Toy Fair 2014: Masters of the Universe Classics

by Beedo Sookcool
on 2014-02-19, 17:27:03

Toy Fair 2014 was a big deal for old-school fans of Masters of the Universe and Princess of Power, with lots of joy and anger in nearly equal measure. Let’s start off with the main line and then delve into the extras, shall we? Pictures by Bill Cable, ludicrously biased article by Beedo Sookcool.

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Masters of the Universe Classics (MOTUC)

On display were many previously-revealed figures that will take us up to July in the Club Eternia subscription:

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Two-Bad, January’s figure, available only to subscribers. Missed out? Too bad. Now you have to pay a filthy scalper ridiculous amounts if you want him / them.

Glimmer, the Nympho Princess (more on that later), this month’s standard figure. Comes with jewelled rose staff and crystal ball thingy. Shipping now, for those who subscribed to this year’s Club Eternia, or were able to get the Matty Collector website to work long enough to buy her on Monday. Sold out within 15 minutes.

Hydron, the Space SCUBA Guy, the main figure for March. Yeah, I don’t quite get it, either, but he looks dang cool, and there always needs to be a water dude in the line somewhere. Besides, they had Clone SCUBA Troopers in Star Wars, which is pretty much the same thing.

Blade, Evil Master of Swords, the April figure. Comes with one movie-style sword (wrong colours), one toy-style sword (unpainted), and one curly laser-whip, for making your Dolph Lundgren action figures (are there any of those?) wince in agony.

Flogg, the Space Mutant leader, ships / goes on sale in July. Comes with cyber-whip and a 1980s Filmation-cartoon-style Power Sword.

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Modulok, the Evil Beast of a Thousand Bodies (Aaaww, HELLS, yeah!) February’s “Beast”-scale ($40) item. Shipping now, for those who subscribed to this year’s Club Eternia, or were able to get the website to work long enough to buy him on Monday. Also sold out in about 15 minutes. So looking forward to my Moduloks arriving. Yeah, I had one coming via subscription, and ordered two extra, day-of-sale. Because a monster you can pull apart and rebuild is cool. Several monsters you can pull apart and rebuild into several more monsters or one humongo monster is wickedly cool. Comes with a double rifle that also pulls apart.

Battle Lion, King Grayskull’s impossibly kick-arse steed gets the 3D plastic treatment for May’s “Beast” slot. Based on the Battle Cat body, so he’s smaller than his cartoon portrayal, which would be ridiculously expensive if it were made in the correct scale. Also, you are supposed to be able to take off all of Battle Lion’s armour and pop it on Battle Cat to make a Millennial MYP version of Battle Cat. Not my goblet of mead, but it’s nifty that they engineered it that way.

Intergalactic Skeletor w/ Techno-Enhanced Havoc Staff and battle-damaged, Terminator-style Faker head. As much as I disliked the New Adventures figures and cartoon when they first came out, this updated version of the character is just plain sweet. Due out / ships in August.

And, way over on the left of the above image, an accessory tease: Eldor’s book. The Obi-Wan Merlin-obi of MOTU, Eldor had a prototype made in the 1980s, at the very end of the original line, but never had a figure released. This is big news for He-Fans and She-Ravers. (No, I did not make up those terms. Thankfully.) The book has a real working clasp and actually opens. Whether or not it will have the hologram pages the original prototype had remains to be seen.

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Under the black cloth with the red question mark (supposedly): The Unnamed One, the Ultimate Lord of Chaos, and creator of the Snake Men. The main subscription-exclusive figure for 2014. Still no official images have been shown of what this guy actually looks like. “Leaked” images show an evil-looking Trollan (think Orko, only nasty), but Mattel has neither confirmed nor denied their validity, and they don’t want to take any chances revealing what he looks like before he ends up in collectors’ hands when he ships in March. So what was hidden under the mystery cloth at Toy Fair, then? Pixel Dan’s video walkthrough shows a pack of UNO cards. Hah! Geddit?!! He’ll ship with a map of the interstellar Horde Empire, and some other stuff.

