Wednesday, March 16, 2022

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

   I've only watched two episodes of the second season of Netflix's He-Man and the Masters of the Universe so far which has introduced me to the new take on Stratos for this incarnation of MOTU. I will absolutely admit that Stratos has never been one of my favorites. I never had the vintage Stratos as a kid and I've always found the figure rather boring. My favorite version of the character is probably the 200x Stratos from Mike Young Productions as he had a cooler jetpack and the cool Sean Conneryesque voice.  Otherwise, despite him being one of the original eight I'm just not a big Stratos fan. Maybe that's why I'm more accepting of a pretty radical new take on Stratos. I think when most folks saw this new take on Stratos their first thought was "he looks like the Falcon." I agree. Black guy, tactical looking flight suit with goggles, wings; definitely a very Falcon/ Sam Wilson/ Captain America vibe here. Maybe that's why it was decided to change up Stratos' traditional red and blue color scheme to blue/gray and yellow? Otherwise, he'd look even more like Falcon/ Captain America. Stratos also has more of a personality here, too. He has loads of personality. Voiced by Zeno Robinson, King Stratos is definitely cocky and full of himself. Seriously, between Stratos, Ash Williams, and Gilderoy Lockhart, you'd have a tough time deciding who has the biggest ego. Stratos, like Ash, can definitely backup most of his bragging, though, which makes him quite comical while also being a solid new ally for the Masters of the Universe/ Heroic Warriors. I received the 8.5 inch figure of Stratos over the weekend so let's take a look at one of the newest Masters of the Universe toys out there....

The Facts:

Height: 8 3/8ths inches

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

Accessories: 2 wings

Non-Scalper Price: $13 dollars

The Positives:

* This version of Stratos does not look like the bird man that the vintage toy did. the original Stratos even had some unusual, non-human features, but this version of Stratos seems like a regular human in an elaborate costume. His outfit is made up of metal looking parts, like the boots, gauntlets, and shoulder pads, with a blue outfit that has a feather like design. There are some feathers at the ends of the wrist bracers but it's tough to tell if they're actually Stratos' feathers or just part of his costume. The paintwork is clean here and he does have a rather cool design. It's a different design from the classic depictions of the character, but I like it.

* Stratos' portrait matches the look of the character model from the animation nicely. He's wearing goggles that go all the way around his head and they're given a white paint app on the lenses to represent the way his goggles glow in the show. 

* I love the design on the loincloth of his uniform. The loincloth is made from a softer piece of rubber and the design is printed on. It's an interesting pattern. Does it match anything else in the design of the Avionians and the city of Avion from the show?

* the wings are cool, too. They're simple, but cool. They plug into the bracers and can rotate freely. They're translucent, giving them a neat see-through effect that makes them look like they're made of energy. 

*  The 8.5 inch figures are quite different than the 5.5 inch figures with a better range of motion in the arms thanks to the swivel/hinge elbows and shoulders. Stratos doesn't have the Power Attack feature of the smaller figures but instead has a standard swivel waist. He does feel sturdy and durable and is one of the better figures in the 8.5 inch range. 

The Negatives:

* The back of the figure is just solid with no paint work. Bland and boring. There are definitely some shortcuts taken in this line for sure.
   How's Stratos? Well, he doesn't exactly look like the classic Stratos at all so I imagine some folks will definitely ignore him. That's fair. About two thirds of the Netflix He-Man characters are recognizable as their classic counterparts while the other third aren't (Teela, Ram Ma'am, and Tri-Klops come to mind thus far). Stratos does resemble the character in the show, though, which is the important thing here. He's a Good figure that's really only hampered by the budget feel of this line and the lack of features on these 8 1/2 inch figures. Hopefully a 5.5 inch figure will come out soon and have a bit more play value to it. That's the one I'm looking forward to.

  If you're a Stratos fan then check out my review of MOTUC minicomic inspired Stratos, Trap Jaw, and Prince Adam, the Origins Stratos and Stratos (Minicomic), the M.U.S.C.L.E. green Stratos from series #2, the minifigure Stratos from the 200x Heroes Vs. Villains Gift Pack #1, the Mega Construx Stratos and the Mega Construx Heroes Stratos, the ReAction Stratos (Blue Wings), the deluxe Play Set from Colorforms, the Monogram International Stratos bag clip, the Club Grayskull Stratos, and Super7's Neo-vintage Stratos.


