Saturday, October 23, 2021

Action Figure Review: He-Man and Ground Ripper from He-Man and the Masters of the Universe by Mattel


   Guess what? It's time to dive into a completely new Masters of the Universe line again with a review of the first figure I found from Mattel's new He-Man and the Masters of the Universe line based on the new kid-targeted Netflix series. While Masters of the Universe is hot, hot, hot right now, most of what we've been getting is based heavily on what's come before: Origins is an upgrade of the vintage line, Revelation is a continuation of the Filmation series with elements of the Masters of the Universe Classics continuity added in, and most product is based on either the vintage toys or the Filmation comic series. The Netflix He-Man and the Masters of the Universe is a completely new take on the MOTU story and since there's currently so much based on the classic stuff right now I'm completely OK with that. I've only watched the first four episodes so far and I have to say that I'm really enjoying the show. It's very different but it's good and it still feels like MOTU to me. Imagine MOTU in the style of a Dreamworks or Pixar film with a team focused vibe. I'll probably talk more about the show in each review but for now let's talk about the toys. These are 100% kid focused with minimal articulation, a "Power Attack" feature that functions like a modern upgrade to the spring swiveling waists of the vintage line, and a lower price point. The first thing from this line I stumbled upon was He-Man and Ground Ripper, which is He-Man on a giant green motorcycle. Does that gives you a better idea of what this line is about and who it's geared towards? The Ground Ripper is the name Mattel is currently using for the vintage Road Ripper (they're also using the name on the vintage inspired Eternia Minis version of the Road Ripper), by the way. Must be a trademark issue or something. Let's dive in and take a look at a new Masters of the Universe line after the break...

The Facts:
Height: 5 3/8ths inches

Articulation: Balljointed hips, "Power Attack" balljointed mid-torso, swivel shoulders, swivel wrists, and a balljointed head.

Accessories: Power Sword and Ground Ripper.

Non-Scalper Price: $20 dollars

* I've found everyone from the first series of releases at this point except for the single carded Man-At-Arms so while I haven't reviewed him yet here's a shot of the standard He-Man from this line (right) with the version included here with the Ground Ripper (left). The single packed figure has different and slightly more elaborate paint applications than this version.

The Positives:
* In this series when Adam transforms into He-Man he bulks up and looks completely different, kind of like the 200x series or Revelation. He's very bulky with exaggerated proportions and more armor and clothing that He-Man is generally known for wearing. I really do like the logo on his chest as it's both a stylized "H" and reminiscent of the Power Sword in this series. The harness isn't removable but it is a separate piece permanently attached to the figure.

 * Mattel gave He-Man a rather friendly face here and it works. It wouldn't have been my choice for the default He-Man look but it's a pretty good likeness of the character. This is definitely He-Man, just with a more stylized look. Big hair, lantern jaw; he kind of reminds me of the 200x He-Man, which I love.


 * His gauntlets are really cool, too. They're suitably oversized and also have the new stylized He-Man logo on them.

* I don't like that these figures only have swivel shoulders but everything else I'm OK with. He-Man feels very sturdy and the Power Attack feature is pretty cool. Essentially, the mid-torso joint is a spring-loaded balljoint. Twist him left or right and his upper torso springs back. Pull his torso back and he springs forward. It definitely feels like an upgrade of the action waist feature on the vintage figures and makes these fun to mess around with.


* Also like the 200x series, the Power Sword, or the Sword of Grayskull, is massive here. This version is cast in solid yellow plastic with some nice detailing on the front and back. I like the design though I'm interested to see this in more regular paint applications.
* There's a plug on the back of the Sword of Grayskull that fits into a hole on the back of He-Man's harness, allowing him to tote his sword around and leaving his hands free to ride the Ground Ripper or punch things.


* Let's take a look at the Ground Ripper, a motorcycle based on the vintage Road Ripper vehicle. The Road Ripper had a bit of an animal aesthetic to it which the Ground Ripper has retained. It's a simple, light plastic vehicle with minimal paint although there is a lot of sculpted detail to give it more MOTU-inspired look.


* The headpiece is similar to the vintage vehicle but smoother and more streamlined. There aren't stickers for eyes, either: Just painted yellow eyes on a beak-like face. I really like the claws that are part of suspension. It would have been really cool if they had been removable so He-Man could use them as weapons.


