Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Masters of the Universe Classics Battle Armor He-Man!

I've been wanting to get my hands on this guy ever since the announced they were going to make him.  But a combination of so-so reviews--the lack of accessories, the switchable plates instead of a revolving chest cylinder, and his limited articulation kinda threw a spanner in the works for me.  For the same price I'd be able to get figures like Mer-Man, COunt Marzo, Keldor, and Prince Adam, all of whom came with a ton more stuff.  So I held out until...

Two weekends ago at the Singapore Toys, Games and Comics Convention (STGCC fer short), I finally gave in at a good price.  I have to confess, he was my favorite He-Man growing up because he'd never lose his armor--the original He-Man's harness would always snap at the catch on the back and as a result, I'd have a regular half-naked guy as my hero.  Not a good deal.

As it turns out, BA He-Man was a fave among lots of MOTU fans too, except the Rangerlord.  But we can forgive him because he gave in to his MOTUC urges and added original He-Man to his Man-At Arms at STGCC.  (Don't worry bro, it's a decision you will not regret.)  ;)  :P  :D.

So how did Battle Armor He-Man fare when he was put up to the Chase Variant review panel? (That's me.)  Find out after the jump!
Like: That the armor looks bulky and heavy but just the right size for our favorite hero. The detail on it is exquisite. The plates snap in nicely, the dusty silver plastic used to mold the breastplate feels like no other plastic I've ever felt.  And it really looks like metal!

Like: Despite the bulky armor, they've left enough space for He-Man's ab crunch to work--somewhat.  He can crunch forward great but arching back is not the best.  It's there, but just not the full range that you ca get from an unarmored figure.

Dislike: That it's actually a half breast-plate that he has.  He-Man's is given a blank ab torso and is painted silver so it looks like he's wearing a full breast plate.  While not at all disappointing on BA He-Man, this means you can't really make anyone else wear it without the poor sod looking like he's wearing a tank top (Get it?  Get it?) with a bare midriff.

Similarly, if you put someone else's armor on him, like say He-Ro's, he'll look silly with a two-tone torso.  Unless Mattel come up with some other form of silver armor...

Dislike: For some reason BA He-Man's eyebrows are painted a little high. It's not just on my figure, but on quite a few I've seen in stores--yet another reason I didn't splash out straight away for him.

Dislike: That his head is mostly limited to a swivel because of the armor.  Granted, Mattel set his head a little higher than the regular He-Man, but his blond page boy locks still get in the way.  As a result, he can look down but not straight up, and his head can tilt slightly to the left but not to the right.

Like: That with all the weapons and accoutrement, he looks like a walking arsenal of death, especially to Skeletor and gang, the Snakemen, and the Horde.  Give him all those things and put him on Battle Cat, now there's a sight to behold! (Ah, but if only I had one Battle Cat!)

Aesthetics: 9/10 - Battle Armor He-Man's strong suit!  And as well it should be, because that's what this line is great for.  Also, with the Four Horseman at the helm of designing these babies, there's little doubt that he'd turn out well.  The focus of this figure is his armor and it turns out perfectly.  I really like the smoky steel texture of the breastplate.

The interchangeable plates are also really well done.  It's too bad about his eyebrows and his otherwise standard He-Man colors because perhaps if he'd just been painted a little different, (say blonder hair or even sculpted with a different facial expression) he'd be near perfect.  But as it is, he's still a very pretty looking figure and will stand out on your display, especially if you've got him riding that elusive Battle Cat!

Poseability: 7.5/10 - BA He-Man's got standard MOTUC articulation.  But two PoAs are hindered by the magnificent armor and it's a pity that they are the two most crucial joints for some life-like posing: the ab crunch and of course, the head. :(

In addition, the figure suffers from the loose ankles that many of the figures are prone to.  Fortunately, the problem will be corrected in the new figures as of this month. Unfortunately for those of us who've gotten the figures up to now, most, if not all of them have or will have loose ankles once posed around a bit.  So while this guy is able to achieve many great poses, he's likely to fall over quite a bit while you attempt to balance him.

