May was a busy month for collectors of Masters of the Universe Classics. One single figure was released as well as a three figure set that has sought to divide fans possibly more than even the Star Sisters. So let’s get things started with this month’s look at Karatti and the Fighting Foe Men!
The New Adventures of He-Man got some much needed love this month with the release of Karatti. He was a member of the Space Mutants. They were the villains from the NA section of He-Man history. Karatti comes packed in the regular single carded figure packaging. He also features the same level of articulation that we have all come to expect from MOTUC.
Upon closer inspection, Karatti does look very cool. His appearance has a unique feel to it that distinguishes him and really the rest of New Adventures characters from other factions of the series. The Space Mutants released thus far have been very interesting and dare I say, slightly terrifying. This guy looks like a distant cousin to the creature from Predator, Blanka from Street Fighter, and Axl Rose.
With the card flipped over we see a few interesting things. First off, there have only been four releases from the NA faction of He-Man; three Space Mutants and one Galactic Protector. Now NA may not be my most favorite part of the MOTUC line up, but I do feel for the NA fans that have been clamoring for more releases. There is some sort of good news though as an NA He-Man variant has been announced for a release this year and I am sure a NA Skeletor variant will not be far behind.
Karatti, the Bone Bashing Mutant, has an interesting bio. He is a strong brute and is pegged as sort of having rocks for brains. However he doesn’t seem that stupid because he only fights those weaker than himself. I also like the part where he joins Skeletor for promises of power in exchange for stopping the Horde. It is nice to know that even in space the Horde will continue to be a nuisance.
That is about it for Karatti. Though I have enjoyed some of the NA characters released in the MOTUC line, I have chosen not to open Karatti as I am not entirely sure I want to own him. He is a very nice looking figure and comes with some cool weapons, like a laser axe and a sword. This figure is very menacing and features some highly detailed armor. I can envision even non-NA fans wanting to add him to their collections.
Grade: A (Even if I don’t want to own Karatti, I can still appreciate the cool factor with this figure and it is nice for NA fans to have another opportunity for a NA release.)
And now we have come to the release that has drawn forth an almost rabid response from fans on both sides of the toy aisle. The Fighting Foe Men are a very interesting batch of figures. To understand their story, we must first understand the connections the current Fighting Foe Men have to MOTU. Originally the Fighting Foe Men was going to be the name of the MOTU toy line. The three current figures that were released baring the Fighting Foe moniker were designed after vintage art from some licensed MOTU modeling kits by Monogram. Each figure was driving a MOTU vehicle on the box art. Finally the last thing to know is that these figures were also named after three members of the Four Horsemen’s team. These unsung heroes help with the MOTUC line. So this all new Fighting Foe Men set was two-fold, it gave fans figures from some vintage box art while also paying some tribute to people who work on the line.
The set is in a box that is familiar to what the Star Sisters came in. They also belong to the Powers of Grayskull faction of MOTUC, though they can technically be associated with any part of the MOTU mythos. There are two male figures and one female. Each figure comes with two pieces each as well as some snap-on chest pieces. They each have a specially designed chest piece that can be popped off and replaced with a Horde bat symbol. This review will also be similar to Karatti in that I am unsure if I want to own these figures or not, so I am leaving them in the package.
Up first we’ll look at Shield Maiden Sherrilyn who was originally drawn piloting the Attak Trak model set. She is the lone female character from the group and shares some parts from various female figures including Teela and Bubble Power She-Ra. I particularly like that BP She-Ra’s arm cuffs were reused for Sherrilyn. Also her chest piece has design elements that are similar to the Attak Trak. She is a very interesting looking character. She comes with a shield (that looks very Attak Trak-ish) and laser gun. Out of the three she is probably my favorite. In a line that does not have as many female characters as male characters, it is nice to see a new female release, though I would rather see female characters like Mermista or Glimmer. However I do have to admit, that for a new female figure that many people never really knew of, I think she looks cool.
The blue guy in the middle is Ditztroyer and he comes in very close as my second favorite. His chest piece looks interesting and I do enjoy his face sculpt. Speaking of his chest piece, like I said earlier, each chest piece corresponds to the associated vehicle. The Roton model kit from Monogram was the one that Ditztroyer was drawn in, and his chest piece resembles the Roton vehicle. Hooded capes are also fun. This guy comes with a staff (that has a Roton feel) and gun. Also, I believe that each Horde piece is custom fitted for each figure. So for example, Sherrilyn’s Horde symbol is not going to fit on Ditztroyer.
The final figure from this set is Dawg-O-Tor. This dude was originally drawn as the pilot to the Talon Fighter, which is also embellished on his chest piece and shield. Again, regardless of what side of the fence fans are on with these figures, there is a great amount of detail and hidden Easter egg type references to the old licensed model kits and the new figures. Dawg-O-Tor also comes with a club and a lot of green. I feel like the MOTUC line has seen a great deal of reds, blues, and browns, so I always like it when there are some pops of other color with the figures. Dawg-O-Tor’s face sculpt is also similar to Vikor’s face, at least in my opinion.
Flipping the box over we see a few other releases, mostly Horde items as well as some other POG figures. Much like the Star Sisters, the bottom of the box features larger photos of the figures as well as a bio.
The bio is slightly shorter than I would have liked. I think the origin of the Fighting Foe Men is interesting, but they don’t even mention the Attak Trak in the bio, only the Roton and Talon Fighter. Considering that these three figures were only really created thanks to their appearance on some model-kit vehicle box art, I would have liked to have read about all three vehicles in the bio. The bio does do a nice job though of giving them some amount of relevancy in the line. Ending up as members in an ever growing Horde is not really a bad thing.
With that said, there are plenty of people who do find the Fighting Foe Men to be a very bad thing indeed. I am really torn on them. On the one hand, these figures do look cool. I think they fit in with the rest of the line and could even fit with other toy lines as well. Sherrilyn looks like she is from some futuristic line of intergalactic cops while Ditztroyer could be a mysterious friend or foe from either Marvel or DC. Dawg-O-Tor just looks like a warrior hero. I do have issues with the naming of some of them. (Dawg-O-Tor? Seriously?) However I do understand why these characters were given such unique names. If I was working on a toy line and I had the chance to have a figure named after me, I think I would probably go for it because it is a cool idea.
However, there has been so much talk over the last few years of doom and gloom for the line ending prematurely, that I can’t help but wonder what fans could have gotten instead of these three expensive figures (at nearly a hundred dollars for one set, this was a very expensive month for MOTUC.) I don’t hate the Fighting Foe Men and I can certainly respect the reasoning and love that went into them. There are so many other figures I want to see get released though. I have long been waiting for the likes of Mermista, Glimmer, Perfuma, Double Trouble, Entrapta, Flutterina, Peekablue, and Angella; that this release of an expensive set of three figures based from art on a licensed set of modeling kits feels somewhat bittersweet. Here’s to hoping though that Mattel wows us all with new offerings at this year’s San Diego Comic Con. In the mean time I have my hopes up big time for next month’s release of Octavia! (She will be opened and freed from her plastic confines for sure!)
Grade: B (They do look cool and I love the thought that went into these figures, but a set of really expensive and super-obscure figures leaves a funny taste in my mouth.)