Thursday, December 1, 2022

Action Figure Review: Bolt-Man from Masters of the Universe Origins by Mattel


   Today I'm kicking off another mini marathon of action figure reviews and this time I'm taking a look at some of the newest Masters of the Universe Origins figures out there. Let's start with one that's really out of left field: Bolt-Man. Wait... you don't remember Bolt-Man? Well, neither do I. Few will since he was part of the Sun-Man and the Rulers of the Sun action figure line in the 1980s. Masters of the Universe fans largely seem to love figures based on concept artwork, bizarre international variants, unproduced prototypes, and "knock off" lines designed to be compatible to MOTU, so it's pretty neat that Mattel has been officially releasing Olmec Toys' Sun-Man figures as part of Origins. So, who is Bolt-Man? He's listed as a "Molecular Regenerator" but his real name is Joe Red Eagle. He's a Native American/ Indigenous person from the Apache tribe and comes from Iowa, according to a booklet included with the vintage figures. Bolt-Man's power comes the turquoise bandanna, given to him by his mother, and allows him to manipulate molecules, regenerating and restoring them. He's fast and he has the power to change into other great Native Americans that are part of his heritage. Now, looking at Mattel's copy for the version of the character, Bolt-Man is a healer and a warrior who can manipulate molecules. Is he a transplant from Earth like Queen Marlena now that he's a part of MOTU? In the minicomic he identifies himself as Bolt-Man of Trefix, so I doubt the Earth origin of the vintage pack-in will still be used. As part of the "Rise of the Snakemen" minicomic Bolt-Man uses his powers to help heal He-Man of King Hiss' poison, so he has a unique powerset to add to the crew. This guy is a modern recreation of a pretty rare vintage figure and he comes with blue lightning bolt weapons; that makes him kind of unique, right?. He definitely looks like someone who would ally himself with He-Man in the Filmation series, so let's take a look at Bolt-Man after the break and see what he brings to the table...

The Facts:

Height: 5 3/4ths 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: Armor, lightning bolts, and minicomic. 

Non-Scalper Price: $18-$19 dollars

The Positives:

* Here's Bolt-Man! Like most of the Sun-Man characters (and most of the early MOTU characters), Bolt-Man uses a pretty standard base body. He shares his trunks, bracers, and boots with Sun-Man in the same way that so many MOTU characters share their parts with He-Man. His light blue/ turquoise color scheme is pretty nice and does largely stand out from most other MOTU characters. His armor is a separate piece that fits over his torso. 

* I like the headsculpt here quite a bit. Bolt-Man has a lot of character in his face and looks like a pretty easygoing guy. You definitely get a heroic vibe from him. He's sporting his turquoise headband and has his hair pulled back. Mattel did a pretty solid job of translating the look of the vintage figure into the MOTU Origins style.

* Bolt-Man is built the same as the rest of the MOTU Origins figures, meaning he has the style of the vintage toys but with more modern articulation. While their bulky frames make the articulation a bit clumsy, the figures do feel like an evolution of the vintage line. Imagine what you would get if you mixed a vintage MOTU (or Sun-Man) 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! 

* The lightning bolts seem like they're intended to be physical weapons, like swords, which Bolt-Man can use in melee combat or throw. The back of the Origins packaging shows him tossing them and carrying one like a sword. They're simple blue plastic and can be held a few different ways. 

* The two lightning bot weapons fit in the slots on the back of Bolt-Man's armor, giving him handy access to them. They sure would have looked cool molded in translucent yellow or something but I do respect the fact that Mattel kept the original vision of the Sun-Man line very faithful in MOTU.

* This comic is titled "Rise of the Snakemen!" but, as you can see, there is no title on the cover. This is actually the international version of the figure, so the comic has no words inside nor is there any unique text on the back. The art is cool and if you do read the story it is kind of neat. Snake Armor He-Man has been poisoned by King Hiss and Bolt-Man has to heal him. Together they fight off Kobra Khan and Rattlor.

   You know what? Bolt-Man is actually a pretty cool figure. In terms of 1980s toylines, Sun-Man and the Rulers of the Sun is pretty obscure, so kudos to Mattel for working with the creator of the line, Yla Eason, and not only using these characters to expand the world of Masters of the Universe but also for giving collectors a chance to own something quite similar to the vintage toy. Bolt-Man actually has a pretty cool look to him and I dig his powers. He's a Great and a 1/2 figure and just seems rather unique in the line. There's something about his simplistic design that feels like it could have been part of the second or third year of the vintage MOTU line.

This is the first figure of Bolt-Man I've reviewed. For more Masters of the Universe Origins reviews check out the following:
40th Anniversary 4-Pack Zodac

1 comment:

  1. Melaktha is a character I really wanted in MOTUC and in Super7's Filmation based lines. He's quite memorable and did show up in 6 episodes, which is more than some of the toy based figures did. I'd definitely be interested in seeing him reimagined in Masterverse/ New Eternia, but I still want a more Filmation inspired Melaktha, too. Maybe in Origins?

    Yeah, Masterverse is definitely a hodge podge at this point. So far most every figure feels "cohesive" (except for the Netflix CG based figures) and look just fine displayed together. The She-Ra, New Eternia, and Revelation figures all look fine displayed together. There are some differences in the aesthetics of some of the New Eternia figures, but I don't see it as something that jumps out and makes them feel like a different line.

    I like that Origins is getting the Sun-Man line but I don't think Masterverse needs everyone from that line. Just start with the very cool looking Sun-Man and Pig-head and see how it goes. They can always add them in later (which seems like what they're doing). Honestly, Masterverse might be helped by larger cases. Marvel Legends seems to have a sweet spot of 8 figure cases. Give us 6 to 7 figure waves with one or two double packs. Create more variety on the shelf.


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