Saturday, July 29, 2023

Action Figure Review: Snake Face from Masters of the Universe Origins by Mattel


   This review goes out to Mekaneckfrenchiefrog, who has been keeping the Snake Face hype going for a few weeks in the comments! I've had this guy for around a month now but I'm just finally getting around to reviewing him. But today is as good of a day for a review of one of the Snake Men as any, right? Snake Face is billed as the "Most Gruesome of the Snake Men Warriors" and I think that's an apt description. He has a real Medusa vibe to him, both with his appearance and his power to turn people to stone with his petrifying gaze. I have never owned a vintage Snake Face, not even as a kid, so there's always been a real allure about him for me. He's not a common figure, either, so it's not cheap or easy to score one. This Masters of the Universe Origins release is quite welcome, then, as I'm guessing he's missing from many collections. Mattel has really been pushing the Snake Men lately and it's rather exciting that we'll be completing the faction soon as well as adding Lady Slither and Fang-Or as Mattel Creations exclusives. At SDCC just last weekend we learned that the majority of future MOTU Origins releases are going to be Mattel Creations exclusives. Honestly, I don't think that's a bad idea as I've had good success with most Mattel Creations releases and we're definitely getting into more obscure figures as the line goes on. I'm really looking forward to Origins versions of characters like Gwildor, Blade, Saurod, and Rotar, but will everyone else? (Note: Those guys haven't been announced yet but Mattel did reiterate that they are dedicated to finishing the vintage lineup). Let's take a look at what we do have in hand, though, and check out Snake Face after the break...

The Facts:

Height: 6 1/8ths inches

Articulation: Swivel/hinge ankles, boot swivels, swivel/hinge knees, balljointed hips, waist swivel, hinged chest panels (x2), swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel/hinge elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, and a barbell jointed head.

Accessories: 2 portraits, shield, staff, and minicomic.

Non-Scalper Price: $22 dollars

The Positives:

* From the waist down Snake Face is a bit plain but his torso and headsculpt more than make up for that. He's very faithful to the vintage figure with few differences, the biggest being less green paint overspray on his shoulders and none on his neck and more detailed serpent bands on his forearms. His face and neck have a texture that's both scaly and stone-like, but it doesn't extend to the arms or legs. The vintage figure didn't have the texture there, either, though. I like his muted color scheme of gray and black with a bit of vivid green and purple. It definitely looks quite different from most of the other Snake Men, who tend to be bolder and brighter. With the way his armor is designed and his Medusa theme, I wonder if there was ever a point where Snake Face was designed as a female member of the Snake Men? I haven't found anything pointing to that, so it seems unlikely.

* Snake Face (real name Cyltho Ssstavvve) comes with two portraits to replicate his vintage action feature. On the original toy red snakes popped out of his eyes and from two holes at the base of his neck, along with his tongue ejecting out of his mouth when a lever on his back was raised. Rather than a true action feature, we get swappable heads (which MOTUC did, too). The first face is pretty creepy as you can see Snake Face's glowing red eyes, his serpentine features, and his fangs. 

* The back of both helmets look pretty neat with snakes sculpted onto the sides. They're even given some simple paint applications to bring out the details a bit more.

* The second head shows Snake Face using his powers with the little red snakes coming out of his eye sockets and slithering out from around the back of his head. He's also got a funky Gene Simmons-esque tongue. 

* The front panels on Snake Face's armor also flip down, allowing the two snakes inside to be exposed. They're simply hinged, so they can stay open or closed easily.

* The MOTU origins figures are built like the vintage toys but with more 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 or Masterverse figure. They're quite fun to play with and pretty durable, feeling more like a toy than a collectible. They're also modular and can be easily separated in many places to make your own lazy boy customs! 

* The vintage Snake Face shield is a fairly pricey accessory, often selling for $50 to $70 dollars. It's nice to have this one for those of us not wanting to pay that much for a single accessory, huh? It looks really nice with sculpted details on both sides and a very sturdy handle for holding it.

