In my effort to get myself caught up with reviews of Mattel's Masters of the Universe line, I'm moving on to something different for the line which came out in January. The Eternian Palace Guards Two-Pack is the first "army builder" set in the MOTUC line, and I'll say at the outset that those who love to amass huge numbers of these types of figures should be very pleased with Mattel's efforts.
Seeing as it was the leader of the Palace Guard, Man-at-Arms, that originally drew me in to collecting this new line of MOTU figures, it was a given that I'd want to pick up this set to give him some followers. These are very similar in design to Man-at-Arms, with some differences. The breastplate / harness of the Guards is not as complex as Man-at-Arms, although they do come with a battle damage option, which I'll discuss later. Further, the Guards have pads on both legs and arms, whereas Duncan only sports them on the left. Lest you think the Guards have made off better than their leader, Man-at-Arms has colour detail on his helmet and belt that sets him apart - orange markings on his helmet and a red coloured gem on his belt
One of the features of this set is the two additional heads that are included. This gives you the option of light and dark skinned humanoid guards, a reptilian guard and a feline guard. These are a real treat, as each one not only has a different look, but quite a different expression as well. Of course, this inclusion is probably designed to encourage people like myself to buy multiple sets, but as figures like this is designed for army building, it provides many options for making the warriors look different. This is accentuated by the inclusion of removable mouth guards which can attach to the helmets, further increasing the possible combinations within your throng of guards.
I have mentioned before that I am not overly interested in accessories, and don't have a huge interest in keeping track of them, so the way in which most accessories for the MOTUC figures can either be held on kept in the "snap on" attachments most figures have on their backs is a huge bonus for me. Each figure comes with a shield and a long handled axe / staff, and then one has a small axe while the other has a mace. The unused weapon can be stowed on the back, and the options mean that army builders can put a fair bit of variety into their display. Any product that can make me care about something I normally am not really interested in is a winner - and that's certainly the case with the weapons that come with this set.
One final inclusion is a snap on "damaged" breastplate for each figure. This is a throwback to some the original figures which had a rotating insert that could be flipped to show battle damage, and it gives the army builder a final set of variables to play with. Since there's nowhere for the extra breastplates to be stored on the figures themselves, however, mine will al stay as is.
All up, this is a really pleasing set which can be used to add some depth to the MOTUC display and is sure to be delight with dedicated army builders. I'm happy with my two sets, and having now seen the extra heads in person I'm very glad I did order the additional set - I like all the different visages and want to have them all in my display. This two-pack gets two thumbs up from me!
Now I teased in the title of this post that there was a chance to win a set of these for yourself. It's not just a tease - it's real! Just keep your eyes out for my next post, which will detail a new ongoing at AFB. The prize for the winner will indeed be an unopened box of MOTUC Eternian Palace Guards, but be warned - you're going to have to get creative to win this one! Stay tuned!
Until next time!