Saturday, February 15, 2020

Masters Of The Universe Classics Blade Review

When the Masters Of The Universe Classics line launched in 2008 one of the big things I wanted was new figures from the Masters Of The Universe The Motion Picture, and as I type this any day that dream will finally come true. I was also looking for Mattel to release new MOTUC versions of the movie characters that were released in 1987. I've already reviewed Gwildor and Saurod, as well as Karg who is the first new movie toy, but I've left Blade for last.

When Blade was first announced I was very excited, it wasn't a new toy based on a character that didn't originally have a toy, but it was still a new toy based upon the movie. I was always a fan of Blade, obviously a stand-in for Trap Jaw and possibly Tri-Klops, Blade had a great look. Covered head to toe in blades, chainmail everywhere, and two huge swords either in his hands ready for combat or sheathed on the sides of his legs. If you look at his legs you can see they are covered in maroon color pants. The original movie costume was head to toe in this maroon rubber material. The actor in the costume was getting sick from all the sweat he lost while wearing the costume that he cut the maroon costume out of the rest of the costume except on the legs so more of his skin would be exposed which would help the actor cool down.

After seeing Blade I was very excited. He looked great and was an upgrade in every way over the original toy but there was something in the back of my head that was bugging me. It took me a while to figure it out but I eventually did. Blade is based upon a character played by a human. The MOTUC toy line is made of unrealistic muscle-bound bodies and while it works great for a toy line, particularly this toy line, it isn't realistic. While Blade's details, the sculpt of his face and the details of his armor look very realistic, he's built with an off the line buck and so Blade has a much bigger body than the actor had in real life. Gwildor didn't have this problem as his body was custom just for him so it was sculpted to look just like Billy Barty in the movie and he does look great.

While this is a little nag in the back of my head, it by no way makes this action figure bad in any way. In the end, I'd rather have figures from the movie fit into the "current" MOTUC line than in a separate one with realistic body proportions because that will probably never happen. It only took 30 years for Mattel to make any new Movie action figures and they were only made because they could start with already made buck and not have to sculpt a completely new figure. Gwildor was never going to work on a standard MOTUC made body so he got a custom body that jacked up the price and many people complained about it, not me of course.

When you take a look at the clothing that Blade is wearing you can see that the Four Horsemen did a fantastic job getting all the details right.

As far as accessories go Blade comes with three, two swords and his electric whip. The whip is great, near the end of the movie when Blade whips He-Man is a great scene, everyone in the throne room is looking on like the way that you look at a car accident while Skeletor, the man who ordered He-Man whipped, is visibly disturbed and it seems like he's having him whipped because it's what he's expected to do and not what he really wants. The whip looks great and the red whip blade is translucent giving it more realism than it would look if it was solid red. The swords are a mixed bag for me. He has two and they are both different. The first is a replica of the ones he has in the movie, the second sword is a replica of the sword that the 1987 toy came with. I understand why they did this but I would have like two movie realistic swords. Also, they are a bit light on detail and paint detail.

Blade comes with the standard male buck MOTUC articulation so there should be no surprises here. One issue is Blade's chainmail clothing gets in the way, it's not terrible but it could be better and does limit some of his possibility.

Blade, the movie character, was my favorite of Skeletor's minions, not counting Evil-Lyn. I loved the way Beast Man looked, his samurai looking costume was a great way to go with his look and his face was very menacing looking, as long as you don't look too long at the huge teeth that made the actor drool all over. His problem was he didn't talk and didn't do much fighting, mostly pointing and snarling. Karg, while I like the character in general, I didn't like the way he looked. I think it was his old lady's hair cut. Saurod was a great looking character but again he did little and was killed off by Skeletor too early. This leaves me with Blade.

Blade is a swordsman who has decked himself out with swords, blades, and chainmail in a great look, even though I bet it would make sword fighting a little hard. His best feature is his missing eye and the fact that He-Man took it from him in a fight, the one Blade had been waiting a long time to revenge. And besides the main villain Skeletor, Blade is the only guy to fight He-Man one-on-one in the movie and of course, he didn't win but he held his own... until he stopped holding his sword when He-Man knocked it out of his hand... haha. Plus when he spoke his thoughts were listened to and his ideas were used by Evil-Lyn so he wasn't a joke in the movie and that's why I liked him as a kid.

Here is the original Blade action figure from 1987 to compare him to his modern MOTUC counterpart. I loved this figure but I could never understand why he looked so weird from his movie counterpart, besides the fact that he was an 80s mass-produced action figure from a B movie so he wasn't bound to be too movie accurate but it's more than that. His face looked cool, but it was miles away from Anthony De Longis, the actor who played Blade.

I believe what happened is that this figure was sculpted from the pictures of the concept art as opposed to pictures of the actor on set in costume. In the 1990s William Stout, the Production Designer of the MOTU movie had a card set come out based upon his artwork. A few of the cards were of his work from the MOTU movie and I bought this one not too long ago that was signed by him. In this picture you can see that this depiction of Blade is much closer to the 1987 design than the character in the movie, at least that is my take on it.

Overall I'm very happy with Blade. A great likeness of the character in the movie, good articulation, and pretty good accessories make this a great figure to pickup. Of the current three MOTU movie figures that have been released in the Masters Of The Universe Classics line, Blade is my second favorite, behind Gwildor. I would have liked both of his swords to be movie-accurate and again if he was slimmer like the actor this figure would be perfect but these are very minor complaints and I can't be happier that they made him and the other characters from the movie. I give Blade an 8 out of 10. If you like MOTU, the movie, or just the MOTU classics line I think he'd be a great figure to pick up, even if you're not a fan of the movie.

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