Thursday, July 22, 2021

Masters of the WWE Mr. T

I don't normally contribute to the economy of eBay action figure scalpers, but the distribution of both the MOTU Origins and Masters of the WWE action figure lines have been hit or miss, often a miss regarding the latter. As the months wore on, I came to terms with having seen very little of the wave Mr. T was part of, and bit the bullet. A child of the '70s and '80s, Mr. T was certainly part of the pop culture kool-aid I was drinking, and the figure I wanted most from this line.

Mr. T gets both the fisted gauntlet that the MOTU Origins Fisto includes, as well as a chopping guantlet the the recently solicited Jitsu will likely come with. I love the interchangeability of parts between these lines- smart toy designing that adds a lot of play value! 

Like other figures in this line, Mr. T's armor can be removed, more or less changing him to a more straight-up wrestling figure. I love his colorful outfit, and the head sculpt is perfection! 

I did manage to find my Masters of the WWE Jake the Snake on the pegs months ago, wave mate to Mr. T, and another favorite from this unexpectedly fun action figure line. See my recent post on the Masters of the WWE Kane and MOTU Origins Castle Grayskull as well!

My Masters of the WWE Roman Reigns shares the same fisted gauntlet as Mr. T...

I love both of these corresponding action figure lines, and have more to share! Recommended!

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Friday, July 16, 2021

MOTU Origins Deluxe Ram Man

I scored this MOTU Origins Deluxe Ram Man free using Amazon points I'd accumulated in the last couple months, my nostalgia strong for the 1983 version I loved as a child. An extra hand, head, and axe that pegs into the end of the handle of the original axe included make this figure truly deluxe.

Ram Man's spring loaded legs were a feature of the original figure, now activated merely by pressing down on the figure, unlike the previous lever activated spring release. I'm not usually crazy about play features that hinder a figure's articulation, but with Ram Man it's somehow charming...

Below, Temple of Darkness Sorceress greets He-Man, Man-at-Arms, and Teela, who bring Ram Man into the fold of Eternia's Heroic Warriors when knighted a protector of Castle Grayskull ...!

There is added articulation on this updated Ram Man- his neck is somewhat limited by the armored head, though the soft plastic of his helmet gives a little. Hinges at the elbows, wrists, and knees give a little more dynamism to him, but you won't get the kind of poses other MOTU Origins figures can. Below, Ram Man attacks Castle Grayskull intruder, Beastman ...!

And finally, Ram Man with my MOTU Origins Deluxe Battle Armor Skeletor and He-Man. I enjoyed getting deluxe figures in this line with extra accessories, especially the alternate heads. While I didn't have the Battle Armor Skeletor as a kid, the He-Man and Ram Man figures are certainly in the spirit of their '80s counterparts. Recommended!

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Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Masters of the WWE Kane

 I haven't bought every Masters of the WWE figure I've seen in the wild, but have picked up a few that fit most seamlessly with my ever-growing MOTU Origins collection. Kane categorically resembled that aesthetic, as though he were just another Masters of the Universe villain. I did like the other WWE figures in this wave, who were also a good fit in my MOTU Origins collection, but not in the way Kane the Demonic Red Machine does!

A pistol and blast effect were included, as was a short mini comic with an illustrated cross sell ad for other figures in the wave, just like MOTU of the '80s. It appears Kane's robotic right arm will swap parts with the MOTU Origins Roboto I have on ice; I love interchangeable parts between these lines- great design for unlimited playablity!

If you collect Masters of the WWE or MOTU Origins, the Funko Primal Age Batcave is a must-have- I love mine almost as much as my new MOTU Origins Castle Grayskull! I had the original Castle Grayskull and the Dungeons and Dragons Fortress of Fangs as a kid in the '80s, so this Batcave stirs my nostalgia for playsets of that era. 

Below, Kane with my Masters of the WWE Roman Reigns, Jake the Snake, and Ultimate Warrior:

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Friday, July 2, 2021

MOTU Origins Rise of Evil Keldor & Kronis 2-pk

Target exclusives have confounded action figure collectors, particularly the recent Hasbro G.I.Joe Cobra Island figures, but lo and behold, Target suddenly restocked this MOTU Origins Rise of Evil 2-pk, which was also plentifully available on their website. I would have paid more for the Keldor figure in a deluxe package alone, having little interest in Kronis. The character is so much less interesting than Trapjaw, who he would later become. The Keldor head sculpt is superior to Kronis' less defined features. Regardless, I loved having these two in front of my new MOTU Origins Castle Grayskull...

The star of this 2-pk is, without a doubt, Keldor, who can be transformed into a deluxe Skeletor by switching heads. This fourth Skeletor head sculpt in the Origins line is based on the '80s mini comic artwork of Alfredo Alcala. The jeweled red eyes, cape, and extra armor paint really make him special!

Below, Skeletor battles Prince Adam for control of Castle Grayskull ...!

And finally, below, this Alcala Skeletor with my standard issue MOTU Origins Skeletor, Panthor, and Deluxe Battle Armor Skeletor! See more of the original He-Man and the Masters of the Universe line at the Battle Ram Blog!

