So every good post has to have a ying to its yang, the dark side to its light, and a couple other useless metaphors. The point is previously I posted a pretty fantastic trip down memory lane with my top 5 favorite figures from the classic toy line “Masters of the Universe”, and now it’s time to pull out those figures for whom there is no love from this old gaucho.
Yes these are the figures whose sole purpose in life was to piss me off even as a kid, the ones I had to smile politely when given as a gift and subsequently drown in the nearby pond. Some on the list were awful looking, others were ridiculous concepts, still others were a combination of the two and as a result weren’t even very good for target practice.
As with all my other lists, I decided to lay some ground rules:
- I would actually rank these in order from turrible to downright hellish. Yup, you get to actually see what I think is the worst figure of all time, no charity or mercy will be given.
- It again would have to be a figure I actually owned. This rule unlike the favorite list was easy to stick to. It truly seems as if I was blessed to have each one of the 5 turds included on this list.
So without further ado, let the walk of shame begin:
Old Bug eyes himself makes the list for two reasons mainly. First, although I realize that he’s a part of the Evil Horde, and as such should have looked fairly monstrous, but legitimately, this figure just looked ugly.
A big bulbous watermelon of a head, some weird star fish looking nose, bucktooth fangs, with enormous dopey looking ears. All painted some off bright red color, which makes it stick out like a unwanted wrapped cough drop.
The second reason however is more nefarious because it’s just plain laziness on the part of Mattel. In the comic books and the TV show, Mantenna has two sets of legs. Like a proper bug, he has 6 appendages. But instead of giving us kids two sets of true legs, they combined the two sets into one chunky set which gave the figure the appearance of wearing mollusk encrusted bell bottoms. It’s ironic that his super power involved vision, yet I never really wanted to look at him.
So when those Mattel execs were sitting around dreaming up new figures to give us kids, I’m sure they ran through the typical boyhood hero archetypes and said “Hey, is there a Pirate Figure yet? What about a Ninja? Or a Knight in Shining Armor?” Then they asked the unfortunate question “What about a Cowboy?” And that’s how we all got stuck with Rio Blast, the answer to a question no He-Man fan really asked.
Because unless you are from Texas or Oklahoma, chances are a story of He man and Rio Blast herding stampeding cattle to the old Eternian slaughterhouse isn’t something we were all begging to have told. (I kid you not…all I remember from the comic book that came with Rio Blast was He man eating Chili and bunch of angry moo cows).
It wouldn’t have been so bad I guess if they would have given us a cowboy with a bit of attitude like Clint Eastwood or something. Instead we got a figure with a mustache and hair cut that made him look like he just stepped out of some low grade porno. Oh and guns that sprang from his knee caps…in case you wanted to shoot Beast man in the thigh I guess.
I also always wondered with a gun that sprang from a hole in his chest..where was this guy’s internal organs?
I realize that towards the end of the He-man line, Mattel might have been just been running out of ideas so they started pulling established characters from the Filmation cartoon series to make a quick buck. But seriously, what kid really wanted to play with a figure based on He-man’s Dad? Y’know the stuffed shirt that always was telling He-man’s alter ego what a worthless piece of shit he was? The dude who’s only job seemed to be to get smacked around or kidnapped by Skeletor just to have He-man come to the rescue.
Oooo..I know..let’s use this figure to tell a story about how He man was sent to his room without dinner for not finishing his homework. Or let’s dump old spice aftershave on him, put him in an Eternian Laz-E-Boy, and have him fall asleep during the Niners vs. Seahawks game. The possibilities are endless.
It says a lot about your action figure when the best accessory is the cape.
Look I fully realize that Masters of the Universe takes place in a Fantasy setting, so keeping with the Tolken-like requirements for said fantasy world, you’ll have to have some sort of troll, hobbit, elf, or dwarf of some variety. But for some 5 years before the MOTU movie was released, Mattel didn’t really feel that was necessary enough to give us a toy based around it. I mean, we had the Widgets on the cartoon show, but Mattel didn’t make a figure out of them. Why? Because no kid wants to play with little magical creatures unless they are Smurfs.
What makes me really angry about Gwildor is that he really doesn’t fit in with all the rest of the MOTU figures we were given. He’s a bulky soap like piece of solid plastic with even less articulation than the standard figure. He really can’t hold any of the other weapons released for the other figures. All he’s really got is the Cosmic Key, which granted is a pretty cool magical item..but even that doesn’t look like the key in the movie. It looks more like something you’d grill hot dogs on over a campfire.
Ultimately, this figure makes the list because it was not necessary. It was only made to cash in on the movie, and I don’t think it even accomplished that. The mini comic that came with this toy was awful too. It was like 5 pages of crap.
If I was to sum up everything I disliked about Masters of the Universe, I could do it with two words: Prince Adam. The day they created Prince Adam was the day they took the He-man I played with for those good years before the cartoon and basically cut off his balls.
The champion of Eternia, humanity’s last chance in a dark world of evil sorcery and twisted lost technology, was jammed into purple tights and a pink shirt like some Russian ballet dancer. After that, all the rumors started about He man: running around with a mustached man many years his senior, grabbing fellas from behind, not paying attention to Teela’s ass even though most of us young boys were. The light in the loafers air that Prince Adam displayed..the foppish get up with a magenta power sword.
And for what…story? Dramatic effect? I think not. Nothing unnecessarily complicated the entire Masters of the Universe story then the Clark Kent/Superman ripoff that was shoe horned in our mythology of the main character. If you needed back story for He-man, if you wanted to make him a former Prince, fine. But all of that should have been left at the door the moment he got the Power Sword. After that, he was just He-man, a former Prince but now the warrior protector of Eternia. And everyone knew him as just as He-man…no secret identities…just a couple people from his past that remembered him from before the sword…none of that other gobbley gook…I could go on and on and on.
Sigh…I remember getting the Prince Adam figure as a present from my sister because it was the only figure I didn’t seem to have. That’s probably because it was the only figure I didn’t want. I smiled and said thank you. I then proceeded to have Tri Klops tie him to a heavy brick and kick him off the nearest tree branch.