Sunday, December 5, 2010

Masters of the Universe Classics King Grayskull

I knew I had to get this guy the moment I saw that he had the 200X He-signia and had a great lil' background written for him.

In truth, I had forgotten he'd appeared in the 200X MOTU Animated series.

That's bad when you consider that I have two DVD copies of the entire series. Yes, two.  One original, one not so original.  Yes, bad.  So what did I do?  I popped in the DVD and watched "The Power of Grayskull" once more!  Well, actually I had to watch it on YouTube because the DVD the Rangerlord got me was perfect, except for that one episode!  Gaaaargh!!!

But it's all good because having found it of YouTube, I can share it with ya! (You actually have to "Read More" to see more.  Irony, no?)

And Part 2!

Well, if you had time to watch all of that then you'll probably love the character of King Grayskull as much as I do.  So how did the MOTU Classic translation turn out?  Only one way to find out... ;D

Like: That he's meant to go with the 200X sword.  200X was the series he was created from and that's his insignia they used as He-Man's for the entire series.

The great thing is that they used the 200X insignia for his harness.  But in the "translation" from 200X to Classics style, they gave him a regular Power Sword.  Ok, so it's called the "Sword of He" now, and his sword does have a sparkly end, but I still think the 200X blade is cooler and brings sums the world of Eternia up brilliantly--it looks hi-tech but is imbued with magic!

Like: A great assortment of accessories.  Two swords, shield, crystal ball, cloak!  Can't fault Mattel here--givng an extra two gray halves of a power sword to make a whole one is a real bonus.  I suppose it goes with his retconned background, but I prefer the old (200X) version, where it's his spirit that gives the sword power.

Like: Other than the re-issue of He-man, this is the only other time you get his power sword and shield in original colors of grey and orange-red. Yay!

Like: The sword he comes with has sweet sparkly magic at the tip!

Dislike: That there are some paint over-spray from the silver onto the brown of his harness and that there's a line of flash running across the top of his hair.  This figure costs too much to have these basic errors.

Dislike: He's got really loose ankle rockers.  The hinges are nice and tight, but the rockers and bonkers.

Like: His kingly cloak!

Flocked at the top, fitting, and you can even pass it down through the generations...Now wouldja look at that?  King He-Man!  All he needs is that crown from Randor, both literally and figuratively.  Ha!

Dislike: His face sculpt.  His jaw is a little too rounded.  He looks like Brett Favre, and Brett Favre is 40.

Moreover, his jaw juts out and makes his head seem to large.  He looks kinda, well, slow.  And his expression is rather deadpan as well.  It doesn't make for great poses and especially lacks the intensity to go with weapons.

Dislike: The hair. His pigtails fall in straight front when I think at an angle would be better.  Worse still, his hair at the back has been cut short!  I suppose it was done to allow the cloak to fit better.  But without his cloak, Grayskull looks like bad haircut behind.

Like: That he, like any other MOTUC figures, looks great with the 200X accessories.  Though I've only tried the new Power Sword, axe, and shield on King Grayskull and my DCUC vs MOTUC He-Man, I'm just waiting to try more accessories from different figures on their MOTUC counterparts!  (The elusive Man-At-Arms comes to mind...)

And I'm 99.9% sure those other figures will look awesome because He-Man and King Grayskull do!

Dislike: (But more like minorly disappointed) that the back strap that keeps his harness together doesn't come with the standard slit-sheathe that He-Man or Skeletor comes with. He can still store his sword in the harness, though.  It just looks more improvised.

Dislike: His first name. D'Vann.  Really?  Why not D'uvet, or even D'ouche?  All right it's not that bad, but still...


Aesthetics: 7/10 - I wish he looked...better.  More chiseled, more determined, more gritty, more "He" than He-Man. His hair is also not quite right and looks a little like a wig.  Side by side with my DCUC vs MOTUC He-Man, I prefer He-Man's slightly more ruddy skin.  It's as if King Grayskull has all the right pieces--the long hair, the grim(ish) look, the great (longer) loincloth--but they just aren't executed well enough.  Ah well, I guess anyone would be as pissy-looking as Grayskull if he had to deal with the Snakemen and Hordak, as well as have to be called D'Vann by the Sorceress in the bedroom.

