SNAKE FACE (Classics)
In my last review I mentioned how I like to spend money while on vacation. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t like to spend it when I’m close to home as well. Yesterday I picked up 4 new action figures, 5 new blurays, a graphic novel and I topped off the evening with some KFC. I can’t tell you how disappointed I was to find that the boneless original recipe chicken that I see advertised on TV everyday has not yet made it to Canada. Damn those American commercials for misleading me. Anyway, a couple of the new toys I bought yesterday I purchased the old fashioned way, from a store, while the other ones were online purchases that I had to pick up from the post office. My April 15th mattycollector order had arrived on Friday but I missed the drop off since I was away in Cape Breton. It is nice to be able to hold my new figures a day or two after purchasing them but I really wish Mattel would stop forcing expedited shipping on me. I owed the courier $30 in fees on top of the $30 I spent on shipping at the time of the order. I tell you this because it may have a direct impact on how I rate this figure. Paying $60 to ship $60 worth of toys to my apartment does not sit well with me and I have nobody to take it out on except for poor Snake Face here.
Snake Face is my fifth member of the Snake Men forces from the Masters of the Universe Classics line. They have released 6 members to date but I have yet to get myself a Kobra Khan. A couple of key members of the group are still awaiting updates, Tongue Lasher and Squeeze. I was pretty excited to get Snake Face as I’m a fan of the Snake Men but have never owned too many of them over the years. From the vintage line all I had growing up was their leader King Hiss (though I recently acquired a vintage Tongue Lasher as well) and from the 2002 line I only had Kobra Khan.
The vintage Snake Face was a pretty ugly figure; the colors were a strange blend of green and gray, he had the usual frumpy MOTU body shape, and lastly he had a really messed up face. His unique play feature was that when a button was pushed on his back, a bunch of snakes would burst forth from his eyes, mouth, shoulders, and chest. When retracted the snakes remained poking out ever so slightly meaning his face was always this vacant snake nest. It was creepy looking but the fact that the snakes could always be seen reduced the impact of the “surprise” feature.
Snake Face was given a new look for the 2002 series. He didn’t make it into the action figure line before it was cancelled but a “staction figure” (action figure sized statue) was released which showcased the Four Horsemen’s radical redesign. The 2002 version upped Snake Face’s cool factor substantially. His look was refined, doing away with the snake eyes but retaining a long snake tongue. I really liked the new look. Snake Face was still hella creepy but in a different sort of way.
This latest version does away with the 2002 upgrades and is mostly an update of the original 1987 look. He’s not an exact update but I like the changes that have been made and Snake Face continues to be the creepiest character in the MOTU line-up. The colors are similar to the original but they look better here having been blended more naturally. Snake Face is a nice mix of blacks, grays and greens. He’s more subdued than some of the other Classics figures but I like that he’s a little darker; it suits the character. He reuses the scaly chest and arms that we’ve seen previously on Whiplash and his lower half shares many of the same parts that we’ve seen on lots of the bad guys like Mer-Man and Skeletor. Examination of this figure for the review did leave me curious as to what exactly Snake Face is wearing. He’s got some of those chain-mail booty shorts which are all the rage on Eternia but then it appears that he’s wearing leggings underneath. Why else would his legs be gray and scale free? Then he seems to be wearing black toed boots but he clearly has toenails showing so I’m not exactly sure what’s going on there. It makes for a somewhat odd design but that’s part of the line’s charm.
For accessories Snake Face has the standard snake staff, in bright green, which doesn’t sit in his hand as well as it should. He also has a silly looking snake shield which is modelled after an accessory that came with the original. The design doesn’t really hold up and the shield does not seem proportionate to the figure. He has some nice solid black chest armor which can be removed if you like your Snake Men bare chested. And then there’s the alternate head.
The head is where this figure really shines. From the neck down the figure is just alright, but the head saves it and really makes this a must have figure for any MOTUC collection. There’s no play feature on this version so to replicate the protruding face snakes of the original his regular head can be swapped out for an extra snakey one. The standard face features scaly green skin and bright yellow and red eyes. The eyes are really pretty freaky looking. He has a sculpted sneer and open mouth and the overall look is just plain creepy.
Seeing as Snake Face has always had the ability to turn his enemies to stone when they look at him in “snake mode”, I would say that the character’s design was clearly inspired by the gorgons of Greek mythology. Never before has that been more evident. This face is a dead ringer for Medusa from the original Clash of the Titans. The secondary head is the same as the first in most aspects but it features the protruding red snakes coming from Snake Face’s eyes, mouth, and from the back of his neck. It is very cool looking. So much so that I’m stumped as to which head I want to display him with. 7 out of 10.