Sunday, February 7, 2010

Masters of the Universe Classics: Skeletor: Evil Lord of Destruction Figure Review

Being a late comer to the "Masters of the Universe Classics" line, I had the misfortune of missing out on Skeletor when he was first released earlier last year.  When I heard that Mattel was going to re-release an "improved-version" of Skeletor as a "bonus" figure, I was given a second chance.  I used to own the old-school Skeletor, but had the bad luck of losing him (twice)!  I lost one while playing with him with the car window down (for some reason), and suddenly (due to a bump or my own clumsiness) dropped Skeletor on the road.  Man, that was really heartbreaking.

Although I missed out on He-Man, at least I would be able to finally get my hands on one of my most beloved villains.  When it was noon, I wasted no time and ordered myself Skeletor.  Surprisingly, my order went through very smoothly.  Even more surprising, Skeletor was still available a couple of days after his re-release.  He was made available for sale via on January 27, 2010.

Flavor Text:

"Skeletor, Evil Lord of Destruction

Real Name: Keldor

Mortally wounded in a battle with his half-brother, Captain Randor, Keldor turned to his dark-arts master Hordak to save his life.  Merging Keldor with the extra-dimensional being Demo-Man from Despondos, Keldor was forever changed into Skeletor, Overlord of Evil!  He gathered together many of Eternia's greatest outcasts and evil warriors in his quest to gain entry into Castle Grayskull and to obtain what he believes is the universe's ultimate power source."

The Good:

  • Skeletor has 20 points of articulation: ball-jointed neck, jointed shoulders, swivel upper biceps, hinged elbows, swivel wrists, ab-crunch joint, swivel waist, swivel/hinged legs, hinged knees, swivel "boots", hinged ankles, and hinged "side" (left) ankle.
  • He comes with four accessories: removable chest armor, sword, half-sword, and Havoc Staff.
  • This is yet another definite "nostalgia-inducing" figure from the MOTUC line (yeah, I'm aware it's called "Masters of the Universe Classics" for a reason).  The Four Horsemen have "modernized" Skeletor: his body is proportional (no more "neanderthal-looking" Skeletor!); his "loin-cloth" is wider and less "pointer-looking"; Skeletor no longer wears boots by showing off his beautiful three-toed clawed feet; and his armor is no longer plain purple, instead it has different shades of purple in certain spots.
  • Although I'm quite pleased that the Four Horsemen retained most of Skeletor's old-school appearance, I'm especially glad that Skeletor retains his "hyper-masculine" appearance (the impossibly bulging musculature).
  • You can see how much thought and detail went into sculpting Skeletor's face: the space between Skeletor's ghoulish face and his hood gives off the illusion that all there really is under that hood is a skull.
  • As advertised, Skeletor has a tight grip on both his right and left hand, which can hold the sword and staff in each hand.
  • Skeletor's Havoc Staff is extremely well-sculpted (the skull of the ram creature), and the staff itself is made of slightly thick, sturdy plastic.

The Bad:

  • The paint application on Skeletor has gone completely awry: purple-colored dots scattered all over Skeletor's body; a white dot on Skeletor's back (right above the ab-crunch joint); a visible streak of red paint on his face; "dirt" marks all over Skeletor's arms and legs; and "scuff" marks on Skeletor's sword.
  • Streaks of left-over dried glue can be seen on Skeletor's elbow joints and on one-side of his sword.
  • Due to the horrible weapon-packing design, Skeletor's "half-power" sword arrived curved inward.
    • I'm starting to notice a pattern here of weak ankle joints in the MOTUC line.  Skeletor has a really loose right ankle joint which on occasion decides to give-in, sabotaging Skeletor's pose.

        The Ugly:

        • You can see the letter "R" and "L" on Skeletor's respective hinged knee-joint area.

        Additional Notes:

        • Skeletor came packaged with a small plastic "rubber-band" wrapped around the ball-jointed neck for some reason.  I had to remove his head in order to get rid of the plastic.
        • This re-release (the second) of Skeletor has several running changes: his biography mentions "Demo-Man from Despondos"; there are slight changes in paint application for Skeletor's face; and his hands are sculpted to have a "tighter" grip on his weapons.

        I purchased this figure online via MattyCollector for approximately $28.00 (price includes S&H and tax).  Due to the popularity of this "bonus" figure, it is no longer available for purchase on MattyCollector's website. Your only recourse is eBay or other online retailers such as BigBadToyStore who will (once again) price-gouge you, because they can.  Don't go shopping for this on Amazon; the last time I checked, these unscrupulous sellers were pricing him at the $55.00 and up range.


        I feel bad for those on the MOTUC subscription (I believe the costs run over $100.00) because it seems Mattel has a habit of re-releasing their "limited run" supply of figures.  At the same time, I'm grateful because it allows collectors like me to get in on the MOTUC action.  Despite the paint application flaws, curved "half-sword" and weak ankle joint, I really love this figure.  Blame it on nostalgia and my love of skeletons.  This figure is one classic that you shouldn't pass on.

        Score: (out of five)


        1. Thanks so much! I picked up the same re-release, and never even noticed the rubber band on his head, even as I wondered why it wouldn't move more! I owe ya one!