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Tuesday, June 22, 2021

MOTU Origins Battle Armor He-Man & Skeletor

 I knew as soon as the MOTU Origins Battle Armor He-Man and Skeletor were solicited, I'd end up buying them. They've been available for preorder on BBTS for months, but I stumbled onto a set at a local Target for less, a price made even better with the added discount using my Target card. I had the original 1984 Battle Armor He-Man, but not Skeletor, which I favored between these MOTU Origins figures. My initial opinion of He-Man's armor was echoed among the action figure community, that the "battle damage" chest feature seemed small, and it does compared to the vintage figure. But in hand, I liked the He-Man as much as Skeletor- his armor and weapons have a nice metallic finish, and I liked getting two new head sculpts, including a portrait of the vintage head sculpt. Strangely, Skeletor has a portrait that looks inspired by the vintage, but not quite as accurately as the He-Man. Nevertheless, I'm pleased with these deluxe MOTU Origins figures, and am on the lookout for the Ram Man or Clamp Champ...

The "battle damage" feature on these figure requires a somewhat firm poke to activate, but won't be utilized as frequently as my childhood Battle Armor He-Man. This was a great way to bring out another He-Man and Skeletor in 1984, and somewhat a surprise to me that Mattel revived them so early into the Origins line.

Below, Battle Armor He-Man and Skeletor with my MOTU Origins He-Man and Skeletor
Check out my post on the MOTU Origins Castle Grayskull I got at the end of May!

Like the other Origins figures, Battle Armor Skeletor come with a character specific mini comic, this one titled Battle Armor Reborn. I love this and have enjoyed the retro packaging of this line in general, particularly the cross-sell illustrations on the back.

I think I'll keep these two atop their mounts, Battle Cat and Panthor, for awhile on the shelf. With their extra head sculpts and additional accessories, these were a solid value at under twenty bucks each. I'm a big fan of the MOTU Origins line, and have some more to show as time allows. Recommended!

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Monday, May 31, 2021

MOTU Origins Castle Grayskull (2021)

My October 2020 preorder of the MOTU Origins Castle Grayskull finally arrived this past weekend after a month-long delay, and it was worth the wait. This is the crown jewel of the Origins line, and wonderful reboot of the 1982 fortress of mystery and power that captured my imagination as a child! Check out the video:

It's almost unbelievable to have this show up on my doorstep 39 years later, and while there have been a few cosmetic changes, the Origins Castle Grayskull hits all the same notes as the 1982 original. The Origins Series packaging art has been fantastic, on full display with this huge 26 x 18 x 6" box, which has a fantastic cross-sell scene on the verso.

Gone from the interior are the old carboard inserts, replaced by tougher plastic computer modules, while a lot of the other features remain similar to the original playset- the elevator and trapdoor/throne are virtually the same. There is some added sculptural detail in the castle floors, and a little more room at the third level. The stickers are certainly in the spirit of the original, at first glance nearly identical. I'd have preferred more weapons for the armory rack as opposed to the additional, smaller rack included, but am hoping for an accessory pack will be offered later.

Not to be undervalued is the special edition Temple of Darkness Sorceress included with this playset- I'm certain we will be offered a colored single-carded version of the Sorceress in the future, but this adds a lot of value to an already great package. It's also nice having another female in the MOTU Origins lineup.

A lot of collectors are showing side-by-side comparisons of the new Grayskull with the original 1982 version, but I only have the Funko Primal Age Batcave to measure it against. I got a great deal on this MOTU-inspired playset last year, in anticipation of the forthcoming MOTU Origins Castle Grayskull- while enamored with the new Grayskull, no love was lost on this fantastic playset. Any MOTU fan would enjoy having this Batcave, which makes a great lair for Skeletor and his evil minions, in lieu of Snake Mountain.

See the 1982 Castle Grayskull and more of the original He-Man and 
the Masters of the Universe line at the Battle Ram Blog!

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Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Marvel Legends Shang-Chi Wave

 I try to avoid buy entire waves of Marvel Legends because I have a ton of them, but this Shang-Chi wave looked good, and as a fan of classic horror characters, I loved the Mr. Hyde BAF. I got back into Marvel Legends in 2017, collecting way more of them than I had in years past while writing this blog. Around 2016, Hasbro really raised the bar on this line, the MCU figures really improving in both their sculpt detail and facial portraits. While the Shang-Chi portraits have somewhat blank expressions, the sculpts and paint are fantastic! Check out the video:

Below, the Mr. Hyde BAF built with parts included with the Marvel Legends Shang-Chi Wave, next to my Marvel Legends Joe Fixit BAF. I assembled Joe Fixit after purchasing his Marvel Legends wave in November of 2020, and while he's the Gamerverse version of the character, I'm quite fond of him. Mr. Hyde's coat doesn't have a cape like the classic version I grew up with, but he retains the comic book aesthetic by and large.

I have two other Iron Man figures built on this buck Hasbro produced for the 80th Anniversary Iron Man, but it sure looks good in the classic comic book colors. It looks good next to my 3.75" Marvel Legends Retro Series Iron Man, below. Both really take me back to the Mattel Secret Wars Iron Man I loved as a child! See more comparisons of the Shang-Chi Wave next to other figures in my collection in the video above!

While I've seen none of the Disney channel Marvel shows, I'm definitely interested in the forthcoming Shang-Chi movie, as well as the next chapter of the MCU. This was a great looking group of figures, and a great way to pick up a classic Iron Man if you missed the initial 80th Anniversary Iron Man, nice translucent Tony Stark A.I. head included. Recommended!

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