Fun: 8/10 - The original 1980s release focused on the revolving chest barrel action feature.  Well, that's missing here.  The only good reason I can think of for not improving and re-using that feature for this version is cost.  It would cost more for a new torso as opposed to re-using existing bucks and giving him new snap on armor with fancy plates.  Despite the fact that it wouldn't be a one off torso piece just for BA He-Man (they'd be able to re-use it for BA Skeletor), Mattel went they way of profits.

Having said that, it doesn't mean this figure is not any fun.  Sure, it's not as exciting as probably one of the action features of the whole MOTU toy universe, but it's still a pretty novel idea to be able to switch around the plates.  The problem is: which plate to display him with...

Value: 7/10 - Besides his battle axe, I suppose having just his cheat plates as accessories really added a little insult to injury.  Yeah, while we were still licking our wounds about not getting the action feature, we realized that he wouldn't come with his Power Sword either.  The irony is that the bio on the back of his packaging talks about how his Battle Armor is due to He-Man unlocking the more secrets of the Power Sword.  So did he suddenly realize that the metal from the Sword of He would better suit him melted down and reforged into a breast plate rather than as a weapon? And that, oh by the way, there was some spare metal left so let's forge that into an axe?  Ah well, I'm sure a lot less attention would be paid to the lack of the revolving chest if he had just come with more stuff.

Overall: 8.0/10 - He'd be awesome if he had either more accessories or less hindrance to both his ab crunch and head.  I think the former would have been more easily accomplished but wasn't done, and there was some effort made to correct the latter.  But in the end, there was no real commitment to either, unfortunately.  He's still a good figure, but still a far cry from the classic He-Man.  (But he'll still kick any baddie's a$$ though.  Especially Mer-Man's. ;P)


  1. wow! what an ending! great review and awesome pictures. i still havent plopped down for this figure. it would have been nice to see this he-man without the armor on. still, thanks for the review.

  2. This wa smy FIRST MOTUC ever, and i still love the figure! He's displayed with the 2002 sword and shield, and it really ups his badassery.

    His ankles are trashed though and he has to stay leaned against the back of the shelf. :(

  3. @Rupert - Thanks! I'll get a "naked" shot in for you! ;)

    @Lemonjuice - I know! The 2002 weapons are simply B.A.D.A.S.S!!!

    And those damn ankles...I'll hav eto find a way to fix them without messing them up further...

  4. When you successfully find a fix, fill me in. Faker, Adam, regular he-Man, and K.G. could all use a little tightening up in the ankle area.

    However, Vikor has new ankles! Yep, the peg that holds the ankle is now covered and his ankles are as tight as Skeletors! From now on, anyone with the He-Man boots should no longer suffer from falling down like drunken sailors. :)

  5. Lol, yeah, I read your review...I think it was your (p)review...I'm excited that they fixed it. The drunken sailor problem was a little annoying. Sometimes they'd be fine at night and when I woke up the next morning they'd have fallen all over themselves with Skeletor the only one stadning tall. Haha.

  6. Oh hey, Rupert! I added that pic without his armor on for ya. It's the last shot before the mini strip at the end. :)

  7. i wavered on this dude for a long time, but i am glad that i have him. i keep him displayed with the most damaged plate, TRU he-man's shield and his own axe.

    my MOTUC toys have some weak ankles for sure, but none of them fall down after i get them to stand up. must be a difference in climates?

  8. Yes, perhaps, but LJ also has the loose ankle problem. Alos, I think mine are more due to over posing than anything else. Still, the other PoAs don't loosen that quickly after time, only the ankles...

  9. Yeah, I tend to pose them pretty extremely. Just standing them static is fine, but I HATE it!lol

    My He-Men need ta fight!

  10. Here, here, LJ! They needs ta be a fightin' YAARRRRRRR!!! :P

  11. thanks for the added pics, bro. i appricate it. now i am more tempted to plop out for this gem. much appricated!!

  12. @Rupert - Anytime, dude! To be honest, I had forgetton the armor-less pic myself. ;)

    Glad to now you're looking forward to getting him! :)


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