Saturday, February 22, 2014
Give that Skeletor a Dragon. Skeletors Love Dragons (Sept. '12)
OH MAN. I was super looking forward to this one through the whole toyline up to this point. This was MY Skeletor, ya know? My only Skeletor, growing up.
So naturally, this is the only figure where I have major complaints. BAH.
Oh boy. I gotta get all my original pics for this guy out of the way before I can get to the new stuff I did (just for you! And for me. I mean, most of these jokes are for me. I love me). The reason I took a bunch of pics when he came out was...
...well okay, I don't complain about this toyline that much. It has its ups and downs, but the quality control is on par with other toylines. Lots of folks like to think this has TERRIBLE QC, but they aren't putting things in perspective. If this toyline were in stores, you'd be leaving behind screw-ups. You see a paint mar on the figure and you leave it. Pick of the litter. These aren't sold in stores, though. So no one is picking through them and sending only the good ones - granted, the quality control folks are doing that in the factory - but you KNOW toys. If you collect them, you know toys. There are screw-ups. It always happens. And they make it into stores.
With this toyline, they make it into the hands of fans, since they can't leave it at the store. Naturally, with how expensive they are, it makes people mad! Even if they can return the figure and get a new one right-quick. Point is: since 2008, there hasn't been that many figures with fatal errors. I can only really complain about a few.
Sadly, this is one of them. One of THE guys I was looking forward to! And it's not just paint screw-ups...it's just...so many things.
First and foremost, this was my FIRST major paint mess! First one. On this guy. This is the only figure I've ever sent back for a replacement! I did get the new one back in a timely manner though, and the process was effortless.
Ah, if only it stopped there, though. See, there's a reason this one had such a problem on the arms. Every Skeletor so far had his arms cast in blue plastic, like the rest of the figure. This one? They decided to....cast them in black, and paint the arms blue? Naturally, the more surfaces you paint, the higher chance there will be for errors. On my first one, the armor stuck to the shoulders!
I still haven't figured out what the thought process was here. Aren't paint applications expensive? The more paint apps you have, the more expensive the figure is. So why did they decide this was the Skeletor to do differently from all the others? Only thing I can think of is that they switched out his usual arms and legs for the "monster" arms and legs that more closely matched his vintage figure. Maybe that was a last minute change? Maybe that messed with how they usually do things? Who knows.
*sigh*, it doesn't stop there.
Here we have the past Skeletors on the left. On the right, Dragon Blaster Skeletor. Now, they have a slightly longer neck peg for figures with armor, because sometimes the armor has a high neckpiece and the head needs to sit a bit higher, like on Battle Armor He-Man and Skeletor. They're sort of using that here...but it doesn't work the same. He can't look down, for some reason! As the pic above shows, the regular neck peg bends forward, but the DB one doesn't! Stays upright.
Now when you move it back, the regular neck peg is in the "straight" position, but the DB one makes the head look upward more.
SO: The range of movement on the head isn't the same as all the other Skeletors, making me unable to do some of my favorite poses so far (on a highly anticipated figure), and his neck looks too long because they gave him the longer peg, even though his armor didn't ride up on his neck.
The vintage figure had a chain that you slid through the hole on his armor and then attached to the dragon's neck via a cool little lock. Simple! The dragon was permanently attached to the vintage figure, so naturally I was looking forward to a removable dragon this time around. I didn't expect them to make it articulated, 'cause that would sent the figure into another price range.
They DID make the dragon removable. AWESOME! It's in a good enough pose to sort of sit on its own or be set on someone like it's attacking. BUT.
BUT BUT BUT.
They decided that the chain and lock should be permanent, so that removing the dragon was pointless! The chain was too short for him to be able to do anything, also.
AAAAAGGGH!! What the heck was going through the heads of the designers with this one?! Why do everything different from every other very playworthy figure so far? And why THIS one?
Anyway, I fixed it all.
First: I loved the original little lock! So that had to be removable. I cut that sucker in about the same place where it was cut on the original.
Next, I bought a little necklace latch and some smaller chains, because I needed it to pass through the hole on his armor easily, AND I wanted some length.
Bottom one is the chain he came with, and the top is some chain I bought at a Michaels.
HA! Ha ha! There! THERE! You see? Why wasn't it like this in the first place? Now the chain can be removed and replaced with ease, and the dragon can go off on it's own whenever I please. Wasn't even hard to do!
