If you were to ask your average 30-something-year old on the street to name the top 5 bad guys from 80s popular culture, the chances are that in there somewhere will be Skeletor, and rightfully so! Every week this poor guy would be plotting to overthrow the Masters of the Universe and steal the secrets of Castle Grayskull to rule Eternia and beyond. You have to hand it to him, he was persistent.
The Giant 12” Skeletor debuted earlier this year in prototype form and caused some pretty ‘big’ noises in the MOTU community (see what I did there?). The initial mock up prototype originally had He-Man’s arms, and so straight off the bat a number of people were pooh-poohing the idea with cries of corner-cutting etc. With the release of the 12” He-Man, and the slightly dubious decisions that were made regarding the He-Man head sculpt and the non-resealable packaging, it seemed that this new avenue that Matty were exploring was doomed before it even got out of the gate.
I was very much on the fence in regard to whether or not I was going to sub up for this line. At $75 a pop, it was a big money sink for an unknown quantity. If you subscribed to this line, they actually cost you $5 less. Not a deal breaker by any means, but eventually I decided to bite the bullet, as I felt I’d only regret it if I didn’t, and then they vanished, never to be seen again.
Personally I was pretty happy with He-Man, and the head ended up not being as bad as it was originally perceived in the publicity pictures that had been doing the rounds from Matty. While I would have preferred a sculpt that was closer to the original figure, it is still a damn cool toy.
When giant Skeletor eventually landed on my doorstep, I was actually excited! I literally felt like an 8 year old again holding the blister card in my hands. Here he was at last, the ‘Evil Lord of Destruction!’. Skeletor comes with his trademark harness and loin ‘armor’, as well as his half of the power sword and his favorite weapon of choice – the Havoc Staff! Nay-Sayers will have seen at this point that Skeletor no longer has the He-Man arms as the prototype did, and that he has his proper gauntlets and sharp nails!
As with He-Man, he is packages in reproduction packaging reminiscent of the original blister cards, with the Masters logo exploding from the back of the card. The reverse of the backing card shows the original figures that were listed on the original card backs (including Battle Cat… I wonder…??). I wasted no time in busting him out of his plastic prison so I could get my hands on him.
Again, he feels pretty substantial, not too heavy, but not too light and he does all the things his vintage mini version does: a twisting power punch. As with He-Man, he has slightly redesigned legs which ‘lock’ into the standing position, ensuring that he won’t get bow-legged and do the splits over time. I’m very happy that Matty went this route.
With the exception of his face, the paint apps are minimal, just like the original. His face has that great yellow color, with the green ‘shading’ around the edges. His eye-sockets are black with ominous red dots staring out from within. His nose and teeth are all detailed too, so we get that slightly ‘happy’ look that Skeletor always had (maybe it’s the version from the Christmas Special…?). I always felt (even when I was a kid) that they needed to make him look more angry, especially when you see other ugly mugs like Hordak and Grizzlor etc.
So, in summary, giant Skeletor is a big WIN for me. Having him stand next to the giant He-Man figure just looks great, and it’s quite a refreshing change to have these simplistic reproductions of our vintage favorites in these days of ultra-detailed collector’s toys. Probably one of the reasons the GG Star Wars and Super 7 RetroAction figures are all doing so well. While I feel that Matty could have gone the extra mile and added the GG style packaging, and even thrown in a replica comic book cover in the blister, this toy is ultimately satisfying. I wonder if we will see a Faker in 2015? It seems a no brainer!