 * He-Man fits on the bike just fine. The handlebars can also rotate so they can fit perfectly into He-Mans hands or the hands of any other figure you want to ride it.


* There's a spot on the rear of the bike where He-Man can store the Sword of Grayskull as well. That's a cool way to hold it while he's riding around on the Ground Ripper!

The Negatives:

* Smaller heads are definitely common in some stylized designs but He-Man's head definitely looks too small here. Hopefully future He-Man releases (c'mon, you know they're coming) will feature a slightly larger noggin.




    This is definitely not my favorite MOTU line of all time or anything (it's not even my favorite MOTU line this year) but so far it's kind of fun to see something a little different. He-Man's a decent figure. Not perfect but fun and the inclusion of the Ground Ripper is a pretty cool extra. The fact that you can pick this set up for $20 bucks isn't bad at all. That's fairly affordable for what you're getting (especially compared to most other MOTU stuff) and it hopefully strikes kids and parents as just right for gift giving during the upcoming Christmas/ holiday season. It's a Great set and while many old school collectors won't be impressed, it's a solid toy so far. 
 I've reviewed so many action figures of Prince Adam/ He-Man that he has his own review archive. Check out Fabulous Secret Powers for more He-Man and Prince Adam stuff!
This is the first toy of the Road Ripper/ Ground Ripper I've reviewed.


  1. Interesting design. Curious to see how this line expands.

    1. It looks like there are already quite a few new figures scheduled for this line so hopefully it continues to develop. I'm a big fan of Ram Ma'am and she's supposed to be released soon.

  2. Man, that Kevin Smith iteration came, got roasted, and disappeared into oblivion. Are they even going to finish the story at this point? I honestly haven't heard anything about it since all the drama.

    1. Where you been? Part 2's release date got announced a couple weeks ago. November 23rd. And it wasn't just 'roasted', it got a lot of positive reception too. And I've enjoyed the 4 issue comic series adding some more backstory too. Especially it reveals this Skeletor has none of that lame dodgy uncle Keldor nonsense that annoyed a lot of fans a couple decades back and is back to being a 'demon from another dimension' of sorts like the original mini-comics and the Filmation show, of which Revelation is NOT a continuation of. Several events and origins are different, Roboto for example was an alien from a robotic world in the Filmation show but in Revelation he has his mini-comic origin of being built by Man-At-Arms.

    2. I missed all of it while watching all the Scooby-Doo reruns on HBOMax.

    3. Yup, I cannot wait until November 23rd. I really think the show should have dropped all at one time or a bit closer together. I really liked Revelation. I think if they had done a season of the show where things were a bit more status quo (fairly standard Heroic Warriors vs Evil Warriors) and then went into the story they told in the first five episodes it would have been more well received just because it would have given folks more time to get acquainted with this version of MOTU before drastic changes were made.

      Revelation is an unusual blend of Filmation and the MOTUC canon, so it's kind of its own thing at this point.

    4. Yeah, it even references the UK-only Ladybird kid's books I had by having the Skelcons in it (which were never part of any other MotU version until they received a Classics figure) and the ship seen in one of the episodes appears somewhat inspired by the one seen in the Ladybird book "Skeletor's Ice Attack". It's definitely picking and choosing from multiple previous incarnations. Mistake was allowing people to get the wrong idea that it was a direct sequel to the Filmation show (which itself never made sense to me as even from the designs and trailer we could tell this had a much less goofy, cheesey carefree tone the original show had). I even had a bizarre argument with someone who was upset at what he claimed to be "insinuations that Adam is gay". If he or isn't doesn't bother me, but the original Filmation Adam (and in his pink vest, which is red in Revelation like the 200X show) had a scene where he's riding a horse with Bow that looked more suggestively 'gay' than anything in Revelation. Heck, MotU has been hugely popular with the gay community since it first aired back in the 80s.

      Anyways yeah I wasn't happy with EVERYTHING in Revelation (I don't care for Beast Man's look after episode 1. Looks too generic from any fantasy thing. Were the colours on his face always warpaint then an dnot just skin colour?) and as you say it could have spent a bit more time building towards the end events of episode 1 but overall I liked it a lot. Not sure why Part 2 comes so many months after Part 1. Maybe needed to split it down to production delays or something and had to realise the first part early to get the views in?

