Joined: 18 Dec 2005
|Posted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 7:12 am Post subject: Warlords (Masters) of the Universe: Dark Soldier head
|Greetings fellow He-Fans and She-Ravers,
this review is a little out of the ordinary since I'll be doing a quick look at something that is not an official product. That is to say it is a custom fan made item, but one that can be purchased to expand your Masters of the Universe Classics line up.
I've mentioned the work of customizer Joe Amaro in passing before, but I want to give a full shout out here. Joe has been making some fantastic hand sculpted items to go with various action figure lines including MOTUC. These have ranged from weapons to character heads and so on. What's more is that Mr. Amaro actually offers some of these items up for sale through his website Warlords Of The Universe.com. For legal reasons he'll use unofficial names which leads to what I'm discussing today -his Dark Soldier heads.
Now actually, I don't believe the "Dark Soldiers" have a official name. What we're talking about here are the nameless, Stormtrooper like cannon fodder troopers that served Skeletor in the 1987 live action Masters of the Universe movie. He-Man and company plowed through quite a number of these mooks throughout the film, but it was never quite clear if they were robots or humans in armor. I think many fans prefer to imagine them as robots because otherwise it means He-Man is willfully killing people. If you really watch the film though they tend to have very human reactions. One scene in particular I recall is early on where He-Man throws a knife into one soldier's gut. The soldier's pained reaction is very much that of a living being being stabbed in the chest.
Whatever the case though, Mattel never made figures of these guys back in the 80's and as such can't now as they don't have the rights to the live action movie characters (aside from the three they did make in the 80's' Blade, Saurod, and Gwildor) They have managed to slip in a couple weapons designed after ones used in the film, but to get the actual soldier itself we must turn to outside Mattel. At least for the head. Mr. Amaro only provides the heads, to complete the figure you need to come up with your own body and most likely paint it yourself as well. I've gone with the standard idea here and placed it on a repainted Standor body. While not 100% film accurate, it does come very close to the armored soldier look from the movie. Alternatively, you could use the Palace Guard bucks (which might be a bit easier to get your hands on now) Adding the rifle from Queen Marlena and the gun from Adora helps a lot.
As I said though, when you order these you only get the head, which has been done to incredible accurate movie detail. The heads are hand sculpted from a firm plastic and easily pop onto most standard MOTUC figure bucks. Now you do get the heads already painted black, though depending on what paints you use for the body you may need to give them a re-do to make it perfectly match. I didn't redo mine and they look fine to me. It's recommended that you do the armor pieces in a glossy black and the main body in a flat black to make the armor seem more shiny and metallic -more akin to on screen.
Repainting the base figure can be a challenge, (you may notice I need to do a couple touch ups here) but the end result is a fantastic army builder for Skeletor's forces and fits right in with the line as though it's an official product. Especially next to the new Blade figure. Cost, of course, can be an issue as each head costs $13 from Amaro -and again that's just the head, you then need to provide your own body for it to go on. Keep in mind though that these are all individually hand sculpted in extremely limited numbers, so that's actually a pretty fair price. Not to mention this is probably the only way were ever going to get to add these guys to our collections.
You can order the Dark Solider heads at WarlordsoftheUniverse.com. They are currently marked as sold out, however Joe Amaro has said there will be a second run of them soon. Initially he said the end of March, then "in a couple weeks" so keep checking back so you can order when they go up. They are in demand as they have caught the attention and praise of much of the MOTU community- including Gary Goddard the director of the film! Until next time, Good Journey.
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Joined: 30 Jan 2005