Thursday, December 2, 2021

Action Figure Review: The Evil Horde from Masters of the Universe Origins by Mattel


   Today's review is a big one: The entire Evil Horde! OK, well not the entire Evil Horde but the PowerCon exclusive four pack titled The Evil Horde from Masters of the Universe Origins. This set was one of the three MOTU Origins exclusives for PowerCon 2021 and it was available through directly through PowerCon or through BBTS and Mattel Creations. I picked mine up directly through Mattel Creations during their sale on September 13th (the same day I ordered the minicomic Tri-Klops) and it arrived in early November. This is a really cool set that features a Filmation inspired Hordak, two color variant Horde Troopers, and a "dark" variant of Grizzlor. We've already received a standard Hordak and "Buzz Saw" Hordak in Origins but the Horde Troopers and Grizzlor are new figures and we'll surely see them released in their standard looks in Origins in the near future. This set has one of the most impressive boxes I've seen on a MOTU item and it really surprised me how large it was. On one hand, it's really, really cool and helps to somewhat justify the elevated price of these exclusives. On the other, if a standard, no frills window box would have made these cheaper it might have been worth it. Still, the packaging is cool and something you'll want to have around. This set really appealed to my 8 year old daughter, Adora, so she jumped in to help with pictures and some commentary for this review as well. Let's check out The Evil Horde after the break...

The Facts: Crimson Horde Trooper

Height: 6 inches
Articulation: Swivel/hinge ankles, boot swivels, swivel/hinge knees, balljointed hips, waist swivel, hinged chest panels, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel/hinge elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, and a balljointed head.

Accessories: Crossbow and staff.  
The Facts: Hordak

Height: 6 inches
Articulation: Swivel/hinge ankles, boot swivels, swivel/hinge knees, balljointed hips, waist swivel, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel/hinge elbows, swivel/hinge left wrist, and a double balljointed head.

Accessories: Armor, two portraits, crossbow, armband, bat shield, arm cannon, and 2 interchangeable left hands

The Facts: Grizzlor

Height: 6 inches
Articulation: Swivel/hinge ankles, boot swivels, swivel/hinge knees, balljointed hips, swivel waist, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel/hinge elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, and a double balljointed head.

Accessories: Harness, crossbow, armband, 2 interchangeable left hands, and an ax.

The Facts: Shadow Horde Trooper

Height: 6 inches
Articulation: Swivel/hinge ankles, boot swivels, swivel/hinge knees, balljointed hips, waist swivel, hinged chest panels, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel/hinge elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, and a balljointed head.

Accessories: Crossbow and staff.  

Non-Scalper Price: $150 dollars
The Packaging:

* I was shocked when I received my package from Mattel Creations as it was massive. Inside is The Evil Horde set in a brown mailer box with some cool art. Open that up and you have a massive round box with gorgeous art. The top has the Horde logo while one side has an incredible depiction of the vintage Fright Zone playset.

* Flip it around and you get another depiction of a classic MOTU playset: The Slime Pit! I really, really hope we get the Slime Pit in Origins. I'm shocked we never got it in Classics since it would have been such an easy set to reproduce. There are some cool little creatures in the scenes, so take some time and look around at yours. 

* The way the packaging works is that one half of the packaging rotates into the other, revealing the four figures in a vacuformed tray with a plastic window. It's really impressive and dramatic for sure. Usually I'm not too excited about packaging but the MOTU stuff is just gold. 

* Remove the plastic tray and you can see a cool image of Hordak's throne deep within the Fright Zone. There's even Mantisaur chilling out next to it!

* Remove the cardboard insert of Hordak's throne and you can see even more of the Fright Zone including toyetic/ prototype versions of Dylamug and Octavia as well as a giant lizard and poor Buzz-Off trapped in a cage.
The Positives:

* Let's jump in and start looking at the figures themselves, beginning with the Crimson Horde Trooper. The basic Horde Trooper hasn't been released in Origins yet so this guy is kind of a pre-release. The figure looks very accurate to the vintage toy with a slightly bulkier frame. Honestly, I think he's kind of an improvement. The armor is detailed and the red paint job looks fantastic, especially with the black, yellow, and silver highlights. 

* The visors on the Horde Troopers are really cool and the head is really well done here. It has a great range of motion, too. 



* The Shadow Horde Trooper is the same figure as the Crimson Horde Trooper but in black. He's still got some red and yellow highlights, too, but no silver. The Shadow Horde Trooper kind of reminds me of the Snake Troopers from the 2019 PowerCon set.


