Toy Review- Super7 Masters of the Universe Classics Collector’s Choice Wave 2

After a bumpy start, Super7’s Masters of the Universe Classics lines saw their first waves released earlier this year.  This time,  they promised the second wave by late August/early September.  They kept that promise, mostly as wave 2 of both Club Grayskull and Collector’s Choice started shipping the second week in September.  I had ordered Collector’s Choice wave 2 solely on the figure based on Karg from the live action He-Man movie from 1987.  Lets take a look at all of the figures in the set.

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L-R: Dylamug. Karg, Wrap-Trap, and Granita

Wave 2 consists of four figures from various parts of the Masters of the Universe line’s history.  From the aforementioned live action movie (Karg) to characters from the various cartoons (Dylamug and Granita) to unproduced characters finally seeing the light of day (Wrap-Trap), the Collector’s Choice line pulls from various sources  Let’s look at each figure.

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The first figure is a member of the Horde, Dylamug.  He checks off two categories that this line pulls from: unproduced figures from the original line and secondary characters from the Filmation cartoons.  Dyalmug was a planned character who never go out of the development stage.  He was used, however, as a character in the She-Ra cartoon.  Dylamug appeared working with the Horde for three episodes of the original series.

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The Dylamug figure is an entirely new sculpt as there have not been any characters like this produced before.  He main feature is his large face that is in his chest.  The eyes and mouth are on dials so you can rotate them to get his face in various expressions (dial a mug!) He has ball joints at the shoulders, allowing for a range of movement hindered a bit by the wire that runs from his shoulder to his arm.  His elbows can bend over 90 degrees and his legs can move forward and backwards at the hip.  There are no knee joints but they do rotate at the thigh cut and his ankles can move up and down and pivot.

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You can move the dials in his mug to get different expressions.

For accessories, he comes with three Horde crests which go on his forehead.  The first two are cartoon accurate with one being his normal crest and the other representing shooting a laser blast from the crest.  The third is a toy line accurate crest, so he can fit in with the rest of the Classic line Horde figures.

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Next we got Karg.  Karg is a character from the 1987 live action Masters of the Universe movie.  He was a gruesome, yet well-spoken lackey of Skeletor that was introduced in the movie in lieu of more recognizable characters.  He never has a figure in any of the previous line and there has been some interest in seeing characters from the movie get a figure.  So Karg here joins Blade, Sauroid and Gwildor as the only MOTU movie characters to get a figure.

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In hand, Karg is a nice, solid figure.  His suit in the movie was black though and there wasn’t any red on his cape, but overall they go his look down nicely. There could be many reasons for the colour change, but I think it allows the Four Horsemen (the team that sculpts/designs these figures) to show more detail.  His skin is  a sickly green here instead of pale as in the movie (maybe for him, it’s a healthy green as the pale look didn’t look healthy either) and his hair is a darker shade of blonde.  According to Wiki Grayskull (here), this is based on his look in the comic book adaptation of the movie by Star/Marvel Comics.)  He looks nice and even has the hook hand as in the movie.  But, honestly the movie was so long ago and I’m just glad we have a figure of this guy.

Articulation-wise, he is like most other male Classics figure.  The head, while on a ball joint, moves left and right al the way around, but on a bit up and down due to the hair.  The ball-jointed shoulders ge ut a good range of motion even with the rubber pauldron on his shoulders.  His elbows bend 90 degrees, his wrist rotate and has the newer joint to move left or right.  Legs can go forward and back, out and in, knees bed to a right angle, there is a boot cut to allow some rotation, and the ankle can move up and down but no ankle pivot!

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For accessories, he has two (the hook, which is non removable, does not count.)  He comes with a blaster and a knife, which is assume is a laser knife as the blade is blue.

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Next is Granita, the sole female in this wave.  Granita is a female from the Rock Person race, the same as Stonedar and Rokkon.  While Stonedar and Rokkon were in the original toy line, Granita was not, only appearing in a couple of episodes of the She-Ra cartoon along with the other two.

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Granita looks like she did in the episodes of She-Ra that the Rock People were in.  Her red and pink suit, gold belt, blue skin and green hair are straight from the Filmation designs.  Her articulation is similar to the Hawke figures from the last wave but much more tighter.  Her head is on a ball joint, but her hair doesn’t allow for much movement .  Her arms are the same as Hawke, down to the newer wrist joints.  She has a joint below the breasts in lieu of a waist swivel ,again like Hawke.  Her hip, knee and ankle joints are the same too, complete with ankle pivot.  The right arm swivel on mine a bit looser than I’d like, but definitely a tighter figure than Hawke.

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Accessory-wise, she comes with rock armour to complete her look.  The pieces snap or peg onto her back, arms and legs to make her looks like the other rock people figures.  The pieces stay on pretty good and can actually help to stand your figure better.  She also comes with a laser gun similar to Stonedar and Rokkon.  Like the Classics versions of those figures, you can have her hold it in her hand or plug it into her belt.

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Belt guns are all the rage in Etheria this year.
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Granita comes with rock armour and this extra piece.

