Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Super 7's Retro Masters of the Universe

Alright, I gotta cover these NOW.

If you're not aware: a company called Super 7 makes these "retro" figures in the style of 70's Star Wars toys (and others in the standing-straight-and-not-ready-for-action pose).  I've only bought a few because they're kinda expensive, for what they are, and lend themselves mostly to display. 

Well...I had to jump on these.  You can understand why.  I preordered them some time ago and then - as I do with preorders - forgot about them!  They just showed up the other day, and I can't stop laughing at Mer-Man I'm sorry I'm sorry IT'S JUST LOOK AT HIM---

---okay, backing up.  We'll get to him in time.  Let's start with He-Man.

I don't normally dwell on packaging, but let's face it: A lot of folks are going to keep these in the package, because there's not a ton to do with the figures.  I DON'T CARE.  'Round these parts, them toys get opened

Regardless: It is NICE packaging!  I mean, it's just a card, but the art is cool, it'll look real nice in a wall display, and they even have the hole in the top for just such a purpose.

The back, for some reason, sports the art for the original 80's figures.  I mean, it still works, but these are supposed to be what-if figures; like they had been made in the 70's instead of the 80's.  Figured they might make some new art - not that the new art on the front isn't awesome!  Just kinda weird with these showing weapons they don't come with.

Anyway, there's also a bio, talkin' about how him and Skeletor don't get along and often fight, but they don't really mean it and tend to go out for coffee on Tuesdays to settle their differences.

Right out of the package, I'm much happier with these than I have been with previous Super 7 product.  I don't usually hold it against them, since these are kinda collector's items, but the figures tend to be cast in that kind of plastic that holds paint well, but you probably don't want to drop it or subject it to heavy play.  Most of the figures I bought kinda open up at the seams when you turn the heads or move the limbs (none have broken, but they still make me not want to move them much).  These are MUCH better!  They really feel like something you could give to a kid, save for the hard-plastic weapons.  You can move the limbs and turn the heads and nothing feels fragile. 

He-Man is your classic muscle-man and comes with his Power Sword, molded after the original toy sword.  As is standard for these: You're not gona get a lot of poses out of them, but they're charming as hell. 

These kinds of figures didn't quite catch on with me before, but MAN am I in love with them in MotU style!  No idea why.  I guess the playworthyness and simple style is really hitting high notes with me.

He-Man does all the things he should, sculpt wise, and holds his weapon well.  I love the 70's-ish reproduction of his classic head!

Next up is one of my favorites (of course): Skeletor!

He's got awesome card-art, though I do wonder why Skeletor is holding his staff like he's gona stab someone with the skull....actually, you know what?  That's badass.  (Also, Stabbing Skull is my new album's title). 

Man, I love this thing.  Something about him!  I think he reminds me of the old clips I used to have when I was a kid:

I played with those more often than you'd think a kid with other action figures should.  The size of them about lines up with these, and the standing-straight thing also mimics the old clip, so there's an odd nostalgia there that's unattached from the standard MotU nostalgia.  For clips!

Skeletor only comes with his Havoc Staff, but man it is so cool!  It's just the same thing as the original, but TINY!

Which means I can use my recently acquired Vitruvian HACKS to do this:

And this!

Granted, I borrowed the hood from Emperor Palpatine, but the rest is all HACKS materials.  Not spot on, but certainly unmistakable as Skeletor.

Don't worry, he'll make an appearance in the HACKS reviews as well.

Anyway, beyond the possibilities for customization: Li'll Skeletor is awesome and I love him.

Skeletor might have been my favorite of the bunch, if it wasn't for Mer-Man, but let's get Beastman out of the way first.

Beastman is...Beastman.  He was never a favorite, but for what he is, he gets the job done. 

Beastman comes with his real rope whip attached to his weird megaphone-looking handle, same as the old 80's figure.  That was a thing that I always thought was weird about the original figure...why not make the handle the same size as the other weapons?  They had to add that little slot so you could slide it into his open hand rather than the one made for holding weapons.

BUT, that's not a slight on this figure - he's just following the original.  That makes it charming!  Awwww!

Once again, not my favorite guy, but he's certainly Beastman and any fan of the character is probably gona get a kick out of him.

This is next.  Mer-Man.

This is the one you should buy, above all others.  I don't care if you don't like MotU stuff.  Just buy Mer-Man.

I couldn't even caption these first few pics - I was laughing just looking at them.  Every word just took away from the hilarity that is that face.  I mean, Mer-Man has always had that scared-out-of-his-mind look, but OH MAN.  This one.  This is the king.  One Mer-Man to Rule them All.

I can't get enough of this thing.  There's something about him standing alone on a shelf or desk.  Just standing there, by himself, looking slightly upward and with a back straight as an arrow.  What does he see, that we cannot?  Why does he scream silently into the black abyss? 

