“YES! Let this be our final battle!”
What poetic justice it is that, here at the end of all things Masters of the Universe Classics, God Skeletor represents the finality of the line, at least for the foreseeable future. Sure, there is another Filmation series still to land on my doorstep, but the Classics like as I know it through its amazing 12 year run looks to be done. I am struggling MIGHTILY with this at the moment, and even though God Skeletor and “Rebel Leader” He-Man have been two of my most wanted MOTUC figures for a very long time, I still cannot have this moment without quite a bit of sadness. Masters of the Universe Classics has meant so much to me as an action figure line, but also as a hobby, a website guy, and a way to re-connect with a property that has had a lot of meaning to me for decades.
Looking at my collection, I have so much to be thankful for. I am not the type of collector who is always looking for the next thing, I actually really do enjoy the things I have on my shelf; so, when it comes to MOTUC, I have a LOT to enjoy. I mean, did ANY of us ever dream that we would not only have definitive versions of Mer-Man and Ram-Man and Spikor, but also get figures of Wrap Trap and God Skeletor and (for all intents and purposes) movie He-Man? I am as optimistic and hopeful as anyone when it comes to day dreaming about action figure lines, but I certainly did not expect to be where I am at now, so I am taking NOTHING away from that fact.
That said… I feel like there is some work that can be done here. Yes, I am going to get to the particular figures here, but if this is going to be my last go-round with Collector’s Choice, I have a few things. Yes, this line has run deeper than we probably ever could have imagined, but to say that we couldn’t still delve into missing characters like King Miro, Illena, and the Enchantress, as well as character versions like the “William Stout” editions of Beastman, Evil-Lyn, Teela, and Man-at-Arms is pretty foolish and short-sighted as far as I am concerned. Let’s face it, these figures as pre-order centric and as about as direct consumer as you can get, so it stands to reason that as long as pre-orders continue to meet minimums, things would continue in some form. A hard stop seems… odd.
And yet… a question remains. I think most MOTUC collectors know that a new line is coming directly from Mattel next year in the form of Masters of the Universe Origins. This is a line that relies more on an enhanced version of the original 5-inch form factor, and it looks perfectly fine. What it has taught me is that, while the original MOTU line was my favorite form my childhood, I am one to have love and nostalgia for a property, not necessarily a form. So, Classics is much more in line with my likes now, and while I was originally considering picking up an Origins figure here and there (I buy everything Mer-Man) because I am a strong believer that that is room for a lot of executions, especially with a strong property like MOTU, I was not going all-in.
However, being comfortable with knowing that not everything is supposed to be “for me” or my tastes, I don’t generally decry other forms because, like I said, there is plenty of room out there for all kinds of things. That said, the fact that all MOTU product from Super 7 seems to be completely done (it looks like it is the same for The Loyal Subjects and others, too), again seems… odd. I am not one to go all-in on conspiracies or give credence to rumors, but it is floating around there that Mattel has made the choice to pull back MOTU from their licensees. At its base, even if I am saddened by it, that is perfectly within their rights, and stuff like this happens all the time.
Going further though, and of course, this is unsubstantiated, there is talk that Mattel does not want outside “competition” for their new line. I really hope this is not true, I really do, because not only have I said that there is room for all (Super 7 is direct to consumer, and Origins is supposedly mass market, two things on the opposite ends of the spectrum), I also don’t care of the idea of forced attrition to make everyone fit the same mold. Yes, it only rumor, but man, I just don’t like the feel of it because I love MOTU and Classic so much. Hopefully there will be a chance in the not-too-distant future to continue on. That said, this will have the opposite effect on me, and instead of being a cherry-picker with Origins, I think I will just leave it alone, and take solace in the fact that God Skeletor is a hell of a way to go out.
Speaking of, God Skeletor owns all and if he does not appeal to you at every fiber of your being, then I have nothing more for you. I spent a good part of the PREVIOUS ARTICLE talking of how Super 7 has upped their game BIG TIME in the quality department, that that continues here with Skeletor and He-Man. Have exactly ZERO nitpicks with this figure and it is everything I wanted a Classics God Skeletor to be. He is a (mostly) solid gold evil idol, and the “power of Grayskull” outfit and armor enhancements look so good in 3-D. Yes, this is the conceptual “William Stout” collection, but I will be damned if this figure did not step right off the screen. The helmet is by far the most impressive part of the figure, but the likeness and screen accuracy of the small amount of face you can actually see here is amazing as well.
