Greetings fellow He-Fans and She-Ravers,
Going back a few years Mattel unveiled a series of new Mini MOTU figures similar to minis seen for various other franchises including superheroes, Star Wars, GI Joe and others. Time passed with no sign of them getting out then last year we got He-Man and Skeletor in a special SDCC exclusive two pack with a Castle Grayskull box diorama. Finally, after a log wait and various alterations the Masters of the Universe Minis are getting their full release in a series of two packs with one hero and villain each. The first pack features Mer-Man and a never before seen mini Battle Armor version of He-Man.
The Minis come in a small blister card package that is very much like the kind used for other minis lines found at retail. (though this series is online exclusive) Though the figures are held in a plastic tray, there aren't any rubber bands binding them as the Classics have. Both figures and the collect and connect piece are fully visible in display holding their weapons.
The back of the box shows off the full Collect and Connect mini Castle Grayskull and gives a look at the other 2-packs in the line. Or rather it would if all the others weren't blacked out to keep them a secret for now. Even though we knew before the release of this first pack that the second one will be Battle Armor Skeletor and Moss Man. (as of Toy Fair we now know the third and fourth packs will be Stratos/Scare Glow and Man-at-Arms/Faker) You'll need to collect all six packs in this first series to complete the mini Grayskull.
This first piece is the upper portion of the castle front with the top of the skull. You can kind of get an idea comparing it to the Classics Grayskull here, but really we'll need some more parts before you can fully appreciate it.
As for the minis themselves they are nicely detailed especially considering the small size. The armor on them is not removable, though you can take the weapons out of their hands. He-Man has his Power Sword and shield while Mer-Man includes his infamous sword and his trident. The back of Mer-Man's armor does feature the holster slot like his Classics counterpart, however the sword is a bit too wide and does not fit. You can set the trident there, though it's not a tight grip.
A subject of controversy with the fans is that these new minis are even more mini than before. Around 2 inches tall, they are actually smaller than the He-Man and Skeletor from last year. In addition, they also seem to have lost an articulation point as the wrists do not swivel. The shoulders and waist can swivel as can the heads. The heads seem kind of ball jointed but they don't seem designed to come off and there is very little up and down movement leading me to suspect they really are intended only for side to side movement. These changes were made as a cost saving issue, but raise serious questions about the figure's value.
Don't get me wrong, I think these are a neat little collector's item and the sculpt is well done with a wonderful paint job on them. But I was already questioning the price on the initial minis. With them now being smaller and having less articulation you really have to ask if they are overpriced. There is a definite consensus among the fans though that shipping was WAY too high for such a small item.
Do I like them? Yes. But do I think they're over priced. Again Yes. I really think these should have been released at retail, which in turn would have allowed them to be cheaper. Mattel has said they will wait to see how the first six sets sell to determine if this series will go on beyond that. I worry the price point may keep collectors away as they're already spending their toy budget on the Classics. (note though the minis do not affect the Classics line resources) If you do go for them, I strongly suggest picking them up at the same time as some other items to ofset the shipping charges.
The Minis are available now on Mattycollector.com. Until next time, Good Journey.
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