Saturday, November 22, 2014

Action Figure Review: Nepthu from Masters of the Universe Classics by Mattel

     Today's review is Nepthu, the October 2013 figure from the Club Filmation subset of Masters of the Universe Classics. Nepthu only ever appeared in one episode of the cartoon, "The Temple of the Sun," but apparently made a big impression on someone as he's been woven into both the Masters of the Universe Classics canon. When Nepthu was first revealed at SDCC 2013, it seems that the reaction of most fans was one of general indifference. Nepthu is really about as basic as they come and just doesn't seem that exciting. While he was a fun villain of the week for He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, he definitely wasn't a figure I remember too many fans clamoring for. Ready for a look at Nepthu with me to see if he's a diamond in the rough or simply a dud? Then join me after the break...

Due to his funky hat, Nepthu actually stands a little under 7 1/2 inches. If you're not aware by now Masters of the Universe Classics figures share a lot of reused parts. This actually work to their advantage, though, in ensuring that the scale of the figures are always in harmony with one another. While Nepthu is a Filmation based character with a simple design, he's not overly simplified whereas he looks off with other MOTUC figures. Nepthu reuses a few standard MOTU parts like the He-Man thighs and chest as well as Tri-Klop's wrists, Count Marzo's left hand, and Sir Laser Lot's boots.

      Nepthu is articulated like most MOTUC figures: hinged ankles with very minor lateral rocking, swivel boots, hinged knees, swivel thighs, ball jointed hips, a swivel waist, a mid-torso hinge ball jointed shoulders, swivel biceps, hinged elbows, swivel wrists, and a ball jointed head. I love the MOTUC articulation and it's all perfect here. Nice tight joints and excellent QC. Despite whether or not you like the figure, it's well assembled and fun to fiddle around with.


 Nepthu has an Egyptian motif going on, but it's really rather plain. His unique attributes are his bicep straps, his waist cloth, and his head. The bicep straps are a nice piece that help to give him some pizazz; they tie his collar, boots, and bracelets together nicely. The loincloth is extremely plain: it's fairly soft so as to allow for plenty of movement, but it's just bland. Some symbols or something on it would have helped to make Nepthu more interesting. The head scupt isn't bad, but it doesn't really fit a villainous character. Nepthu just looks too heroic and friendly. He definitely could have used a more evil looking face or more severe eyebrows to convey that he's not a hero. Of course, if you want him to be a hero (Nepthu: Heroic Master of Denile-get it? The Nile?) you'll be pleased. The headpiece is unique and I kind of like it, although once again a bit more detail would have went a long way.


 To cover the paintwork, I'm going to use the old compliment sandwich where I give a praise, then a criticism, then another praise. I like the metallic blue used on his boots, bracers, and chest piece. It's really nice looking and helps those pieces to stand out. Nepthu has some really messy paintwork on his headdress and loincloth. The loincloth is really messy on the lines between the orange belt and the white cloth and the orange and green paint on the headdress' dome is super messy as well. Lots of over-painting and splotches. Nepthu's skin tone is nice, though: it's a darker, tanner flesh tone that adds more diversity to the MOTUC ranks. I'm still disappointed by the messy paint apps, though, and little details like that are important on a plainer figure.

     Nepthu's strength might be his accessory compliment. It's not great, but is interesting as he comes not with weapons bit with two story items. First is the Sun Scarab from "The Temple of the Sun." It's the magical artifact that grants Nepthu his powers and is a golden ankh with a scarap on top. Thanks to the County Marzo hand, Nepthu can hold the piece in a few nifty ways. Holding this thing up really does help make him a bit more exciting.

Secondly, Nepthu comes with a crystal version of the Sorceress' falcon form, Zoar. In "The Temple of the Sun" Nepthu turns Zoar to glass or something, so she's immobile and clear. Zoar looks like a crystal sculpture and is nice and clear. There's a little yellowness to the plastic, but the figure isn't at all brittle so that's a plus. The feet are designed to be perched on one of the bird stands that came with Evil Lyn and Teela, so you might want to track an extra down. Lastly, Netphu's neckpiece is removable. It's a simple blue Egyptian styled collar with metallic blue highlights that does add something to the figure and can probably be used by customizers to create other cool stuff.

     Nepthu isn't a bad figure as other than the paint mistakes, there's nothing wrong with him. He's not a bad design, either, he's just plain. I think I'm going to give him an Eh and a 1/2. If you're a MOTUC completest, a Filmation diehard, or simply love the character, you've probably already ordered him. If not, he's definitely not a character that best exemplifies what MOTUC is capable of. October gave us a handful of exciting and unique characters: Mantenna, Lord Dactus, and the Horde Troopers. Has this amazing group killed some of the excitement we'd have for Nepthu if he'd been released on his own? I doubt it. He's just plain, although he does look better with the gold weapons from the End of Wars Weapons Pak.

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