It’s time to delve back into the wacky world of Mattel’s Masters of the Universe Classics line by looking at the next set of releases in line for review. March’s MOTUC review offerings included a subscription figure with a snaky twist, King Hsss and our first extra figure of the 2011 subscription, Battle Armor Skeletor. Both are great additions to the MOTUC Collection.
With King Hsss, Mattel proves once again what a bit of unique sculpting on a basic buck can do to make a figure look totally unique. Unfortunately, they’ve also proven that the MOTUC shoulders are obviously very easy to swap, as they’ve done it again! Thankfully this doesn’t irritate me, but I know it’s a frustration for many collectors. Hopefully all of the great extras that come with this figure are enough to help anyone over look this avoidable error. There is some very nice sculpting here with the snake-skin ridges on King Hsss’ helmet, torso, arms and legs, which is supported by an excellent paint job, making the human version of Hsss a very smart looking action figure.
King Hsss can ‘shed’ his human skin to reveal a whole mess of snakes underneath. This would have been a pretty cool ‘action feature’ back in the ‘80s, but we modern day collectors have to settle for a snake head and torso that swaps on to Hsss’ legs to make the ‘all-snakes’ version. For a pack in piece, the swappable snake head and torso for King Hsss is a pretty amazing. The mouth of the main snake head is articulated at the jaw, and the two snake “arms’ are posable through the use of bendable wire inside. It makes for a very cool looking snake dude!
A further credit to Mattel is that the inclusion of this detailed extra head and torso has not led to any skimping on other accessories. He has a red shield and an excellent staff with a snake wrapped around it that is one of my favourite MOTUC accessories to date. All this pretty much covers swapped shoulders in my book.
After I’d opened King Hsss and seen how much I liked both the humanoid and snake versions, I was pleasantly surprised to see one on offer at a LCS for a reasonable price, and decided to pick it up so that I could have both versions on display. Although there is I’m not the kind of collector who tends to swap alternate pieces around on a figure or statue, so it was worth it for me in this instance. King Hsss and the extra Snake Man get two AFB thumbs up!
One of the ‘catches’ of the all-in subscription format for 2011 is that there are four “quarterly figures” which are repaints or different versions of previously issued characters. The first of these is Battle Armor Skeletor. The charm of the original Battle Armor figures, for me anyway, was that the different armors were on a rotating bar in the middle of the figure’s chest and could each be produced by striking the armor section, showing the increasing degrees of damage.
This version comes with three separate breast plates to indicate the different degrees of damage. Like I said above, I’m not the type that’s good at keeping all of these pieces in an easy to find place and swapping them around, so these inclusions really are a bit pointless for me. Thankfully BA Skelly is a nice looking figure sculpt and paint-wise.
I don’t mind having an extra Skeletor around, as it leaves one Skelly for the ground-level display while another can ride Panthor, who will be featured in my next MOTUC review!
All up - March was a great month MOTUC-wise, and the display is looking healthier than ever with no sign of slowing down. I’d love to see the silly errors like swapped shoulders get corrected, and still hope for the day that Matty finds a faster international shipping service than the Digital River slow boat, but I’m still very much on board with this line!
You can see more pics at Facebook, discuss this at the AFB Forum and comment on this post to enter the May AFB Comment of the Month Contest!
Until next time!