Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Action Figure Review: He-Man from He-Man and the Masters of the Universe by Mattel


   Mattel's He-Man and the Masters of the Universe line, based on the Netflix animated series of the same name, is a completely different animal from Mattel's other MOTU lines out on store shelves right now. Masterverse, Masters of the Universe Origins, and even the Mega Construx line, are obviously strongly marketed towards collectors. He-Man and the Masters of the Universe is clearly aimed at strictly at kids, though, and it feels like many of the other lower-budget that are out on shelves chasing kids dollars. With two scales (5.5 inch and 8.5 inch), open packaged deluxe items, figures on motorcycles, and large, colorful, chunky figures with simple articulation, this line definitely seems designed to attract the attention of the kiddos. The 8.5 inch line is an example of what is often  referred to dismissively by collectors as "shampoo bottle" figure: Hollow plastic figures designed to be oversized while still sold at a "budget" price. I've already reviewed the Battle Armor He-Man 8.5 inch figure so today I'm checking out the basic 8.5 inch He-Man. Let's take a look at this guy and see if he's worth picking up after the break...

The Facts:

Height: 8 1/2 inches

Articulation: Swivel/hinge hips, swivel waist, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel/hinge elbows, swivel wrists, and a balljointed head.

Accessories: Sword of Grayskull.

Non-Scalper Price: $13 dollars

The Positives:

*When Adam transforms into He-Man in this series he bulks up and looks completely different, kind of like the 200x series or Revelation. He's very bulky with exaggerated proportions and more armor and clothing that He-Man is generally known for wearing. I really do like the logo on his chest as it's both a stylized "H" and which looks like the Power Sword in this series. The red chest symbol and silver harness are traditional He-Man colors but the black and silver everywhere else is very unique to this show. This is a very stylized figure which matches the stylized character designs of the show OK. It's not perfect but it's recognizable. I like it much better in the show than on the toys but this is still a pretty decent looking toy. I'm curious about how kids will respond to it.

*  I'm not sure why Mattel seems to so often want to give He-Man a rather friendly face on most toys these days (it works best for Filmation inspired figures) but it works. He-Man's just a naturally good natured, heroic character. This take on He-Man has stylized superhero/ anime elements like the "messy" hair and lantern jaw; he kind of reminds me of the 200x He-Man, which I've been a longtime fan of. 

* I really do like the gauntlets on this version of He-Man. They're bulky, look like the could provide some protection, and have the He-Man "H" logo that also looks like the Sword of Grayskull/ Power Sword. The design on his belt is cool, too. This is the stylized Grayskull face that pops up during the transformation and when the power is shared with the other heroes.

*  He-Man is articulated similarly to the smaller 5.5 inch figures though the range of motion in the arms is much better with swivel/hinge elbows and shoulders. He doesn't have the Power Attack feature and instead has a standard swivel waist. He's not the most solid feeling toy (he feels hollow in the torso) but he does feel sturdy and durable.

* He-Man comes with the Sword of Grayskull, which is what the Power Sword is called in the new show most of the time. It's a good sculpt and while it doesn't have any paint apps it does have a lot of sculpted detail. I love the look of the oversized Power Swords like the 200x version and this one. This thing is crazy looking. I'd love to see a He-Man in the future where the sword can slide open like in the show.

* Like on the smaller figures you can stow the Sword of Grayskull on He-Man's back by plugging the sword into the slot on his harness. Now his hands are free for punching!
The Negatives:

* Smaller heads are definitely common in some stylized designs but He-Man's head definitely looks too small here. I'm not seeing this as a stylized look but as an inaccurately proportioned head. The head looks designed for a 6 inch figure.

* The back of the figure is unpainted which is pretty lame. That's always such a cheap, cheap move and it drives me crazy.
   This line, especially the 8.5 inch figures, are definitely designed for kids. These are something for kids to see on the shelf that seem to provide a lot of bang for the buck ($13 bucks for an oversized 8.5 inch figure) and for gift buyers to snap up because of the presentation of the figure in a window box. They're not terrible toys and they feel sturdy, but they're very average Masters of the Universe items. I'm giving He-Man a Good, which is an average rating for me. Nothing too exciting, but nothing truly flawed or broken. Stuff like this makes me appreciate the excellent of Masterverse, MOTUC, and other awesome MOTU lines, though.

 I've reviewed so many action figures of Prince Adam/ He-Man that he has his own review archive. Check out Fabulous Secret Powers for more He-Man and Prince Adam stuff!

For more reviews from He-Man and the Masters of the Universe check out the following:
5.5 inch
8.5 inch 

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