Mer-Man, what is wrong?
Your tortured gaze hides nothing
Dude, what the hell, man?

              ~ A Haiku for Mer-Man

I just kinda spouted out jokes by this point. I couldn't stop taking pictures of him. 

Just having this one guy standing around somewhere in your house will bring you endless joy, I promise you.  There's nothin' that face can't fix. 

Now, of course, the major thing to mention is that these are pretty expensive for what they are.  15 bucks a pop, which is five bucks more than the standard Retro figures.  No idea why they cost that much, but call me a sucker: I don't care, and I love them.  If nothing else, Mer-Man is worth the cost of admission for just about anyone.  If you're a MotU fan, these are certainly interesting, and, if for some reason you wana buy these for a kid....well, you probably shouldn't, but you could, I guess!  The weapons are hard plastic though, so Skeletor's staff probably won't hold up to rough play.  The figures themselves are much nicer than the standard Retro figures, though, so at least they'll hold up to any kid, most likely. 

Let's be honest, though: I ain't tryin' to sell these with this review.  Mer-Man was so hilarious that I had to sit down and take pictures with these figures.  Gotta work when inspiration hits you!

Now go drop fifteen bucks on Mer-Man.


  1. Ok. Yes. YESSSSS.... That Mer-Man is freakin' awesome. I love it. Him. No, IT. You're right, I just can't get enough of that face. Or using him as a weapon.

    He-Man is neat, but yes, he's more of an accessory overall. Still, it's cool (and kinda bizarre) to see toys that out-retro the retro ones.

    Skeletor is always fun, but there's something about his face that bugs me. I know these are supposed to mimic the toys of the 70's with their faces that look nothing like their intended character, but this one just looks like he's melting. I think it's the eye sockets that I don't like. They're almost raindrop shaped. Gotta love that tiny havoc staff though!

    And you're right, Beast Man is kinda boring. He also looks like he has a five o'clock shadow, which is sorta funny when you think about it. Beast Man shaving. Ha.

    The other figures in this style were done as a collaboration between Super 7 and Funko, maybe it's the Funko side that affects the quality? Because these ones are only Super 7. Either they've learned how to do these properly, or for some reason Funko made these things differently. Eh, I dunno.

    Anyway, now I have to seriously debate getting this Mer-Man when there are SO MANY OTHER THINGS I WANT!!!

    1. Also, Mer-Man's sword reminds me of baby corn. I think it's the color. And the shape. And the fact that it's obviously baby corn.

    2. Yeah, I knew you'd like him! His face is just amazing.

      Skeletor's face, I think, is based a bit more on the Alcala look, from the original minicomics. Didn't translate as well to the small size, but I still like it, for some reason. Adds to the Retro look.

      I had forgotten that Funko was part of it too, yeah, I wonder if they're more expensive for being just a Super 7 thing, too? Developing independently tends to make things more expensive.

      And how fitting that he use baby corn while his larger figure uses regular old corn! Gotta have that corn sword.

  2. Oh yeah. I couldn't stop laughing at your review. Great stuff as always, Alexx.

    1. Thanks! You're a gentleman and a scholar.

  3. Whenever I played with vintage Mer-Man, I always had him just running around and screaming. Seems that Super 7 Mer-Man is going to proudly carry on that tradition!

    Oh, and the reason Beast Man's whip handle is so thick is because Mattel swiped it from one of their previous toylines...which I think was a 12-inch line. Same is also true for the Battle Cat and Zoar molds, which came from the "Big Jim" line. I believe Gygor would also have been repurposed from Big Jim stuff. Now you know!

    Anyhow, speaking of awesome skeletons, have you played UNDERTALE yet?

    1. OOOOH, okay, yeah! That makes sense. I had heard about the carry-overs from the Big Jim line, but I didn't realize stuff like the whip carried over as well.

      And no, haven't played Undertale yet, but you can rest assured I am being told to and I have it bought and downloaded to my computer. I just need to find the time to give it the attention it needs. Trust me, I want to! And it's freakin' hard being on the internet and avoiding spoilers, but I've managed, so far. I'll get there. I mean, I've already listened to the soundtrack! I'm on my way.

    2. Awesome - I ask because I recently finished it and I'm brimming with teh feels. I'd also been dodging spoilers for months since it came out. But I won't say more - you'll get to it, and I have a feeling you'll like it a lot!

  4. I'm curious as to what Mer-Man looks like along side the old Kenner Greedo and Walrus Man... He looks like he'd fit in nicely. Great review.

    1. I'd show ya if I had any of those old guys! I'm sure he'd look good, though. And thanks, man!

  5. I love these. They're hilarious. 'dat Mer-Man

    1. Yeah, Mer-Man wins the day. The poor bastard stays terrified for our entertainment!

  6. Those figures need to be in a vintage Star Wars Cardboard Cantina set up asap.