Scorpia, a nasty piece of tail. Her stinger-tail will have one rotational joint, just below the armoured skirt. Comes in May with a scorpion-themed Evil Horde crossbow. Like her cartoon counterpart, her face is all harsh jutting angles. The role Reese Witherspoon was born to play!

Extendar, popular with the ladies, due in June. Will come with limb, neck, and torso extension pieces, an expanding shield, and an all-new lance (which isn't supposed to be curved like that). The prototype Extendar’s boots still haven’t been fixed (the leg extension pieces are still below his boot cuff as opposed to above it . . . trust me, this is mouth-frothingly important to some people), though his gloves are now closer to the right colour (some from of gold, instead of the “we copied the look from some badly-discoloured vintage figures” green).

Flutterina, possibly the girliest action figure ever sold to grown men. And that includes Bronies. Comes in August with pink sword, orange-sherbet shield, and lingering doubts.

Only one new mainline MOTUC figure was revealed this time around, but what a doozy! Rio Blast, the “Heroic Transforming Gunslinger” was shown off in prototype form. Already, fans are rejoicing that he has tiny little spurs sculpted on the back of his boots (not seen on the original Vintage figure), and complaining that he has detailed, wind-swept hair and moustache. Because, yeah, it really sucks when the Four Horsemen Studios, renowned for their detail work, actually put some nifty touches on an action figure. To keep tooling to a minimum, he retains the standard torso and thighs, and you plug the guns into the flip-down panels (instead of having cavities in those body parts that hide the guns). And, yes, he has enough firepower coming out of him to make Burt Gummer from Tremors break down and weep with envy. Released in September.

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The travelling convention exclusive for 2014 is Goat Man, an obscure character from some European story-books that some fans have been clamouring for for ages. When the convention season is done with (assuming there are any left), he’ll be sold on the Matty Collector website a the end of the year. It’s this thoughtfulness for the fans who can’t make it to conventions that once had me proclaim that MOTUC has the easiest-to-obtain exclusives of any line I ever collected. Once. That was before 2013 and the introduction of the “chase figure” concept, with Spirit of Hordak. This was a translucent red “astral-projection” version of the ruthless leader of the Evil Horde, which would show up at random intervals for very, very, very brief periods throughout the year. Took me nine months to finally bag a couple, and it’s a good thing I did, because one of ’em had two right shins. Grrrrrrrr . . . .

And, despite my best efforts and threats to insert improper items in him if he ever did it again, ToyGuru has announced another “chase figure” for 2014’s MOTUC: one that will randomly pop up online for a few minutes whenever Mattel feels like putting him up for sale, usually at really inconvenient times. This year’s offering is actually a 2-Pack: Loo-Kee, the annoying little rainbow-squirrel-elf-thing who Hides and Sees Everything on Etheria, and the insufferable koala-owl-thing, Kowl, in his Filmation colours. (A sort of “dusty rose” shade. Hey, I used to get L.L. Bean and Land’s End catalogues all the time when we lived in the States. I now know names for colours I never knew existed.) Anywho, to deflect some Nerd Rage, this 2-Pack will be made available to Club Eternia members in the subscriber-only Early Access event in April. Provided, of course, Matty Collector gets the damn page working. The last four times the site was absolutely supposed to work, it kept glitching and not allowing people to make purchases, until it was too late and the filthy scalpers had cleaned almost everything out. NOT THAT I’M BITTER. Kowl comes with a flight stand.

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Club Etheria / Princess of Power (POP)

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The biggest news of the brand was a “Club Etheria” add-on mini-subscription for the second half of 2014. Once again, this caused much joy and rage in the toy geek community. Joy, because collectors of POP toys get more figures for their preferred faction, and precious monthly slots in the rugged and manly MOTUC line won’t get taken up with “pastel girly dolls.” Rage, because Madam Razz looks “too cartoony” (She’s from a cartoon, what do you expect?!) and the incredibly awesome-looking Light Hope is exclusive to the Club Etheria mini-sub and manly men don’t want to buy an entire sub-line of pastel girly dolls to get one badass god-like dude.

