I debated whether to post an actual review of the Masters of the Universe Classics Man-At-Arms. After all, TheFwoosh.com did an extensive First Look when VeeBee received an early review figure. And it’s not like these are in abundant supply, having sold out on Mattycollector.com in around 45 minutes.
(At this point I’d like to thank McDonald’s for providing the free wi-fi that enabled me to complete my order just under the wire.)
However, since some of you may be thinking of picking one of these up on the aftermarket – they’re selling for between $30 and $50 on Ebay – or even if you’re just looking for more pics of Man-At-Arms, read on.
Did I know that Man-At-Arms is named Duncan? Probably not, but that’s what it says on the standard MOTU Classics packaging that he comes in. I remember Mattel saying that these would eventually be packaged in a plain white outer box to protect the packaging for mint on card collectors, but that hasn’t happened yet. Two clear rubber bands hold him in place, making him 2 scissor snips from freedom.
He’s a worthy follow-up to Hordak in terms of accessories, making up for the minimalistic offering from Zodac. Man-At-Arms comes with his mace, a short sword, a gun, two interchangeable heads, removable armor, and an electronic power sword. That design of that power sword (pics below) is from the 200X MOTU line, and its inclusion is explained on the card back.
I’ll talk once again about vanilla posing in packages. In this case, I’d have preferred the mace be held in the tray insert versus in hand – that’s caused the handle on the mace to be bent awkwardly. I’ll fix that by heating, straightening it out, and cooling.
I’ve got to hand it to the Four Horsemen – they really know how to fabricate accessories. The armor is highly detailed and can be removed easily. The back chest piece is firm and snaps neatly into the front via four pegs. Once removed, the front piece, which is flexible, can be shrugged off the figure like a vest that’s on backwards. The arm and leg pieces have straps with “button-holes” to hold them in place. I’ve read some complaints about the forearm piece being too loose – I found that when its strap is positioned over the strap of the wrist guard molded on the arm underneath, it’s pretty secure.
The back plate provides holders that Duncan’s accessories can attach. They’re all fitted together well, so you shouldn’t have any problem with accessories falling off and going missing.
As you might expect, the bulk of the armor pieces does restrict movement somewhat, most notably in the left arm. Still, it doesn’t stop him from getting in some kickass poses. The loincloth is relatively pliable in comparison with the earlier figures, like He-Man, so I think future releases with longer loincloths or other leg coverings will be possible.
There’s two items of note, relative to the articulation and construction of the figure. First, Duncan’s right bicep swivel is a bit loose. His left is not, so I am not sure if that’s just a manufacturing variance, the weight of the mace, or something that is pervasive with this figure. Of a bit more concern is the weakness in the ankles that I first noted with Hordak. I think that figures with lots of extra plastic from outer armor pieces or accessories are going to need more sturdy ankles. It’s not a problem right now, but over time, old man Duncan might need some help staying upright. Let’s hope that Mattel figures this out before they release Jitsu (hint, hint!) – with his armor and huge karate chopping hand, he’ll need it.
Overall, he’s a fantastic figure – my favorite so far in the line. I haven’t talked about sculpt, paint, and whatnot. Just look at the pics and you’ll see that Man-At-Arms is of the quality we’ve come to expect from this line. Prior to picking Man-At-Arms up, I would have guessed it was Tri-Klops that would hold the top spot – we’ll have to wait for him to see if that’ll be the case.
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