Wednesday, February 23, 2022

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


   The second figure in Masters of the Universe Origins series 7 is another figure from the vintage line finally getting his spot in Origins: It's Jitsu, the Evil Master of Martial Arts. The evil counterpart of Fisto, Jitsu is a master warrior with a golden right hand posed in a knifehand strike or karate chop. While Jitsu only showed up one time in the Filmation animated series in 1983 because Filmation feared that the character might be perceived negatively as a racial stereotype, Jitsu is a well known and loved vintage MOTU character. In Masters of he Universe Classics Jitsu even took over the rule of Snake Mountain after Skeletor took off into space. Let's take a look at one of he deadliest and most skilled Evil Warriors after the break...

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 left wrist, swivel right hand, and a double balljointed head.

Accessories: Armor, sword, and minicomic.

Non-Scalper Price: $15-$18 dollars


* On the left is the MOTU Origins Jitsu while my very beat up vintage Jitsu figure is on the right. What's different? The main thing, besides the articulation, is the colors. The Origins figures feature much brighter and bolder color choices so Jitsu's armor has a more yellowish gold look to the highlights. 

The Positives:

* Jitsu came out in the third year of the vintage line and followed the classic MOTU pattern quite well: Basic body, new head, armor, and a gimmick. Jitsu armor and trunks are red with gold highlights. It's a very ornate and impressive looking outfit that helps it stand out from the rest of the warriors with more barbarian looking armor. In fact, the vintage Jitsu's armor was later reused for King Randor. Recent rumors indicate we'll King Randor in series 9, so it seems likely this armor might get used again. The armor is a pliable plastic overlay that fits on the figure well and is easy to put on and remove. 

* The Origins figures are absolutely homages to the vintage figures so that's what Mattel was going for here: An update to the vintage figure. Jitsu's face is wonderfully expressive with fantastic facial hair. You can tell that he and Fisto are having a battle of the beards any time they meet in battle. 

* Jitsu's best feature might be his massive gold gauntlet. Or maybe it's actually a giant golden hand? Who knows? It's sculpted in the form of a karate chop or knifehand strike and it's pretty large and seems like a fierce weapon. It's also given a vac-metal finish that makes it all shiny and awesome looking. Perfection!

* 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 figure. They're quite fun to play with and they feel very sturdy.

* They're also modular and can be easily separated to make your own lazy boy customs!

* While the vintage Ninjor reused Jitsu's sword, the Origins Jitsu reuses Ninjor's sword. Funny, huh? The katan looks great. It's molded in orange plastic, like the vintage toy, but it doesn't have the incorrectly placed handguard that the vintage version had. That's a huge plus as it made getting Jitsu to hold his weapon awkward. 

*  Each figure in the series also comes with a mini comic. Yes, an actual minicomic. Everybody in series 7 gets the same comic but it's a cool way to familiarize kids picking up these figures with the characters. This is a simple story where Stratos and Buzz-Off go after Jitsu. Nothing too special but cool art and just the fact that it's included is a big perk. 

The Negatives:

* The gold paint on the armor is kind of messy with a lot of bleed and some spots where the gold doesn't fully cover the red. The vintage figure actually has a neater and cleaner armor design, which is kind of surprising and a bit of a bummer.

   Jitsu turned out quite well. Yeah, it would have been nice if his armor had neater paint applications but overall I love his color scheme. I'm also loving his expression and his vac-metal hand. Jitsu is really fun and it's always fun to have him on the shelf to go toe-to-toe with Fisto. He's a Great figure and not only is he well done and fun to pose but he also gets us one figure closer to having the vintage roster completed. Mattel's just about halfway through the vintage line at this point. Will they make it? Let's hope so!


  1. I do agree that the Filmation is probably far more offensive. Most likely, though, Filmation was working on their animation designs before Mattel finalized the figure, so it's possible they were working from the early concept art by Mattel and Mattel had the chance to tweak the figure more before release.

    it seems like Jitsu is rumored for the 6th series of Masterverse figures alongside a New Eternia Beast Man, a PoP Frosta, a Battle Armor He-Man, and Sun-Man. Also rumored are She-Ra and Catra for series 5.

  2. Back when MOTUC was coming Frosta proved to be one of the most popular and recognizable POP characters. Her MOTUC figure is still pretty pricey, too. In a few different things, like the Polly Pocket set, Mattel has included Frosta over other characters. She just seems to be a really popular character. There were also some complaints about the MOTUC figure having more of a gray rather than white color for her outfit so I could see Mattel using a new version of Frosta to try and lure folks in.

    Also, considering that Revelation isn't actively putting out new episodes, I can see them moving away from it for the time being. Jitsu isn't a Revelation character but he does complement Fisto who looks like a perfectly classic styled version of the character. I think it's solid. We'll wait and see. The series before this one might not have a Revelation figure either. If the rumored Catra and She-Ra show up with the New Eternia Beast Man we've already seen, that leaves only one spot and I'd imagine it'd be a classic MOTU heroic warrior.


What'chu talkin' 'bout?