      Also I apologise I tend to type too damn much. Sorry.

    5. No problem. I could talk about Revelation all day. You now what the biggest thing I complained about regarding Revelation was? I didn't think Kevin Conroy's voice worked for Mer-Man. That's the thing that drove me crazy! There was so much good stuff in the show and so many "deep cuts" and nods to so many various incarnations of MOTU lore. I really expect He-Man to come back in a big way in part 2.

    6. Yeah, annoying thing is (as already been stated by others elsewhere) if He-Man returns (which he likely will) the whiners (and I don't mean people it just didn't click with, I mean the ones who were determined to hate it straight away and call it 'woke sjw trash' and even called Teela all sorts of transphobic stuff too even though she's not even transgender. Last of Us Part 2 received similar over Abby. These people don't seem to like women with a bit of muscle on them. And it makes sense for both characters since they are fighters who NEED to be strong, especially when fighting men) will say "oh Kevin Smith caved cos we made him cry" and all that crap never mind that the scripts were likely written waaaay before the first part aired and they'll think they won.

      I know what you mean about Conroy as Mer-Man. Sounded a lot more jarring to me hearing Batman's voice coming out of their than it did occassionally hearing Joker voice coming out of Skeletor. I did rewatch the series twice already though and got more used to Mer-Man's voice so I'm ok with it now.

      Speaking of voices, I bought the MCX Game of Thrones Iron Throne set cos it was cheap and it works great as a throne for MCX Skeletor to sit in til Snake Mountain arrives but also it includes four mini-figures. Now I never watched more than a few episodes of GoT but it's pretty cool have a Cersi figure because that's Lena Headey (and the head sculpt does look like her, another bonus of MCX over LEGO) and she voices Revelation Evil-Lyn so amusing shenanigans with that figure and MCX Evil-Lyns (I have all three different ones) have been had. Also not-MotU but that same GoT set also includes than Dansomething played by Emilia Clarke so I've had her and the Cersi figure also team up against my seven Terminator T-800 MCX mini-figures because they both played Sarah Connor (Headey in the decent TV series The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Clarke in the much less decent Genisys). Damn I love MCX. :)

    7. There's a lot of custom potential with the MCX line! I'm pretty sure the Terminator Faker from the Battle Bones set used T-800 parts to give him his exposed robotic look.

      And yes, I agree, if the second half of the show turns things around there will definitely be claims of victory despite the fact that there's no way the show was changed extensively within that short period of time.

      The Last of Us Part 2 thing really boggled my mind as well. I liked the game and didn't read anything about it prior to playing it so it wasn't spoiled for me but I still kept hearing about Abby. When I played it I assumed that people were just mad at the switch of not playing as Ellie but, oh my gosh, people are crazy. The same with Teela in Revelation, the scene with all of the women in Endgame, etc. People need to chill out.

    8. Don't mention Battle Bones. :P Stupid expensive set I will never have cos I ain't paying silly monies I can't afford on exclusives. But yes it did use a couple pieces from their T-800 on that Faker. Had some original pieces too like the half face so I can't easily to make one using Faker and a T-800 but I can still display him with some damage using a bit of arm or leg. :)

      Last of Us 2 hate was insane. People were sending death threats to Laura Bailey and her kid because Abby killed Joel (who, let's be honest, was living on borrowed time since he slaughtered a load of innocent people in his questionable 'rescue' of Ellie at end of first game. He got 4 extra years of 'being a dad'. More than he deserved. Even Ellie expressed anger at that saying her life would have mattered. Saving the human race, rather than Joel dooming them to pretty much extinction without the cure). And yeah some of these people had gone simply by the leaks and never played the game. They knew there was a transgender character and wrongly assumed it was Abby and over a year later I still see new comments by people claiming she's the one and they've even heard of Lev. They even still claim 'no woman can get that buff'. I showed them my friend Nikki who trains in crossfit every day and she's way bulkier than Abby. And these people say "oh well, not in a post-apocalypse because supplies and resources are few and far between" so I show them where Abby lives. The WLF Stadium that has a huge gym and a whole community of people farming and raising wildstock and providing all sorts of veggies and meat and such (again showing they never played it). And with Abby's determination to kill the man who killed her dad I've no doubt she'd be focused on getting herself strong enough to beat the crap out of him.


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