 * And here's a shot of the Horde Trooper's dome. He looks pretty slick with that yellow visor on a black helmet, doesn't he?


* The Horde Trooper base body is a new sculpt and even the back looks pretty solid and resembles the vintage figure well. There's more detail here than on your average MOTU Origins figure for sure.

 * The Horde Trooprs also retain their vintage action feature: Push the center of the Horde Logos on their torsos and the armor splits apart to reveal their robotic inner workings. There's no spring or anything; It's a simple friction based feature but it works well and it's pretty fun to mess around with. I really wasn't expecting these guys to have the action feature, meaning the Horde Trooper is probably going to be a deluxe figure in the future.

Adora Says: "It's really neat how you can use one of the good guys' weapons to hit the Horde symbol to make battle damage."

* Both Horde Troopers come with the classic Horde crossbow. While I've never been a huge fan of these I'll give them a pass since they do match the vintage toys which is the point of this line. The silver crossbow is for the Crimson Horde Trooper while the red crossbow is for the Shadow Horde Trooper.


* The Horde Troopers also come armed with their detailed staffs. The black staff is for the Crimson Horde Trooper while the silver staff is for the Shadow Horde Trooper.


* Next, let's take a look at Grizzlor. He's always been one of my favorite vintage figures and I'm super excited to see him in Origins. He's an incredible looking figure that looks as good (or better) than the vintage toy. Grizzlor has been offered up here in the "dark" paintjob which was an uncommon variant of the vintage toy. Darker fur on his body and a darker face. His armor is a separate piece and works just like the vintage toy's, sporting that Evil Horde pride. I'm really hoping that Mattel makes the rest of the Horde, although Mantenna and Leech would have to have unique bodies so they'll probably try to spread them out more or make them deluxe releases.


* The headsculpt is perfect! Creepy red eyes, wild hair, and some menacing fangs hanging down. Mattel did a really great job here.

Adora says: "I like how Grizzlor's eyes are painted. There's red and yellow in his eyes.



* Yes, Grizzlor is actually furry. He feels terrific and is fun to style. Well, not style per say, but you can make him look a bit sleeker or a bit more wild. He's not going to be using a Princess of Power comb or anything. That's just not his bag.


Adora Says: "I like how much fur Grizzlor has! It's so furry!"


 * Grizzlor is sporting a Horde arm band as well. it's a removable piece that you can slide off and on.


* Grizzlor could very likely end up being a deluxe figure too, as he comes with an alternate left hand, something the other deluxe figures have had as well. Give Grizzlor the option of a standard grip for holding weapons or a open hand for being on the attack.


* Grizzlor also comes with a crossbow, all done up in green like his vintage counterpart. These things work just like the vintage toys as well. Just pull the crossbow front back, lock it on the tap, and press down. It pops forward like.... a centimeter, but it can knock down other figures.


* Grizzlor also comes with the same double bladed ax as the Origins Ram Man, probably paying tribute to the NECA Grizzlor Staction that came loaded with weapons. 

Adora says: "I like the details on the modern part; the little lines on the plastic that make it look more like metal."

* Hordak is the fourth and final figure in the set. We've seen two MOTU Origins Hordaks previously, both based on the vintage toys, but this one is clearly based on the Filmation cartoon series. The white face, weapon arm, and blue skin are definitely staples of the Filmation look. His right arm is even designed to look more robotic since the Filmation Hordak seemed to rely more on technology than the vintage toyline Hordak who was more of a sorcerer. I typically prefer Hordak as a powerful magic user though the colors here really pop. That blue looks fantastic.

 * Hordak has two portraits, both of which are reused from the "Buzz Saw" Hordak deluxe figure. First we'll take a look at the angry Hordak face. I really think it's pretty impressive how close to the Filmation look of the character Mattel got just by changing up the paint apps. The red, white, and blue (American Hordak?) colors definitely evoke the look of the Filmation Hordak. Can't you hear his voice just berating his staff?

 * The smiling Hordak definitely works better here than it did in the "Buzz Saw" Hordak set. He just looks goofy, which fits in with the Filmation vibe perfectly. Isn't this fitting as a sculpt from the episode Flowers for Hordak? What do you think the chances are that Mattel ever releases Perfuma in Origins? I want her.

Adora says " I like the bumps and texture on the top of his head. It's probably just the part where he was put together. The Horde has amazing technology, so he's augmented."


* Hordak also has one of the Horde armbands. It's also removable, just like the other versions.

Adora Says: " I like the Horde logo. It kind of looks like Imp a bit since that's kind of his pet."

* Adora says: "I like how the cape looks like a separate piece. It just looks cool."