So far, people who sign up to Club Etheria know they will get Double Mischief (think Man-E-Faces, but with nice balombas) in July, Madam Razz with her friend / vehicle Broom in August, evil long-haired huntress Entrapta in September, and the ridiculously imposing Light Hope in October. Sweet Bee’s pilot helmet was teased, so she’s on her way, but which month is currently unknown. We are still waiting to find out about the other two figures in the mini-sub, one of which will be an extra-big $30 item. The most plausible fan speculation is that it will be the mermaid Mermista, with swappable legs / finned tail assemblies. Other names are being bandied about: Granita the rock-woman, Hunga the Harpy, and the Evil Horde robot commander Dylamug being the main runners-up. We shall see, eh?

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Double Mischief. Owing to Trademark Renewal Lapse Reasons, her original name, “Double Trouble,” was no longer available for Mattel to use for this double agent. Hells with it. I’m calling her Double Trouble. Turn a wheel on top of her helmet, and her head turns to show either a heroic face or an evil face, just like the 1980s original. Not only that, her crossbow also goes from nice to nasty with a twist of the wrist. I will refrain form making any cracks about them finally making a two-faced woman action figure. (I’m not bitter. No.)

Madam Razz and Broom. Not much to say that hasn’t already been said a lot in other places (usually about them looking too cartoony compared to all the other figures), except this: if they ever make a live-action movie, Bette Midler must play this character. End of discussion.

Entrapta. Yeah. Marvel’s Medusa, but in disco clothing. Not that that’s entirely a bad thing.

Light Hope. Holy crap, he’s supposed to be a good guy?! He looks like he could single-handedly cause the End of Days on a whim! And would, if you didn’t put enough chocolate sprinkles on his moccachino, or whatever. Several people on various boards have said they subscribed to this sub-line solely on how impressive this figure looks.

Sweet Bee’s pilot helmet teaser. (Mostly hidden behind Entrapta in the lower picture, but visible in the pic further up.) Presumably, this is a separate head to swap out for the standard one. He-Man gets kind of annoyed with Frosta getting all handsy with him, and Prince Adam seems to enjoy Castaspella’s flirting, but Sweet Bee turns the Most powerful Man in the Universe into an awkward, blushing teenager with an embarrassing crush. It’ll be interesting to see how she turns out.

A few more words, now, about Light Hope. In the original She-Ra cartoon, he was portrayed only as a shimmering wall of rainbow light, a special effect that still continues to dazzle considering this was way before CGI made it into kids’ cartoons. Then, the Four Horsemen studios were granted permission to do what they did with Horde Prime and sculpt a figure for a character who was never really seen. And they came up with THIS:

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Translucent and spirit-like. Impressive gold armour. Cape. Huge whompin’ stick. I don’t care if he’s light pink, and dressed like a barbarian Liberace, I would not mess with this guy.

I also promised to talk more about Glimmer and her romantic proclivities, didn’t I? Well, being a completist, I already bought the 30th Anniversary He-Man DVD box set, with the 1980s Filmation, 1990s New Adventures, and 2000s MYP shows (also some Bonus Features DVDs, a soundtrack CD, an episode guide, and a golden Power Sword accessory; it’s still available on Amazon.com if you’re interested). So I also bought the 25th Anniversary She-Ra box set to complete things. And I watched it all the way through. And I learned something interesting. Etheria is thickly populated with gorgeous royal nymphos. Queens Frosta and Castaspella can’t seem to keep their hands off He-Man / Prince Adam whenever he shows up. (Which is frequently, and who can blame him?) But Princess Glimmer . . . wow. Every time a handsome new face shows up, she goes after him relentlessly. Every time. Total skank. Don’t believe me? Watch ’em and see for yourself.

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Well, that’s all that’s fit to report on MOTUC / POP from Toy Fair 2014. Until next time, take it as easy as possible, and may your hunts be rewarding. And somebody open me a dimensional portal to Etheria. NOW.





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