*  Like most of the other Snake Men, Snake Face also comes sporting his Snake Man staff, here in a deep forest green. Thes seem to be more ceremonial than designed as a legit weapon, but it is very accurate to the original with some very crisp detailing. It looks pretty nice and kind of matches Snake Face's boots.

* Both deluxe figures in this series (Dragon Blaster Skeletor and Snake Face) come with the same minicomic: "Viper's Vice." This is a crazy story with Snake Face taking over the Snake Men and calling himself King Snake Face. There's the Snake Goddess, Fang-Or, and He-Man being transformed by the Ultimate Power into an Ultimate He-Man.

The Negatives:

* My only real complaint with Snake Faces is that his shoulders look really weird. What's the deal? The vintage toy had weird shoulders, too, so I guess that's what Mattel did here. They really should have fixed it. That seems more like a flaw than a feature.

   Snake Face doesn't feel quite as deluxe as some other deluxe figures and he doesn't have anything that really adds something new to the vintage toy, unlike many of the other deluxe releases. He's still a really nice release, though, and anyone collecting Origins or wanting a Snake Face to put alongside their vintage figures should be happy. The Snake Men are nearly complete and are even getting some additional members and troops, so Origins has been good to that faction, huh? This is a Great figure that Mattel executed quite nicely.

For more of the gruesome Snake Face I've also reviewed the MOTUC Snake Face, the Vinyl SODA Snake Face, and the POP! Snake Face #95.

For more Masters of the Universe Origins reviews check out the following:


  1. MekaneckfrenchiefrogJuly 29, 2023 at 2:18 AM

    Yep, he looks absolutely fantastic, I think. It was quite a nice surprise to find him in an actual shop the day before yesterday (I buy 99% of my MOTU stuff online), and it felt really good going out of the shop with him in hand - ie : it really felt like being a kid again. My only minor qualm : the shield is a little small, I feel (and that handle looks oversized). And yes, there is definitely something feminine about the armor - especially the upper area, where it looks like he is wearing a bra, a bustier or a piece of lingerie. Medusa being a female character in greek mythology, that'd make perfect sense if he had originally been envisioned as a female member of the Snake Men faction, indeed.. However, an awesome figure, it really stands out. The second portrait looks really rad and extreme..

  2. MekaneckfrenchiefrogJuly 29, 2023 at 2:39 AM

    And I like to display him with Tung Lashor's purple staff btw, it's the same shade of purple as his trunks, and he looks even more colourful that way..

    1. That is a good idea. It would mesh perfectly.

  3. MekaneckfrenchiefrogJuly 29, 2023 at 5:24 AM

    One last thing : I really hope that this Ultimate He-Man (which can be seen in the minicomic) will be released as a figure in the Origins line.. First I thought it was Argentor (who was released as a custom figure by Super 7). He does look awesome, doesn't he ?

  4. MekaneckfrenchiefrogJuly 29, 2023 at 11:43 AM

    Sure, Origins going online exclusive isn't a big deal when you don't collect Origins. Personally I don't drink any milk, I'm allergic to it, so if milk came missing from grocery stores tomorrow, then it wouldn't be a big deal for me 😗.. Collecting figures shouldn't be a struggle or a hassle, and the easier to find and the more readily available, the better. Some people like to feel they are the proud owner of something rare and elusive. Personally I don't buy into that "collector" mentality. Great figures should be available at retail, so that more people can get them and enjoy them. Stuff that's for "the happy few" only simply sucks, and it's just sad that Mattel should play that little game.. but it's only my opinion of course. Hopefully (for you) they won't make the Masterverse figs into limited edition figures with a price tag of 250 USD each.

  5. MekaneckfrenchiefrogJuly 30, 2023 at 7:11 AM

    Ah, I guess I just don't want to pay stupid shipping rates (these days I mostly order from amazon with free shipping, le : "amazon prime") or have to pay even more stupid taxes ordering from the US. Besides, finding Snake Face in a real life, "physical" Paris shop a couple days ago felt so good, I think it really sucks if I (or anyone else) can't find any more Origins figures from a real life shop. So yeah, I'm not happy with Mattel's decision, and I don't really care about the Filmation sub-line to be honest. Never been a fan of that cartoon in the first place, save for the cartoon-only characters that can potentially be made into figures.. so it's all bad news to me. The "Masterverse going limited edition" thing was just a way to make you understand how I feel about Origins going online.

