Tuesday, October 3, 2023

The ABCs of 31 Days of Toy Terror: C is for Count Marzo from Masters of the Universe Classics by Mattel

   Ready for a spooky visit from "a fifth degree wizard raised by evil mystics in the Dunes of Doom?" That's how Count Marzo's Masters of the Universe Classics bio describes him, though it also sound like something Napoleon Dynamite would say to describe his uncle who no one has ever met but who he assures them lives in Japan and protect the world from yokai. For real, though, Marzo Kalif is a pretty powerful wizard and showed up three times in the Filmation animated series and five times in the Mike Young Productions series, which is the version of the character this figure is based off of. A powerful mage imprisoned in the form of an old man, Marzo manage to regain his amulet and sets out to wreak havoc on Eternia. He was released in Masters of the Universe Classics in the summer of 2010 and I somehow ended up with two of him. He's always been a favorite of mine, even though his more 200x inspired appearance, which had an anime aesthetic to it, turned out to be a bit controversial, causing Mattel's brand management to reiterate over and over that the "Anime Hyper Detail" style was retired. Of course, it showed back up when it was convenient to sell more 200x figures, so who knows? Let's take a look at Count Marzo after the break...

The Facts:

Height: 6 7/8ths inches

Articulation: Hinged ankles w/ lateral rocking, boot swivels, hinged knees, swivel thighs, swivel/hinge hips, swivel waist, mid-torso hinge, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, hinged elbows, swivel wrists, and a barbell jointed head.

Accessories: Sword, armor with cape, and amulet.

Year of Release: 2010

Original Retail Price: $20 dollars
The Positives:

* Masters of the Universe Classics certainly relied on body reuse, like the vintage line, but Marzo had quite a few new pieces. His waist piece and his pretty elaborate cape and armor combo really stand out and make him appear very unique. The color are great, too. The black and grey with that red cape just stand out, giving him the look you'd equate with an evil sorcerer or magician. Kind of like Dracula or Rasputin. I love the finer details on his armor and the waist piece as it just elevates him and really conveys him as being a person of some means or priviledge, hence his title of count.

* His headsculpt is incredible. Yeah, it was a bit different stylistically from most of the earlier MOTUC figures, but it's so darn good. Sharp, angular features and some amazing facial hair. Oh, and those eyebrows? This guy just means business. There's so much character here! The hair is great as well, particularly the gray streaks. Count Marzo has been around a bit and is wiser than most, for sure. 

* Count Marzo's cape is made from a rather rigid plastic, but it looks pretty cool, especially the pattern on the back around the bottom.

* When they were just being released, Masters of the Universe Classics had one of my favorite articulation schemes. While they're definitely more limited in their range of motion than more recent lines, they're still solid, well articulated figures. They're durable, fun to mess around with, and the articulation really flows with the sculpt. 

* Count Marzo's sword is really neat and a pretty detailed weapon with a lot of nice paint applications. It does match his sword in the MYP animated series, but it's even more detailed and has that super cool hilt and the spear-like tip on the blade.

* There's a holster for the sword built right into Marzo's padded waist piece. It clips on the side and stays in place securely. How cool is that?

* Count Marzo's amulet is a really neat little accessory that comes from the MYP animated series, too. It's the source of Marzo's powers, so it's a pretty important item to him. His hand is designed to grasp the amulet perfectly and he looks really cool holding it out!

* There's also a clip on the back of his belt for holding the amulet safely, where it's covered by his cape. 

The Negatives:

* My only issue with Count Marzo is a loose ankle, a problem so many of the earlier MOTUC figures have. The right ankle is a bit looser than it should be. 

   Count Marzo is a Great figure and definitely one of the most underrated Masters of the Universe Classics figures out there. You can still find him for less than $50 dollars, which isn't bad for a MOTUC figure, especially since this is the only version of the character ever made. I think he turned out really well and added a nice independent villain to the line. The way he can store both of his accessories on his belt is really neat, too, and something that was a bit unusual in MOTUC, especially at the time. Clad in red and black with an excellent portrait, he manages to stand out even among the wacky MOTU crowd. 

This is the first toy of Count Marzo I've reviewed. For more Mattel Masters of the Universe Classics reviews check out the following:

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