Friday, May 11, 2012

AFB returns to Club Eternia Coverage with Sorceress, Fisto and Shadow Weaver

It’s been quite some time since I reviewed any items from Mattel’s Masters of the Universe Classics line. There are a couple of reasons - first is that I once I got a bit behind with these the backlog grew very quickly, and the second is that thanks to a snafu of the Digital River kind it looked for a moment like my Club Eternia Subscription was going to be cancelled, in which case I would have given the line up out of sheer frustration.

Things did come good in the end after I went as far up the tree as I could for help (if you’ve been listening to the AFB Podcast you may recall this saga) and so I thought I better pick up with my MOTUC reviews again. The recent arrival of a box containing three significant characters in the line, Sorceress, Fisto and Shadow Weaver, seemed like as good a place to pick up as any!

Sorceress is a key figure in this line and would certainly be counted as a much-awaited figure, both because of her important role in the MOTU universe and her visually striking look. She would have to be one of the most instantly recognisable He-Man characters.

I have read a fair bit of criticism about this particular figure, but to me it is very well done when you consider the constraints of working with a standard buck and only a certain budget for custom tooling. Her wings are well constructed with a series of individual pieces that provide a decent wing span.

The Sorceress also comes with her falcon form, Zoar. I don’t know if all of the birds in the original He-Man mythos were designed to make the most of a single mold, but Mattel has certainly made the most of it!

What I will criticise about the Sorceress figure is the hands. A character whose main schtick is flight really needs some sort of outstretched hand for flying, not two semi-closed hands that can be posed in a “thumbs-up” pose. Mattel seems to deflect questions about hands that suit the character (to hold accessories, demonstrate powers, etc) back to “Four Horsemen sculpting decisions”, but to me this makes little sense - I’m sure it’s about tooling and cost. When you’re using standard bucks such as these it seems like there would be merit in creating options for hands in different poses so that they can be used logically - definitely not the case here.

Fisto is definitely one of the strongest figures in the line in quite some time. He has a distinctive, hokey look which has been faithfully updated here and he makes a visually striking figure. The sculpt is very strong, with clear lines and great paint to support them. His massive right fist is beautifully done.

I particularly like the fact that despite the fact that Fisto’s namesake is nicely sculpted and has some weight, he can be posed in a number of ways without the fist overbalancing him. This speaks to the solid and well designed basic bucks that feature in the MOTUC line.

We were told not to expect any more 200x heads, but Fisto comes with one. Weird in terms of Mattel communication, but great for us. I definitely prefer the head without the man-tiara (which has a matching WWE-style belt) but it’s great to have options for display.

In addition to the swap-out head, Fisto comes with some great weapons a rather average purple sword and then The Sword To End All Swords - which has to be one of the most awesome MOTUC weapons ever!

The Club Eternia Subscription Exclusive for the year is Shadow Weaver, the Horde Witch. This is a significant figure in the line for a number of reasons - it is the first Club Eternia Exclusive to come from the She-Ra side of the MOTUC family tree, and a figure that is comprised of what seems to be entirely new parts. It’s also a figure that seemed unlikely to be made when this line first started, as she is a Filmation character which Mattel only recently acquired the rights to. Making Shadow Weaver the Club Exclusive for 2012 most certainly would have given sales a boost, due to her status as a long-demanded character.

In my estimation, the wait has been worth it, as the Four Horsemen have done an outstanding job on this figure. The sculpting of this figure is outstanding, from the very distinctive headsculpt to her long, ragged sleeves to her flowing gown. Her cape is constructed and attached in a way that does not limit the movement of her arms, and her hands are also new sculpts.

Shadow Weaver has been sculpted without articulated legs - instead her cape forms the base of the figure, which makes her sturdy and easy to stand. She has a hollowed out underside so that a stand can be inserted to give her extra height and a floating look. This is an optional stand which provides choices for display. I like the extra height as it creates levels in one’s display.

The figure comes with two accessories - a wand and a spell book which I understand each appeared in a Princess of Power episode - a very nice touch. The paint job is excellent, with a dark wash used over the purple to provide some depth.

I am not yet prepared to commit to the 2013 Club Eternia Subscription, because I feel that the gaps between “hits” is getting longer and it may actually be cheaper to spend a bit more on the secondary market for the remaining characters I do want. Having said that, I would definitely put all three of these characters into the “hits” category - I just wish this was representative of every month of MOTUC!

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!


Unknown said...

I so need to get a Fisto for my collection. He looks great! always reminds me a circus strongman lol.

fishmilkshake said...

I want a Fisto just for that freakin' sword! Booyah!

3B said...

Fisto looks very nice! I missed out on him when he went on sale, but hope to pick him up if the price is right.

chrismandesign said...

great work on the Sorceress character, neat paint job and the open wings look fantastic...

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