  1. He just looks so bland and generic. Like a bootleg Falcon yeah. This isn't the first time Stratos was intended to be black though. The 200X version was considered to be race-changed but was decided that the "overall design did not go well with the racial change". Stratos has generally had quite a simian-look and that could have resulted in some 'unfortunate implications so they chose to make Zodac black instead (slightly tweaking his name to Zodak and then later Classics would make Zodac and Zodak separate characters). But yeah is fine if people like this design. A lot of the CGI designs don't do much for me but at least I feel like they put effort into some of them. Not this one though.

    You might be happy you can get a 'premium' CGI Skeletor in Masterverse soon after the reveal last night. For me it confirmed to me that I won't be a Masterverse completist. I might have been tempted if it used the general design but made it more realistic to fit in with the other Masterverse figures but it doesn't mesh with them at all. It's just the same CGI design but a far higher quality figure than it's own toyline has produced. Which should please fans of that show who find the toys a bit too simplistic and 'cheap.

    Hordak and Catra look fine. Classic designs, Masterverse bodies. I know they're likely part of the She-Ra subline of Masterverse but I can pretend they're from the Revelation follow up that may never happen, to justify putting them with my Rev figures. :P Jitsu looks a lil bleh but can go with Fisto. I guess that Beast Man is New Eternia and prob closest we'll get to Rev episode 1 Beast Man.

    I got my invoice last night for my pre-orders of Fisto, Andra, Tri-Klops and Trap Jaw last night so they're finally coming to me. :) All cheaper than their recommend retail prices. Especially Trap Jaw and Tri-Klops which are only £21.95 (RRP being £34.99) compared to Fisto and Andra at £20.95 (RRP £24.99). :O

    1. This version of Stratos definitely doesn't feel like it was given much thought as to the original design. I was aware of the original intention to make Stratos black in the 200x line and, I agree, I think they were wise to not go with it do to the implications. I like the character in the show but it's odd that they didn't try to keep anything like the red and blue colors, the jetpack, etc.

      My Trap Jaw is supposed to arrive in the mail today!

    2. Awesome. My package arrives tomorrow. In regards to Trap Jaw, take a look at the character model sheet for how Trap Jaw's face is supposed to be before hating on the sculpt of the toy head too much. Not sure why Mattel have some of the lower part green when it should all be 'gore' And I think they gave him a lil too many upper teeth at the sides but overall going by photos of people's figures they got in-hand, the sculpt ain't as bad as I initially thought. I'll have a proper look when I get mine tomorrow and see if I decide to tweak anything on it (like maybe slice away some of the teeth if I can do it cleanly. The rest of the figure looks fantastic. :)

    3. Did you see the new Masterverse heroes today? They all seem like they'll be pretty cool figures. I'm loving the bearded He-Man and it's nice with He-Ro and Sun-Man to be getting some figures of characters we don't see too often or haven't seen before. And that She-Ra? I'm pretty happy with her.

    4. Oh yeah. I'm not really fond of New Eternia so far but Bad Ass Battle Armour Beardy He-Man? Looks kinda neat. I like the extra intricately painted shield too. Revelation He-Ro (it's Revelation. It matches up almost exactly with the character model sheet) looks good. Sun-Man in Masterverse style clicks with me the vintage/Origins version didn't quite (mostly this one has proper wings, the old-style 'wings' thing just looked odd to me). She-Ra looks great (I don't recognise the alternate cloak thing for her though, what is that? It feels like I should have seen it before but not sure). The head isn't perfect but I like it and I do prefer it over the Classics one too (which also had something about the shape that just bugged me and didn't match the toon head close enough). Again like the Masterverse villains reveal the only one I really don't care for is the CGI figure, this time He-Man. And again I say it looks good for those who like the show and it's designs and want figures of it that are more 'premium' than the show's main toyline aimed at kids but not for me. And the proportions and style look extra weird to me when stood next to all the more realistically proportioned Masterverse figures. But I know you like the CGI one so I expect you prob get those figures and if you do I hope you enjoy them. :)

      Still bit gutted that the 'leaked' image of Bat-Lyn, Roboto, Stratos and Frosta is still unconfirmed. Maybe in the next reveals whenever they may be? Hm.

    5. Yeah, the CGI figures are definitely they're own thing. I'm glad they're coming for sure but they don't blend together like everything else does.

      To me, the alternate cape for She-Ra looks like the Netflix She-Ra's cape and gold shoulder armor.

      I loved the "concept" figures in MOTUC like Demo-Man, Vikor, Vykron, etc, and the New Eternia stuff feels like more of that. Bearded He-Man does look pretty cool.

      I'm really hoping that we'll see those rumored figures announced. There's no one in that set that seems too obscure. Maybe they were just revealed a bit earlier than Mattel had planned?


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