Monday, July 31, 2023

Action Figure Review: Vykron from Masterverse: Masters of the Universe New Eternia by Mattel


   Ready for another Masterverse review? Here it comes! Today I'm checking out Vykron, a very cool Mattel Creations exclusive that went on preorder earlier this year. In fact, Vykron still seems to be available, so you can still add this figure to your collection. Vykron is based on the original trio of figures shown off to Mattel management by Roger Sweet (with the design of Vykron himself by Mark Taylor) in 1980. The trio of figures, a military inspired tank man, a spaceman, and a barbarian warrior then called Vykon (before He-Man was settled on), are a key part of Masters of the Universe history and, if you're interested in delving to the full history behind them, the Battle Ram Blog has an incredible article about their history. While the trio inspired MOTU, they weren't released as action figures until the 30th Anniversary of the brand in 2012 when Vykron was released in Masters of the Universe Classics. For his MOTUC bio, Vykron was reimagined as a gladiator who fought 50 years before the birth of Prince Adam. Vykron took the weapons and armor from the opponents he defeated, giving him different looks. While the MOTUC version of Vykron looked very accurate to the original Sweet trio of figures, the Masterverse outfits have been redesigned to look more in line with the MOTU aesthetic. Vykron isn't very different but the military inspired "Tank Head" and the space man " Bullet Head" have really been redesigned with recognizable MOTU design elements. Let's take a look at this very fun new release after the break...

The Facts:

Height: 7 1/8ths inches

Articulation: Swivel/hinge ankles, boot swivels, double hinged knees, thigh swivels, balljointed hips, swivel waist, balljointed mid-torso, swivel/hinge shoulders, bicep swivels, double hinged elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, and a barbell jointed head.

Accessories: 4 interchangeable hands, backdrop display, 6 bracers, 4 greaves, tank helmet, tank armor, 2 shoulder pads, battering ram, harness, fur cloak, axe, space helmet head w/ armor, jetpack, 2 wings, and laser pistol.

Non-Scalper Price: $35 dollars

The Positives:

* Let's start with the packaging. It's incredible. Amazing artwork and a box you'll definitely want to keep. Also, there is a two-sided display backdrop that makes for a nice display and/or photography element. 

* Vykron is the least changed from the Sweet prototype/ Taylor artwork and the MOTUC version, but with a design that incredible why change things? Vykron is built on the same body as most other Masterverse basic guys with lots of extra parts to make his full outfit. That harness is fantastic with a neat take on the classic cross design. I'm also loving the bracers and the white, furry cape. I don't have it pulled up high enough here but it really seems designed to rest on Vykron's shoulders. 

* The headsculpt is excellent. He looks much more rugged than He-Man with some wild eyes and a nasty grin. His pointed helmet with longer armored panels now protects the sides of his head, too. This is a great headsculpt and really adds some character and a unique personality to the "Ultimate Eternian Champion."

* The greaves are separate pieces that fit over the classic wrapped boots and they nicely match the prototype Vykon (and yes, the prototype  was called Vykon, with no "r"). 

* He's also sporting the fuzzy cloak, something the MOTUC figure didn't have. It's a cool piece though it is removable if you don't like it. It's attached to the harness with Velcro straps. 

* For battling in the gladiatorial pits in the greasier parts of Eternia, Vykron comes with a really sweet looking battle axe. It has a bit of a spiral design looping up the shaft, like the prototype and MOTUC version, but the rest of the design is new and unique. There are some impressive sculpted nicks and dings in the blade, too. 

*  Vykron has the same articulation as most other Masterverse figures, so nothing really new here. It feels very modern with double jointed knees and elbows and most everything has a good range of motion to it. It's not as smooth as most of Hasbro's modern offerings but it rivals most everything else out there in this scale and price point. He's a solid, durable figure.

* Vykron comes with two swappable hands: A pair of fists for punching his opponents and a pair of standard grips for wielding his weapons. 

* Want Vykron to have some more armor and some more firepower? Then pop on his tank armor, shoulder pads, bracers, greaves, and helmet to turn Vykron into a walking weapon of war. I really like the look of this figure, particularly how Mattel transformed Tank Head's armor from something resembling a WW2 era tank into something more Eternian with elements of Man-At-Arms and an aesthetic reminiscent of the vintage vehicles. 

* The helmet doesn't just look like a regular tank turret now but instead has a more bird-like appearance. The helmet has an opening jaw and fits over Vykron's head. Open the jaw a bit and the back of the jaw helps keep the helmet securely in place. 

* The cannons on the sides kind of look like the Attak Trak's gun turrets, though a bit more fearsome with larger cannons. The cannons can each pivot, allowing Vykron to function like a mobile turret. 

* He's sporting some heavy armor including a Man-At-Arms inspired chest plate, some heavy bracers, and shoulder pads. The shoulder pads just slip into the sides of the chest armor and stay in place securely. I think this is a really nice upgrade of the prototype design and even an improvement on the MOTUC figure.

* Here's a look at the back of Vykron's Tank Head armor. There's a lot of little technical details here as well as two grooves that you can use for attaching the jetpack from the Bullet Head armor. 

* Since Vykron's already sporting some heavy weapons on the helmet of his Tank Head armor he comes with something else: A battering ram. That's what it appears to be to me, anyway. It's kind of neat with a creature shaped front and a hinged handle for slamming the device to break down a door or pummel a foe. 

* Vykron's third look is his sci-fi influenced costume, which was originally called Bullet Head. The original prototype/ mockup used the Kenner 12 inch Boba Fett's helmet, so it had a more bullet shaped head than this guy. For this set you've got a set of bracers that slip on over the forearms (just remove the hands) and a combined chest armor with belt and a separate helmeted head. The helmet is a separate head that you swap, though it is attached to the chest armor by a flexible hose. it reminds me of the armor from Castle Grayskull (the space suit) and the outfits of the Cosmic Enforcers. 

* The space helmet head is really cool. I love the design and shape that's very reminiscent of Zodac's helmet and the Space Suit from Castle Grayskull. It's really sleek and makes for a cool alternate head. The oxygen hose is pretty cool too, giving it a very unique feel from so many other MOTU designs.

* The jetpack is really sleek and has removable wings that are molded in a translucent white plastic. It clips on to both the space armor and the Tank Head armor, so it's a bit versatile. 

* The laser pistol is really cool, kind of a mixture of Zodac's gun and Man-E-Faces' weapon. I love the look of this!

  Is Vykron my favorite Masterverse figure of the year so far? I think he might be! I love how his costumes pay tribute to the vintage concept designs and mock-ups for the He-Man character while also having been reimagined to look more like the MOTU aesthetic we've come to know and love. Yeah, you're only getting one figure here, but the wealth of accessories you're getting in this set definitely makes this feel like a truly deluxe figure. Not every deluxe figure feels worthy of the moniker, but this one absolutely does. Everything fits well, looks great, and nicely improves on and varies from what we received in Masters of the Universe Classics. Vykron is an Epic figure indeed! Mattel really did cram this guy with lots of goodies and cool details.

1 comment:

  1. They really improved Vykron in this release. I need to look for some spare figures to add his extra armor to. I remember buying two additional Vykron sets back during a Matty Collector sale at some point to have the whole Sweet trio on display. Using a MAA with the Tank Head armor is a really good idea.


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