Joined: 18 Dec 2005
|Posted: Thu May 09, 2013 10:31 am Post subject: Masters of the Universe Classics: King He-Man
|Greetings fellow He-Fans and She-Ravers,
The subscription exclusive figures are always hard to get a hold of if you don't have a subscription. This is why Mattel usually makes them a variant or obscure character that won't draw a lot of backlash from fans unable to get their hands on it as it's not a majorly demanded figure. Last year's Shadow Weaver fiasco being the obvious exception that they really should have known was a bad idea. Two years ago we got Preternia Disguise He-Man showing the outfit he wore when hanging out in the past, now we get what he wears in the far future when he's King He-Man.
King He-Man comes in the standard MOTUC blister card package -but I had to settle for a loose one and once again borrow a stock photo. The bubble features a brand new faction logo sticker: He-Ro Son of He-Man. This is a little bittersweet though as, with the reworking of the release schedule coming next year, it's unlikely we will see any more figures from this category in the near future.
I should probably take a few moments to talk about this for those unfamiliar. First of all, don't confuse this He-Ro with the other He-Ro from the Preternian times. This He-Ro was from a proposed sequel series to the original cartoon that never took off. It would have been set in the future after the original show where Adam, now married to Teela and ruling as king, passed on the Power Sword to his adopted son Dare who became Eternia's new protector after Skeletor returned from exile. Apparently it's just coincidence that he shares the name of another proposed spin-off series hero.
The back of the package shows off other figures in the line and presents a bio that gives a preview of how the He-Ro II storyline is being worked into MOTUC continuity. First it should be noted in the proposed series it would have been King Adam not King He-Man. Though not stated, it seems to be implied that at this point Adam becomes He-Man permanently and doesn't bother with the secret identity anymore. And there Mattel goes with killing off another character in Randor's death, though the way it's worded he may have died from natural causes. The last line of this bio is badly worded. It's supposed to be saying Dare took over protecting Eternia and became the new He-Ro. On that note it's not clear if Dare is still going to be adopted in this continuity or if he's been changed to Adam's biological son. The original plan for the series was that trying to discover who Dare's real parents were would be a running theme and ultimately it would turn out that he was actually the long lost son of Adora. I hope they stay with that if for no other reason than to give an acceptable answer to where She-Ra went after defeating Horde Prime. (she's out looking for her lost kid)
Oh, and King He-Man also comes packed in with a new mini-comic "The Origin of Skeletor" but as I mentioned I got mine from the secondary market loose and it was not included. So no review of that (yet) sorry.
Okay, so looking at the figure itself, the new tooling is almost entirely in his outfit. He uses the standard buck for most of his body, which makes sense since it is He-Man. Something to note is that most of the recent figures to use the standard buck forearms use the ones with both small wrist bracers, but this figure uses the original long bracer on the left arm. He features the calves/boot tops of He-Ro however they are modified so there the ankle pins are covered. His feet appear to be the Keldor boot designs.
The new tooling is the head. That usually goes without saying for most figures, but since this is a variant figure that's actually the reverse of the normal. King He-Man's hair is longer and has some grey to his once proud blonde locks. He now sports a full beard much like his father Randor had and his head is topped with a (non-removable) crown. The years have taken their toll on him as evident by the large scar covering his left eye. It's a good look, but when seen next to the standard He-Man figure it almost seems to be a entirely different character. In fact when this figure was first being revealed, before it's name was shown many fans, myself included, were thinking it was supposed to be King Miro (Randor's father/Adam's grandfather)
For accessories King He-Man comes with a staff that is similar to the one Randor had, but the head also is reminiscent of He-Man's original chest harness. His other weapon is the 200X style electronic Power Sword which, like He-Man, is showing its age. The weapon is now covered with rust, dents, nicks, and even missing chunks. The original handle is gone and replaced by a strapped on wooden handle. The story here is that He-Man has passed on the actual Power Sword to Dare so if need be he pulls this thing out of retirement so he can harness the Power of Grayskull alongside He-Ro II.
I do have to wonder though, if he's He-Man permanently now why would he need a Power Sword? Shouldn't he already have access to the power since he's transformed? If that's the case then why wouldn't he use a weapon in better condition? The original idea was that King Adam was not permanently He-Man and when he needed to transform to help He-Ro II they had to both hold the sword and change together. Don't get me wrong it's a cool accessory but it does raise questions about the storyline.
King He-Man's outfit pays tribute to the great men of Eternia's past. His new loincloth piece is clearly modeled after the first He-Ro and his chest armor resembles Randor's while also, like the staff, resembling He-Man's old chest harness. The cape has a fur trim collar, a bit like King Grayskull, and is the royal blue like Randor's. The cape is attached to the armor which can be removed much like He-Ro's. Somewhat strangely underneath his torso is painted to look like a sleeveless shirt. It kind of makes him look like a pro wrestler. ("He-mania running wild!")
I think I understand why this was done. When the armor is on his abs are painted gold and meant to be part of his armor like He-Ro, but the top of his torso around his neck is meant to be shown bare. By painting it this way it avoids the awkward painted abs but bare upper torso look that Fisto had. Nevertheless it's somewhat unsettling to see He-Man wearing what is commonly known as a "wife-beater". (particularly when his wife is Teela!)
Overall I feel this was a good figure to make an exclusive. He's a pretty cool design overall, but he is by no means a must have. Fans who miss out won't be hugely disappointed like with Shadow Weaver. (and judging by sub sale numbers he's even rarer) If you didn't get a sub and want this guy you'll need to check the secondary market and be prepared for inflated prices. I got a lucky trade, but most of them are going for $60 or more. Still I'd recommend not waiting too long or he'll go through the roof like Shadow Weaver has. Good luck and until next time, Good Journey.
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