Back last summer when Mattel was pushing us to buy subscriptions for 2013, they hinted that if the subscription goes through we would get a fan favorite army-building two-pack. Now my hope for this two pack was a couple of Time Agents because I feel like that faction has a severe lack of representation in MOTUC. Unfortunately I was wrong and the two-pack turned out to be exactly what everyone expected, the Horde Troopers.
Masters of the Universe Classics – Horde Troopers
Release Date: 10/15/2013 (Monthly Subscription – Quarterly Multi-pack)
Price: $50.00 ($54.00 non sub)
Faction: Evil Mechanical Enforcers of Hordak (Horde)
The Horde Troopers came and went quickly on Matty’s monthly sale day. They lasted maybe ten minutes or so making them the fastest sellout in over a year. It wasn’t really surprising that they went quick; there was an expectation people were going to buy multiples to army build. Regardless, people were pretty shocked and upset when they missed out on them. It is assumed Mattel manufactured a higher quantity of these figures over others because of the army-building nature of the characters. Whether they did or not the fact remains that the response was huge, and the Horde Troopers join a sizable list of figures that should eventually get a rerelease.
As I mentioned in the Mantenna review this month we got two completely new tooled figures. There is not a single reused part on the Horde Trooper unless you want to count that little ball that the head snaps onto. Mattel also hasn’t wasted any time using the new torso because Flogg, who is planned for next year, will be using that along with some other Horde Trooper parts.
Fans of symmetry will be both pleased and disgusted with this two-pack. They will be pleased as punch to find out that both troopers come packed with a full set of accessories. The box set comes with two of each unique Horde Trooper crossbow, stun rod, stave, and shield. The staves are my favorite of the bunch. I’d like the shields a lot more if they had positioned the clip on opposite ends for the other guard. The way they are set up makes it so you can only snap it on their left arms because of the clip’s placement. It’s a small complaint but I’d imagine it would annoy me more if I had an army of ten and they all wanted to wear their shield on the same arm.
I mentioned symmetry fans would also be disappointed and the reason is because one of the Horde Troopers has some “battle damage.” So if you just bought one set you would not have two pristine Troopers, but one that has a few gunshots on his body and head. I remember when Hasbro’s MP-01 Optimus Prime came out and people were mad about two things: short smoke stacks and battle damage. Luckily the Horde Troopers don’t have smoke stacks, but I imagine there are a few people upset over those damage details being added to one of their troopers. Having a couple of sets myself, I do find it a little jarring to see a couple of troopers with the exact same damage on their bodies.
The troopers also run into a similar problem that another popular army-builder faced in their armor restricting articulation. The Hasbro Star Wars Black six-inch Sandtroopers have a similar issue where its hard to hit some poses because their armor gets in the way. Horde Troopers are not immune to this because I find their elbows have a very limited range of motion. I could probably rail on the MOTUC line as a whole over range of arm movement, but the troopers have it just a little bit worse than the rest of the series.
I could sit here and bitch and complain about every small detail that bugs me about these figures but the truth is they are pretty awesome. Come on! We just got an updated version of the Horde Trooper! We didn’t even get a super-stylized version in the 200x series, and now we have a two-pack with a ton of cool accessories. The Horde is a pretty extensive and varied faction and the Classics line has done a very good job representing their members.
The ability to swap heads in this line really brings a whole other new dimension into the display options with the Horde Troopers. Just about any head works under their armor. The expected heads would be Hordak and He-Man, but I found that I really like the modern Whiplash and Optick heads as well. Many an afternoon has been spent sticking random Masters of the Universe Classics heads on my Horde Trooper bodies.
Do you want some Horde Troopers? Well good luck they are way sold out. I’m sure Mattel will put up the remaining customer service at some point in their “early access” program. But that will be less than a thousand items and will most likely sell out instantly. You can keep checking places like Amazon to see if you can get a deal, but be careful and patient since right now people are trying to get a good return on them.
Personally I have to think at some point very late in the line a few of these highly sought after figures are going to go into a second run. Maybe it will be in 2016 when the line is expected to start wrapping up they will try to get out a few characters like Fisto, Sorceress, Whiplash, and the Horde Troopers as an “all-star” or “best-of” wave of releases. I’d imagine they will also have a substantial markup since they will be a limited run. What I still really want is a recolored Snake Men two-pack, but I think with things the way they are that window is closing at a much more rapid pace. Of course this is all speculation at this point, but if you want stuff like that you are going to have to keep bugging Mattel. They don’t always listen at first, but if they feel there is money to be made they will act.