Joined: 18 Dec 2005
|Posted: Sun Dec 22, 2013 8:15 pm Post subject: Masters of the Universe Classics: Strong-Or (Strong Arm)
|Greetings fellow He-Fans and She-Ravers,
As we wrap up our gifts for Christmas (or whatever December holiday you celebrate) we also wrap up the 2013 lineup and the Club Filmation mini-sub. Once again we have received a one shot villain that many fans have wanted to see in figure form for a while; Strong Arm. Sadly, once again trademark issues have forced Mattel to release the character under a different name and thus the character is now called Strong-Or.
Strong Arm was a one shot villain who appeared in the episode "She-Demon of Phantos" as a minion of Skeletor. Like many other one shot minions he appeared with no back story to establish him. He was just there acting as one of Skeletor's henchmen then ran away at the end of the episode and never showed up again. In truth he had one quick fight against He-Man where he got lucky and trapped him in a photanium body cell then left to talk to Skeletor. (He-Man easily broke out of the cell after he was gone) For the rest of the episode he just stood around and occasionally delivered a line. Really I feel this is a character who's remembered by the fans more because of his physical appearance and potential rather than his actual actions in story.
On an interesting side note though Strong Arm did appear in storyboards for the episode "The Dragon Invasion" in place of the character the script referred to as Chopper. Chopper, of course, became known as Jitsu. I would argue that Strong Arm never got reused due to not needing two characters with the same basic gimmick, except Jitsu himself had only this one appearance in the cartoon. Though he did make it into the toy line and other media.
Strong-Or as he's labeled comes in the standard MOTUC blister card package. As always the back of the box shows off other figures in the line and presents a bio for Strong-Or. Like Icarius/Flipshot it makes mention of him being called Strong Arm here as a way to acknowledge his actual name even though they can't slap the trademark on it. Mattel really needs to get on top of this to prevent any more such instances. It may be too late. I've been hearing that the name "Double Trouble" is taken and Mattel has trademarked the name "Double Mischief" Ugh! Like the POP girls don't have enough trouble getting proper respect.
As I mentioned, Strong Arm (I'm just going to use the proper name here) was not given a background in the cartoon. This bio actually works well to provide an origin story that leads up to the events in the actual episode. The real name's not bad either. It's alien/fantasy sounding without going too far as a lot of them have. Photanium was indeed called the strongest metal in the universe -in this episode. Other episodes gave the distinction to other substances. Also He-Man broke the photanium with no effort.
Strong Arm captures the look from the cartoon very well over all. His color design is a bit garish, but it is true to the look. He uses the standard buck for his torso, legs, shoulders and left bicep. His right forearm and hand are the Hordak gloved mold. I found his yellow gloved hand to be a bit odd and clashing, but it is cartoon accurate. Maybe it would have been better if it was less bright. His feet are the Bow mold, while his boots are the same newer mold seen on Geldor, which is in line with the cartoon look. Also from the cartoon on his belt instead of the usual round spots there are spikes that jut out.
Strong Arm's head features it's metal look with the blue spikes that form a mohawk hairdo. He also has the large ears on the sides of his head, which honestly always seemed a tad goofy. I must admit, from some angles at least, his face seems a bit chubbier than it did in the cartoon. They did capture his pointed teeth very well though. He also seems to not show as much of his neck as in the cartoon. I put this more on the Mattel design teem as the Horsemen's prototype looks better both in face and neck.
Then of course there is his signature namesake arm. It actually is done with all the same articulation as a normal figure's arm. The oversized hand is molded as a closed fist. He does come with an alternate arm that features an extended look. This works pretty much the same as other extensions in the line have. It detaches at the elbow allowing you to plug the alternate one in. Strangely, instead of just making an arm length, the extended version is the full forearm and hand.
But then it's amazing that they thought to put this in at all as Strong Arm only used the extending feature once in the episode. It wasn't even in combat, nor was it really expressly animated growing. Strong Arm was up on a tower keeping watch and when he saw He-Man below he reached out and grabbed a hanging pipe, using it to swing down. That's it. One real quick shot then not seen or mentioned in any way. Small wonder that of all the custom Strong Arm figures and art I've seen over the years none incorporated this ability. I had honestly forgotten about it until the figure was revealed and I went back to rewatch the episode.
Strong Arm does include an extra accessory, but like the Sword of the Ancients that came with Fang Man, it is not from his episode. The gun is designed right out of the cartoon look and made so it can be held two handed, however Strong Arm can only hold it with one hand as both versions of his right arm have the closed fist.
The gun is actually from the episode "Teela's Triumph". It's a transporter gun that was used to send He-Man and Sorceress to another dimension. As a result Teela had to step up and temporarily fill Sorceress' role as the Castle's guardian.
Strong Arm is a character that many fans have wanted to see in the line for years. I must admit though that he was not really one of my personal most wanted. As I've said he only appeared in one episode and did very little in that one. I will admit on the other hand that he is a character that I can easily see as having been in the line. He has the feel of a MOTU villain and probably would have worked well had he been used again, although his main feature was covered by Jitsu in the toys. While not my favorite of the lineup, he is still a good figure and welcome to the overall line. Strong-Or is, as of this posting, still available on Mattycollector.com. Until next time, Good Journey.
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