  6. MekaneckfrenchiefrogJuly 30, 2023 at 7:18 AM

    And I hate how Mattel handle things these days. I mean, on the Toy Habits website they've just published a "Hunting for Origins Moss Man" guide.. Why should people have to "hunt" for the recently released Moss Man, like it's a collector item from 40 years ago ? That makes no sense to me..

  7. MekaneckfrenchiefrogJuly 31, 2023 at 1:04 PM

    Just watched the Origins Spikor review by The Man Child, he mentions that Mattel Creations thing and even he says he's not sure if it's good news or bad news.. so it seems like I'm not alone in this.

  8. MekaneckfrenchiefrogJuly 31, 2023 at 1:35 PM

    Think about it - only ONE source for all the Origins figures sold in the world : they'll be sold out within a minute whenever a new figure hits the site.. It's pretty obvious to me. Man, it isn't "bad news", it's a catastrophe.

  9. Yeah, I looked through my books and Battle Ram Blog's archives, so no evidence at all of Snake Face ever being intended as a female character, but there's just something in the design that made me wonder.

  10. I'm just not sure that at this point in the line that I believe it's bad news for Mattel to be putting these out. Obviously, the simple answer is that Mattel is doing this becayse stores have largely stopped ordering these. Distribution got weird for a bit and most stores near me are filled with the same 2 or 3 Origins figures who have been sitting there for going on a year.

    And who's left in Origins? It's mostly all characters from later in the line that aren't overwhelmingly popular. My guess is that Mattel knows these will suffer at retail, or are nonstarters, and that they have a good idea about the size of the consumer base at this point for Origins, maybe even using Eternia and the sale of a few other items as a baseline. During the last few years of MOTU Classics most figures became quite easy to get ahold of on MattyCollector and that site was way more frustrating than Mattel Creations has been.

    Looking at Mattel Creations, the last few MOTU exclusives are still available on the site. I believe I've bought all of my Origins online for... well, since at least last year sometime. I can't remember the last time I saw a new figure in a store here.

    How is Mattel Creations for those of you in Europe? Is it easy to use? Reasonable shipping costs? That would be frustrating if it wasn't.

  11. MekaneckfrenchiefrogAugust 1, 2023 at 10:13 AM

    I believe there are still lots of characters that could be done in the Origins style.. think He-Ro, Eldor, Count Marzo, and all the obscure cartoon-only guys like Batros, Fang Man, etc.. even in the original line, we're still missing such cool guys as Modulok, Multi-Bot, Blast-Attak, Blade.. not mentioning vehicles like Spydor, Fright Fighter (I'd love to get an Origins Fright Fighter, it reminds me a little of Hornetroid in the Micronauts line..), Monstroid, Battle Bones..

    1. I agree that Origins still has a lot of legs and lots of figures I want. And yes, I'd love some of the harder to get vintage stuff like the Fright Flyer and Monstroid. Unfortunately, the further away from 1982-1984 Mattel gets, it seems the fanbase get smaller (outside of Ninjor and Scareglow). My guess is that mainstream retail wants recognizable characters again, thus the pivot to the Filmation redos at retail and the rest of the stuff on Mattel Creations. Hopefully unique characters like Batros, Melktha, and Marlena will be sprinkled into the Filmation Origins.

  12. MekaneckfrenchiefrogAugust 1, 2023 at 10:17 AM

    Well, in late 2022 there was talk of an european Mattel Creations website.. but it still has to see the light of day, I think, it's still nowhere to be seen..

  13. Regarding the US Mattel Creations site, shipping costs are like 10 Euros for one figure, and then there is that dreaded tax thing.. so yeah, it'd be a big "NO NO" as far as I'm concerned.. unless they finally open that rumoured european Mattel Creations website, of course.

    1. Hopefully they get things worked out for better international shipping options as my understanding has always been that MOTU is pretty big in Europe and in South America.


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