Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Masters of the Universe Classics: Year by Year - 2012

AAAAAND, I'm back with 2012 of Masters of the Universe Classics! 2012 was Armageddon, as we all know; so that made it hard to order the figures. Let's see how that worked out!

Before we begin, you can still see this whole collection (out of order, mind you) on my Alexx MotU tag on Instagram. You'll find little story bits and light reviews on most of the photos, but here we'll just focus on shorthand figure reviews.

...alright, so Armageddon was a bust. Everyone's predictions for destruction pretty much amounted to "Well, we're still screwing ourselves over as a species, so technically our predictions are still right, just not for 2012." Which meant that buying toys was still a viable hobby, and not a frivolous waste of time amidst a battered and torn landscape where struggling to survive is bad enough without having to worry about how you're going to order your next years worth of toys.

*AHEM* Anyway, back to the topic at hand: Classics was strutting on to its third full year with no signs of slowing down or wiping that smug look off it's face. Last year started strong with a interesting concept figure, so they decided to start this year off with the same:

This time they went to the Princess of Power toyline to look for concepts or unreleased items, and they found the Star Sisters! These three ladies were going to be released in the vintage Princess of Power line, but never made itin before the line ended.

The first was Starla, with the power of light. She came with a translucent yellow staff (I added the energy effect) and a....well, just an absolutely fabulous bird.

It's called Glory Bird, and no, it's not Jem magically transformed into a bird (though this bird is clearly Truly Outrageous). It's the Sisters' guide and birdie pal. Essentially. 

Jewelstar is the next sister, with rock powers. She sports another translucent staff and awesome translucent rock parts (though I feel like she should have been ALL translucent rock). 

The last sister is Tallstar, with stretchy powers. You gotta pull her limbs off and pop in extender parts. They aren't great, since they're not super secure. 

Overall I wasn't as impressed with this set as I had hoped. I loved the idea and I love concepts or unreleased items, but Mattel went with a kind of boring design choice. These figures are based on their appearance in the cartoon, which is super simplified, because drawing what the toys were going to look like would have been too complicated. The vintage concepts looked awesome, though! They were 80's sparkle madness with Jewelstar being totally translucent, Tallstar being silver and strappy, and Starla...well there's not much to do with her, but she had a huge dress. So there's that.

Basic thing is that Mattel had much more interesting designs to pull from, and they chose the boring ones. The figures themselves aren't bad, but they could have been better. If you're interested, I don't think they're all that much on the after market. Just remember not to place them on to of any Lisa Frank binders, or you may lose sight of them.

January ended up being a little disappointing, so February came along and brought us another timeless classic: The Sorceress!

She was...also a little disappointing. The figure itself looks great, but Mattel wanted to recreate the vintage figure's wing-spreading action, so they...designed some ugly cylinders that stuck out from the backs of her shoulders and moved along with her arms, when you raised them (so the wings would follow the arms up when you moved them forward). This severely limited her from being able to do whatever (like the rest of the figures) to pretty much only doing what I've shown in the pictures.

All in all, if you just want a Sorceress to stick on a shelf, she'll do the task. If you want her for elaborate story-like shots with different poses and motions...well, you're out of luck. Best to keep track of Super 7 and see how their Filmation version comes out.

February's second figure brought us yet another All-Time Great: FISTO!

Fisto is an absolute must-have for all parties involved. If you like toys, you'll like Fisto. He came with parts to create his vintage look, or his 2002 look.

The vintage version comes with a purple Tri-Klops sword, while the 2002 version comes with a GIANT SWORD the likes of which would make Cloud Strife take part in that "turn your head away from your girlfriend to look at another girl" meme. The 2002 look is completed with a second head (wearing a head piece) and a belt.

I also continued to take pictures of him.

Try to find Fisto. He'll be expensive, no doubt, but try your best. Everyone needs Fisto. Every. Single. Person. All of you.

February wasn't through yet! 2012 was the 30th Anniversary of Masters of the Universe, so, to celebrate, Mattel made the 30th Anniversary subscription - a separate sub from the main sub. The first figure was a milestone: Fearless Photog! This guy was another concept, but with a bit of a complicated backstory. This figure was created by Nathan Bitner for a create-a-character contest in the 80's. Photog was never made, because Masters of the Universe ended before they had a chance (though Nathan got the other spoils of the contest, like a scholarship and a trip). 

