Joined: 18 Dec 2005
|Posted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:59 pm Post subject: Masters of the Universe Classics: Modulok
|Greetings fellow He-Fans and She-Ravers,
As I've stated before, The Evil Horde figures have always been among my favorites in the franchise. A large part of that is due to them having such unique designs, however that in turn has slowed down the release of the Horde characters in the Classics line some. In particular we've been waiting quite a while to see how they were going to pull off this one. But pull him off they did. Many expected him to end up either in a "beast" slot or as an SDCC exclusive. He ended up the former as this year's first quarterly item. Here's Modulok.
Modulok comes in a specially designed box that recreates his vintage package look, updated with the Classics figure shown. I love this as how well do I remember that vintage box. Constantly seeing it on the shelves... and never in my hands.
You see as a kid Modulok was one of the only MOTU toys my mom would not let me have. (the other being the Slime Pit) It wasn't that she had anything against the toy itself, (whereas the Slime Pit she feared would make a carpet staining mess) but she felt it would be a waste of money as she was certain I'd quickly end up loosing all the pieces. In retrospect she was probably right, though I still really wanted him and kept asking for him hoping she'd give in. She didn't, I never got him until years later when I could buy him online with my own money and she couldn't stop me. (of course by then I was more careful and didn't loose pieces) To answer the question on your mind now, I wasn't aware of Multi-Bot as a little kid, but you can bet he'd fall under the same argument. It seems odd Mom wouldn't get me this guy but she she get me several jigsaw puzzles throughout my youth. (and yes they ended up with missing pieces)
Anyway, the back of the box shows off other Evil Horde members released in the Classics line -and also Rattlor. Of course the storyline says Rattlor went to work for the Horde, though the picture shows him wearing his 200X armor but not the Horde armband that came with the figure. As always there is a bio for the character, and like usual it has several problems.
First off the character's real name is supposed to be Galen Nycroft not Nycoff. Now to be fair this misspelling, and most of the bio's story, comes from the old UK comic. However it was a mistake back then as the comic was doing a loose adaptation of his origin from Filmation (modified to fit into the UK comic continuity) In the cartoon he was a human scientist and the machine turned him into Modulok whereupon he simply busted the wall down and walked out rather than mail his individual pieces (which was done in his mini-comic though) Modulok's Filmation origin actually came first as he appeared on the cartoon before his figure's release. He was still in production and they hadn't decided if he should be a minion of Skeletor or an independent villain. They ended up splitting the difference and stuck him with the Horde at the last moment (hence why he does not wear a Horde logo) and stated he had briefly worked for Skeletor before defecting to the Horde.
The next problem is the whole being from the Tri-Solar system. I don't like mixing the Space Mutant army as an offshoot of the Horde, and more importantly the whole thing is supposed to be in the distant future not the past -which leads to the ongoing issue of yet another Horde character being over 5000 years old, and again he was not there in the 200X episode that established the trapped in Despondos story. (it wouldn't be such a big deal if they had let Despondos stay a timeless dimension instead of sticking Etheria inside)
Modulok actually had a very well developed character story on Filmation and was also an intelligent and dangerous threat making him a very enjoyable recurring villain no matter who he was working for, if anyone. We saw him as an independent villain, siding with Skeletor, and finally getting sick of old bonehead prompting him to go work for Hordak. Not that he got treated much better by him, resulting in one of his best lines, "You know, sometimes it just doesn't pay to be evil."
I could go on and on about Modulok's cartoon portrayal, but let's move on to the actual figure now. Inside the box you will find a plastic tray with all his pieces. Actually he comes with a simple humanoid body already assembled and all the other pieces arranged around him. You get two heads, four arms, six legs, two tails (one with and one without holes for leg attachment), a "thorax" extension piece, two brancher pieces for attaching all his arms, a neck brancher, a torso and waist that do not separate, two gun pieces that can either be twin hand guns or attach together to form a large rifle, and you also get two necks. In the package the necks are already plugged into the heads, but they can come out allowing you to put the heads in some odd places as I'll show, or swap them out with other figures' heads in the line. Counting the necks and the two gun pieces that makes a total of 23 parts, one less than the vintage owing to the torso and waist not coming apart. Mattel says this was necessary as they could not find a way to do it without making the joint a point for potential breakage.
Put him all together (though you will have a leftover tail) and you can truly get a feel for this guy in all his demonic looking glory. See that reminds me of another amusing anecdote; during an online discussion over MOTU figures we never had as kids I mentioned the above story of not being allowed to get Modulok and another fan mentioned that he had owned Modulok, but his parents wouldn't let him get Skeletor as they felt the skull faced villain looked too satanic. So they thought Skeletor looked satanic, but didn't mind the red skinned beast able to take on many forms?
Modulok has the full range of articulation in his multiple parts. His heads have the ball joints, though there is the aforementioned removable necks, and his torso has the ab crunch and waist swivel. Each of his arms have ball jointed shoulders, bicep and wrist swivels, and elbow cuts. His legs all feature ball jointed hips and also ball jointed knees. The legs have the ankle cuts and each foot has a rocker joint so you can get all six feet flat on the ground in various poses -something lacking in the vintage figure.
It's interesting to note that the connections work pretty much in reverse of the vintage figure. On the vintage the connector joints had pegs that plugged into the arms and legs, on the Classics due to the extended articulation the pieces have the plugs that snap it. This leads me to the point that the waist piece has a hole in the back that stays open if going for a two legged humanoid body. This also means though that you can plug in a third leg for the Filmation style look, although there is the fact that not all three legs will be identical.
A lot of extra detail went into this figure. His body now has a more insectoid exoskeleton armor look to it plus his tail and thorax are more ant like as well. His clawed feet legs are very monstrous. Both heads are beautifully sculpted with details especially the bald head which has pulsing veins as though housing an oversized brain. The paint job? Superb.
Of course the big feature is the interchangeable parts which (with the exception of the torso/waist deal) is in full swing with this figure. It's often said of the vintage figure that he has enough parts to make two whole bodies. He's even shown in the mini-comic splitting into twin beings- one of his heads on each. However the figure has only one torso, so I always argued this was not really true. While the Classics still has the single torso, the reversed peg/hole deal, as I mentioned above, allows for the thorax extension to be used as a body, albeit a rather neckless one. Point is, I find it easier to make two bodies with this one.
Of course he's not called the beast of a thousand bodies for nothing! The possibilities are almost endless, even if many of them look downright silly and impracticable. But that's part of the fun isn't it? They may be adult collectables, but they are still action figures. They are toys and therefore they should be instruments to unleash imagination and to have fun with. Modulok unquestionably captures that.
This is what the Classics line is all about. Recreating the vintage figures, while expanding on them with updated sculpts and increased articulation. Modulok has everything the vintage had and more. He's only the third figure released this year so far and already is a top contender for the best figure of 2014. I don't mean to diminish the others, we do have quite a great lineup this year, but I am just blown away by how fantastic Modulok turned out. This was worth the long wait as the figure is an absolute masterpiece and a must have for any collection. Modulok sold out really quickly so you'll have to try hunting him down on the secondary market. Good luck and until next time, Good Journey.
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