Joined: 18 Dec 2005
|Posted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 8:05 pm Post subject: Masters of the Universe Classics: Galactic Protector He-Man
|Greetings fellow He-Fans and She-Ravers,
As I've stated many times before, The New Adventures of He-Man is the basic black sheep of the Masters of the Universe franchise. It's not as popular and generally more obscure. I admit as a kid I didn't collect the figures as I, like many fans, was initially turned off by the vastly different scale of the figures and the more space/less fantasy theme the story took. Likewise I didn't watch the cartoon during it's original run either. Years later I went back and acknowledged that some of the characters (e.g. Optikk) had cool designs so I eventually got some though it wasn't until the DVD release that I finally got to sit down and actually watch the cartoon. While not as good as the classic Filmation series, I still actually liked it on the whole. So when New Adventures started being brought into the Classics line most fans were expecting to get the NA He-Man variant early on. Well five NA figures in and only now is he showing up under the title Galactic Protector He-Man.
Galactic Protector He-Man comes in the standard MOTUC blister card packaging. His bubble features the Galactic Protectors logo sticker which we have not seen since Icarius/Flipshot as this is the first NA figure since him to not be a Space Mutant. You may also notice that he is simply labeled He-Man with Galactic Protector as his description. This might have something to do with the fact that the vintage version of this figure was simply labeled He-Man. The back of the box shows off other figures in the line, mainly the other NA figures (though not Karatti for some reason), and presents a bio for how the NA story is being pressed into the Classics continuity.
It's interesting how the picture is taken from the vintage NA He-Man box yet it looks more like He-Man than the actual figure did. In this version of the story He-Man goes into space after the Horde and Snake Men (and most of Skeletor's men) have been defeated which covers the major issue many had with the original story; namely how can Eternia get by without He-Man? Skeletor's gone too but there's still lots of other villains running around. I've discussed before how I'm not really fond of most of the directions the Classics continuity is taking and this take on NA falls in that too. Personally I don't like the idea of Adam becoming He-Man permanently, although this was the path taken in the vintage NA mini-comics. The cartoon kept his double identity though this raised some "How stupid is he?" issues with Skeletor never recognizing Adam and figuring it out. Granted Adam dressed differently and pretended to be Master Sebrian's nephew, but you would think Skeletor would know Prince Adam well enough to recognize him. One episode even had Skeletor come to the conclusion that He-Man had a secret identity, yet he still didn't put the pieces together that this Adam guy was Prince Adam of Eternia and therefore the most likely candidate. Again this seems to follow the comic take over the cartoon and I'm more familiar with the cartoon so there's probably some bias there. However I also think this falls into one of the reasons NA wasn't as popular; it changed too much too quickly and as a result it wasn't the MOTU the fans knew and loved.
Whatever choice, if any, you take to incorporate NA into your personal canon it really comes to the figures themselves so let's move on. GP He-Man, as predicted, uses a lot of Bow's buck for his body. He has the same boots and the legs, though the standard buck, are even painted pretty much the same color. His belt is different though, using the H in the M logo from the NA He-Man. he has the standard torso, shoulders and biceps. His forearms are the same as Bow, though painted with more eye catching colors. His left hand is the same as Bow's with the extra hinged wrist that can move it in and out.
His right hand is what's new. It has the hinged joint going the opposite direction. This allows He-Man to finally hold his sword in a more proper aloft position. One of the other vintage NA variants (Battle Punch) had this feature, but this is the first use in the Classics line and done much better. Some have said the new hands are too big, but I don't see it. At least not on this figure. I've seen some customized versions were people have stuck the new hands on the original He-Man and it looks a bit off, but that's more because of the slight difference in skin tone. I really suspect any future variants will try to take advantage of this new articulation.
He-Man's head is a new sculpt. It seems more like the cartoon version with the hair pulled back in a ponytail. The face however seems much more like He-Man, although it is a different face sculpt than the standard He-Man head. The new look is slimmer with a more pronounced jawline. It's a decent medium as it still gives off a vibe of being He-Man while also capturing the NA look. which really didn't capture the He-Man look. I know that seems a contradiction in terms there, but basically what I'm saying is, much like the other Classics versions of NA characters, it looks like the character from NA while making it fit into the MOTU style better.
Next to the vintage NA He-Man you can really see what I mean. It has all the details of the vintage, but actually looks like a He-Man variant now. Part of that could be attributed to the addition of the classic He-Man cross emblem on his shoulder harness, which was missing from the vintage figure. The shoulder harness was part of the sculpt on the vintage figure, but is removable on the Classics. It also now features a slot on the back to holster the sword.
Speaking of the sword, GP He-Man comes with his NA style sword that features the translucent plastic blade like the vintage figure. He also includes his NA style shield also in the translucent plastic. In the cartoon He-Man had the shield a few times but it was portrayed as solid bronze in color. Likewise his sword was solid metallic silver. No explanation was given in the cartoon for the vastly different look (nor was one given for the vastly different look of the characters themselves) according to the Classics storyline the change was a result of absorbing Starship Eternia's power as well. (which honestly doesn't really make sense)
In addition, he also includes an alternate head and chest armor like the vintage figure. On the vintage figure figure the chest armor snapped over the shoulder harness, but for Classics you'll have to remove it. The details on the armor are painted to really stand out on this figure and look very well done. The vintage figure had a removable helmet, but like most figures in Classics they opted to instead make an entirely alternate helmeted head. He-Man was never seen with his helmet or armor on the cartoon, but did wear them in comic versions of the NA story.
This figure turned out much cooler than I was anticipating. I'm not a huge fan of variants to begin with, though I think that's partly due to the staggering number of ridiculously stupid ones we got in the 200X line which in turn is largely what killed it. I wasn't really looking forward to this figure at first as I considered it one of the duller versions of He-Man. However I must say the final product turned out very well done. I'm actually a bit torn on which way to display him. Galactic Protector He-Man is sold out through Mattycollector so check the secondary market if you're interested in him. Good luck and until next time, Good Journey.
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