Monday, September 21, 2020

Masters Of The Universe Origins He-Man Review

Today I'm very happy to bring you my first review of the new Masters Of The Universe Origins toy line by Mattel. For my first action figure review, I had to go with the big guy He-Man, The Most Powerful Man In The Universe. Unlike the Masters Of The Universe Classics toy line that was designed for adult collectors, this line is designed to be modern recreation of the original toys, basically the 80s toys with modern articulation. Will He-Man and this new toy line become a cash cow for Mattel like the original toy line was?

First off I'll start with the packaging, and from first glances, you can tell that Mattel basically used the copy and paste buttons and I'm glad for that. I am not making this up but I really felt like a kid again when I found that row of new MOTU action figures on the shelves. Unlike The New Adventures Of He-Man from 1990, the 2002 He-Man and the Masters Of The Universe, and the 2007 Masters Of The Universe Classics which each had their own distinct packaging, this new Origins toy line is the exact card back with a few changes.

The Masters Of The Universe logo and card colors on the front look the same to me as the 1980s cards. Of course, the "New For 20" in the top left corner is new as well as the "MODERN POSING! RETRO PLAY!" above He-Man to the right are new additions. The Mattel logo on the bottom right is different and the 6+ on the top right of the card is new, besides these few changes the card looks identical to the original.

The back of the card looks similar in style to the 1980s version but it is completely different. The picture on the top of the card back is new and I think looks pretty good with its depiction of He-Man during his transformation, specifically when he is transforming Cringer to Battlecat. The pictures to the right that shows the different actions He-Man can make is similar as well as the six pictures of the other available action figures. The biggest change from the 1980s is the big block of text on the bottom of the new card where the original is just the UPC and two lines of text.

Now we get to the action figure itself and overall I have to say I'm very pleased with these new toys. The new action figure looks almost identical to the original and I think for the most part it is. The new action figure has been completely resculpted but whoever designed it stayed very close to the original. If you look purely at the sculpts of the two bodies I don't think a regular person could tell the difference between the two.

My original 1982 He-Man next to the 2020 He-Man.

These new figures have three distinct changes over their 1980s originals and we will start with the head. Out of everything different with this new action figure the one part I'm most torn about is his head sculpt. I honestly don't know at this point if I like it or not. The hair sculpt is superior to the new figure, at least in my opinion. The face has been sculpted to have the same look like the original in a new modern style. I really don't know if I like it or not so I'll leave that decision to you.

The second change is with the coloring of the action figure. Just counting the He-Man action figure from the 1980s and not including his accessories, he has six paint colors including his skin tone, black for the facial features, white for the eyes and teeth, yellow for the hair, orange for the belt, and maroon for his fur underwear and boots. The new He-Man is painted in the same way but with a few additions. Fist off the top of the boots has a secondary yellow added which I like. 

On the 1980s He-Man, he has wrist armor that is just body-colored with the left wrist having a different piece of armor from his right wrist. The new He-Man has the same armor piece for both wrists and now they are the same orange color as his belt. The rest of the colors are the same but the hues are different. The maroon of the boots and underwear is now brown, the orange of the belt is a brighter orange than the original, and with the biggest change is He-Man's hair which is a much brighter yellow. Honestly, it looks like a cartoon, which I guess makes sense, but it is really offputting to me and I think the 1980s hair color is more realistic.

Without a doubt, the biggest change is with modern articulation. The 1980s He-Man has six points of articulation including a rotating head, rotation at the shoulders, the waist, and both leg sockets. The new He-Man has a total of sixteen including a ball joint for the head, shoulder, elbow, and wrist articulation for the arms. His waist turns and his legs have hip, knee, and ankle articulation. I can't think of a better showcase for the difference between the 1980s and modern articulation than with the original and new Masters Of The Universe toy line. He-Man's waist would snap back when rotated so you couldn't pose with his waist so all you could do in the 1980s was move He-Man's arms up and down and turn his head. The 2020 Origins He-Man, in comparison, can do practically anything. No question this is the biggest and best change for these new Origins action figures and it is a welcome change for MOTU 5 1/2 inch action figures.

With all the articulation He-Man can now play for the All Eternian Baseball Team.