The cape is a bit more pliable, too. It's not really poseable or anything but it does look decent. Better than the awful vintage cape. 


* I really like the cannon arm included here. It's removable (maybe it's not intended to be) and looks like it could be suitable as both a melee weapon or the traditional cannon he used so often in the Filmation series.

 * Hordak comes with the same two interchangeable left hands,"Buzz Saw" had. If you want a figure closer to the vintage figure then you can use the open palmed left hand. If you want Hordak to be able to wield some extra weapons  then use the grip. It's not a big thing but it's a welcome feature that makes the figure just a bit more versatile.


* Here's the crossbow again, this time in white for Hordak. The Horde must have got a special on these for buying in bulk.

 * Mattel also threw in the bat shield. In some art this appears to be an actual creature but I'm convinced on the toy it's supposed to be an oddly placed shield of sorts. It works nice and since it's kind of rubbery there is no risk of it cracking like the vintage shield. That thing always was really brittle if I remember right. It really would have been cool to have done this in light blue, kind of as a tribute to Imp.


* The MOTU Origins figures are built like the vintage toys but with modern articulation. While their bulky frames make the articulation a bit clumsy, they do feel like an evolution of the vintage line. Imagine what you would get if you mixed a vintage figure with a MOTUC figure. They're quite fun to play with.



* They're also modular and can be easily separated to make your own lazy boy customs!


* I talked a lot about the package earlier but I will say that it really is very fun for taking pictures with. Adora took this shot here and it looks fantastic. The box here really is nice and very cool for displays.

The Negatives:


* The blue on Hordak's forehead fin is kind of messy on this portrait. It's a simple QC error but worth pointing out.


* There are also some weird paint errors on my Crimson Horde Trooper. There's silver paint on his side and some weird over spray of red on the black tubes of his left bicep.

   When I'm reviewing some of these deluxe PowerCon sets it's always a bit of a challenge because you're reviewing something produced in a much smaller quantity than a standard item, thus meaning you're dealing with an inflated price. Considering the standard price of this set $150 (not to mention shipping if you had to pay those costs, too). Do the math and you're paying $37.50 a figure. Most of the figures in this do feel like the deluxe Origins figures, which retail for $20, so you're paying about $17.50 over retail price, though you do get some seriously cool packaging.

This shot courtesy of Adora!

Overall, I'm giving the set a Great rating. Yeah, it's pricey, but these really are four of the best MOTU Origins figures released. The Horde Troopers are wicked cool and both Hordak and Grizzlor are excellent variant. There is a lot of new tooling here and lots of accessories. It doesn't feel bare bones at all which definitely helps to make it feel like a more worthy purchase. MOTU Origins has really come into its own this year and I'm excited to see where it goes next year. A steady stream of vintage favorites, solid variants, and new concepts should really make for a great line. 

  If you're a Grizzlor groupie then check out the vintage Grizzlor, the MOTUC Grizzlor and the alternate 200X Grizzlor head from the Heads of Eternia pack, the NECA Staction Grizzlor, the ReAction Grizzlor,  Grizzlor (Dark Variant), and Grizzlor (Toy Variant), the Grizzlor minifigure from the M.U.S.C.L.E. Trash Can Wave 4 (Slime), the Keshi Surprise! Grizzlor (red) and Grizzlor (blue), the POP! vinyl Grizzlor #40 and Grizzlor #40 (Flocked), and the Club Grayskull Grizzlor.
   If you're a fan of Hordak then check out my reviews of the vintage Buzz-Saw Hordak, the Masters of the Universe Classics Hordak"Buzz Saw" Hordak, and the Spirit of Hordak, NECA's Hordak staction and Hordak Mini Bust, the MOTU Origins Hordak and "Buzz Saw" Hordak, the ReAction Hordak and Hordak (Grey),the Tweeterhead exclusive Masters of the Universe Legends Hordak maquette, the Super7 neo-vintage Hordak, the Sonic kids meal Hordak, and the M.U.S.C.L.E. slime Hordak.
   If you're looking for Horde Troopers I've checked out the various Horde Trooper heads packaged with General Sundar and the MOTUC Horde Troopers as well as the Slime Green Horde Trooper from M.U.S.C.L.E and the POP! Horde Trooper #87.
 For more Masters of the Universe Origins reviews check out the following:


  1. I am hardcore. It's her middle name and what she uses when she helps out with some reviews.

  2. That is an awesome set. Love the Horde trooper helmets. Have never seen these guys before.

    1. The standard gray Horde Trooper will surely be released next year as either a basic or deluxe figure so they'll be more easily available than these guys.


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