Since November is going to be groups of reviews (miniseries, if you will), the next stream of reviews will be covering Mattel's Masterverse line. Masterverse has gotten really interesting this year with figures from multiple different areas of Masters of the Universe including MOTU Revelation, Princess of Power, the concept art inspired New Eternia, and some figures celebrating the original vintage line. Today I'm kicking things off with a review of the He-Man Vs. Skeletor 40th Anniversary set, a 2-pack that went up for preorder on Mattel Creations in July during SDCC 2022 and which I received in the mail at the end of September. This two-pack features a classic He-Man and Skeletor in the Masterverse scale and style with diecast metal weapons. It's honestly a pretty impressive set and while there is a single carded 40th Anniversary He-Man out there, I opted for this one since diecast metal weapons for He-Man are pretty darn cool. There have been many 2-packs featuring He-Man and Skeletor, and while Skeletor said "Let this be our final battle!" in the 1987 movie, it absolutely was not; these two are never going to stop battling. It's pretty wild that we're living in a time when MOTU is pretty popular again, and I'd argue the popularity of MOTU right now is second only to its popularity back in it's heyday of 1983-1985. Ready to take a look at one of Mattel's many celebratory tributes to the Most Powerful Man in the Universe and the Evil Lord of Destruction? Then let's check out this He-Man Vs. Skeletor 40th Anniversary set after the break...
* The 40th Anniversary He-Man from this set is in the middle while the Masters of the Universe Classics He-Man is on the left and the original Masterverse He-Man from MOTU Revelations is on the right. The Masterverse figures are definitely taller than the MOTC figures, both taller and a bit more slender, while this 40th Anniversary He-Man is bulkier and a little taller than even the Revelation He-Man.
* While lots of companies develop cool packaging for special releases and convention exclusives, I do think Mattel's Masters of the Universe packaging designs are some of the best. They don't feel like something cool but that you just end up destroying, but like actual items you might conceivably want to put in your collection. This set comes in a really nice and sturdy box that looks like a wooden chest. It also comes shipped in an exterior "mailer" box, which seems to have kept everything extra nice and safe during transit.
* And an all metal Power Sword too? How cool is this! It's not actually sharp on the blades but it sure is pointy. And well sculpted. I love it. How cool to actually have He-Man with a metal sword?
* The back of He-Man's harness has a slit to hold the sword in place when he's too busy punching fools or using his axe to need it.
* Guess what? He-Man's shield is metal, too! Well, the front of it anyways. Hey, you kind of need a meta shield to block Skeletor's metal sword and staff, right? The back is plastic, so the trap and handle are softer and more pliable, but the front can legitimately protect you from small, focused attacks.
* Speaking of attackers, here comes Skeletor! Skeletor looks awesome and I definitely think he's my favorite of the two figures in the set. He shares the bulkier torso with He-Man but that blue color, complete with some shading to bring out his muscles, is just really cool looking. That armor is great, too. There are quite a few great paint applications for the rivets and bones on the front. The leather-like material even looks kind of distressed. It's kind of subtle, but the paintwork here is far more complex than you'd realize at a glance.
*But there's just something off about the rest of the face, especially the nose and mouth. They look too soft, kind of like the features on this He-Man mask. It's just not gelling for me.
He-Man/ Prince Adam is one of my favorite characters and I've reviewed so many toys based on him that he has his own review archive. Check out Fabulous Secret Powers for more He-Man toys!
I've reviewed so many toys based on Skeletor/ Keldor that I've given him his own review archive. Check out Snake Mountain for a plethora of Skeletor reviews!
For more Masterverse reviews, check out the following: