MOTU CLASSICS SET 3 / WILLIAM STOUT COLLECTION
The final Super7 Classics figures are all based on designs from the 1987 Masters of the Universe film; more specifically the costumes by designer William Stout. The film has garnered something of a cult following, even though it was awful. (It was released ten years after Star Wars but its special effects look like they pre-date it by a decade.) But, for all its many faults, they did do a decent job with the costumes.
So have Super7 managed to replicate Stout's designs satisfactorily? Actually, yes. The figures are pretty good. Should Super7 have ended their involvement with MOTU by releasing yet more figures that don't really fit the Classics aesthetic? Well, that's a matter for debate. I'd have preferred something completely different, but there were plenty of fans who wanted these toys, and Super7 evidently pushed hard to get them done, so it was probably a good call.
Before I get to the reviews I'll make some observations about Super7's approach to the Classics. Now their involvement with MOTU licensing is over (courtesy of Mattel rather than by choice, it would seem), we can compare the 'real' Classics output to their Filmation roster. Sadly, Classics didn't come close to realising its potential. I don't think Super7 treated MOTUC with anywhere near the same enthusiasm as Filmation. It's a shame because there were a few moments of good work.
The choice of figures in this wave is telling. Of course, Super7 couldn't really approach this set without including He-Man and Skeletor, but they've obviously done all they can to minimise costs by releasing two almost identical versions of Skeletor and a repaint of Karg. I think even some movie fans feel rather hard done by; a version of Evil-Lyn would have been welcome as an alternative choice. Anyway, let's have a look at what we ended up with.
REBEL LEADER HE-MAN is based on the character as played by Dolph Lundgren in the film. There is some intricate detailing on the boots and shoulder pieces. The figure is nicely painted and sculpted. A second head was included which looks a bit sterner than the one photographed below. It's tricky to judge, but I think the designers went for a head sculpt that was more in keeping with the other He-Man figures in the line than trying to replicate Lundgren himself, which is probably a good thing. Two knives with thin handles (and therefore ungrippable by the figure) were added as well. All told, this is a pretty good figure.
DARK DESPOT SKELETOR is the best of the set by a country mile. There is a load of lovely paint detailing which brings character to the toy. It's very important to do this when the base colour is plain; an all-black figure would have been a disaster. The face sculpt is superb and accurately matches the makeup which Frank Langella wore in the film. My only gripe with this figure is that the hands are too loose for the sword and staff. Whoever came up with the name for this version of Skeletor had a moment of brilliance.
COMMANDER KARG is probably a better figure than the version in the previous wave, based on the colour scheme. I don't have anything to say about the sculpt that I didn't mention when I reviewed the Wave 2 figure; the design impressed me then and I still like it. Sharp-eyed fans will notice that the design of Karg's hook hand is more intricate this time around. A good figure.
GOD SKELETOR uses the same sculpt as Dark Despot Skeletor with the addition of a loin piece.
There is some shading on the skirt, but the paintwork is nowhere near as impressive as on the
other figure, making him seem very plain by comparison. The helmet is single-colour, and I
don't see why one of the spines is bent downwards. (It's sculpted that way, not damaged.) The
same hand problem occurs here as before: Skeletor can't grip his staff properly.