Mattel righted the old wrong and made Fearless Photog for the 30th Anniversary series! Photog is fantastic, and an awesome concept and design for everyone to enjoy. I'm hoping he's not that much on the after market, because he's another I'm going to suggest getting, no matter your interests. Photog sports a camera head (with a lever on the head that makes the lens zoom!) and a shield made to look like a camera flash bulb. The sculptors also added a new item in the form of an old timey reel-to-reel camera gun. That's right, it's a gun, maybe! I dunno! I love it! Buy it! Now!

*WHEW* Okay so February wasn't over yet. February was sub exclusive time, and 2012's exclusive was Shadow Weaver...which was a bit of a thing for everyone involved, because ALL THE PEOPLE wanted Shadow Weaver - but not everyone wanted to sub! I wanted a sub, of course, but I agreed with those that felt like such a popular figure shouldn't have been a sub exclusive. Even now, Shadow Weaver is hard to come by without dropping the big bucks.

Shadow Weaver comes with a magic wand and an evil book of some kind. She's a great figure, despite the limitations in the arms from the attached sleeves, but I doubt you'll be able to find her easily.

Finally, on to March! We got a vintage remake of Kobra Kahn, the snake man that had a hollow body you could fill with water, so you could squirt it out of his mouth like a spray bottle! In fact, that may have been the conversation about making his vintage figure: "What if we just make a spray bottle that looked like a toy?" Golden!

Granted, the Classics version doesn't do that. Without his spray ability, he's just another Masters of the Universe Classics figure - or so I thought. I never had this one when I was a kid, so I guess I didn't get to appreciate how cool the design is! Somehow this one jumped up my list quick, when I got him in-hand. He's a nice figure with an awesome shade of green (mixed with more green). I'm not sure how else to sell his coolness without you holding him and saying: "Oh yeah, he is pretty neat." He may not be buy-it-now material, but he's still pretty solid.

Kahn comes with a red pistol (originally he came with the same gun as Zodac, but they redesigned it slightly to give him something different), a second head with an open cobra frill (like the 2002 figure) and a little pet lizard (another 2002 item). 

April was Holy Grail time! The vintage Thunder Punch He-Man was a big time want, when I was a kid. Thankfully this Classics version came along, because it's AWESOME, and I don't feel the need for the original anymore.

TP He-Man is a fine example of Mattel hitting all the right notes. The vintage figure had a cap-firing feature to work with twisting the waist, but we all knew they wouldn't do that with this one, so it was cleverly circumvented with an effect accessory! The clear yellow blast effect slips over his fist perfectly and displays his "Thunder Punch" without the use of caps...though he still comes with a fake plastic cap ring to put in his shield or inside his backpack (which opens up). He's one of my top favorite He-Man variants from the Classics line, and I highly recommend him, if you plan on getting any variants. 

Thunder Punch He-Man comes with a blast effect, translucent gold sword, vac-metal shield, and a little fake plastic cap ring.

Ah, Draego-Man. He was our 30th anniversary figure for April, and he blew everyone away. There's just nothing to hate about this figure. In fact, he's almost so cool that he sometimes gets knocked back a bit in a list, if people ask about favorites. I mean he's obvious!

Draego-Man is so cool that he's almost exempt from favorites lists just so the others can have a chance. You can't avoid it. If he had any drawbacks, it's that he only comes with a flaming sword, and that's it. The shield, normal sword, and fire whip all came in a separate weapons pak, because Draego-Man was apparently too expensive (what with the huge wings) for all of his accessories.

Draego-Man comes highly recommended for all. Quality stuff right here. Primo. 

WHAT DAT STANK? Oh, it's just Stinkor, stinkin' up the flowers of May! This skunk man is a lot like Roboto, in that he really needs his action feature to be unique. Thankfully, Mattel agreed, and a patchouli smell was worked into his plastic so he smelled just like the vintage action figure! Yeah, that's right: he smells like patchouli. I guess that's what the 80's Mattel designers thought would be a bad smell to kids. He actually smells kinda nice!

Stinkor is another one of those "total package" kinda guys, with parts to make him look vintage or 2002. The vintage parts are a repainted Mer-Man head (just like the original), a blue shield (because if your powers are just "Stank", then you're going to need to defend yourself), and a red dot for the front of his armor by his face. His 2002 accessories consist of a new sculpted cat-like head, a set of blue air tanks, a blue breathing mask, a tiny valve handle for the front of his armor by his face, and a blue stank blaster.

