Sunday, April 18, 2010

DC Universe vs Masters of the Universe: Skeletor

Ah, yes.  The ultimate nemesis for the most Powerful Man in the Universe--Skeletor!

The best part about getting this 2-pack is being able to split his card-mate, Power Armor Lex Luthor, and him with the Rangerlord!

As it happened, I managed to snag the DCSH Lex for a reasonable price out of a really tiny specialty store.  So when I heard that this particular two-pack hit the streets, I was lukewarm about it.

But that's the good thing about hunting in packs, even if the Rangerlord and I only make it a "2-Pack" (get it? Haha. ;D).  So he wanted a Power Armor Lex and I could've use an ol' Bonehead to go with The two-pack He-Man!  Yay!

So is he a worthy adversary for Eternia's Champion?  Click on to find out!

Like: That he's super well articulated like He-Man.  He's my second figure (and probably only other I might get) from this exclusive Masters of the Universe Classics line, but I can already see from him that the standard bodies Mattel have chosen to use all have 23-25 points of articulation, making him fantastically flexible.  Now ol' Skeletor may not be as physical a warrior as He-Man, what with all his mastery of the dark arts, but he will, from time to time, need to engage our fave hero in swordplay.  His wonderful articulation will thus come in handy.

Also, as a master of various forms of nefarious sorcery, The (Crime) Artist formerly known as Keldor can use his poseability to wield his staff with style as he blasts away at the good guys, which brings me to my next point:

Dislike: He only comes with a yellow power sword.  Now what's the deal with that?  All right, all right, he does come with a Lex Luthor who's got 4 different colored kryptonite pieces.  And Skeletor does only use this glowing power sword in the DC/MOTU crossover comic book that comes with the pack, even when casting spells.  But would it have hurt to give him his power staff?  But I suppose the good thing to come out of it is that the sword is a nice "glowy" yellow with a shiny gold center.  And if you put the sword in the two-pack He-man's hands, it actually matches with his gold bracers!

Like: Skeletor's face.   The head sculpt is awesome and really looks like a skull with chipped areas on his cheekbones and scuffing here and there.

And the paint is great! It's a simple paint job that works really well and I like it better than the original release because of this.  Instead of a yellow face with green "shading," there's a flat yellow.  Instead of purple eye sockets (with red eye-glows) and a purple nose cavity, there's black eye sockets and a black nose cavity.  His teeth are also highlighted by the black gaps in between instead of what looks like no or little wash for the original.

The flatness of the head really lends more to a floating skull effect than his first release and looks like it's eerily glowing within it's hood.  Somehow Skeletor and He-man in these two 2-packs have proven that a simpler paint job can lead to a better, brighter effect so that the figures pop more.

Like: The brighter purple used for his harness.  Also, the crossbones on his chest are painted a shiny purple instead of just purple in the initial releases.  The studs along his chest straps, shoulders and skirt are also the same shiny purple.  Once again, simple and elegant. :)

Like: That his joints are nice and tight.  I did have the problem of loose hinges on He-Man's ankles, but Skeletor has no such problems!.

Like: His toe nails.  Or toe claws.  They really lend to the overall "evil" factor of this figure.  Also a special mention for the "fins" on the back of his forearms, which are indeed 80s classic accurate. :)

Like: His head has a full range of motion, even fuller than He-Man's.  Where the hair on the back of He-Man's head restricts his upward motion a little, Skeletor can look up really well because he's only got a hood on. (And all his hair was burnt off at one point of other during his origin, one would imagine. Heh.)


Aesthetics: 9/10 - Skeletor is really all about the scary face.  And in this version, it really takes the cake.  A seemingly disembodied face with pits of endless darkness for eyes, and evil smiling teeth.  Those are the stuff of nightmares for kids who grew up in the 80s.  Also, he's got a spiffy new harness, as well as a nicely glowing power sword that continues to grow on me each time I take him out and pose him around.  And come on, purple and blue?  Those are like the prettiest colors in the spectrum of evil.

Also, I can't wait to get my hands on some of the 200X weapons.  Like He-Man, I think he'll look really badass when he gets a hold of that life-like looking ram skull staff and those ram-horn-hilted swords that split in two!

Poseability: 9.5/10 - He's articulated exactly the same as He-Man (and most other male MOTUC figs) with better head motion.  And once again, the points which impress me the most are the hip ball joints/swivel combo.  They really give Skeletor life (the irony) through allowing him various world-dominating wide stances.  The ab crunch and the feet also deserve special mention--the abs because the 80s figs never had them and were thus stiff as board, while the ankles are also tremendous improvements over the original and the 200X figures (which had no ankles, none at all.)

