As you may have guessed from my writings on here, I can be a very nostalgic person. I love reminiscing about stuff from my childhood. I love the toys of my youth and enjoy thinking back to the many carefree afternoons I spent playing with them. All of those toy lines either died off or morphed into something I didn’t care for as I grew into an adolescent. Maybe it’s for the best, if G.I. Joe and Transformers had continued putting out quality toys and figures straight through the 90s chances are I may have never gotten a girlfriend. Why spend my hard earned paper route money taking some chick out to a fancy dinner at Burger King while my dad waits in the car when I could have been putting the money into the latest Dreadnok swamp vehicle instead. Luckliy I didn’t have to make those tough choices as toys from the 90s were for the most part lame. But then something great happened once I hit my 20s and had a little bit more disposable income to work with. All the cool stuff that I loved as a kid came back around. Joe, Transformers, He-Man, they were all back on toy store shelves. It was fantastic! I loved that these toys were made with the modern collector in mind. Toy companies knew that a lot of their sales came from nostalgic 20 something’s. The toys resembled their original 80s counterparts but they were made studier and more detailed and they more accurately resembled the source material, it was a great time to be a toy collector.
One problem with drawing from the 80s well of nostalgia though is that the well only goes so deep. There were a finite number of Joes, He-Men and Transformers made in my childhood. Would these new lines simply repeat what had come before and then fizzle out again? In order for these properties to expand beyond the boundaries of childhood nostalgia the lines must expand and new characters need to be added. Sometimes this can be a tough sell. When you’ve loved something for 25 years and then all of the sudden there’s a new character thrown in as if he was always there are you expected to just accept it? It can be off-putting. I’m all for the inclusion of new characters into classic 80s mythologies. So long as the new characters fit the general aesthetic of the line and serve a purpose I welcome them with open arms. The new sculpt era of Joe brought us the Neo-Vipers, Kamakura, Blackout, Scalpel and so many more. The modern era has given us Wraith, Shadow Tracker and Zanya. One of the coolest Transformers I have is the newly introduced character Drift. The right blend of new and old characters keeps a toy line fresh yet familiar.
So allow me to introduce you to Draego-Man. This figure is part of the MOTU Classics line which I rave about every time I have the chance. These figures are great. They retain the uniqueness, bulk and play features of the original line but have improved in overall quality and appearance. It’s thrilling to open up a new version of a beloved classic character each month when my shipment from Mattycollector.com arrives. Just as exciting tough can be discovering a new character for the first time. I admit that when newly created characters like Demo-Man and Count Marzo have been added to the line in the past I’ve been sceptical about their place in the MOTU universe. However when one of these new characters arrives and gets placed on the shelf with his classic friends it’s always exciting and my brain start hatching origin stories. I think about how I would’ve introduced this character into my play pattern had I gotten him as a child. Mattel provides a little bit of background for each character on the back of the packaging but that’s just a launching pad for a child’s (or a 34 year old’s) imagination to run free. Would Draego-Man be a good guy or a bad guy? Is he more man than beast? Can he communicate with the more primitive dragons that populate the forests of Eternia? Does he like Edward or Jacob? So many questions! I think my Draego-Man would stand alone, outside the conflict of the Masters of the Universe, only drawn into battle when absolutely necessary. He would be noble and cunning. His leathery wings, spiked tail and fire breath would make him a most formidable foe to any who crossed his path; and he would totally be on team Jacob.
Since this is a brand new character created solely for the classics line to celebrate MOTU’s 30th anniversary (6 anniversary figures are planned this year) this figure does not have the nostalgia factor that other MOTU Classics figures do. However it does make me nostalgic for getting brand new characters and adding them into my established continuity. This figure is one of the most impressive Classics figures to date. Once his wings and tail have been attached he’s quite impressive looking and I appreciate Mattel selling him at the standard figure price. The sculpt of this guy is just deadly. He’s fully scaled and full of great details. He’s got the standard articulation as well as the added movements of his wings and tail. His flaming sword is a cool accessory and the colors on this guy look great. Although I would buy this guy again 5 times over if they decided to release him in different colors. I can’t help but imagine how cool a green one would be. Maybe yellow or blue, it would be like an army of Yoshis. To sum up, totally awesome. 9 out of 10.