If you're wondering about the third pic: The pupil-less head was a factory mistake that I received, and decided to keep 'cause it looks awesome. I managed to snag the correct head from a friend. 

If you like Stinkor, you'll love this figure! You owe it to yourself to pick this one up. I don't think he has much power beyond MotU, but I do think there's some charm in the color scheme and idea. Give him a chance!

May's second sub figure was yet another visit to the land of the 90's, with the New Adventures of He-Man: Slush Head (Or Kalamarr, in Europe). 

Slush Head was a tough one for Mattel: You see, the vintage figure had water in the dome on his head, but they couldn't stick water in this one because they couldn't ship something containing water overseas (or, that's what I heard the problem was). They opted to make a plug in the back of the helmet so you could add your own water. It works - but it also made Mattel glue the helmet to the armor so it couldn't move. A simple cutting of the tabs holding in the helmet made the dome able to turn side to side, but technically that meant the dome was no longer attached to anything...not that it mattered. The dome still sat well in the collar.

Let's forget that, though: Slush Head, without modification, is a great figure! The 90's details are all recreated here, from his tentacles to his crazy axe/gun. If you had any love for the 90's figure, then you'll love this one, and he makes a great alien monster for anyone interested in sci-fi stuff. His only drawbacks are the non-turning head (fixed with a little cutting and praying that you don't damage the dome) and that his tentacles aren't bendy - but they're still posed well for action shots, so you don't miss much! Overall a fine toy and a cool design for anyone to enjoy.

Slush Head comes with an axe/gun, two tentacles (one with a hinged claw), and a dome you can fill with water. 

May had one more figure, and it was for the 30th anniversary sub. That figure was the Mighty Spector.

The 30th Anniversary figures were all designed by different people (Photog by Nathan Bitner, Draego-Man by the Four Horsemen) and Spector was no different. He was designed by Scott Neitlich, or Toyguru; the brand manager for Masters of the Universe Classics. This design was based on one of his childhood drawings, which explains the rad colors. Some folks hate him, some love him, and some can't get around the fact that it looks a little like Deadpool. For me: I love it! I love that it's based on a childhood drawing, and I like the general superhero vibe. It's one of my favorites from the 30th sub. I'm not gona try to sell you on the look - I think you gotta be a 90's kid to really appreciate the big yellow harness - but if you've got an open mind and don't care about what he's from, I think you'll like him. It's a good all-around toy.

Mighty Spector comes with a pistol (fits in the holster!) and a mini-cosmic key on his wrist that can be swapped out for one that emits an energy blade.

Alright, let's move along to June, with a real oddball: Horde Prime! This was supposed to be the sub exclusive, until he was swapped out for Shadow Weaver (for reasons I can't remember). At the time, his face was kept secret, because Horde Prime had previously only existed on the 80's She-Ra cartoon, and only in a giant cloud of darkness. Within that darkness was a vague mask-like shape and giant metal hands. The mask and hands can be seen above, and the rest....well, that was all made up!

Mattel decided his face would look like Hordak's, but red and with bigger ears. Not a bad choice! Maybe a bit anti-climactic, but it works with the story they created for him: He's Hordak's brother.

Enough of that, though! He's a damn awesome figure! Everything about him is "Final Boss" and "Big Bad at the End of the Series". You've got to work on his accessories, however: Horde Prime only comes with a crossbow arm that can be swapped on to his removable hands. His staff came in a weapons pack, and the swords were something I created with Spymonkey Glyos-compatible weapon parts. Just about anything looks good with him, though! He's very much worth hunting down, and I feel like he makes for a great toy in or outside of MotU. Horde Prime may not be end-all-be-all amazing, but he's certainly worth a look for anyone who loves the design.

Horde Prime comes with his crossbow arm, a removable mask/helmet thing, and removable shoulder armor/cape.

June's second figure was, admittedly, a little boring. At some point in the 2002 He-Man series, Man-At-Arms gets turned into a Snake Man. This is him as a Snake Man.

