Joined: 18 Dec 2005
|Posted: Mon May 27, 2013 2:40 pm Post subject: Masters of the Universe Classics: Karatti
|Greetings fellow He-Fans and She-Ravers,
Today's review is of a figure that really seemed to come out of left field. Granted MOTUC mixes its releases between the main characters and the more obscure ones, but this is a more obscure character from the New Adventures era, which itself is the black sheep of the franchise so I don't think anyone was expecting to see him. Let's take a look at Karatti.
Karatti comes in the standard MOTUC blister card packaging. He features the Space Mutants logo sticker on his bubble like Optikk and Slush Head before him. (This was another reason no one expected to see him -everyone was expecting a Galactic Protector before another Mutant) The back of the box features a look at other figures in the line, specifically the other NA characters released before plus the regular He-Man and Skeletor, and once again presents a bio for the character.
Unfortunately, Mattel opted to go with the much earlier version of Karatti's background from when he was still in development. The Karatti that was shown on the New Adventures cartoon series was nothing like he is described here. Quite the opposite in fact, he was a brave and formidable warrior and certainly not a coward. He even accused Hydron of being a coward for not standing and facing him head on when clearly Hydron was no match for him in hand combat and had to keep dodging attacks just to survive. On that note Karatti was one of the only Mutants to ever come close to beating He-Man in a fight so that part about only attacking weaker enemies is way off! He also was shown to be observant and smarter than most mutants. One example is how he noticed a mutant soldier acting unnormal -rather the soldier didn't salute Flogg upon entering the room (even though Flogg was paying no attention to him)- and that little detail allowed him to expose the soldier as He-Man in disguise.
The description given here is drawn from his early prototype. At that time he was going to be called Crystoll and would have a body composed of hard rock crystal. This character underwent quite a redesign, with the focus shifting to his martial arts instead of his physical being before ending up as the Karatti character. Some very early New Adventures comics from the UK depict the character looking like this but called Karatti. On the whole though I consider Crystoll and Karatti to be two separate characters and the bio here more closely matches the former.
Okay let's take a look at the actual figure now. Karatti quite clearly is yet another figure to utilize the Trap Jaw forearms, biceps, hands and legs. This does seem to get used a lot, particularly the legs, but honestly it works. He has the standard buck torso and shoulders under his new armor. The armor (which is removable) is very nicely detailed with dings and dents indicating battle wear. The paint job is also very nicely done, they did not skimp on this guys paint ops. It's a softer material so it doesn't interfere with articulation. Even the shoulder pad is designed so it will bend up when the arm is raised.
His head sculpt is amazingly detailed. The Four Horsemen really brought out the features that were not very noticeable on the vintage figure. His eyes are sunken and deep set with the sockets painted black. You really have to look at him up close and at the right angle to see he does have actual eyes in there. Combined with the markings on his forehead I believe this is meant to be a kind of war paint or perhaps tribal tattoos. The lower half of his face is covered by a metal mask that appears to feature a breathing apparatus, though is is also designed with an almost fanged mouth look to it. Even his hair is given more detail as it is now clearly longer dreadlocks. All these details combined almost give him a Predator like appearance.
It's certainly different from his cartoon appearance. There his skin had more of a bluish hue, his hair looked more like granny curlers or some strange bonnet, and apparently the animators thought he had a metal mouth like Trap Jaw as he was seen with the mask moving as he talked. Karatti was seen often in the earlier episodes but faded into the background as the show went on.
For accessories, like the vintage figure, Karatti comes with a sword and his laser axe . Both are done in just solid black, so if anything this is where the paint ops were skimped on. The sword fits well in his right hand but can be held in his more open left thanks to the hand guard, though it's not the tightest grip you can get it to stay there so he can hold both weapons together. His laser axe only works in his right hand. Like Slush Head's it can be held either as an axe or slipped on so the laser barrel is pointed out. In this pose it still works as an axe anyway. The vintage figure's axe didn't really work this way as its hands were in open positions. Also the vintage axe was more curved at the end so it hugged his arm more securely. Then again, the vintage figure's arm had no joints below the shoulder, and even that one was limited to his action feature. Still, I kind of wish they had designed the axe to better clip on to the arm. The sword is pretty much a straight copy. (I thought I had the vintage one, but it was no where to be found.)
While Karatti was a very unexpected release, and I will admit was low on my priority list once I had to resort to trading for my figures, once I got him in hand I found he was one of those who was much cooler than originally anticipated. I'm quite pleased with how he turned out. Just like the previous New Adventures characters, the Four Horsemen have managed to greatly improve the design and make him fit in with the line much better. It's nice to see the NA guys getting some attention, though we could use another Galactic Protector soon as poor Flipshot/Icarius is getting outnumbered by Space Mutants. The NA He-Man variant is getting released in July and in a recent Q&A the Horsemen revealed that another Galactic Protector had just been finished sculpting and sent off so we'll probably see that one at SDCC.
Karatti is now sold out, but he did last a few days. Even the more obscure, and far more expensive, Fighting Foe Men sold out before him so he' snot exactly the most popular figure. Still, I think he works well for the line so check the secondary market to pick him up. Good Luck and until next time, Good Journey.
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