Monday, March 16, 2020

Masters Of The Universe Classics Rebel Leader He-Man by Super7 Action Figure Review

In the year of 1987, I was a young five and my dad brought my brother and me to the movies to see Masters Of The Universe: The Motion Picture. While I can understand why many MOTU fans were disappointed by the movie I was not one of them. I loved everything about it, especially He-Man and Skeletor. Eventually, my Mom bought me Blade and Gwildor action figures that came from the movie but the two figures I always wanted were a movie He-Man and Skeletor, it took me 33 years but I finally have my ultimate most wanted toys as a kid, but is He-Man everything I wanted?

He-Man's head is blocked by the MOTU logo which sucks if you're displaying these in packaging.

We'll get through all the basics about this figure first. He-Man comes with a standard male MOTUC buck. When I reviewed Blade I mentioned that he looked off and it was because he is based on a real human character and the toys are designed with cartoon muscles which work great for toys but it makes characters like Blade look off, only compared to his character in the movie and not with other MOTUC toys. Dolph Lundgren had to constantly exercise and basically starve himself to get his body how it appeared in the movie. Because of this, the standard MOTUC buck works perfectly for Rebel He-Man.

Rebel He-Man has basic articulation including a balljoint for his head, joints in his shoulders, bicep swivel, elbow, and wrist. He has an ab crunch and a swivel waist plus joints in his knees and his ankle can swivel. All of his armor does impede his movement a bit but not too badly.

The detail and paintwork by Super7 are their best by far. His hair looks great, it's definitely Dolph Lundgren with nicely painted eyebrows, eyes, and he even has some light stubble on his chin. All of his armor is very nicely sculpted and painted which all looks very accurate to the movie. The leatherwork looks spot on and a lot of the leather belt is rubber which makes the belt appear more authentic. I have a lot of the Mattel and Super7 MOTUC figures but most of them are still packaged but I couldn't help myself opening all of the movie figures. Of all of the figures I own, either loose or packaged, plus all of the rest I've seen in real life as well as pictures on the internet, I can say his detail and paintwork is one of the best of the MOTUC line. I won't say Rebel He-Man is the best ever in case I've missed something, but Rebel He-Man is one of the nicest MOTUC figures produced and my personal favorite.

I mentioned this in my review of Dark Despot Skeletor and I'll state it again, originally these action figures were labeled William Stout Collection with the thought being that they couldn't get the rights to the look of He-Man and Skeletor from the movie so they did the next best thing and base figures off of the movie's Production Designer Willaim Stout's original designs. I said in my Skeletor review that while Skeletor himself had some issues, I believed he was based upon the movie portrayal and not the original designs. I believe with He-Man I can definitely prove this point.

I can say with all honesty I'm obsessed with the Masters Of The Universe movie and because of this, I know the characters and their costumes. This Rebel He-Man action figure is nearly screen perfect. His face and hair (on the good head), the shoulder armor and chest pieces, the belt and maroon shorts, and down to his boots, it's all exactly as it was in the movie. The only issue I can see is his cape, which I'll mention later on, and his arms. Each of He-Man's biceps has an item strapped to them. On the left arm is a square-shaped item and the right arm is round. In the movie, both are square-shaped. He even has the straps on these two items as well as the straps that hold his holster and knife sheath to his legs. They are only molded into his arms and legs and aren't actually attached to the items on his legs but they are there and look right.

Rebel He-Man comes will all the accessories that you'd want. He has his epic-looking power sword aka The Sword Of Greyskull or The Power Sword, he also comes with two knives and his pistol blaster. Everything looks very authentic to their movie counterparts. There is enough detail, both sculpt and paint, that it all looks great for this price point. The bigger knife goes into the sheath attached to his belt on his left side. The small knife, I believe, is the small knife he pulls out of his boot to kill one of Skeletor's troopers at the beginning of the movie. The problem is you can't really make anything out in the movie to give a definitive answer.

While the knives are nice to have and look great, they don't work too well for He-Man. They can be placed in his hand but they will fall out with the slightest touch. I'm ok with that because his sword fits perfectly and that was what his hand was shaped for. He-Man's left hand was designed to hold his blaster which it does very well, it can slip out of his hand a bit. His index finger is shaped to slip inside the trigger guard which looks great.