It gets better, though! The original idea for this figure was just that; but the fans felt like it was a little boring, so they asked for the figure to have some more design cues from the 2002 Man-At-Arms. Thankfully, there was enough time to change things, so Mattel added repainted Roboto arms and legs for a more mechanical/armored look, and painted his left hand and foot orange (like the 2002 figure). The figure was an overall lighter orange to match the 2002 figure, and the end result was a much more interesting idea! When you added the second mustache head from the first Man-At-Arms, you got:

A vintage-styled 2002 Man-At-Arms! It was a brilliant idea, though not really something that shines outside the confines of hard-core fan ideas. It's also an idea that only works if you have the first Man-At-Arms, because this one only comes with a Snake Man head. If you want both, then you're golden! This is a great design choice and looks fantastic, but it is far and away from a must-have. If nothing else, it at least shows yet again that Mattel was willing to listen to the fans to spice up the figures.

Snake Man-At-Arms comes with a mace and a little snake ring (the item used to turn him into a snake; not pictured). The big blue blaster came in a separate weapons pak.

June's second slot was 2012's first big 'ol beast: the Griffin! This highly retooled Battle Cat buck was a bit of a surprise, but very much welcomed into the fold of Classics. 

This was a basic steed seen only in the 2002 cartoon. Beast Man (who has the power to control animals) often called them to ride upon, or for the whole evil crew to ride when they needed a swift escape. You'd think they'd be good for attack, too, but...well the bad guys did a lot of escaping. Just how it goes in MotU town.

The figure is just as good as the cats the body is based on, with the added awesomeness of wings, a friggin' axe beak, and the fact that it's a straight-up classic mythical beast. It goes without saying that this is a must-have for any toy fan, especially if you like fantasy toys. This will fit in almost anywhere, and it's a solid toy or display piece.  Highly recommended.

Here comes July, and what goes better with fireworks than a dude who looks like he's mid-explosion? This is Spikor, who has no time for you or your crap. Look at that face! He's had enough of everything, everywhere, from every person.

Spikor is another direct recreation from the vintage line. His deal was SPIKES. Also, when you did his basic twist-waist-punch, his trident arm would extend and stab with deadly intent. As with most Classics figures, Spikor had been declawed and his feature had been replaced with swappable parts: you can swap out his short trident with his long trident. Also, since they already worked in the swappable parts; they decided to add in an extra normal left hand, to display him before he had whatever accident lead him to having a badass trident arm (we'll just say it wasn't an accident, and he just figured the positives of a trident arm outweighed the positives of a functional left hand).

Spikor is weird, but he also exemplifies how weird MotU was as a whole. There's not even any sort of theme here, beyond spikes. I love it. Plus, the Classics figure is even more apt for the spike theme, since the spikes on his body are actually kinda hard - you could hurt yourself if you fell on this guy! I don't think he'll appeal to everyone, but I have a feeling that he breaks out of the MotU story by design alone. There's a lot of designer toys and vinyl monsters that have this sort of design. Spikor would fit right in anywhere, even on a shelf full of fancy designer figures!

Spikor comes with two tridents (long and short), a red part to add to the wrist (for his vintage figure look), a left hand, and a big, orange spiked mace (which could also be used as a dangerous road cone).

August! SDCC time again! This time there was only one exclusive, and it's the most obscure of the obscure concepts: Vykron, the uh...costume changer?

*Deep breath* Okay, are you ready? This is a pack of one figure and three costumes, based on concepts made by Roger Sweet when he originally pitched the MotU toyline to Mattel. The idea was a jack of all trades who could be any hero you wanted, with just the change of a costume. The costumes included are Vykron, the barbarian, a tank suit that I affectionately call Tank Top, and a space guy with a clearly modified Boba Fett helmet. The barbarian guy was accepted and the MotU line sparked into the fire that we saw in the 80's. 

So that's what this is! Now, you may be wondering: Why are the costumes on different bodies? Well, I hate swapping this dude around, so I found different bodies for each suit and made them into separate characters. Sadly, the Boba Fett helmet only fits on the barbarian head, so it has to sit to the side.

The Tank Top armor is on a figure from the Fighting Foe Men pack (we'll see that in a later year). The armor slips over the body like usual, and the leg and arm parts clip on. Tank Top has a tank cannon for a head, and carries a rifle of some sort.

The space armor slips over and wraps around (at the belt section) and the arm and leg parts clip on. He also has a winged jetpack that plugs into the back of the armor (with a missile on Boba Fett) and a spacey looking rifle. I put it on an extra Faker because I'm a HUGE fan of Faker, and I wanted to make a New Adventures style version. 

Finally, Vykron himself wears a He-Man like harness with a big fur "cape" kinda thing on the back (securing the harness), and clip-on arm and leg parts. He carries a elaborate battle axe.