The original Stonedar and Rokkon figures were designed to be able to change into rocks (because in the mid 1980’s the most popular things were toys that change and rocks) and the Classic version included pieces to mimic this.  Granita is no exception.  With all her rock armour on, you take this extra piece and bend the figure over to get… a rock.

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Thrilling.

The 1980’s were a simpler time, that’s for sure.

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Lastly, we have Wrap-Trap.  Also known online as Fear-Ro or the much simpler Horde Mummy, Wrap-Trap was an unproduced figure from the original toy line.  Over the years, He-Man fandom have comes across the original concept art for this character and at last, he see an official release.

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Seemingly a mostly new sculpt, Wrap-Trap  has off-white mummy wrapping over a light green skin and red eyes.  His Horde harness is sculpted on, which might disappoint some.  His articulation is nice and tight and are not hindered much by the sculpted  He does have the newer wrist articulation and, unlike Karg, he  has ankle pivot joints.  He is a fierce-looking mummy.

He has two accessories.  First is a scimitar, done to look old and worn.  The blade is a dull, metallic grey and tha handle is gold.  Next we have Wrap-Trap’s crossbow.  Crossbows are a thing in the Horde and every humanoid Horde member has got one.  Wrap-Trap’s has an Egyptian feel to it with the gold and metallic blue, winged beetle motif.  Say what you will about the Horde, but, at least with the crossbows, they allow you to be you.

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For the best of the wave, i will have to go with Dylamug.  I was all set to really like Karg, and I do, but Dyalmug, a character that I wasn’t so thrilled about when he was announced, impressed me with how well it was made.  His action feature works well and it can stand on his own.  There is not really a dud amongst these figures, either.  Granita make be the weakest, but the design and look of the figure is good and the accessories included just to make her be able to turn into a rock shows how Super7 and the Four Horsemen are dedicated to give us figures we’ll like

So, that was wave 2 of the Masters of the Universe Classics Collector’s Choice.  These figures have been anticipated  since last fall, and, with all of the wait we had for wave 1, I am glad we only had to wait six months from actually ordering them. (unless you one of those you ordered even before the first wave oc Collector’s Choice or Club Eternia., then, over a year…)  While the wave three of Club Grayskull was revealed back in July, we have yet to see the next iteration of this subscription.  I hope that changes next week as Super 7 will be at New York Comic Con.  Depending on who they are offering, I might go with the Filmation line as it would be the only way to get a Fisto without paying $200 for a loose figure.

Masters of the Universe Classics Collector’s Choice Wave 2 was purchased from http://www.Super7.com as a preorder.  They are no longer available on that site, but could be found on at websites like Big Bad Toy Store or on eBay.  Check back with Super7 website in the near future for more information on the next round of preorders.

This Review is for entertainment purposes only. I have no affiliation with Mattel, Super 7 or any other website mentioned.  These items were purchased by me with my own money. I have not received any payment for this review. All opinions are mine and any pictures taken are for review purposes only.

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“And I thought She Ra was a pain in the disk drive!”

Graphic Novel Review: He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Mini-Comic Collection

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iHe-Man mini-comics

As a child in the early 1980’s I remember when the He-Man toys first came out,  They were different from anything else on the shelves at that time, a strange combination of Conan and Star Wars.  At first, though, there wasn’t any cartoon to introduce us to those characters.  To do that, each Masters of the Universe toy came with a mini-comic.  Those first books introduced us to He-man, Teela, Man-At-Arms and others as they fought Skeletor and his minions over the power within the mysterious Castle Grayskull.  These pack-in mini-conics lasts the entire line, even in its sister , Princess of Power and reappears in some form in the later lines.  Now all those classic stories are collected into one book.

This one.
This one.

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Mini-Comic Collection is a hardcover graphic novel published by Dark Horse Books, in association with Mattel and DreamWorks Animation.  The book reprints all 51 of the original mini-comics from the original Master of the Universe toy line, plus all the Princess of Power mini-comic and books from subsequent lines.  There are also interviews with various writers and artists that worked on the line.

First of all the reprinted books look amazing.  The original mini-comics were not that big but to see the art in a bigger, almost regular-sized comic format is great.  The art, for the most part, looks good in a bigger size and you can really see the details.  The colours are good too, albeit not a vibrant as comics today with the advent of computer colouring.  As mentioned before, the book is a hardcover and is fairly hefty, due to containing so much material.

The stories hold up well, despite being written for a boy’s toy line 30 years ago.  The earlier stories are an especially interesting read, as it is very different from what be got with the cartoons series.  He-Man was not Prince Adam, but a warrior from a jungle tribe.  There was no Sorceress, but a Goddess, a green skinned (as first) woman that gave He-Man his “techo-vest” with gave him his super strength and invulnerability.  Man-At-Arms was not the King’s armourer, but the caretaker of lost technologies after  a cataclysm wiped out civilization, and Skeletor was a demon from another dimension, seeking the power sword to conquer Castel Grayskill and unleash his kind on the world. The comics slowly build up the mythos of Masters of the Universe, adding details to certain character’s back stories (Teela is the clone/daughter of the Goddess/Sorceress) and introduced elements from other sources like Prince Adam (originally appeared in the DC Comics mini-series) and Oroko (from the FIlmation cartoon.)  Even though some elements were dropped as the series went on to be similar to the cartoon, the mini-comics were its own entity.

