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:
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.