Overall, it's an interesting set, and one I'm glad to have, but I wouldn't recommend hunting it down unless you're a big MotU fan. I'd say it does break away from MotU and has some really cool designs, but I doubt this will be easy to hunt down, or worth the time in the end, since you'd need extra bodies to use all the parts.

Beyond the SDCC figure, we only got one figure for August, for the 30th Anniversary Sub: Sir Laser Lot! This was designed by Geoff Johns, a comic book writer. Similarly to Mighty Spector, Laser Lot is based on Johns' old childhood drawings.

You can tell from the fact that he's a fusion of knight, possibly a robot, uses Superman's color scheme and carries laser weapons. You can't get more "childhood drawing" than that! The laser weapons alone make it every kid's dream warrior.

If you're new to my blog, you might not realize that I love this figure, so here's the gist: I LOVE THIS DUDE. I mean, the laser sword alone was enough, but he has a LASER MACE. How does that even work? Do you care? I don't care! I'm gona have to toss this one on the buy-on-sight list whether or not you agree. He's awesome, and I hope you've got the eyes to see it like I do. Embrace Sir Laser Lot. Love him like you would love your own.

Sir Laser Lot comes with a laser sword, laser mace, magic energy shield, and the dreams of children everywhere.

Moving into September, we see another basic favorite from the vintage line: MEKANECK! I wrote his name in all caps because he was a particular favorite, and he still ended up as a favorite for the Classics line.

Vintage Mekaneck had a feature where you twisted his waist and his neck would extend. Naturally, he was a favorite for just that feature (though I liked the design as well). Mattel couldn't do that, so they did exactly what everyone assumed they would: Provide swap-out necks. The cool thing is that they provided TWO necks! A basic one (meant to mimic the toy's) and a LOOOONG one! Sadly, you can't double up on them, because the bottom of each has a blue ring to blend in with the neck of figure, but I don't find myself caring. He may not break away from MotU very well, but he's an excellent figure, and I highly recommend him for MotU fans!

September's second figure is a bit of a sore spot for me: Dragon Blaster Skeletor. The long version of why he's a sore spot is in the link I just provided, but the short version goes like this: The Classics series had been going strong for three years at this point, and DB Skelly was a BIG time want for me (he was my main Skeletor, when I was a kid). So I was highly anticipating him, and expected no disappointments, because he was just another Skeletor with new armor and a dragon. Sadly, they took this Skeletor to try out things. Like painting the arms blue, rather than casting them in blue plastic (making me have to send my first one back because the blue paint was splattered all over). They also messed with the neck peg, so his head doesn't sit right. On top of that, the vintage figure had a removable chain, but it was locked in tight and a little too short on the Classics version.

The end result was a bit of a mess, especially considering it was just another Skeletor, and they'd already done a few by this point. I fixed him up with a new chain and added a little key. I'm not as bothered by him now, but he's not really recommended, either. DB Skelly was far from the above-and-beyond I've felt with many other Classics figures; he somehow felt rushed and sloppy. If you love Dragon Blaster Skeletor and are in the mood for some work, he's salvageable, but I'm not gona act like he's a must-have even for the die-hards.

Dragon Blaster Skeletor comes with a purple Power Sword, and a chain and lock attached to his armor and dragon. The dragon can be removed from the back without modification, but the original short chain won't let you do anything with it.

September's last item was thankfully a nice pick-me-up after DB Skelly's let down. These are the Snake Men.

This was Classics' second army building pack, and it was just as good as the last! The Snake Men pack was full of random snake dude goodness. I bought two packs, so I could build each snakeman. The weapons, the head sculpts, the armor - all awesome! This was a great set, and is worth hunting down for anyone who likes monster guys. Plus, you can have your own Hissa!

...okay so Hissa doesn't come with a rose or the weapons pak Zodac armor, but you get the idea. Hissa is the friendliest Snake Man in the Universe. Love him.

The Snake Man pack comes with two different bodies, four heads, two different armors, and swords, shields, maces, and spears! Go buy it possibly! I mean, if it's not crazy expensive. Probably is. Give it a look.

October cometh, and with the cooler winds blew in Frosta! She's the first honest remake from the Princess of Power line. Technically there was She-Ra, but she had to have a second figure come out to add more details from the toy. Then there was Catra, but she was based on the cartoon, which was very different from the toy. Frosta does a nice job mixing details from the toy with details from the toon (though, the look is mostly toon). 

