For those of you not in the know, this is how Mattel’s Masters of the Universe Classics toy line is sold. On the 15th of each month at least one new figure is made available on their website, matty collector.com. The figure remains for sale on the site until it sells out which can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few days depending on the figure. Fans tend to scoop up old favorites like Beast Man and Trap Jaw quite quickly but lesser known and new characters like Netossa and Sir Laser Lot may sit around for a while.
To ensure they hit a certain amount of sales each month Mattel offers a subscription service at the start of each year. The benefit to Mattel is that it locks buyers into purchasing all of the figures released that year. The benefits to subscribers is early access to the monthly sales, discounted prices, and subscriber exclusive figures.
I buy the new MOTU Classics figure almost every month so you’d think it would make sense for me to subscribe. However, I never have because I feel Mattel set up the subscription option very poorly in a major way in that they don’t allow for combined shipping.
I live in Canada and our dollar is pretty much always worth less than the American dollar. Presently a $28 MOTU figure costs me $34 Canadian. The shipping for a single figure is at best $15 US which is about $19 CA. Therefore, a single figure purchase costs me $53. PLUS I occasionally get dinged at the boarder for customs fees which can tack as much as $20 more onto a figure’s overall cost. That is why I occasionally do not buy the monthly MOTU figure. Each figure I buy has to be justifiably worth $73 to me otherwise I pass on it. To Mattel’s credit their figures are so good that I buy from them about 10 months out of the year.
Presently, as a non-subscriber, when I buy 2 figures a month, which is often the case, the shipping costs are combined thereby bringing the overall cost per figure down which is great. But, if I were to subscribe I would have to pay the full shipping costs on my obligatory subscription purchase and if I made any additional purchases I would have to pay full shipping on those items as well; even if they shipped out on the same day and from the same location. It costs me extra cash needlessly and that is why I’ve never subscribed.
Having early access to sales and getting minor discounts would be nice but the only time I ever felt royally screwed for not being a subscriber was when Mattel made Two-Bad a subscriber exclusive figure in January 2014. Two-Bad is one of my favorite MOTU characters. I love the original 1985 figure and I love the updated 2002 figure. Two-Bad was one of the characters I was most looking forward to getting in the Classics format and to deny me the chance to purchase him was downright cruel. Shortly after his release BigBadToyStore was selling this figure for $80 plus shipping and I considered buying it many times. I never did though because paying $80 for a figure I feel I should have been able to purchase from Mattel for under $30 really pissed me off.
Well it took a year and a half but Mattel finally gave me the opportunity to purchase Two-Bad for $27 last month and now I have him in my collection. It did require me to subscribe…sort-of…but I’ve rambled on long enough in this post so I won’t get into that.
According to the origin story on Two-Bad’s packaging, which is inspired by an episode of the 200X cartoon, Two-Bad was once two separate guys; bounty hunters named Tuvar and Baddrah. After they failed to complete a mission assigned to them by Skeletor he punished them by merging them via an irreversible spell. When the halves work together Two-Bad is a brilliant strategist but unfortunately they’re usually fighting amongst themselves and strategies are few and far between.
I gotta say, that was a real dick move even for Skeletor. All of his evil warriors have horrible track records and yet none of the other guys are forced to share abdomens. Poor bastards.
As much as I love the previous two incarnations this is definitely the best Two-Bad yet. It’s an excellent homage to the 1985 figure. The only element retained from the 2002 redesign is his weapon, a double mace. The mace is pretty cool though it would be better is it was articulated like the 2002 version. He also comes with a vintage style shield which looks fine but it doesn’t attach to his arm very well.
The sculpt on this figure is really nice. The left side (the Tuvar side) is a mix of new and re-used pieces but the right side (the Baddrah side) is entirely new. Baddrah is covered in scales and it has lots of boney protrusions. The realistic sculpting on his leather boot and glove is very impressive too. Tuvar’s skin is smooth and lacking in detail but his new medieval looking boot and gauntlet pieces compensate for that. The torso is wider than that of most MOTU figures for obvious reasons but it doesn’t look overly so. That unique design element was pulled off with much more finesse here than it was on the awkwardly shaped original. Lastly, the head sculpts are both awesome. Each face has a neutral expression which seems to say these guys mean business. They don’t have any of the goofiness that was present in the original toy and the animated look.
The paint work is also very well done. The skin tones are nice and crisp and most of the accessories have subtle two-toned paint jobs. The metallic orange paint used on his chest armour flair is especially cool looking. I’m very happy to finally have this figure in my collection. 10 out of 10.