He-Man fans and regular readers of this blog know the deal when it comes to purchasing Masters of the Universe figures in this day an age. For whatever reason the brand hasn’t performed well in brick and mortar retail stores on the last couple of attempts Mattel made to revive this popular 80s toy line. So since 2008 Mattel has released figures geared towards collectors online only. I didn’t get on board with the line right away but for the past couple of years I’ve been religiously logging onto their site, mattycollector.com, on the 15th of every month in order to get the latest Classics figures. Yesterday was the 15th of November and I did not order any figures. Most of the key characters have already been released so non-essential figures are becoming more frequent. November’s Sea Hawk and Geldor didn’t do it for me. However last month was a very different story. October 2013 may well have been the single greatest month of MOTU Classics releases to date.
October’s releases consisted of 3 single carded figures, a 2-pack of figures, a vehicle with driver, and a weapons pack. One of the single carded releases was Mantenna. Second only to Mer-Man, Mantenna is one of my favorite characters from the Masters of the Universe line. I had the vintage figure as a kid (still do, you can check it out if you click the link) and I loved him. His appearance was just so bizarre and cool. A proper Mantenna figure hasn’t been released since the 1985 original so needless to say I’ve been eagerly anticipating a new version of him. Stay tuned for my upcoming review, he did not disappoint. Next up was a wicked cool (and first ever) version of Lord Dactys from the 2002 MOTU series. I passed on the third carded figure, the Pharaoh inspired Nepthu. But I did buy the 2 pack of Horde Troopers which are awesome. I passed on the Jet Sled vehicle that came packaged with a new character named Sky High because it was kind of pricey but I’m regretting that decision now.
Lastly there was the weapons pack. This is the fourth weapons pack Mattel has released for the Classics line. Each pack has had a different theme, this one is called the “End of Wars” weapons pak. I didn’t buy any of the previous 3 weapons packs and I really didn’t need the weapons from this pack either. I already have a bin full of loose MOTUC accessories. I have more alternate swords, shields and heads than I know what to do with. The weapons in this package are of little use to me. pretty much all of them are pieces I already own only they’ve been painted different colors, such as He-Man’s iconic sword, shield and axe in neon green. Why? I don’t know. The only accessory that I’ll actually put to use is the Snake themed breast plate intended for Rattlor. The figure was previously released sans armor and Mattel has rectified that by including it here. I actually think it enhances the figure nicely. But Rattlor’s armor wasn’t reason enough for me to shell out twenty bucks for this pack. What sold me was the inclusion of She-Ra’s sidekick Kowl.
Kowl is a cross between an owl and a koala and he uses his rainbow ears to flutter about. Super gay? Yes. But also kind of awesome? Yes. Where the He-Man cartoon had Orko to provide comic relief the She-Ra cartoon had Kowl. I would’ve preferred Mattel to package Kowl with another figure as opposed to placing him in this weapons pack but I wanted him regardless and paying $20 for him isn’t so bad; especially since he came with the nifty armor for Rattlor as well.
Kowl is quite small, as he should be. He comes up to about the knee of other Classics figures. While Kowl was more of an orange color in the cartoon the vintage toy was yellow and that’s the color scheme Mattel opted to use for this figure. I wouldn’t be surprised if we get an orange repaint at some point in the future. He’s articulated at the shoulders and neck but his big ears prevent his head from moving much. To save money they could have easily constructed him as a solid piece with no moving parts so I appreciate even these few points of articulation. The sculpt is good and the colors aren’t overly vibrant. He reminds me of an Easter egg with his pastel yellows and blues. A decent little figure. 6 out of 10.