She's not perfect, but she's serviceable. The head sculpt looks perfect from certain angles, and a little off at other angles. Her white color is also a little grayish, rather than pure white. Small stuff, though! If you like Frosta, you'll probably be fine with this figure. She doesn't really go all-out, though, and I wouldn't count her among the best. Good enough, but not so much that she's a major buy. Middle of the road!

October's second figure continued the suspiciously well-placed figure releases right in my birthday month, with Rattlor. He was a big time favorite when I was a kid, so it was great getting him in October! I dunno how Mattel was inside my head so often, but I just stopped asking questions and let them rummage around in there. They were obviously doing well with the birthday gifts so far!

Rattlor's vintage figure had a button on his back that shot is neck out, so he could bite suckas all quick-like. Naturally, like with Mekaneck, Rattlor had to have a swap-out neck piece to display the quick-strike neck. Worked out pretty well! Plus, I always liked the design and the colors, and they were recreated with loving care. If you like Rattlor, then he's a must-have! I'm not so sure he's amazing for everyone, but definitely MotU fans.

Rattlor comes with his Snake Men staff and a neck extension. His 2002 armor came in a later weapons pak.

Uh-Oh, there was a THIRD October figure, for the 30th Anniversary! And it was THE BEST, MAN! What a birthday month! This is friggin' Cy-Chop, from the Terry Higuchi, who designed figures for the 90's New Adventures of He-Man line. Is it any wonder that he created a sci-fi monstrosity? 

Cy-Chop is a cyborg monster with a see-through chest (so you can see his guts) and a silver head! He's a mash-up of classic Japanese toy tropes, with a heavy reference to Microman. Also BIG DANG SCISSOR HANDS! Like, huge, man! How do you even move around with those? 

You can probably already tell I love this figure, so let's just cut to the chase: He's crazy-looking, so I can imagine he's had strong opinions said about him on both sides. I'm on the "This is friggin' rad" side, so I'm going to highly recommend him and tell everyone to buy him however you can. If he had any drawbacks, it's that the scissor hands are almost TOO big, but honestly, that's part of the draw too, I think. The scissors can be removed though, and they fit on the same pegs as Trap-Jaw's and Roboto's weapons, so he can use any other arm weapons in Classics. With that in mind: He's pictured above with extra Trap-Jaw weapons from a weapons pak, and a pair of crazy weapon things I built from Spymonkey Glyos compatible weapon parts. As he is, he only comes with the giant scissors and a removable belt.

Buy Cy-Chop.

Alright, time to calm down a little bit with November. This one is a little obscure; it's Dekker, from the 2002 cartoon. He was only in a few episodes (or maybe just one? Can't remember), and he was the man who trained Man-At-Arms. We also found out that "Man-At-Arms" is a title, since Dekker was the previous Man-At-Arms.

With that in mind, the figure came with two heads: One old, and one young (to show how he looked when he was Man-At-Arms). Since the clothes he's wearing are based on what he wears as an old man, I felt it necessary to get a second Man-At-Arms figure to give the younger head to.

Dekker is an oddball; not having much background beyond "guy who trained Man-At-Arms." Still, if you've seen the 2002 cartoon, you'd understand why people wanted him. He's a decent "regular old man" for a fantasy toy line, if you're interested, but I doubt this one will be all that popular outside of MotU. Still a good figure, nonetheless.

Dekker comes with an orange mace and a second younger head. The green organic shield is from a weapons pak, as is the lion shield in the second pic.

Whoops, did I say November was calming down? There's actually a bunch for November! One of which is...this guy. The Burger King.

Okay, so it's not the Burger King. It's King Randor, as he appeared in the 80's cartoon. I have no idea why people wanted this one so badly, when the vintage toy version and 2002 version were so cool, but here he is; little fancy booties and all. He does what he needs to do, I suppose. I mean, he stands there. His tunic stops his legs from doing much, and for some reason, the designers decided to cut his bicep swivel joint, so even though he comes with a cup, he's unable to look like he's drinking from it. If you really want a cartoon Randor, then I suppose this one is your figure. He's just an abnormally boring figure that does less than nearly every other figure in the series. 

Randor comes with a spear, goblet full of pudding (probably supposed to be wine) and the overwhelming urge to strut his stuff.

