Thursday, March 12, 2020

Masters Of The Universe Classics Dark Despot Skeletor by Super7 Action Figure Review

I was very happy last year when Super7 announced that they would be releasing new MOTU Classics action figures based upon the 1987 Masters Of The Universe Motion Picture. While I'm grateful for the changes to Commander Karg, I was really looking forward to He-Man and Skeletor. Keep reading to see if Dark Despot Skeletor would have blown my 5-year-old mind.

Dark Despot Skeletor is a 7-inch action figure by Super7 that was released in 2020 as part of Mattel's Masters Of The Universe Classic adult toy figure line. This figure of Skeletor is based upon the 1987 Masters Of The Universe: The Motion Picture Skeletor played by Frank Langella. Like the majority of the figures in the MOTUC line, Skeletor has standard articulation and surprisingly his robes don't get in the way too bad.

Looks-wise this figure looks very good compared to his movie counterpart. The only part I'm not super happy with is his face design, it doesn't look right to me. I think my issue is that there is a brownish color used in the detail of the face and I think it throws his whole look off. It's too dark and I think if a color that was a bit darker than his face color would have worked better. The detail looks right, it's the brown throwing it all off for me.

As far as the rest of his looks Super7 has done some great work but again I have a few issues. Skeletor's cloak is a compromise and I understand that. I'm sure Super7 couldn't get a fabric that would look right at this scale for 35 dollars so they had to go with a rubber cloak. Because the rubber would restrict movement and block detail they designed the cloak to sweep back around his neck instead of it draping over his shoulders and arms. It makes Skeletor much more posable but it makes him less realistic.

My biggest problem with the cloak is the color. From everything I've seen including all releases of the movie, behind the scenes videos and pictures and anything else I can get my hands on it looks like Skeletor's cloak is completely black but on the toy, it has some red in it. So if in the movie his cloak is all black, why does the toy have red in it?

One of the black Skeletor costumes from the Propstore auction a few years ago.
What I believe, and I could be completely wrong, but I believe the sculptors used pictures from the Propstore website. The Propstore is a company that sells movie memorabilia and a few years ago they sold one of Skeletor's costumes from the movie. They took some great photos which you can find online and his cloak is maroon which is not even close to how it looked in the movie. The prop is now maroon because it was dyed black and it has faded over the last 30+ years so if you look at the prop now you could think it was always maroon and the colors didn't show up on the screen but that leads me to my other piece of evidence.

No medallion on the action figure.
In the movie, Skeletor's costume, both the black and gold versions, has a golden medallion on the back of this cloak near his lower back but this action figure doesn't have this feature so why the difference? I believe it's because the prop in the pictures doesn't have the medallion on it anymore. I can hear inside your head right now saying, "but these are based upon the original designs by Production Designer Willaim Stout and not the final look from the movie." I would have agreed with you originally when these figures were announced but like I mentioned in the Commander Karg review the "William Stout Collection" is nowhere to be found anywhere on the packaging.

The theory going was that Super7 was only allowed to make the new He-Man and Skeletor figures if they were based upon William Stout's designs that weren't finalized because Mattel owned the rights to the character's final look in the movie but basing them off Stout's original designs was a workaround but this never made sense to me because they are still He-Man and Skeletor and Mattel definitely owns the rights to them and if Mattel thought they were being scammed in any way they would have shut these figures down.

Medallion on Skeletor's back in the movie.
The other reason I say that these are fully based upon the movie depictions opposed to original designs is that the details are perfect. They fixed Karg's claw and everything else on Skeletor is correct and He-Man's detail is perfect so these are in my opinion completely based off the movie which means the only way Skeletor is maroon without this medallion is if he was based off the Skeletor costume in its current condition and not what it was like originally.

One of the "black" Skeletor costume from the Propstore auction, no medallion on the back.
Anyway back to the toy. Nothing in life is perfect and while I would have preferred Skeletor to be exact to his portrayal in the movie, nothing I mentioned above is going to affect my thoughts on this action figure. Unfortunately, this isn't true with Skeletor's accessories. Right off the bat let me say that Skeletor's accessories are awesome. He comes with his Havok Staff, his sword, and a cosmic key. These three are completely movie accurate in detail with his sword being a huge jump in detail compared to Blade's swords. The cosmic key is completely new and is accurate in size, design, and paintwork. It is much nicer looking than the keys that came with Gwildor or with Preternia Disguise He-Man as those look more like accessories for a toy line whereas this new key looks like a prop replica and not toy-like at all.

My first issue is the forks on my cosmic key are bent pretty badly. They aren't super bendy like the pieces on Blade's face but also not stiff enough like they would break too easily. I may be able to bend them with some hot water but I haven't tried.

But my biggest problem is the paintwork on Skeletor's sword. It has some serious slop on both sides and it's a pretty big disappointment. The things I've mentioned above I can live with but the paintwork on this sword is bad. I can deal with a little paint outside of the lines, I've dealt with it before in this line, but this is too much for me.

So, in the end, would my 5-year-old self have been happy with this Skeletor? Of course, and for a few minor nitpicks I'm completely happy with this figure. While I would have been happier if he was closer looking to his movie counterpart with the removal of the brown paint on his face and the red from his costume I'm content with how he came out. My biggest disappointment is with the paint job on his sword. I would say if you like his look or want a movie Skeletor than I'd say pick him up, just try to make sure your sword is painted better than mine if you plan on opening him up. I give Dark Despot Skeletor a 6 out of 10.

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