The original mini-comics were more like a story book, with different takes on He-Man and the Sorceress
The original mini-comics were more like a story book, with different takes on He-Man and the Sorceress

There are interviews with some of the creative talent involved with the mini-comic, with names that would be recognizable by fans of comics and pop culture.  The first few mini-comics (which were more like mini-story books) had art from Alfredo Alcala, who worked on various DC and Marvel properties, including Conan the Barbarian.  Other names that some might recognize are writers Gary Cohn (various DC Comic books in the 80’s), Christy Marx (Jem), artists Mark Texeira (Wolverine, Punisher) and Bruce Timm (Batman: The Animated Series and the DC Animated Universe) and even lettered Stan Sakai (creator of Usagi Yojimbo.)  The interviews go into their involvement in the MOTU series and their memories of working on the project.

Reading these mini comics gain is definitely a nostalgia trip for me.  I remember some of the stories, especially the early ones but there were some that I did not remember until I read them again.  Most of them I did not read before, as I lost interest in the toys due to the silly Filmation cartoon, but it is clear from this collection the mini-comic followed its own path.  Sure, some stories were blatant 12-panel adds for the new wave of figures or vehicles (Battle Bones really did not need an origin story!) but there are some hidden gems.  Original stories like Slave City and The Secret of the Elixir of Life introduced original characters that were not toys or on the cartoon.  Some were pretty violent, but not gory, with He-Man punching his foes or shooting them with a laser gun.  Nothing over the top, but it raised eyebrows them and would do the same (at least) today.

The book also reprints the Princess of power mini-comic which, like the He-Man ones, don’t follow the cartoon series.  the stories feature She-ra as she and here friends foil the schemes of Catra, Entrapta and others.  Only one story has the Horde in it and then, it is only Horde Troopers. There is also the mini-comics from The New Adventures or He-man (1989-1990) which has He-Man and Skeletor continue their battle in space in the far future and two retailer exclusive comics from the 2002 Master of the Universe reboot.  Finally, the book reprints three mini-comics released in the subscription-exclusive Master of the Universe Classics toy line.

Alongside The Art of He-Man book or by itself, this is a great book for fans of the various incarnations of He-Man.  As a trip down memory lane or as a way of learning more about the series, this is a great book to add to your collection.

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Mini-Comic Collection is available online, in comic book stores and book outlets everywhere.  Check the web or your local stores for price and availability.  It is also available as a 2 volume digital edition on Amazon.

Book Review: The Art of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe

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The 1980’s were a good time for toy companies.  Some of the most memorable boy’s toys were first released in the early to mid 80’s..  Toys like The Transformers, GI Joe and Star Wars filled the shelves and inspired many kids with their plastic figure and play sets.  One of the more memorable ones was the Masters of the Universe line.  I remember characters such as He-Man, Skeletor, Teela, Beast-Man and Man-at-Arms inhabiting a world that was part Star Wars, part Conan the Barbarian.  I remember play set  and vehicles like the Battle Ram and Point Dread.  Like many toys properties, it had its tie ins:  cartoons, lunch boxes, clothing and even a live action movie.  The book, The Art of He-Man and the Master of the Universe looks at the toy lines 30+ year history covering the various toy lines (including Princess of Power) media and tie-ins.

The book is a large full color book with glossy pages and photos.  The book starts with the beginning of the line, reproducing memos, concept art and shows prototypes of what would become He-Man. Skeletor and Beast Man.  It goes into the line, showing early sketches of produced characters (and some that weren’t) and interviews with those who worked on the line.  It also goes into the mini comics, comic book adaptations and the cartoon series from Filmation, both He-Man and the Masters of the Universe and She-Ra: Princess of Power.  it even goes into the movie starring Dolph Lundgren., subsequent revivals (The Adventures of He-Man from 1989-1991 and the revived Masters of the Universe cartoon from 2002-2004) and the current subscription line from Mattycollector.com.

There is really a lot in this book.  There are pages from the mini-comics that I haven’t seen in years  and art work of characters that I have forgotten about or never knew existed.  The authors of this book, Tim and Steve Seely really delve into the history of the franchise, bringing sketches and artwork to light that would have remained forgotten.  Interviews with people who worked on the toys, the various cartoon series and the comic books really go into detail about their experience with the line.

The Art of He-Man and the Maters of the Universe is a great book for anyone that was or is a  fan of the property.  There is so much information about the toy line and  the cartoon, you are bound to learn something new.  The only thing missing is full reprints of the original  mini comics but you will have to get another book for that (and there is no room in this book anyways.)  I highly recommend this book.

As they say on Eternia, “Good Journey”