Fun: 10/10 - As evil as he claims to be, Skeletor is a fun guy.  Really.  First, he has this really corny voice.  It's high and nasal and simply corny--just brilliant for imitating.  Secondly, The dude bungles up majorly in every episode of the cartoon.  He bungles up in both crossover comics from the two-packs.  It's like evil is his part-time job.  The best part?  He blames his minions all the time.  So what does this all mean?  Well, he's fun to practice your ventriloquism on and will be comedy gold in any action figure comics that I might come up with.  I reviewed He-Man in my previous post, but even at the time I couldn't help busting out Skeletor for a bit of a laugh. (See the comic at the end of the previous post but this time, read Skeletor's parts out loud in his nasal voice. ;])

Oh and one more thing--looking at the bio on the back of the packaging, it says Skeletor was once Keldor, who is the half-brother of King Randor.  The king is of course father of Prince Adam, who is He-Man.  This means that Skeletor is He-Man's uncle!  Isn't that just delightfully fun?

Value: 8.5/10 - One accessory.  One accessory?  Well, He-Man got two (his axe and shield), while Lex Luthor got 4, yes 4 chunks of kryptonite.  Skeletor should at least have his Havoc Staff, but considering Superman got the shaft (0) in the accessory department (in the 2-pack with He-Man), ol' Skull Face didn't really do that badly. And when you throw in the unique gold power sword, all that wonderful articulation and detail on the figure in addition to the great paint job,  I can't really complain.Add to that the fact that he's half the prcie of the initial singel packed releases and you've really got value for money.

Overall: 9.5/10 - You can't have He-Man without getting Skeletor.  And as Sam Jackson's character says to Bruce Willis' hero in the movie Unbreakable, the only reason the hero exists is only because of the evil arch-nemesis.  Therefore, without an evil bastard like Skeletor running around and causing trouble, the Sorceress would never have called upon Prince Adam to take up the mantle as the Champion of Eternia.  So does that mean that without this wonderful Skeletor toy we wouldn't have a even more wonderful He-Man? Nah.  But He-Man needs an evil shelf-mate to beat up on, and they don't come any more evil than the master of, uh, evil himself, Skeletor!

I would say, though, that accessories aside, this Skeletor beats the original releases hands down and I can safely say I'm glad I was a cheapskate who lucked out when this version of ol' Bone head hit the shelves!

*And if you're a Skeletor lover (like Trap Jaw), or if you love good reviews check out ol' Boneheads' 200X revamped look at Wes GRogan's Is It Fun? and his Fire Armor version at Novelty's Toy a Day!


  1. Nice review, this is probably the only MOTU figure I would pick up and the fact I would love to get an armored Lex as well makes this a great set.

  2. Great review, Ewan! Fantastic.. you really hit all the major parts. I was bummed to find out that the Chaos Staff wasn't included with the Skeletor 2-pack.. it's a major part of my Skeletor and it's how I display him, so I really wish they had shown some love that way, but I do have to say that they really knocked the paint out of the park.

    I have to wonder who ended up with the comic if you split the rest of the two pack. Heh.

  3. @Prowl26 - Yeah, it's awesome when you get a 2-pack that's done great AND has figures you really like and want. :)

    @Wes GR - I got the comic! And the card-back too...hmmm. Sounds more and more like the Rangerlord go the short end of the stick. Don't tell him Lol.

  4. My lips are sealed! Congrats on getting the comic! I thought they'd be something I'd look at and toss aside until I noticed that Curt Swan was the artist.. it all changed after that. That man knew Superman inside and out. Awesome comics.

  5. Yeah I know what you mean! I didn't recognize the writer but the artist, oh man! I also once owned the original (the other 2-pack comic for sure, this one maybe...) so I guess it's got some sentimental value for me. I'll just make sure I don't color this one up with my crayons this time. Lol.

  6. Well, we did discuss cutting the comic in half, but then I already have problems accommodating my fast-growing collection of plastic alongside my previous forays into card collecting, miniatures collecting, etc. So giving up the comic wasn't as much of a stretch for me. ;)

    Besides, in terms of sheer plastic, I think Lex probably accounted for about 60% of the set, so the comic kinda balances things out, doncha think cuz?

    the RangerLord
    - Bringing balance to the Force

  7. The comic AND the cardback! Lol, bro. You got more plastic and I got more cardboard/paper, eh? Will be sure to bring along the comic for our next meeting so you can take a gander. It's pretty entertaining in a brainless sort of way.

    And bringing balance to the Force, eh? I knew it! You may claim Han Solo to be your favorite charcter, but I alsways knew you had a soft spot for Darth! ;P

  8. Wow, I've got to say wow. What do you use to take those photos?

  9. Hey Novelty, thanks for coming over to have a look!

    I use a Canon PowerShot AS1000, a mini camera stand, and a homemade lightbox with two lights. Nothing major, just good lighting and a steady hand (mening a camera stand. ;P)

    Here's how I learned to make my own light box:

  10. Oh forgot to say, Novelty, I love your site and your Toy a Day philosophy! :)


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