We haven’t had an army builder two-pack since way back in early 2011 when we got the Eternian Guards. We have had a three-pack, but I seriously doubt anyone in the world army built the Star Sisters. This brings us to the second army builder (unless you are like me and army build Mekanecks) the Snake Men. They don’t have names, but they are a welcome addition to a faction that really did not get much love until this year.
Masters of the Universe Classics – Snake Men
Release Date: 07/19/2012 (Subscription Quarterly Beast/Multipack)
Price: $40.00 ($44.00 non sub)
Faction: Snake Men
Real Name: Varies (Slithering Minions of King Hsss)
I don’t think we ever asked for them, and they seemed like a surprise at least to me when they were announced. One figure reusing the Whiplash and Kobra Khan body and the other a completely new sculpt (well almost completely he has the usual human torso). While these aren’t the Horde Troopers (which we can only guess will be coming out some time in 2013) the Snake Men can stand pretty high up there as an army builder you may not have been expecting, but will probably buy at least two.
The Snake Men follow the same formula their previous army builder ancestors the Eternian Guards have. The pack includes four heads, two different removable armors, a short-sword, mace, pike, and shield. Similar to the previous two-pack as well is the lack of discount for having two figures in one package, you will still pay $40 as a sub holder or $44 as a simpleton to own this pack. They also come in the same window box that fits two, obviously there are different cross-sell characters on the back.
What really makes this two-pack special is the newly sculpted snake body for one of the snake men. On what I will refer to as the first snake man we have the Kobra Khan shins, feet, waist, and arms and the Whiplash upper legs. Both snakes use the human torso because it is the best fit for the armor. It would have been cool to get the Rattlor chest on second snake man, but I understand the logistics of making the armor work for both. Snake Man number two is an all new sculpt minus the torso. It is also the base for Rattlor, in fact when the snake men were revealed the first thing people said about the new body was “Rattlor is coming soon.” And they were all correct as Rattlor is our October figure! I love the new snake body, it is a welcome addition to the buck family and I am sure it will be used a lot going forward.
One thing you do have to look out for on the new snake body is the good old black plastic thing. Unlike snake man number one who was molded in his color, snake number two is molded in black plastic and painted. I would suggest being sparing with the shield on him as the paint has started to chip around his wrist. Also if you switch weapons a lot the inside of his hands will take a beating. The black plastic may be a bit of a “thing” right now, but I don’t let it get in the way of enjoying these dudes … they are still really cool regardless of their flaws.
The set comes with four heads and each color has an open and closed mouth head. At first I thought this was a bit silly and why not put an articulated jaw on them. However upon further inspection each of these heads are different, they have different facial features and different colored eyes. My preference for the brownish-yellow snake is the closed mouth, I think the open one is a little over the top mad. I really like both yellow heads though, so I am not particular to either one. Of them all I think my favorite would be the closed-mouth brownish-yellow head as it has some kind of young innocence about it. Not quite sure why that would appeal to me, but it does.
The accessories are snake themed as can be expected of anything in the Masters of the Universe mythos. The handles on the sword and pike actually end in a little snake mouth and the extending blade is curvy like a tongue. I’m not exactly sure what is going on with the mace, it looks like a silver bee hive attached to a stick. It would also probably hurt like hell if you ever got hit with it. The shield has nice detail, and I like it better than King Hsss’ red shield that makes him look like Christmas Hsss.
While the Snake Men take a lot of their appearence from the MYP cartoon they do not look out-of-place in the Classics line. They make a great addition to the rapidly growing Snake Men family. In less than a month we will get to see that new snake body when Rattlor comes out.
Do Snake Men get figure of the year? I must admit that I was really pumped to get these guys, but there are a few things that keep them from being my figures of the year. I wish they had made the difference in color a little stronger between the two snakes. They are so close in color you can pretty much put any head on a body and it would work. Chipping paint on the new body is a total let down. I do hope they address this sooner than later (and according to TG it should be addressed by November) because it really sucks to see those black smudges on an otherwise beautiful figure.
One other con, if you consider it one, is that it came out during an expensive month. There was an additional two other figures shipping this month which may have put a damper on your willingness to army build these guys. The other tough part is that the rest of the year is going to be heavy on figures as well due to the delays early in 2012. While this is kind of good news to get so many figures it doesn’t leave you much wiggle room to grab a few extra Snake Men packs.
I do hope Mattel realises the potential in changing the color scheme for these guys and reissuing them down the line. Even after the line is on its last legs this can be an easy way for them to get some figures out that don’t cost them much. I would love greens, reds, purples, and blacks of these guys. I’m sure there is nothing planned right now, but something offered in 2013 outside the subscription would be fantastic. Matty is always looking for a way to save money, this is the perfect venue and I think fans would generally be happy with the option as well.
Where can I get the Snake Men? I would keep an eye on Amazon, the prices are a little high right now but they should stabilize in coming months.