Monday, August 19, 2013

The Little Differences: Three Kings of Masters of the Universe Classics

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Vincent: It's the little differences. I mean, they got the same $#!t over there that we got here, but it's just – it's just there, it's a little different.


I'm a huge fan of the MOTUC toy line for many reasons; the theme of sword and sorcery mixed with technology, nostalgia for the characters, the excellent articulation, the amazing sculpts by The Four Horsemen, and the diversity of characters to name a few. But one of my top reasons is the modularity of the figures. What do I mean? Their parts are intentionally designed to be swappable from one figure to another (or kit-bashable). You can easily swap heads, armor, and weapons by simply pulling them off. But with a little warm water and some elbow-grease, you can go even farther and change out limbs, trunks, and other pieces.

This modularity is the subject of today's "The Little Differences" and its no coincidence that today is also the final day to subscribe to Club Eternia on I hear a lot of people are not subscribing this year because they don't want to get "stuck" with figures they don't want and won't be able to sell on the aftermarket. I'm here to say, don't sell them because while you may not like the character, their parts are probably pretty great. With a little kitbashing, you can easily turn a character you don't like into one that you do.

For example; many complained that they didn't want the Fighting Foe Men last year and sold them, often at a loss. However, if they had just opened them, they might have seen the awesome potential of their parts. The FFM are loaded with great stuff to make dozens of cool figures. Below is one example for the 200x and recent mini-comic fans.
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Prince Keldor or Alternate Universe King Keldor, as I like to call him is from an alternate universe where Keldor becomes King, stays good, and raises Adam after Randor's death at the hands of Hordak. He is made using the body of Ditstroyer, the amor from a Palace Guard, the sword of King Randor, and the head of Keldor.

A figure whose design I absolutely hated from day one was the subscriber exclusive King He-Man. Some of the parts were cool, but together they just looked silly to me. The head looked too small and the gold and silver everywhere was too much. And the trunks with their blue, gold, silver, and red coloring and his bare legs were just a little too reminiscent of a creepy old man lounging around the house in his boxers.
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In the end, I was able to get two figures out of his pieces (with a third still in the works) by combining them in a more visually appealing way.
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The first figure is a replacement for King He-Man. This is the look I imagine he would have shortly after becoming King but before he would go on his adventures in space. He's in his mid-thirties and still very much the warrior-king. He has the body of Battle Armor He-Man, the armor and cape, boots, and sword, from King He-Man.
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This is my take on "old" King He-Man, or as I like to call him, Alternate Universe Old King He-Man. This is a decidedly older and war weary He-Man who has been space and back and, having passed the Power Sword to the next generation, sits on the throne of Eternia. He has the upper body, head, and staff from King He-Man, legs and boots from Bow, and He-Ro's armor. The armor's shape helps the small head look more proportioned. The dominent colors are now gold and blue with accents of red. The blue pants are a nod to having returned from space and help him look less like a creepy old man in his boxers.
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I've even concocted my own story for them I call, "Three Kings."

In an alternate future, King Hisss returns, deposes "Old King He-Man" and captures his son Dare and the Power Sword. In a desperate last ditch attempt, Old King He-Man reaches out across time and dimensions for aid. But the one who answers his call is someone he never would have expected; King Keldor! In that dimension, Keldor never went bad and when Randor was killed in battle, he became King. He is also raising his brother's young son, Adam. King Keldor knows Adam's destiny but also knows he is too young to be of any assistance, so he in-turn travels to another time and dimension and enlists the help of another King He-Man. Together they travel to the alternate future, defeat King Hisss, retake the Power Sword, rescue Old King He-Man's son, and restore order to his Eternia.

I hope you see from these examples that with a little bit of creativity and elbow-grease, you too can turn your most unwanted figures into fun new characters, or variations of characters that you will like. To paraphrase the words of the poet Ezra Pound, "If you don't like it, make it new." And if you haven't subscribed for MOTUC 2014, take these words to heart as you review this card-back showing a sampling of vintage characters that may appear in MOTUC in 2014.
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Yes, there may be some characters pictured that you have little or no interest in owning, but think about the possibilities of their parts. And if we don't get enough subscriptions, you won't even have the opportunity to cherry pick those that you do want. So if you are able, please subscribe today so we can all continue to get these awesome action figures. If I've swayed you with my speech, click the gold sun-burst below to subscribe.

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Until next time, I remain The Insidious One.