His other big accessory is a second head. None of this has been officially explained, at least to my knowledge, but when Super7 was designing He-Man they didn't have Dolph Lundgren's likeness rights so they sculpted a generic head that would look good enough and I've heard it was based upon Willaim Stout's original He-Man concept art. To me, this doesn't seem to be the case as they don't look too close to me.
Here is Rebel He-Man fully equipped with his alternate head.

I'm all glad to get something extra but once Lundgren's likeness rights were secured they should have ditched the other head and given He-Man some other accessories from the movie. The biggest things that I can think of that would have been great to also get would be He-Man's full-size rifle blaster that he is using at the beginning of the movie, Man-At-Arms grappler (I know it's Man-At-Arms' tool and if they make a figure of him I hope he comes with it but in the movie, He-Man is the only one to use it so it makes sense for him to have it. Finally, it would be cool if he came with the flying disc he steals from the Air Centurions on Earth. Mount it to a flying base, put He-Man on it with his sword and blaster in his hands, and he'd look great. Don't get me wrong I'm very happy with everything he came with, I'm just greedy and want more.
I almost don't want to add this point but I feel I must. The cape, while looks pretty accurate and does move similar to how it does in the movie, is fairly cheap. I know that this is a 35 dollar figure and he'd probably have to cost over 100 dollars to have a more movie-accurate cape. The biggest problem for me is that the movie counterpart has a design on the bottom of the cape that is completely missing on the action figure cape. This is a small nitpick for me as it doesn't really make a huge difference since He-Man is pretty much screen accurate in every other way.

A quick story about He-Man's cape. In 1999 my family took a vacation to Disney World in Florida. One of our stops was Planet Hollywood which is a chain of restaurants opened by actors like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Demi Moore, and others. The cool thing about Planet Hollywood is that they are decorated with real movie props which were just the coolest thing for me. I remember it was about an hour wait for a table and they had a waiting area that had among other cool props was Luke Skywalker's medal from the end of Star Wars.

We finally get a table and again there are movie memorabilia from lots of different movies. Of all the tables and all the props that they could sit us near and it was like a dream come true for me. We are lead to a table against a wall that has proudly mounted, again at our table, He-Man's cape. They made it very clear we could not take any pictures and me being me did what I was told and I just looked at it in awe. Until that moment I didn't know it was possible to own things that were in movies, especially movies like Masters of the Universe (the MOTU franchise as a whole was at its lowest point around that time). Not too long after that, I started collecting items from the movie including my pride and joy of He-Man's belt, but that's a story for another time. I can say with authority that the He-Man's belt on the action figure is completely accurate to the movie.

As far as the MOTUC line, the only other good guy released from the movie is Gwildor which is a big shame. As of right now, Mattel has told Super7 that they cannot release any more figures in the MOTUC line so it looks like we won't see a Teela, Man-At-Arms, or the Sorceress.

"He-Man, we need some allies!!"
I believe Super7 cannot release any new figures, even repaints, and the like. Without too much extra work Super7 was able to release a movie-accurate Karg and upgrade Skeletor into the end of the movie golden "God" version and the same could be done with He-Man. A very easy alternate He-Man could be released as the golden armor version seen at the end of the movie.

William Stout's production art of gold He-Man

Another version they could do is the stripped version once He-Man is captured and brought to Greyskull. I don't know if the chest armor could be removed from He-Man without damage, and I'm not going to try, but they could release He-Man with his shoulder and chest armor removed as well as his cape and sword sheath, remove the items on his arms, and throw some black paint on him for the battle look plus mold the wound on his arm he received from the air centurion, and you have a second "Slave" He-Man to release without too much work. I know at this point it's wishful thinking but I bet it wouldn't be too hard to take a Rebel He-Man and modify him to these different versions, especially the gold version at the end because it would just take paint. If someone wants to make these up and send them to me and I'll be happy.

Even though I still have God Skeletor to review I can say that Rebel He-Man is my favorite. His accessories are perfect, his movie accuracy is very good, he's exactly what I've been looking for these 30+ years. I want to build a time machine and deliver all these figures to myself as a child. If anything you see here interests you I cannot recommend this figure more. 10 out of 10!



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