on the top of his helmet so he can still go on awesome zip line adventures, but, like Whiplash, his Classics figure goes to a whole other level. I mean, Whiplash can display two stylistic looks (one more successfully than the other), but TJ can be displayed as either the form we know, or his past, pre-Skeletor-effed-him-up-bad, Kronis look. THAT is how you build an action figure, and very few Classics figures have hit the mark so well since.
Finally, we have Mer-Man. One of the original “8-Back” figures from the 1980s, Mer-Man was also one of the first eight figures released in Classics and was the figure I knew would cement the line as the best MOTU figures ever offered. I know, some would call that presumptuous so early on, but that was my reaction upon seeing his glorious mug displayed at SDCC back in 2008, and my opinion of the line as a whole has not changed since. That is saying a lot considering the vintage line is my favorite line from my childhood, so please don’t think I came to that conclusion lightly.
Mer-Man is, quite simply, a prefect update of his vintage persona. I say “persona” because while one head allows you to recreate the vintage figure to a T, his alternate head gives you that “8-Back” illustration Mer-Man in perfect plastic. Eric Treadaway has always said it best when he talks about Classics giving us those figures from the paintings and posters and card art we always wanted. Mer-Man simply accomplishes all of those things, while staying true to the vintage figure too. He is not as flashy as some of the other figures out there, but the figure hits every note. It is easy to get blinded by nostalgia and favorite characters in a line like this, but I say with full honesty that I think Mer-Man is the apex of MOTU Classics philosophy. He is my favorite Evil Warrior and favorite figure overall.
So that is my list? Agree? Disagree? Sound off below and stay tuned for more MOTU faction ordering in the coming weeks.