The rest of the figure pulls much of the detail from the Dark Despot Skeletor, but with a different belt piece to accurately reflect the source material for this look. There is a bit of a wash in certain places to help bring out the sculpted details and this is most apparent new the bottom of the “skirt” piece. Speaking of, like the Dark Despot, the skirt piece limits range of movement and posing in the legs a lot less than you would probably guess at first glance, so this figure is pretty free to battle He-Man as needed. While certainly the most eye-catching, this figure also is the most limited when it comes to accessories, having only a carryover of the Havoc Staff, but in its appropriate solid gold deco. I am not at ALL complaining about this as the staff is the only thing ol’ Bone Brain needs for this particular look. Overall, if you are only going to get one figure from this assortment, make it God Skeletor.
The “Rebel Leader” H-Man is no slouch either, though, and certainly no less essential to your MOTU movie, I mean, WILLIAM STOUT collection. This was always going to be the tricky figure of this assortment, though due to the likeness. Let’s face it, Frank Langella (Skeletor) and Robert Towers (Karg) are completely unrecognizable under their make-up, (though, I am not sure I would recognize the latter anyhow) but Dolph Lundgren is on full display as He-Man in the movie. That is where the difference is in making this TECHNICALLY the William Stout collection – the design art is used to create the make-up for Karg and Skeletor, but Dolph is Dolph, and technically, his likeness is not in play here.
That said, I would like to imagine that only the stingiest of nitpickers are going to take issue with this figure not playing the role of a full-on movie He-Man, while technically being based on the design art. The hairdo and expressions do a lot to help carry this forward, even if the rest of the likeness is strictly not actually the actor, so for me, this figure is extremely effective. I give Super 7 credit here for improving the paint work, especially with the wash on the hair, the shading for the 5 o’clock shadow, and the detail in the eyes. Yes, it is not as striking as the “printing” technique so many companies are using these days, but it is good overall. I don’t know if I just forgot or if I did not know, but this figure does feature an alternate head that is slightly more serious (both are pretty stoic) than the other, so you have some options. I think I will probably keep mostly with the “standard” head (the one on the body in the package), but again, I never fault a company for offering more.
Now, this figure certainly fits the general “form” of MOTU Classics, but some of the newer pieces are a bit different in style to fit more with the movie look and the Stout designs. I mean this from a base body build standpoint – the arms and legs are longer and more lithe than what the standard MOTUC bases are, but this is definitely appropriate for this version. Additionally, while it becomes apparent that He-Man actually wears very little when he is thrust into live action, what is there of his scant costume is actually very ornate and detailed in the movie. This is all reflected beautifully here, especially in the shoulder armor and shin guards, and the paint wash helps to add to the “real world” effect and also enhance the sculpted detail. This is really the first time I have gotten to examine all of those details since things move so quickly in the movie, so my appreciate for what was created for the film is made greater by owning this figure.
Aside from the alternate head, He-Man actually comes with a bevy of weapons, all of which are not only included in the movie, but come with importance in pivotal moments. Oh, and the great part is that there are spots to store ALL of them within He-Man’s costume – I love it when that happens! With this you get, of course, the Power Sword which is a beautiful compliment to Skeletor’s sword in its own way, a dagger that matches the Power Sword, a knife that can be kept in the right boot, as He-Man’s trusty blaster. The sword is, of course, impressive, but I think the blaster is actually my favorite accessory here, it just looks great.
If I am going to nitpick anything it is the fact that this figure has a cloth cape (if you don’t know by now that I pretty much despise cloth, then now you know), but it doesn’t look bad, and I understand using it for functional purposes. Still, this is only the second time (that I can recall) that soft goods have been used for a costume or accessory piece in Classics (and Slamurai’s gi is removable), so it still looks a little out of place with the rest of the line. I might be forgetting other instances, but the point still stands. Either way, this figure is still AWESOME, and looks fantastic, so it is a real thrill to finally have it.
What a great group of figures this William Stout Collection is! I love all four of them and Super 7 has done a really great job in upping the quality and overall execution of these figures. I am saddened by the fact that, at least for the foreseeable future, this is the end of the Collector’s Choice figures, so aside from many other characters still needing to be done, it’s not looking like we will get complementary Beastman, Evil-Lyn, Teela, Man-at-Arms, Sorceress, or Skeletor soldiers to go with these guys, and that is a damned shame. I hope Mattel comes to their senses and allow Super 7 to carry on the mantle in the future, but we will see. Regardless, don’t miss these guys, get them on BBTS now.