Aw baby, here we go! The 30th Anniversary character for November - and the last 30th guy - is none other than Castle Grayskull Man, from Daniel Benedict, who won the fan create-a-character contest for the 30th sub.

Castle Grayskull man takes the brilliant idea of personifying Castle Grayskull, and does it with style. Not only does he sport the green bricks, but his chest and shield display the skull from the gate of the castle, and his swords are directly designed off of the swords on the flag of Castle Grayskull! What's not to love? It's a great love letter to MotU fans, and if that's who you are, then you owe it to yourself to pick this one up. I might even say he's cool enough for anyone, but you can't really appreciate the little things on this guy without having that MotU background. Just looking at this guy brings a smile to my face.

Castle Grayskull man comes with his swords, a shield, and the secret name of Grayskull-Tan.

This one also came out in November, though it wasn't in either sub. This is "Temple of Darkness" Scorceress (as seen in a minicomic), and she was sold through outside sources first, before being on Mattel's store.

She has the same problems as the first Sorceress, but is somehow more endearing? Hard to say, really. The all-white costume really suits her, and she has clear wings! I do wish the wings worked better, but she's cool enough as-is. If you're looking for a Sorceress, you'll probably want the first one, though I'd suggest giving this one a shot if you can find it. She looks way cooler.

Sorceress comes with her staff - that's it!

Final stretch, baby! December is usually too cold for mosquitoes, but Mostquitor is geared up and ready to take on all weather and all opponents. I never had the vintage Mosquitor, but I had always wanted it! Vintage Mosquitor had a button on the back that "pumps blood" through the chest symbol, to show how he was sucking blood off his enemies. Classics Mostquitor doesn't do that, and has nothing to compensate for it, but it's totally fine! This is one of those vintage figures that shines through design alone, and the Classics figure shows that effortlessly. He's just a great looking figure that you had no idea you wanted until you got him.

Mosquitor comes with just his purple rifle, but he's also got a bladed face and the sculpting on his chest symbol is just fantastic!

December ended with a BEAST, or two. The first was this giant rock man, Procrustus! He was seen in the old minicomics, holding Eternia together in the center of the planet.

Procrustus wasn't meant to do much beyond hold the planet together, but MAN is he a cool design! He is, without a doubt, my favorite of the giants in Classics. The rocky design is perfect, the color choices are excellent, and the four-armed-rock-man thing is perfect for all collectors. If you wanted one giant dude from Classics, this is the one to get. Also, if you just want a giant rock dude, then this is your man! He's a giant toy for all occasions. His only drawback is that the shoulders are just swivel joints, not disc-hinges, so his arms won't move outward. Still, it's a small negative point amidst many positives. 

Procrustus comes with his manly rock bod and a translucent yellow sphere called the "Star Seed."

WOW, December ended big! Like, big BIG! Our final figure for the year of 2012 was Granamyr, the ancient and wise dragon.

Granamyr first showed up in the minicomics (colored green, which was also a Power Con Exclusive repaint of this figure that I didn't get). He dispensed wisdom and quests, because that's a common dragon thing to do. Granamyr also appeared in the 80's toon, colored red, like the figure above. 

Granamyr is BIG, so much so that you'll often see pictures of him strapped into a baby's car seat (usually eating snacks). He sports articulation in the elbows, wrists, shoulders (though the shoulders are only swivels, sadly), wings, tail, and full articulation in the knees, ankles and hips...though he doesn't do much but sit there. This figure is pretty spectacular, though he takes up space because of his size, and can't really be posed in too many different ways beyond "sitting" and "dispensing wisdom." He's finely sculpted, well painted, and a gorgeous display piece...but I'm not sure if he's recommended for anyone but die-hard MotU fans. If you're big fan of dragons, maybe, but he's a very specific kind of dragon. The pot-bellied kind. 

Granamyr comes with nothing but his massive girth and should have come with a pile of beer cans, because look at him!

That was 2012, for Masters of the Universe Classics! There were quite a few wins, but if I'm honest, I also feel like this was the year where I felt a little overwhelmed. We got a ton of figures, and the well was starting to run dry for vintage figures while more obscure items were being made. All fine figures, but also a small handful of figures where I was like "Nice. But...just nice. That's it." This was also the year of the first major misstep - for me - in Dragon Blaster Skeletor. Were things starting to go downhill? Find out next time, in 2013: The year I could barely fathom beyond 2012! I mean come on, who thought we would live that long?