Monday, September 13, 2010

Masters of the Universe Classics Keldor

Before there was He-Man, there was Prince Adam.  And before there was Skeletor, there was...Keldor!

But of course, you all knew this already, if you watched the 200X Masters of the Universe Animated Series.  Like the Count Marzo character, Keldor remains memorable simply because he's background to the Biggest Baddie on Eternia.  You can't forget him because he's been written as the half-brother of King Randor, which also makes him Prince Adam's Half-Uncle.  And the best part is: he's good-looking.  He's got the flowing locks and that roguish goatee--he looks nothing like Skeletor!

What I also like about Keldor is that he explains lots about ol' Bonehead: his blue skin, his source of power (practically made a deal with the Devil when he promised to help out Hordak), and most of all, his motivation for hating King Randor.

On top of all of that, he provides a way for the coming of Hordak to Eternia that doesn't involve She-Ra.  As much as some MOTU fans didn't like the 200X series, you still have to give credit to the writers for coming up with a brilliant character idea like Keldor!

And so here is immortalized in Classics form despite being a 200X character--one of the better characters and toys of the line, I might add.

Like: That he's got a whole new head sculpt that's darn spiffy.  What catches my attention the most is his mustache, which is thin but forked under his nose, near where they almost meet.  I like me a good mustache (because I can't really grow a decent one, believe it or and his upper lip fuzz is painted superbly.

The great paint is evident all over, but the 'stache really grabs you like it would grab the hearts of all those Eternian wenches.  Too bad he's got a skull for a face after the whole toxic liquid in the face thing.  Oh, well.

Like: His twin swords.  Fits his character as a master swordsman before he became a cowar...uh...I mean, Warlock.  What's neat is that he holds the sword nice and tightly, whether half or whole.  And he's the only figure so far that comes with two halves of "a" power sword (lots of those lying around, strangely.)

The firm grip is one of the many things they've done brilliantly with this line.  I never have to worry that they'll come loose no matter how Keldor hold his swords.

Like: His cape.  It's beautifully sculpted and has nice, low, back-cleavage to allow his swords to fit in the sheathe.  I always like capes on 6" figures because they act like a a figure stand in the more dynamic poses.  Further more, this cape is removable and can be worn on Skeletor for a more 200X feel!

Like: His sword "sheathe."  I can't say enough how "tight" the sheathe is and is firmly part of his armor/harness.  It makes the figure so solid when you've got the sword in the sheathe and the cape over it.  Even without the cape, the sheathe does a darn good job of being the sword holder it's meant to be--no weapons falling out in whatever position you've got Keldor in, even if it's upside down!

Dislike:  His hair gets in the way of the back harness for his swords.  It also restricts his head movement severely.  You can still get some side to side and downwards poses, but that's what you get for the price of long, flowy, luscious locks (a la Will Ferrell).

Dislike:  What's with the loose ankles, especially after posing them around a bit?  It hasn't  really happened with Keldor here yet, but I can feel the ankles getting looser.  My DCUC vs MOTUC He-Man is brilliant, but seriously suffers from this ailment.  He can still manage a pose, but after a bit he falls over as his ankles give way.  Mattel have got to fix this problem, especially since it's the ankles, which every figure has to stand on all the time.  In the meantime I'm just gonna have to be real gentle with Keldor's ankles...


Aesthetics: 9/10 - The differences between him and Skeletor are minor, but good ones.  There's the head, of course.  Then the forearms with bracers instead of Skeletor's "fins".  The feet are booted and not clawed, while the  Small details, but big differences.

When Keldor first appeared in the 200X series, I was hoping that he'd find a way to restore his looks.  But then again, he wouldn't be our favorite bonehead anymore, would he?  Nah...He'd would be better!  A more sinister, evil, scheming Skeletor with the charisma to back up those Warlock skillz that killz.  Literally.

Gotta also give credit to how Mattel painted up the purple armor--darker hues for the leather skirt and shoulder guards, a dark wash for the un-raised areas, coupled with shiny purple for the studs all round.  It's all very subtle but very nice indeed.

I have to add though, that he'd be a perfect 10 here if not for some small paint spills here and there, like on his chest crossbones, beard, hair and mustache.  But these are very minor and noticeable only very up close.

