MAN-AT-ARMS & FAKER minis (2014)
When my first set of Masters of the Universe (MOTU) minis arrived in the mail back in March I promptly reviewed them. The cute little things really won me over and I intended to quickly review the 2nd set once it arrived. A new set only comes out every second month so I figured it would be pretty easy for me to stay on top of the reviews. Well somehow 3 sets of minis have been released since that first shipment (with a fifth set will be arriving in a couple of weeks) and I haven’t gotten around to reviewing a single one of them. Where does the time go?
I wasn’t originally sure if I’d collect all of these little guys. Sure they’re cute but they’re pretty darn expensive ($15+ per figure when you factor in the shipping! Eek) and more importantly, I don’t really NEED them. If these were the only MOTU figures available then I would NEED them but because the Classics line already does an excellent job of getting me my monthly He-Man fix these mini figures are nothing but incidentals to my true MOTU collection. But I’m a sucker and so I keep buying them. If the inaugural set of minis had included He-Man and Skeletor, as one would’ve expected, I probably wouldn’t have bought it and could have maybe avoided this whole can of worms. But because Mattel paired He-Man with my favorite MOTU character Mer-Man in that first set I couldn’t help but buy it and thus get hooked on these stupid little things.
The second set included Moss-Man and Skeletor, the third Scareglow and Stratos, and this fourth set contains Man-At-Arms and Faker. The fifth set will bring me Zodak and Beast Man. In my opinion, this fourth release is these least exciting of all the sets. I was never a big fan of He-Man’s evil android doppelganger Faker and Man-At-Arms is just a dude with a mustache and a half-suit of armor. He’s still a cool character, and a vital one, but he’s pretty boring when compared to the other Masters and Evil Warriors. I would’ve much preferred to see a Buzz-Off & Mantenna 2-pack for example.
While Man-at-Arms and Faker may not be my favorite MOTU characters they’re by no means bad characters. I don’t think there’s a single “bad” character in the series. And these 2 figures are excellent versions of these characters.
Man-at-Arms is one of the core characters that I’m missing from the Classics line so this little guy is actually my only modern Duncan figure (Duncan’s his real name). I hope to eventually acquire a Classics version but if I don’t then I guess I’ll have to display this figure as my primary Man-at-Arms. I’ll just pretend that Skeletor cast an irreversible shrink spell on him. The sculpt is great with loads of little details. He’s got his big burly signature mustache and an angry scowl on his face and fur-lined armor full of wires and rivets. For accessories he has his trusty vintage-era club as well as the detachable blue arm cannon from the 200X version. Like all of these figures he’s top heavy but he’s posed in such a way that he stands on his own just fine. I’m painfully aware of how tough it can be to get action figures to stay standing and I’m blown away by how sturdy these mini figures are.
For He-Man’s evil clone Mattel could have taken the easy way out and just re-painted the already released He-Man figure but they didn’t, they sculpted a whole new figure for Faker. This is a great little figure with loads of personality. As with the mini-He-Man I think I like this version of Faker better than any previous versions. I’m not sure why but He-Man and Faker work really well in this stylized format. Faker includes an orange power sword and battle axe.
This set included a crucial piece of the build-a-playset Castle Grayskull, the Jaw Bridge, which can be opened and closed. My mini castle has grown from a pile of stray pieces into a legitimate fortress which is nearing completion. It’s gonna look great once it’s finished.
It’s hard to recommend these figures when you consider the price but if, like me, you’re ordering figures from mattycollector.com on the 15th of every month anyway you might as well throw these guys in your virtual shopping cart as well. They’re cool and adorable. 8 out of 10.