Mattel | MOTU Classics | Man-At-Arms

MattelManAtArms01The most memorable cartoon heroes of the 80’s always had important characters to support them. Duke always had Scarlett, Optimus Prime had Bumblebee, and He-Man had Man-At-Arms. It was one of the figures I never had as a kid, mainly because I preferred to have the villains, but I always regretted not having him in my collection. Part of it was because the toy didn’t quite reflect the character on TV. He had a mustache and the action figure didn’t. I guess it was a deal-breaker for me way back when.

I’m going to let it be known that I didn’t like the character back in the 80’s. He seemed out of place to me, and even at times appeared incapable of being the main man of security. When the 200x version was introduced, I thought, “now THAT is how I pictured Man-At-Arms.” I thought they did him justice by making him a bit more like Obi-Wan and less like Cliff Clavin from Cheers.

With the current Classics line, Mattel let’s you change out some parts to make the figure to your liking. So just like my Skeletor review, this will also be a review even though technically it’s a mash-up. Since I was not required to make true modifications, I will review them based on the merits of the fact the figures were intended to be swappable.

MattelManAtArms03I’ve chosen to pattern my Man-At-Arms after the 200x version. First, the head is from the more recent figure that was packed with the Battle Ram. I think the pony tail-look fits the character well, giving him that bit of edge I always thought he deserved. The only issue I have with it is that they kept the same face from all the other Man-At-Arms figures. I figured they should’ve gone all out on it, considering they’re releasing the 200x He-Man head anyway. The body is from the Snake Man-At-Arms figure as it more closely resembles the 200x version, giving him a more battle armor-like appearance. It just makes him stand out more compared to the Palace Guards, and the colors are nicely subdued which I like a lot. I’m not a fan of the bright orange on the other versions.

Since this is a combination of versions, the paint won’t match exactly, but the area that does annoy me is the work on the 200x head. What is even more frustrating is that the only way to get one that’s clean is to buy another damn Battle Ram. No thanks. The rest, on the versions I’m using, is really well done and the accents on the armor are a nice touch, giving the figure some depth.

This figure has the same kind of articulation as the others do. Unfortunately, he has a few more areas that aren’t so good. The longer loin cloth restricts the legs even further, and the chest armor restricts the movement a little more than usual. The shoulder armor doesn’t seem to like staying in place because of all the armor pieces, although it’s the same issues the vintage figure had, so kudos to Mattel for recreating the same problems?

The various incarnations of the figure has included some extras that seemed to diminish with each version. The first version included a sword, a mace, and a gun. What’s even better is all of the weapons can be attached to the back of armor. Sweet! But subsequent versions dropped the extras except for the mace. Then there is the arm cannon from the weapons pack to complete the 200x look, and you’ve got one mean badass to deal with.

This figure is pretty solid and he’s as good as the others. I don’t see too many fragile pieces. My only concerns would be losing the gun, or the tabs to the armor which could break if you keep detaching the armor. Otherwise, I think he’ll do well over time.

I’m really glad these figures allow you to make the version you like best. The downside is that I had to buy 3 figures to make it with one coming from the expensive Battle Ram. Still, I’ve now got the figure I envision when I think of Duncan. Can we get a Teela like this?

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