Poseability: 8.5/10 - He's got your standard MOTUC PoAs, but with the head severely hindered to slightly more than half a swivel by the luscious ebony locks.  Surprisingly the cape doesn't hinder the arms or the chest pivot (by being too heavy and pulling it backwards all the time).  I like the way it adds to his balance in the more dynamic poses.  So a great score here despite the stiff head (no pun intended).

Fun: 9/10 - He's Randor's half-brother!  That means he's He-Man's half uncle!  Gives a whole new meaning to the moment when he's got Prince Adam pinned down and says "Call me Uncle."  Okay, so it's a distant second to "Who's your Daddy?" but it works...right? :P

The fun in Keldor also comes from him being the Skeletor of the past but yet like a whole new character.  And while they've taken pains to retcon him so that he merged with Demo Man to become Ol' Knucklehead, I didn't think they need to because from a swordsman he then commits himself to learning the dark arts from Hordak, and years pass before he meets Randor again, so he's bound to have changed as a character.

Perhaps Mattel felt it wasn't "different" enough that he simple had a face-lift and really wanted to set him apart from his old self.  Either way it's great because I can imagine that one of the things Skeletor might want to do is to restore his old face.  And we have it here in the form of Keldor.

Value: 7/10 - Two swords, yes.  But ultimately they are the same sword.  The vial of acidic/toxic fluid is a nice touch, but it's a tiny piece of plastic!.  Cape is great, and the new head sculpt just about makes this good value for money, good but not great, even at the discounted price of S$41.50 (US$30) I got him for.  MOTUC figures around these parts usually cost S$50 (US$35+) at least, most times even more.

Overall: 8.4/10 - Great toy.  I wish they'd made him a bigger part of the MOTU storyline instead of appearing for just a few episodes.  Even then those episodes take place in the past.  I want Keldor in the here and now, dammit!  Somehow I find him a much cooler villain than Skeletor and capable of greater evil.  Toy-wise, he's brilliant from head (look at that sinister smile) to toe (none of that open-foot, three-toed clawed feet shenanigans.)

What I enjoy most about him is that he'll go nicely when posed with He-Man, warrior versus warrior. :)


  1. Awesome review! I kind of regret not picking this guy up, he turned out to be really cool. Next time!

  2. LOL @ the comic. Dude, YOU have got to stay off Orko's mushrooms!

    Nice use of the mop! BTW, I still haven't forgiven you for getting me the Man-At-Arms and starting me on the path to darkness. These MOTUC figures are too awesome. But no loose ankle problems, thankfully (except in real life :P).


  3. @3B - Yes, Next time for sure! ;)

    @TheRangerLord - Lol at the loose ankle problems (as I put aside my magic mushrooms for today). Hope you're feeling better, esp ahead of your trip.

    And looks like there's a lot to not forgive for between you and I, from D&D, to Star wars, to DCUC, to Marvel Universe...the list goes on. By now we should be sworn enemies. Haha.

  4. You made me choke when you mentioned Keldor was "good-looking" Ack! That he's definitely not.

  5. C'mon, Novelty! Look at the guy! Slicked back long locks, overconfident smirk, briliant white smile...oh, what about that mustache??? Not to mention that he's muscled like a maiden's fantasy!...

    Lol all right, I guess you might consider him good-looking only if you like blue-skin. I guess that makes me a Na'vi lover. Oh yeah and I do like Mystique too. And those Smurfs. :P

  6. I'll have to agree with Ewan on this one, Nov, Keldor is roguishly handsome. LOL!

    Hmm, Na'vi lover? Gives me an idea for a comic!

  7. Oh boy, I can't wait to see what you come up with for that one!

  8. Great review, Keldor is one of those few, like Skeletor and Hordak, MOTU figures I would really consider getting. He is easily the best looking.

  9. Thanks Prowl. I have also noticed in my old age that I tend towards the bad guys more. Talk about a hero complex?...Lol.

    And see Novelty? I said good-looking and Prowl said BEST-looking. Haha. ;)

  10. Keldor is not an 200X idea... read the vintage minicomics... the search for keldor.

    200X only stablished the look and the story.

    Great toy! Long live MOTU


  11. @Ulisses31 - Thanks for the link--I had no idea since I never really bothered with the minicomics at that young age. I guess I should've paid more attention! Lol.

    And yes, long live MOTU!


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