Joined: 18 Dec 2005
|Posted: Thu Jan 01, 2015 8:52 pm Post subject: Masters of the Universe Minis: the rest of 2014
|Greetings fellow He-Fans and She-Ravers,
Sadly the verdict is that the 2015 subscription for Masters of the Universe Minis did not reach it's required numbers and the sub was canceled. At this point there is nothing more to announce on the future of this short lived line of shorties, though there is speculation we may get at least a few of them somehow at sometime. Since the She-Ra/Horde Trooper pack was supposed to come out in January 2015 and they didn't get the verdict in until December 2014, logic dictates that pack if no others must have already been produced otherwise it would not have been ready in time. (even if it was slated for a February release it still would've needed to be ready in advance) If the product is made they are going to sell it off, but as for the when, how, and about the rest we can only wait and hope. In the meantime we can look at the ones that have been released in 2014.
So here's the deal. A while back Mattel had an sale offer where you could get the remaining three MOTU Minis 2-packs all in one order. You had to wait until December to get them, but you saved a bundle on shipping costs. Since the high price tag was my big complaint about the little guys I went ahead and took the offer. Initially I was still going to review each pack individually, but then I decided to just do them all in one big review.
Each pack comes in the standard MOTU Minis small blister card box showing off both figures inside and the Collect and Connect piece of the mini Castle Grayskull behind them. The back of each box shows what the completed castle will look like and shows off the other packs in the line, but in each case it only has the ones up to that point shown and the packs that come after it are silhouetted out with question marks -even though we have known for a while who the figures were. So only the final pack shows all six in the line.
The three packs in order of release are Man-At-Arms vs. Faker; Zodac vs. Beast Man; and King He-Man vs. Clawful. Why King He-Man of all characters? Well the story goes that apparently the mini King He-Man is a product made for a project that never came to be; The Fall of Eternia. As described by Toyguru, the project would have been a massive multi-media event telling the story of "The Fall of Eternia" with different sections of the tale told in various outlets such as mini-comics, books, toys, and even a planned online game. Basically the same way Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire was years ago. The idea never fully fell into place however. We will be getting the mini-comic telling in 2015 packed in with Classics figures, but that's about it aside from this one mini figure they had already put into production.
By now you should know the basic run down of these minis. The figures stand about 2 inches tall. They can move their heads left and right, twist at the waist, and move the arms forward and back at the shoulders with no articulation in the legs. The weapons slip into their hands but the armor is non removable.
Man-At-Arms sports his traditional toy style outfit with the green body suit and orange outer armor that has the armor only on one arm and leg. His head has the more familiar mustached face though. He comes with his classic mace weapon, which like many in the line is a bit oversized though that gives it a slight 200X feel. Speaking of 200X he also includes his large arm cannon that fits over his right hand. It won't go on to his left though because of the sculpted on armor piece. The gun is very heavy for the figure though and he can pretty much only balance with it pointed forward.
Faker, (who for some reason is listed on the package as "Faker He-Man") sports the look you'd expect with the blue He-Man body with orange hair and Skeletor armor. It's worth noting though that, unlike previous versions of Faker, this one is not simply a repaint and actually has a newly sculpted head. While it still looks like a blue He-Man clone, the facial expression is different making him more unique. The paint job on Faker is very well done particularly on his shiny metallic bracers and belt. He is however lacking any trace of the infamous chest robotics that was a sticker in the vintage line, but painted on in Classics. While this piece was always under his armor, it was also always slightly visible peaking out. He includes two weapons, an orange colored Power sword and battle axe. The weapons can each be held in either hand or placed in the holster on the back of his armor.
Zodac is based on the vintage style so he does feature the monster style feet and finned arms. He even has the sculpted hairy chest peaking out of his armor. He comes with two accessories. First there is his classic Cosmic Enforcer gun. Perhaps I'm a bit spoiled by Classics, but I do feel that the weapons are lacking in paint deco for him. He also includes a staff like the 200X Zodak version. In order to put the staff in his hand one end piece comes off so the shaft can slip into his fist, then be placed back on. Due to the large size of the end pieces though he can't really set the staff flat on the ground and since he has no wrist articulation he can't do a two handed pose which is a bit disappointing.
Now Beast Man is one of the best sculpts in the Minis line so far. There is a ton of detail put into him with his furry body, especially the thick forearms. He does have one fully open hand so it can't hold weapons, but it does give him that ready to claw feel. They even put on his little spiked brass knuckle thing on the left hand. Beast Man has two weapons. First is his traditional whip. It is one solid plastic piece so you kinda have to pose him with it in a raised cracking whip position. His second weapon is a brand new mace. It has the large spiked ball on the end of a chain and the handle has the design to look like it's made of bone. this is a cool new weapon that, like Mini Moss Man's shield, would be great to have gotten in Classics style.
Clawful, like his Classics counterpart, seems to have traces of both vintage and 200X. His large claw is particularly oversized, and this does tend to throw off his balance when raised. It does not open and close. He has the more bulking hunched over look of the 200X version and even his shell armor seems bigger. One interesting thing is on his face where his tusk like large bottom teeth actually just out away from his face on this figure. He includes his traditional green mace.
Last, and frankly least, is King He-Man. I will say that is figure is a nice mini recreation of the Classics original. I will follow that up by reminding you that I wasn't overly fond of the Classics version, nor the story that went with it. His hair and beard seem thicker and more like King Randor in style. His cape is solid plastic and posed in a flowing back position so it does tend to throw his weight back and make him fall. He comes with the same style staff as the Classics and also a 200X style Power Sword. It's worth noting that the mini sword is not done in the aged worn out damaged look however, though the handle does have a wooden paint and sculpt look. Honestly, whatever the reason for making him, this was a poor choice to place in the line particularly so early on. If it had been an exclusive that would be better, though I still feel it would diminish the exclusiveness of the Classics version. Even if the future of the line had been secure it still would be a wasted slot in my opinion. We had really better get the She-Ra now because I will be really pissed off if I'm stuck with this pointless variant and not her.
Each set includes a piece of the Collect and Connect Castle Grayskull. Man-At-Arms and Faker come with the lower jaw bridge section. With this you can finally start putting the castle together and have some form of display available. The jaw bridge actually does work and will lower so you can pose it open or shut. Zodac and Beast Man include the lower right tower piece and the final pack has the top tower part completing the diorama backdrop to display with the figures.
These minis are a really fun version of MOTU and it's very sad that they didn't last longer. Granted it's not that surprising with the high price point, made even worse by Digital River's criminally high shipping costs. Other mini figure lines sell at retail for half the cost. And that's the real kicker, these should have been sold at retail. Not only would it allow them to sell for less, which was the main point that prevented them from doing better, but it would have opened them up to a larger audience and gotten MOTU into the hearts of today's generation. My nephews enjoy little figures like these and this could have been a great way for us to share the franchise together. Again I really hope we at least get the She-Ra mini released though even then it will suck to not have more iconic characters like Teela, Evil-Lyn, Tri-Klops, Fisto, Sorceress and more.
Most of the mini packs are sold out, though the King He-Man/Clawful pack is still available at Mattycollector. Hopefully Mattel will go ahead and put out the 2015 lineup anyway before closing the book. We'll have to see, until then we bid the line Good Journey.
EDIT: all six packs are currently available
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Last edited by Lord Skeletor on Sat Jan 17, 2015 8:36 pm; edited 1 time in total