Thursday, June 1, 2023

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


   Masters of the Universe is a crazy property! I mean, in what other toyline do so many unmade concept characters get multiple releases? The Masterverse Vykron/ Roger Sweet trio is getting ready to see release again (it was already produced in Classics), the New Eternia figures routinely draw from vintage concept art, and one of the newest series of MOTU Origins figures includes two figures from an unproduced series of vintage figures based on art from Errol McCarthy. The Origins figures have been releasing sort of sporadically, but I believe the Snake Trooper I'm reviewing today is from series 13, along with Snake Teela, a 200x inspired King Randor, and Slamurai. Mattel released the MOTUC Slamurai and some Snake Troopers as part of a Power-Con 2019 boxed set, but now they're bringing them to Origins. The Snake Trooper is a simple concept, just a repaint with a headswap, but it turned out to be a pretty cool figure. Let's check out the Snake Trooper after the break...

The Facts:

Height: 6 1/4ths inches
Articulation: Swivel/hinge ankles, boot swivels, swivel/hinge knees, balljointed hips, waist swivel, hinged chest panels, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel/hinge elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, and a balljointed head.

Accessories: Staff, shield, and minicomic.

Non-Scalper Price: $18-$20 dollars 

The Positives:

* The Snake Trooper is a "Slithering cyborg of the Snake Men" and a Snake Men warrior who has been augmented using Horde science. The back of the package says that these guys are actually "self-repairing cyborgs," so they're far more than just Snake Men in armor. That being said, the figure is just Rattlor's repainted head on a Horde Trooper body, but I really like how it turned out. The armor is really cool looking, similar to the vintage Horde Trooper, but the paint scheme is different, even from the exclusive Shadow Horde Trooper, with cool black armor broken up with red and gold. 

*Thanks to Tim Roll-Pickering who pointed out that these Snake Troopers actually have Grizzlor's boots, not the standard Horde Trooper boots.*

* The head is from Rattlor but the new paint job definitely makes this feel unique. I actually had to double check that this was the same head. I love the bright green and those yellow eyes really pop. 

*  The Horde Trooper base body was a unique sculpt, so you can't blame Mattel for getting the most out of it. Even the back of the figure has quite a bit of armored detail; more detail here than on your average MOTU Origins figure for sure.

* The Snake Trooper retains the action feature of the Horde Trooper: Push the center of the Horde Logos and the armor splits apart to reveal the trooper's robotic inner workings. There's no spring or anything; It's a simple friction based feature but it works well and it's pretty fun to mess around with. It's definitely a cool play feature, especially on a non-deluxe figure. 

* The MOTU Origins figures are built like the vintage toys but with 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.

* They're also modular and can be easily separated to make your own lazy boy customs. The Snake Trooper isn't as modular as some other figures, but he still has some removable parts to fool around with.

* The Snake Trooper comes toting a Horde techno staff. The bottom of the staff is very technical with Horde approved, mass produced and precise details reminiscent of the Fright Zone from Filmation while the headpiece of the staff looks like a animal of some kind. Kind of like the Horde bat logo or something. I'm not sure if the Snake Men have joined forces with the Horde or stolen their technology.

* To further arm the Snake Trooper, Mattel included a copy of King Hiss' snake shield. Not only is it just a great looking shield for these army builders but the clip on the back can rotate, allowing the Trooper to hold it in different ways. 

* The included minicomic features a story where King Randor is being trained by Slamurai and forced to fend off an army of Snake Troopers led by Snake Teela. It's a fun story with excellent art. 

   I love this guy, probably far more than I ought to. He's just a really fun army builder and the color scheme and design just work for me. He's nicely armed, has an excellent sculpt, and he has an action feature. That's kind of hard to beat, isn't it? He's a franken-figure, sure, but when he's this cool I can't complain. The Snake Trooper is Epic and one of the neatest releases out there. I have Snake Teela, though I didn't review her, and I have the 200x Randor lined up for review sometime soon. I haven't found Slamurai yet, but when I do I'll be checking him out for sure.

So far the only other Snake Troopers I've reviewed have been the MOTUC Snake Troopers from the Slamurai and Snake Troopers set. 

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


  1. That's a good idea. I was contemplating buying three Vykrons tomorrow (I have three MOTUC Vykrons) but you're right. Those basic He-Man bodies should work just fine. I do like the redesigned elements, too. It's a great upgrade all around.

  2. The boots have also changed again, this time using Grizzlor's. The original drawing implied they would be using King Hiss's legs & feet but the Horde Trooper waist; however that may be harder to pull off with the way the modern tooling is configured hence both Origins and Classics used the Horde Trooper legs.

    This means they have even more Horde branding than the Horde's own Troopers and the fiction sometimes contorts to explain all this given the established hostility between the two factions. IIRC the Classics bio have them as the product of a temporary alliance and they also showed up en masse in He-Man and the Masters of the Multiverse where the 200X King Hiss and Hordak have allied after Skeletor conquered Eternia. I suspect not so much thought was put into this by Mattel in the 1980s.

    I suspect I would have ignored all the continuity issues and liked this figure a lot had he been released in the vintage era. Back in 1989 (we tended to be about a year behind on most toylines) I had a mini resurgence of interest in Motu thanks to a trip to Yugoslavia where knock-offs were in abundance and I'm sure this Trooper would have stood out well on the pegs back in the UK.

    1. Dang, you're right about the boots! I've got to make an edit!

      Yeah, in MOTUC they were created by Horde Prime from Lord Gr'Asp's troops and were later controlled by the Spirit of Hordak or something due to implanted Horde chips, so kind of like the Clone Troopers.

      This would have been an interesting series if it had appeared in the vintage line for sure. I'm always unsure how some of the figures would have been constructed, though, as some of them use parts from later figures which don't seem like they would be easily interchangeable unlike the early stuff.

  3. MekaneckfrenchiefrogJuly 14, 2023 at 12:37 PM

    I have mixed feelings towards this one, because they simply put a repainted Rattlor head over a repainted Horde Trooper body, which feels lazy and almost the kind of random mash-up you could do with your eyes closed.. yet there is something about the colors which works exceptionally well. I love how the bright green head stands out against that mostly black armor. Lazy, but really cool at the same time.

    1. He definitely lives up to the vintage mandate for this unproduced series which was to make a series of figures with all reused parts, and for that I'm thrilled that he's been produced. I'm sure that has some serious appeal even for folks who strictly collect the vintage line. The other five figures from the series would have been Strobo, Slaumrai, Ter-Roar, Plasmar, and Lord Gr'Asp (The names are more recent; the only one with a vintage name was Strobo).


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