Want to know something frightning? See that picture above; from that angle He-Man looks like Kelly Ripa. It’s haunting me now …
February marks the first entry in the newly named “Club Grayskull” subscription: He-Man. Originally the subscription was called “Classics 2.0” but a week or two back I received an email from Mattel claiming that they changed it. I’m not really sure why they needed to go through the effort since the subscriptions have already been sold, but I’ll assume it is posturing for the future. So I guess that could be a good sign!
Club Grayskull is basically main characters from Masters of the Universe redone in their Filmation cartoon look. We had a six figure Filmation subscription a couple years back in 2013, but that was mostly one shot characters from the cartoon like Icer and Batros. This one is more focused on main characters that have been done in Classics previously like He-Man, Skeletor, Evil-Lyn, and others. During the original Masters of the Universe run the cartoon was influenced by the toys, so they never really went back and made a second He-Man that looked more like the show. So this is a first for all of these characters, and it’s a pretty exciting subscription.
Masters of the Universe Classics – He-Man
Release Date: 02/15/2016 (Club Grayskull Subscription)
Price: $20.00 ($25.00 non sub)
First things first, they changed the box! For the first time in eight years we have a change of packaging for the single carded Masters of the Universe Classics figures. We’ve moved from a blister card to a window box. The window box also has a slipcover which I assume is the replacement for the big brown shipper that packaged figures used to (and still will outside of this subscription) come in. The bios have been omitted, which has been replaced with a little blurb about how Mattel is bringing the Filmation cartoon back to life. The box is also almost collector friendly, if it wasn’t for the plastic bands that need to be cut to free He-Man.
He-Man comes packed with his power sword and a a stone structure that can be used to rack his sword. If we are looking for inaccuracies look no further than the color of the sword. The sculpt looks decent as far as I can tell (it’s the same one that was packed with Flogg, and it’s not completely accurate but close enough for me), but the color is too dark and almost matches the color of his harness. Whereas the sword should be more of a silver tone than what we ended up with. He-Man does, however, have a sheath to store his sword when not calling upon the power of Grayskull. He also has the stone structure if he so chooses to rest his sword there.
His sword gripping hand is slightly more open than it needs to be to hold the sword. A fairly easy remedy I’ve found for this is just heating it up and pushing it in a little. He grips it fine after that, and it also makes a decent makeshift fist.
In order to make a Filmation He-Man from the Masters of the Universe Classics body the following changes needed to be made: new boots, new belt, new loincloth, new harness, new forearms, and new head. I probably didn’t need to say “new” before every single one of those items but there is no going back now.
However, let’s address the 500 lb gorilla in the room, the ankles. I love them. It’s been years since we’ve had functional ankle rocker joints in MOTUC. The joints even have better range than a Marvel Legends’ ankle, which is very uncharacteristic of Mattel to go out of their way and innovate something. My He-Man’s ankles are nice and tight, but I can see how in time they could start to loosen up. I’ve noticed that since they’ve been digging the pin-hole deeper into the head we get less neck movement. Making it hard for him to look down at his sword like he does when holding the sword with both hands.
Overall, Filmation He-Man is a big hit for me! Most of the problems I have with him were already inherent issues with the Masters of the Universe Classics body, so I can’t hold him completely accountable for those. Last year burned me out pretty hard on He-Man variants. There are a lot of them out there, but this is something special. This is something that has not been done before. They did a great job with it and it appears from the rather instant sell-through that people at least like the idea of it. For $20 as a subscriber I’m more than pleased and almost wish I got a second sub.
He-Man sold out pretty damn fast over at Matty. It may be worth keeping an eye on Amazon to see if a decent deal pops up.