NEW ADVENTURES FIGURES
I'll state it plainly for the record - it pains me to include a New Adventures page. But these figures have gained a foothold (remember the Stargate SG-1 episode?) in the Classics line and it looks like they're here to stay. It's a small corner of the MOTU franchise with relatively low support, but some dedicated fans deserve recognition for their efforts to keep NA alive.
Some other fans weren't enthusiastic about the introduction of NA into the MOTUC but mellowed as they saw the designs from the Four Horsemen. I've never worked up that level of appreciation, although even I do concede that some figures are quite reasonable. But the objections run deep, and for many of us NA was a direction the Masters of the Universe should never have followed.
The problem is that the adventures-in-space concept is so far removed from the original barbarian themes that
it's impossible to reconcile the differences. I can still remember seeing New Adventures He-Man for sale in a
Woolworth's and feeling my heart sink. I couldn't believe they'd turned the jungle warrior into a skinny spaceman.
So don't expect me to be generous in my reviews below. But I will try to be fair.
HE-MAN and SHE-RA
The detailing on He-Man's armour is very good, but this simply isn't the He-Man that we know and love. You couldn't present this figure to a non-MOTU fan and expect him to be recognised as the most powerful man in the universe. The design is fine for an action figure but not a Masters of the Universe one. She-Ra is new to the faction and is better for it - she still has something of the original She-Ra about her. I quite like the Viking aspect of her helmet, although it could probably do without the visor.
ICARIUS and HYDRON
The various wing pieces are something of a calamity on Icarius, and the visor falls off with great regularity. The figure itself is quite plain but not completely uninteresting. Hydron isn't a bad curiosity either, although I have to question why his helmet is so tall and why he needs a fin on his head inside said helmet. Other than that he's quite good. But again, neither of these figures says Masters of the Universe.
DARIUS and TUSKADOR
Darius's face sculpt is pretty good - a slightly rough-hewn Fisto if you will. The oversized and badly fitting helmet doesn't do him any favours though, and the off-set cloak and armour are badly shaped. He just seems to be without purpose. Tuskador is very popular among NA fans and has won some converts too. I dislike the badly restricted arm movement and the ridiculously big set of tusks. (I've photographed him with the smaller set here.) There is good work on the torso, legs and boots. His best feature is actually the most hidden: his head sculpt is very good indeed.
MARA OF PRIMUS and INTERGALACTIC SKELETOR
Mara is a good figure with a nice face design. I don't know anything about her place in the NA canon, but I can't fault the figure. I think she's the first female figure with a bare midriff, and the Four Horsemen have made a good job of it. As for Skeletor, well he's one of the mysteries of this faction. He's arguably the least popular and yet I think this interpretation is excellent. For me he's the best NA figure in the Classics.
SLUSH HEAD and OPTIKK
I suppose Slush Head's face is quite quirky and at least the grabbers give him a feature of some sort. For me he's more Doctor Who than MOTU, which isn't saying much as I'm not a fan of that series either. But there are touches of interest in the body parts - bits of Whiplash and Clawful among others. Optikk is basically Trap Jaw with a new torso piece. He's grown on me since I bought him, but one well aimed laser blast to that eyeball and he's basically a goner.
FLOGG and KARATTI
I think of Flogg as the gormless village idiot of this line. His armour is more interesting than his face. He looks like a jumble of parts but it just about works. Karatti is more interesting in design, and there is quite a lot going on with him. He's clearly meant to be NA's equivalent of Trap Jaw, but there's enough that's unique about him to make him stand out. I think he's pretty good.
Crita was disappointing for a number of reasons. She was given a very big and very plain gun of some sort which I haven't bothered to photograph because, like every other MOTUC fan in the universe, I can't work out how she's meant to hold it. The blue part of her attire joins the forearms together and therefore almost completely restricts arm movement. And she looks like a spaced-out rock diva whose best years are long behind her. Click the image on the right for a video of the NA cartoon's introduction.