Joined: 18 Dec 2005
|Posted: Thu May 17, 2012 9:27 pm Post subject: Masters of the Universe Classics: Optikk
|Greetings fellow He-Fans and She-Ravers,
Since it was first introduced, or at least since it became clear the line was taking off and would be ongoing, Mattel made it clear that Masters of the Universe Classics would be all inclusive of the MOTU mythos. That meant that it wasn't just the vintage line figures, but also Princess of Power and The "New Adventures of He-Man" as well. The inclusion of POP was majorly met with enthusiasm, (there are some so called fans who dislike She-Ra but they are in the far minority and they know it) however the inclusion of NA was met with some skepticism.
The New Adventures of He-Man has always been the black sheep of the MOTU franchise and understandably so. Everything was radically different from the design of the figures, to the story angle, and the cartoon -both in animation and story quality. Some fans liked it, others outright hated it all together, and some believed the characters had potential if set in a more familiar MOTU background. So it was understandable that Mattel approached the inclusion slowly and carefully by making the first NA figure in the line one of the most popular designed characters: Optikk!
Optikk arrives in the standard MOTUC blister card packaging. The bubble features a brand new logo sticker for the Space Mutants faction. I no longer have a sealed Optikk to show you, but I can still show off the sticker here.
As always the back of the box shows off other figures in the line and offers up a bio for the character and how they fit in the new continuity. Some real changes were made to the overall story while still keeping true to the overall established character.
Yeah just imagine going to work or a party with a name tag that said, "Hello, my name is pronounced through a series of blinks." This is goofy and ridiculous enough as is, and then you look and see that Optikk has no eyelids and therefore cannot blink in the first place. The first half of the bio is actually taken from the character bio/info card on the back of the original Optikk figure, it's in the second part that we get the changes. In the original storyline He-Man and Skeletor were brought into the future through time travel, but in this version it seems they just go into another galaxy in their present times -or at least way down the line after a lot of other story arcs happen including Skeletor defeating Hordak and trying to take over the Horde... something that may make it more palatable to naysayers. I'm on the fence with this one, it answers the big question of what happened back on Eternia during He-Man's sudden absence. A long time plot hole was that Skeletor may be gone but what about his henchmen, the Horde, and the Snake Men? In this continuity, they're all already defeated. The flip side of this, and why I'm on the fence, is as fans making up stories for those unanswered questions was part of the fun.
Let's look at the actual figure now. While he looks like a great update of his classic figure, he is actually made of mostly existing parts. His unique armor is just that, an armor piece that fits over the standard torso. His arms and legs are the same as we saw on Trap Jaw and his arms are also Trap Jaw's, or I guess, more accurately, Kronis. He does feature a new loincloth piece that was later reused for Roboto and Man-E-Faces. It is a softer plastic and does not interfere with leg articulation. Above that around the waist is another extra piece that has the wire part covering the abs. With the armor this does slightly hinder the ab crunch, but given the design of the armor it looks like he wouldn't have much movement there in real life anyway.
Optikk's armor is a wonderful recreation of his original figure's with lots of attention to little details throughout. On the back there is even a sculpted dial that pays tribute to the original. On the old Optikk figure this was used for an action feature that turned his eyeball head side to side. The Classics' dial is just part of the mold and does not move, but of course you can manually move the head on this figure. The way this one is done it blends into the sculpt and looks like part of the armor so it comes off as a nice tribute without seeming out of place. Sadly, dials sculpted into the later Sy-Klone and even more so, Hurricane Hordak did not look anywhere near as good.
Optikk comes with his laser gun, or rather his "Photon Neutralizer" which is a well done update of the one from the vintage figure. As other fans have pointed out, photons are light particles and lasers are made or light so wouldn't a Photon Neutralizer basically be the opposite of a laser? Perhaps they mean it uses photons to neutralize. He also includes a brand new accessory in a shield. He never had one before, but the design really seems to fit the character. Finally Optikk includes a second eyeball head with an orange iris instead of his usual green. At first I thought this was kind of wasted tooling, I don't think anyone expected or asked for it, but upon review Optikk's eye in fact was orange on the cartoon.
Sadly, though Optikk had one of the coolest toys from the NA line, he was severely underused on the cartoon. Usually, when he even appeared at all, he was a background character and didn't do much or even talk often. When he did talk though he had a strange almost robotic voice. Some fans, mainly wondering things like how he speaks, eats, breathes, and other stuff have pondered what the rest of Optikk's body looks like and suggested that perhaps his main body is actually a robotic suit operated by his real body which consists of just his eyeball and some tentacles, or something to that effect. Personally I like this idea and it gives me a great display option for my second head.
Next to the original NA figure you can see how the Four Horsemen really captured the look of the character while adapting him to better fit in with the rest of the MOTUC line. The reuse of parts give him a distinct but belonging look.
While the New Adventures will never be as popular as other branches of the MOTU franchise, it still has it's place. Optikk has long been regarded as probably the coolest of the NA figures, even by naysayers who hate the series. He was an excellent choice to release as the first NA character in order to test the water for the others. Likewise Mattel has continued to be slow with the release of the rest of the NA characters, though with a majority of the vintage MOTU figures already updated we may be seeing a lot more of them soon.
I for one have always thought Optikk was an awesome figure even before I really began fully exploring NA. Like many fans, as a kid I did not like the idea of the new style of figures or the new direction, going away from Eternia and all the characters I loved, so I never owned any NA figures as a kid, but did want Optikk and finally got him as my first years later. I didn't see the series until it was released on DVD, and while nowhere near as good as Filmation, it had a certain charm and great potential had it continued for the planned second season where He-Man would have returned to Eternia only to find all hell had broken loose in his absence.
Meanwhile I am very pleased with how this figure turned out. He's an awesome design and, now more than ever, really seems to fit in with the rest of Skeletor's warriors.
Optikk is currently sold out on Mattycollector.com and has no word of being reissued anytime soon, so you'll need to hit the secondary market for him and I do recommend him. Meanwhile, as of the time of this writing, you can still pick up his fellow space mutant Slush Head. (which is why I chose to review Optikk now) Slush Head's marked almost gone though so better hurry. Good Luck and, until next time, Good Journey.
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