HEADS OF ETERNIA (2015)
I buy almost all of the Masters of the Universe Classics figures produced by Mattel. I log onto the MattyCollector website on the 15th of just about every month to buy the latest offerings. Unfortunately, some of the figures have sold out very quickly and as a result I’ve missed out on a few key characters. Mattel offers a subscription service to ensure collectors like myself don’t miss any of the figures but I’ve never subscribed for the following reasons:
-Paying for the full-year subscription makes for a very expensive lump sum payment.
-I’d be locked into buying every single figure, even though not all of the figures are announced by the subscription deadline, meaning I could be committing to some real duds.
-And Mattel doesn’t allow for combined shipping between subscription figures and non-subscription purchases made on the site.
However, outside of the annual subscription that locks you into buying 15+ figures, Mattel has begun offering mini-subscriptions that only lock you into buying 6 figures. The mini-subs focus on a specific group of characters within the MOTU mythology that may not appeal to the fandom at large. For example, last year they ran a subscription for the mini-figure 2 packs. Prior to that they ran mini-subs for obscure filmation characters and for brand new characters to celebrate the brand’s 30th anniversary. I’ve considered subbing a few times but I never made the commitment until their latest min-sub which focuses on 200X characters.
The “200X” title refers to the MOTU animated series and toy line that launched in 2002 to much acclaim. I was a HUGE fan of the cartoon which ran for 2 seasons (39 episodes) and I loved the stylized toys and statues based on the anime-inspired character designs. A few of the new characters that were created for the 200X show have made their way into the Classics toy line (i.e. Chief Carnivus and Lord Dactys) but by and large the Classics line has focused on the vintage MOTU mythology. The 200X mini-sub consists of 6 figures based on characters that first appeared in the 200X cartoon and who have never been made into toys before. I chose to sub for the following reasons:
-All six figures hd been revealed by the subscription deadline and they all looked awesome.
-Mattel offered an option for the figures to ship out in bundles of 3 rather than 1 at a time so I was able to save on shipping. Also, they billed in instalments rather than in one large lump sum.
-And subscribers got a free bonus gift.
The 6 figures were reason enough to warrant subscribing but the bonus gift was like the cherry on top that sealed the deal. The bonus gift is a pack of 6 alternate heads in the 200X style intended for previously released MOTU Classics figures. Some characters looked drastically different from their vintage counterparts when redesigned for the 200X line and these new heads allow you to display “Classics” versions of those dynamic reimaginings.
I’ll start with Buzz-Off because he’s one of my favorite MOTU characters. I’ll forever love the vintage look because I grew up with it but the 200X redesign was undeniably cooler. It was much leaner and more angular and the long antennae provided a truer bug-like appearance. It was less cutesy and more badass. The 200X Buzz-Off figure looks awesome displayed on my shelf but unfortunately I’m quickly running out of shelf space so my 200X collection may soon end up boxed up to make room for more current toy lines. This new head will take some of the “sting” out of boxing up my 200X Buzz-Off because now I can display my Classics Buzz-Off with this 200X-style head. However, I’m not 100% sure I’ll do that because the vintage style head has a nostalgic charm about it that makes me smile. Also the 200X head doesn’t quite look natural on the bulkier body of the Classics figure; plus the bright banana yellow used on this new head doesn’t match up as nicely with the more mustardy yellow of the body and original head. I really like them both and I’d almost rather try to find another Buzz-Off for cheap so I can display him both ways rather than choose.
Next up is Clawful. Apparently some people hate the big bushy black eyebrows of the original Classics head. I personally don’t mind my Clawful looking like Eugene Levy but this new 200X head is a really nice update regardless. The change isn’t as drastic as the Buzz-Off redesign but what they changed were improvements. The new head has more ridges and protrusions and the eyes are less cartoonish. I’m undecided if I’ll make the change on Clawful because I like the new and the old heads but they’re not different enough to warrant buying another figure so I can display both.
Sy-Klone was probably my least favorite MOTU character when I was a kid. He was at least in my bottom five. That changed with the 200X series. He went from being a total goofball to a badass samurai courtesy of an impressive redesign. I thought his portrayal in the 200X animated series was awesome and it really fleshed out the character. I was a big fan of the 200X toy as well. If not for his 200X make-over I probably wouldn’t have even bothered to buy the Classics version of Sy-Klone; I disliked him that much. However, I did buy the Classics version when it came out in 2011 but it’s been relegated to the back of the shelf because it looks like the goofy vintage version that I never liked. This new 200X-inspired head isn’t as good as the actual 200X head but its a big improvement over the 2011 head. The 200X Sy-Klone was clearly Asian but his ethnicity seems to have been undone for this new head which is unfortunate. In Sy-Klone’s case I will absolutely swap out the old head for this new one and he may actually work his way to the front of the shelf as a result.
I never owned the vintage Roboto which was disappointing because I always thought it was a neat figure with it’s see-thru chest and working gears. I did get the 200X version though and it was even better than the original. It still had the chest and gears gimmick but the overall design had been bulked up and pimped out. I love my 200X Roboto. The Classics version was released in 2010, before I had committed to collecting the line, so I didn’t buy it. I regret that decision now because I became a big fan of the line soon afterwards and have tried to collect them all and yet Roboto still eludes me. For that reason this 200X-style Roboto head isn’t much good to me because I don’t have a body to put it on. I will get that figure eventually though and I will definitely put this head on it. The original Roboto looked more like a knight where as this one is very much science-fiction. I love the sloped visor and the articulated jaw. It’s such a great looking head that maybe I’ll pop it onto someone else untilI track down a Roboto.
Like Clawful, Grizzlor isn’t a character I needed updated. I’m fine with his Classics head and the vintage figure that inspired it. I liked the 200X redesign as well but the only major change was the addition of a yellow ring around his face. I’m not sure what purpose it was supposed to serve, maybe just to keep his hair out of his face, but it looked cool regardless. It reminds me of the headgear boxers wear when training or that odd headpiece Shatterstar from X-Force wears. The actual face on the new head is smaller and there are fewer sculpted details in the face; he’s not as wrinkly. I find its more ape-like than the original. I might’ve considered swapping out the old head for the new one but unfortunately the rooted hair on the new head doesn’t quite match the hair on the body so I think I’ll stick with the original.
Lastly is Snout Spout, the crown jewel of this collection. Like Sy-Klone, the original Snout Spout was a dork. He had a big round robot elephant head sitting atop a man’s body and he looked ridiculous. I never owned it but my little brother Brian did oddly enough. it may have been the only He-Man figure he owned. Snout Spout never appeared in the 200X cartoon and he never got a 200X figure but he did get a statue and it was amazeballs.
The 200X redesign cranked Snout Spout up from a 3 to an 11. He was still a dude with a robotic elephant head but the proportions were way better and the design was much sleeker and meaner looking. I loved that statue and I was totally bummed that I never managed to get one (They were very tough to find in my area). Well I’m bummed no longer because Mattel has given me this awesome new 200X-inspired Snout Spout head. This thing is a beast. The original head looks like Babar while this new head looks like Darth Vader with a trunk (not exactly, I’m just saying it’s hella cool). I wish the nose were articulated but other than that this thing is perfect.
The Heads of Eternia set is a great add-on and I’m glad I subscribed in order to get it. I may only swap out 2 or 3 of the heads but those heads do wonders for those 2 or 3 figures. It’s unfortunate that the Classics bodies don’t really mesh well with the 200X heads in general but I’m happy to see Mattel acknowledge this brief but excellent era of MOTU. I hope to see another one of these sets in the future, a 200X Leech would be insane. 8 out of 10.