As far as equipment goes He-Man comes with the exact same accessories as his 1980s counterpart. He has his silver half of the Sword of Power and I like the fact that the sword can be combined with Skeletor's sword just like the original toys. He also has his shield and ax which the original toys had as well as being in the comics but he never really used them in the cartoons. These are very close to the originals, I don't know if they are better or worse but they look pretty good. 

I'm very happy that for the first time in many years He-Man action figures are packaged with a mini-comic book. The book has six interior pages of story and the back cover has the same picture of the six available action figures that are on the card backs. Skeletor attempts to capture Prince Adam in order to unlock the secrets of Castle Greyskull but Adam is able to sneak away and transform into He-Man and defeats Skeletor and his forces. The story is a very basic overview of how the MOTU world works, Skeletor is bad and wants Castle Greyskull and He-Man and the Masters have to stop him. The artwork is pretty good but the story could have been longer. And the biggest issue I have is all of the action figures in Wave One comes with the same comic book. I think they should have at least packaged a comic for the good guys explaining their deal and one for the bad guys. In the end, I'd rather have the same six-page comic in all the action figures than nothing at all. He-Man figures should come with mini-comics so in the end, I'm happy with this one.

Now that I've mentioned everything I like I have to list what I'm not a fan of. I've already mentioned the head sculpt so we can move on to the paint. Overall I'm happy with the paint application but I'm not thrilled with the orange paint overspray of He-Man's belt onto his fur underwear, it just looks sloppy and the 1980s version doesn't have this problem. Also, He-Man has some black spots on him that won't come off, the two worst being at the top of this left leg on the back right where it meets up with his underwear and on the back of his right shoulder. The shoulder spot is pretty big and noticeable and is my biggest disappointment with this action figure. He also has a small black dot on his face on the right side just under his mouth, I guess it's a beauty mark. When I first opened him up he did have a while blob of something right above his right eye. I didn't notice it when I was picking out the figures at the store and was heartbroken once I opened him up and saw how bad it looked. I was lucky that I was able to carefully pick away whatever it was. 

The last nitpick I have is with where the plastic mold lines are. I'm talking about the spot where the parts are cut from the mold like when you're putting a model kit together and you have to cut the pieces away from the sprues. If you mess up the cuts it mars the plastic and looks terrible and all of the accessories have this mark. On the sword, it is barely noticeable and isn't a problem. You can see it on the ax on the bottom of the blade. The shield's spot is on the side and you can just make it out on the front side and definatley if the shield is turned. The worst of them is by far He-Man's chest armor. It's right on the front to the right of the cross logo. It sucks and it draws my eyes every time I look at it. 

Original He-Man, 200x He-Man, Origins He-Man, MOTUC Movie He-Man

Now that I've laid out the action figure itself lets talk about the toy line in general. Do I think this toy line and upcoming cartoon will be successful? Mostly yes. It's clear that Masters Of The Universe is getting popular again after the very successful Masters Of The Universe Classic toyline as well as the new She-Ra cartoon. There are plenty of first-generation fans like myself that will buy all these toys and watch the cartoon. The question is will kids of today play with these toys? I'd like to say yes but in all honesty, I don't think they will. Kids just don't play with toys like I did when I was a kid. If you go down your local toy aisle you'll see wall to wall toys that were popular in the 1980s and 1990s. Masters Of The Universe, TMNT, Ghostbusters, GI-Joe, Star Wars, Thundercats, Power Rangers. It's all toy lines that adults my age grew up with and still buy. Hasbro didn't rerelease identical replicas of the 1970s-1980s Star Wars toys for toys kids. The rereleases of the Ghostbuster toys that I recently bought were released for me to buy and not my kid. While I'd love for the new MOTU toys and cartoon to become a big hit with kids I just don't think it's going to happen.

So you made it this far, but would I recommend these new He-Man action figures? I think if you're a MOTU fan than these toys are a no brainer. If you like a toy line designed with kids in mind but can be enjoyed by adults, even if they didn't grow up with these toys than I would say pick these up. I think with these new MOTU Origins toys being cheaper than the MOTUC toy line at only 15 dollars each and the fact that they are available at local stores and not online only that these have a great chance of catching on. I give the all-new Masters Of The Universe Origins He-Man action figure an 8 out of 10!

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