Saturday, November 22, 2014

Action Figure Review: Spirit of Hordak from Masters of the Universe Classics by Mattel


    Congratulation! You have been fortunate to stumble across a review of the Spirit of Hordak!!!

     If you haven't read my thoughts on the release of this figure and the way Mattel sold him, feel free to click here and read them. Today I'm simply going to focus on the figure of Hordak in his spirit form in and of itself.  In the minicomic The Secret Origin of Skeletor (included with King He-Man ) Hordak appears to a banished Keldor as a red, translucent spirit and instructs the young Gar in the ways of dark magic.  It was actually a very cool scene and serves as the basis for this figure that randomly appears on from time to time.  Simply a recast of the original Hordak figure from Masters of the Universe Classics in translucent red plastic, the Spirit of Hordak has taken on a variety of names such as "Fruit Punch" Hordak, "Fan Fury" Hordak, and Sunburn Beach Hordak. Still, it's just a translucent red Hordak- is it worth having him on your shelf? Click through after the break....

     Like most other MOTUC figures, the Spirit of Hordak is a little over 7 inches tall.  Being one of the earliest figures in the line, many of the Hordak mold's unique parts have been used multiple times on other figures.  While he will certainly stand out in your display, Hordak will fit in nicely with the rest of your MOTUC figures (and perhaps even your vintage figures if you'd like- who is to say how big a spirit or hologram can be?).

      Hordak's articulation is pretty much the same as every other standard MOTUC figure. He features: Hinged angles with lateral rockers, boot swivels, hinged knees, swivel thighs, ball jointed hips, a swivel waist, a hinged abdomen, ball jointed shoulders, bicep swivels, hinged elbows, swivel wrists, and a true ball jointed head.  Everything works great and is nice and solid. While translucent plastic is often the bane of MOTUC collectors (remember Roboto and the Goddess?) Hordak feels nice and solid, yet he's made from a softer plastic. This simply means he isn't brittle, which should quell fears of him exploding. 

      I really liked the sculpt of the original Hordak figure, and if you did too then you shouldn't have anything to complain about.  This is 100% the exact same sculpt. Like last time, Hordak has a wonderfully creepy head sculpt with various barbs and a crest on his head.  He also has the unique Horde boots with the Horde emblem on them, the Horde armor piece, and the longer loin cloth.  His cape and hooded/collar are one separate piece than can be removed, if you desire. 
 Here's where we get to the really unique part of this figure. While he only features a few minor paint applications (Hordak's armband, the Horde logo on his armor, and his eyes are all given a dark red paint application) the entirety of the figure is molded in a translucent red plastic.  It gives the figure a very unique look that will certainly stand out on your shelf. While some translucent figures (The Goddess and the Halo 4 Cortana) paint over the translucent plastic to give it a more ethereal look, Mattel chose to let the clear plastic stand out. For this type of figure, I think that was a wise move. It nicely matches the source material in the minicomic and makes Hordak seem like more of an astral projection or hologram than a ghost (because he isn't dead, but is simply projecting himself from Despondos). Some people go crazy over translucent figures, and I think those who do will be eager to add this guy to their ranks.

     The Spirit of Hordak actually comes with fewer accessories than the original figure did, as he is missing his bat companion and his staff.  The figure does come with his crossbow, a horde arm band, and the removable armor and cape pieces I mentioned earlier.  Probably the biggest reason that some people are snagging Hordak is because he comes with a white version of his trademark crossbow.  This is an accessory that Mattel has put out at various conventions for quite a few months now, but kept secret the identity of the figure with whom it would come (many folks speculated a Filmation Hordak).  While the vintage Hordak figure came with a white crossbow, the MOTUC Hordak came with a black crossbow that was more reminiscent of the 2005 Hordak staction by NECA.  The first MOTUC accessory pack (the Ultimate Battleground set) came with a repainted Hordak crossbow, but it was silver, not white. So the crossbow that comes with the Spirit of Hordak is simply white with red eyes. It's a cool piece, especially for fans who want a truly vintage Hordak.  The other pieces add to Hordak's look more than anything, although I'm sure some fans will find cool uses for them in customs.  The arm band is interestingly cast in solid dark red, so it isn't translucent.  Hordak's staff in all red or some other cool little extra would have been welcome to make this feel a little bit more substantial.

     The Spirit of Hordak was a surprise and not a figure anyone was clamoring for. Actually, let me scratch that- I'm sure someone wanted a Hordak, especially considering there are fans proclaiming the line will forever be a failure if we don't see figures of the yellow tug of war guy, Chef Allen, and Smash Blade He-Man. Still, the Spirit of Hordak is a cool figure and a neat concept. He's novel- not overly exciting, but unique. I'll give him a solid Good.  The QC and articulation is excellent, the translucency is fun, but the accessories are a bit lacking. There's nothing new here, but it's solid as far as repaints go.

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