Sunday, January 23, 2011

MotUC: Vikor: Action Figure Review


I’m going to switch it up a little bit and go back to something I haven’t done in a while – an action figure review. Like always it’s going to be Mattel’s Masters of the Universe: Classics line. Now that I’m on a semi-regular posting schedule I think I’ll be doing more of these, not only as filler for if I do get a little bit behind but also just to switch it up a little bit once a month and a reason to bust out my camera when the new figures arrive with my Club Eternia 2011 Subscription.

Now before I even get into anything relating to the actual figure itself I feel like I have to touch bases on a few things that have happened. First off Vikor wasn’t even planned to be the January figure. Originally it was going to be Bow and for the giant sized beast it was going to be the Shadow Beasts. First the Palace Guards from 2010 slipped to January so they pushed the Shadow Beasts back to February, then Bow started slipping so they moved Bow and Shadow Beasts to February subsequently moving Battle Armor Skeletor back to March. Now with the new schedule it was going to be Vikor, the Palace Guards, the Grayskull stands and Evil-Lyn. Well that quickly changed, Evil-Lyn wasn’t ready so they decided to sell the remainder of the (Green) Goddess figures – which are faulty, and Mattel is aware of this and has said they won’t do another production run of this figure even though they know it’s faulty until they sell off the rest of the stock) – that would be fine with switching the line up. So people log on to Mattycollector.com yesterday and there was a huge error that prevented any US resident from ordering the stands unless they went through a specific thing first. People were forced to make separate orders which resulted in double shipping costs for many. Then Vikor sells out within THREE MINUTES and then about 3-4 hours later there’s a statement from Mattel saying that part of the shipment was delayed. Logistics... go figure.
 
Now the figure itself isn’t one that I’ve been excited for at all. I get that Vikor and Demo-Man and the Fighting Foe Men were all part of the initial concept that launched the line back in the 80s but I didn’t even know about that until a few years ago so it doesn’t really do anything for me. It’s odd for me to take such an opposite stance on him than the one I did with Goddess but GG all her problems aside – gave us a cool refresh of the female buck and nifty translucent green skin and came jam packed with accessories. Vikor.. Well Vikor is He-Man dressed up as Conan for Halloween. Anyone who looks at this figure instinctively thinks of Conan *not* He-Man.

Now on to the bio:
 
Real Name: Vikor
Shortly after King Grayskull’s death, Vikor, a great warrior from the north was chosen by the Goddess to help protect the Sword of He while all of Eternia waited for a true heir to be born. Already a master of the battleaxe, Vikor’s legend soon spread across Eternia as he quested to vanquish evil – battling the remaining renegade Snake Men and defending the Valley of Gnarl from the Fighting Foe Men. Although his time as a He-Man was relatively short, his contribution to the legend will never be forgotten in the great archives of Eternia.

I like the idea of including a Powers of Grayskull sticker on the front of the package it’s a nice line to the subdivisions within the line (we’ve had ‘The Evil Horde,’ ‘Space Mutants’ and ‘Princess of Power’ – but it does get confusing because some characters did belong to multiple factions, and there are faction-less characters so I’d rather there be stickers for everyone, or no one) and that ‘Powers of Grayskull’ is supposed to represent the ‘Preternia’ age however more characters from that era (the original run of King Grayskull, He-Ro, (Green) Goddess, Wun-Dar (and the first run of) Tytus) remain sans PoG sticker. The back of the package showcases characters that are connected to Vikor – King Grayskull, Wun-Dar, (Green) Goddess, He-Ro and Zodak. Part of me wishes that they swapped out Zodak and Wun-Dar with Zodac and Hordak. Zodak’s plot revolves mostly around the 200X era so he shouldn’t be included in the PoG connections and Wun-Dar was a subscription exclusive so it’s sort of a slap in the face to the few people who were able to snag the figure on its sale date that don’t have a Club Eternia subscription.

The articulation is the same that we’ve seen so far: swivel biceps, ball heck, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel wrists, hinged elbows, hinged abs, swivel waist, swivel/hinge hips, swivel thighs, hinged knees, swivel calves, hinged ankles but it doesn’t have the rocker ankles like the females of the line. There’s been a bit of retooling with the ankle joint which hides the peg hole a bit more so it makes it more visually pleasing. The main problem is with the cape and the length of Vikor’s hair (I’m still not entirely sure that the Four Horsemen have nailed the longer hair of characters) it makes it difficult to take advantage of the neck joint.

As indifferent as I am about this figure it’s hard to deny that it comes with some pretty cool accessories. The cape is pretty much an accessory and the detail on the front part with the skulls is very good. The helmet on his head is also very good, some people wanted it to be removable but I’m glad they didn’t do that because it might have made it look too bulky. The chains on Vikor’s wrist gauntlets are a nice touch, but I prefer what we saw at Comic Con with the longer chain on one side. We get a new sword which I like more than the original plan to include yet another incarnation of the power sword and finally we get a new shield and axe. It’s not really an accessory but the longer tattered loin cloth is a nice touch (and I enjoy the holster for the sword in the back) but it really bothers me that it just abruptly stops at the waist. It might have been better if they sculpted the belt over it to give it a less obvious breaking point.

This is a case of the figure looking better in person and that is always nice and I really love the rust details on the weapons and on the horns on his head. The joints are by far the tightest of the line to date – again a plus. My head had a bit of trouble popping on and I’m assuming that’s because it sits higher due to the hair and the collar on the cape and I had a few paint blotches on the back of the arm and one that is hidden completely by the cape so I’m not too worried about that. The shield is difficult to snap on because of the chain but that’s something that everyone is going through so I can’t moan to much about that being an issue. I love the new ankle joint but it takes some getting used to and if you get up close and try to move the ankle the gap looks a bit odd. All in all I’m surprised what a great figure this is and I think it will be one I constantly take off of the shelf and alter the poses and that’s a good thing.

Figure Rating: B

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