Poseability: 8.5/10 - King Grayskull's got your standard MOTUC articulation, except that his awesome cloak really prevents him from posing.  Once you swivel his shoulders a little too much, the cloak threatens to fall off.  Now I'm a huge fan of cloaks and I love them on Keldor and Count Marzo.  But those guys have capes that fit around their necks and can't come off unless you pull off their heads.

Another problem is the limit his hair puts on his head articulation.  I guess themsflowy locks.

Poor D'Vann here is left to rue what could've been a higher score.  As it is, I pose him just, well, standing around in my display, clutching at his crystal ball...

Fun: 9/10 - This is where I like the figure the most--the character's significance in the He-Man mythos.  He's the source of the Power Sword's power, the creator of the Council of Elders (from his own fighting men), and the ancestor of Prince Adam, explaining why Adam was chosen to be a hero.  There's just a lot of history and mystery to the character.  Well, at least in the 200X version.

Also, more accessories always mean more fun so King Grayskull scores in that department.  Having a cloak that can be won by pretty much every other figure doesn't do any harm either.  And let's face it, any variant of He-Man is always fun to get.  Now, if Mattel would only make a Battle Cat variant to look like King Grayskull's "Battle Cat"...

Value: 7.5/10 - He's not too bad and it's mainly because of the accessories.  But I feel the clincher is not that he has many accessories, but that he's got pretty damn rare ones.  No more penis sword envy for Battle Armor He-man; KG here could have his sparkly tipped blade while BAHM get his own Power Sword to go with his battle axe.  Yes, finally!  Finally they make it possible to get a gray Power Sword without actually getting another Original He-Man.  Speaking of which, it may be time to get the BAHM I've been so wanting...

Other than that, you get 5-6 pieces of equipment with Grayskull, depending whether you count his cloak (which I do) and that's quantity, if not quality.

Overall: 8.0/10 -This figure is well translated to the MOTU Classic style.  It's a great re-use of a body and a figure I didn't hesitate getting it the week it was released.  However, I still feel there's some unfulfilled potential with the head sculpt, which seems just a tad disappointing.  Strangely, it's weird that I have so many things I dislike about Grayskull because I still think he's a great figure.  I just wished he didn't have all these minor issues.

But it's all good, because the figure's gotten me all wanting to watch the 200X series again and I have it, all two copies of them!  I can even now introduce some of the not-so-main characters to her to justify some spending.  Heh.  At the very least, it'll show the wife how cool King Grayskull is and convince her that he'll need Hordak to fight with.


  1. Great review, it is too bad about all the minor issues though.

  2. Yeah it's a pity. But I suppose I could've have been expecting so much that it was sure to fall short. Still a good figure, though. :)

  3. You can also fit Grayskull's cape on your finger, so you're finger can be king!

    ...and by that, I mean replace the word finger with penis. You get the idea.

  4. Grayskull's hair sorta looks like a Scandinavian farm girl... Gotta love that fading power sword though!

  5. @hockstylin - yeah, it does look very girlish. Wonder what sort of shampoo/conditioner combo he uses...and yes, fading Power Sword is really cool. :)

    @Lemonjuice - Damn it, now I can;t get that image outta my head...

  6. other than his power sword halves not fitting together and a few minor QC issues on mine, this is a rad toy. he looks super good with the man-at-arms techno sword.

  7. Yeah he does look great with the techno sword, doesn't he? 'Cept I'm using the sword from my 200X He-Man. I think that one's even more rad cuz it's huge and is more proportionate with the new muscular figures. ;)

    The sword halves don't fit together on yours? Wow, that's pretty poor. This figure is still good, hence the 8/10 overall. But at this cost, these figs should easily be hitting 9s. Most of the others do, just a lil' disappointed that this one had many niggling issues.

  8. yeah, my kedlor's sword halves don't even pretend to fit together either. i do not have good luck with half swords.

  9. Oh wow. I always wonder if the weather has anything to do with it--down here in Singapore it's always humid but the temprature is always in the mid to low 30s (celsius). Maybe the hot and cold seasons wreak some havoc on that sword plastic...

  10. No, this was from China Square Central--lots of the sellers there order in multiples and sell them on to us. It works well for me because I get it for the same price as if I ordered it direct from Matty, minus the hassle. ;)

  11. gasp! he does look like brett favre. there is a guy on a forum who is trading this figure. i might now, after reading this review. thanks.

  12. Haha, Brett might actually have the Power of He hidden away somewhere. Maybe that might explain why he lasted 20 years in the NFL. ;)


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