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Mattel: Masters of the Universe Origins Ninjor Review

Every toyline needed a ninja, and Masters of the Universe was no different.

Ninjas were hot in the 80s. When you take into account Enter the Ninja, Revenge of the Ninja, Ninja III: The Domination, American Ninja, Ninja Terminator, Ninja Jacuzzi Vacation, Ninja Power Superdeluxe Showdown and Ninja Ninja Bo Binja—and I only made up a few of those—you couldn’t chuck a nunchuck without smacking a dude in comfy pajamas. Add to that the awesome concept of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and…well, damn, there’s really no wonder why they final made it to Eternia. They pretty much had to.

Sadly, I was not to have Ninjor in my youth. Oh, I saw him, but I saw him in the trash can at school, not knowing that he was, in fact, an actual, genuine Masters of the Universe figure. I don’t know what fellow student had such unfortunate luck that his demonic ninja had been casually tossed into a trash can, but he wasn’t an easy one to replace. Ninjor was bringing up the rear end of the toyline, and as a result was one of the more difficult to find.

Masters of the Universe Classics gave me my first real shot at owning a Ninjor figure, and now Origins gives me a chance to add an improved-articulation version of that decades old original figure. And much like every other figure in this line, he does what he’s supposed to do very well.

With the same type of body reuse we’ve come to expect in MotU lines, you know what to expect with Ninjor. The body is mainly the same one we’ve been getting with additional points of articulation at the neck, shoulders, elbows knees and ankles. The additional range isn’t going to blow your mind, but the marriage of stumpy aesthetics and upgraded articulation makes these much more flexible than the original figures.

Outside of articulation, Ninjor swaps a fabric top and mask with a sculpted bits, much like it replaced Scareglow’s fabric cape with a sculpt. I don’t mind the replacement here, because there’s no articulation in place for the sculpted plastic to interfere with. It makes for a more uniform overall appearance, and the sculptwork gives it a fabric-emulating texture that makes it all gel nicely. The sculpted mask means you don’t get an unmasked head for him if you remove the fabric parts, but I was never going to want him unmasked anyway.

For accessories, Ninjor comes with a sword, a pair of nunchucks (nunchaku for you martial arts sticklers) and a bow with an arrow molded onto it. The sword and nunchucks work great, he holds them tightly and can even two-hand his nunchucks, which have a working plastic chain. The bow and arrow combo is terrible and doesn’t work for me at all. It replicates the vintage version, but I don’t think I would have given it much playtime as a kid either, so two out of three isn’t bad.

The sword and nunchucks can be stored on his back. There’s no space for the bow, which is appropriate since no self-respecting ninja would use that thing anyway.

Ninjor is another fine entry into the MotU Origins line, updating an old figure while retaining the aesthetics. For a latecomer in the original line, it’s nice to be getting characters like Scareglow, Clamp Champ and Ninjor far earlier. The line is zipping along at mach speed, and almost feels like we’ll have a complete collection before too long.