Now those pics were from a thread I did on He-Man.org to show how I fixed 'em good. Someone in the thread had asked if Scare Glow's key (from inside his reliquary) could fit in the lock.
It did! Sorta. I mean, the tip of it does. Still, I was inspired to joke:
That was it for the pictures around the time he came out. I sat down to take some new ones and - though I am still unhappy about the head range of movement and neck length - I actually had a good time! Too much of a good time, actually. Took way more pics than I thought I would. Also more jokes than I thought I had in me.
Now, lets begin the non-complaining part!
First, you must understand Dragon Blaster Skeletor.
THAT...is Dragon Blaster Skeletor. It's a pic from the inside of the minicomic that came with him. I want a full size poster of that someday, if I can manage it. Maybe even get it in colors that work well under a blacklight. 'Cause that belongs in one of those candles/swords/incense stores, ya know?
I love this figure for two reasons: That, up there. He's just awesome. The other reason is 'cause this was my only Skeletor, technically. I had the original version, but I was very young and - well I told this story in the original Skeletor post. I took the figure everywhere with me, and went to bed one night with it in my arms.
I woke the next morning with the head bitten off and in my mouth. Real Godfather type stuff...lots of screaming and crying. Maybe less blood and horse heads.
Anyway, I cried and cried and there was only one cure for my fever: More Skeletor. So my parents took me to Toys R Us and we looked for another Skeletor, but there were none! No normal ones, anyway.
The rest is history! I really did want the normal one, but this one made quite an impression (besides, I would swap Faker's orange Skeletor armor on 'em sometimes and pretend). The dragon squirted water, Skeletor's armor was the BOSS, and dat chain. I love real chains with figures! I think my love for that started with this Skeletor.
However...it doesn't really change the fact that the figure wasn't really the badass you see in the pic above. He was bulky, the dragon was this HUGE backpack and not much of a dragon. The dragon was more lithe and ran around like a dog in the minicomic. I could never have that!
*AHEM* and they tried to not give me that again, but we won't rehash the complaints above. What I got was close enough *COUGH*afterfixingit*COUGH* and I had a great time setting up the kinda stuff I always wanted to when I was a kid.
The only thing the original came with was a Power Sword half, so this guy gets the same! Works for me, and I honestly don't know what else they could have given him (especially with that big dragon on his back).
AHHH....finally got that fight outta me. Always wanted Skeletor to sick the dragon on someone while hanging on to the chain. So cool! Glad I was able to make it happen. Of course, this was supposed to be a few simple fight pics and I ended up joking all over it.
This is one of the main events. I had always wanted to take that dragon off, but it just wasn't possible without breaking it, on the vintage figure. I tried to replace the back of his armor with other armor backs, but they never matched up. So here we are! There's a big ugly tab sticking out of his back for the dragon to attach to, but EH. I don't care. He works for my purposes.
Quick note on the head: They painted it all crazy with the green. Not sure why! I think they were trying for the vintage look, but it doesn't work without the black in between the teeth. I was expecting to swap the head out with the extra normal Skelly head I have but...eh. This one grew on me! Not sure why.
Now, another big change they made was to the dragon. Ticked some folks off, but I'm not bothered as much as I am with the other junk. You see, the head is TOTALLY different:
Would I have liked to have a sculpt based on the original head? Sure. Do I like this one on its own? Yeah! It's freakish and terrifying, and I like that. Still...would have been neat to get two heads - one like this, and one with an open mouth. No one expected Mattel to retain the water shooting feature, but it WAS a main thing with Dragon Blaster Skeletor, so you'd think they would have tried to mimic that in the sculpt. An open mouth would have made more sense.
But...I still like it for what it is.
Oh also: It comes off. You may have noticed in the complaining part of this post. The ball joint is the same as all the other figure's ball joints. THE SAME.
That one...that one killed me. I had to stop when I did it. It's still killing me. Killing me softly with its song.
God I can't look at that thing without cracking up. STILL.
Alright, that's a wrap. After all my bitching, I still like this guy! More so after I took the pics 'n such. He still doesn't work right out of the package, but my changes weren't hard to make. I can't really toss this guy at you and say "WOW", but he's not terrible. Just isn't what he could have been. He could have been that badass picture from the minicomic...but he wasn't. And I'm okay with that!
...besides, they're making an NA Skeletor, so this whole process is going to begin anew. 'Cause I'm SUPER PSYCHED for New Adventures Skeletor. More so than with this one. So...here we go again.