Masters of the Universe Classics
Vikor, He-Man of the North
$20.00 (+ shipping)
Mattel kicks off 2011 with a figure that I wasn’t sure I wanted. When the time came to decide whether I was buying the “All-In” subscription for MOTU Classics I have to admit that I wasn’t sure. Mattel had only shown us 5 figures at that point and I wasn’t blown away by any of them. I still question the logic of their big reveals to sell the MOTUC subscription being He-Man in a mask, a mustachioed archer, a Skeletor “refresh”, Conan and a dude who’s torso is removable!
I caved in and bought the subscription despite being a bit underwhelmed, such is the nature of collecting, but now that my first figure has arrived I’m really happy that I did. Vikor is listed by Mattel as a predecessor to the He-Man we all know, a temporary protector of the Power of Grayskull, but I think most will more readily recognize him as an “homage” to Conan.
One of the stories of the history of the MOTU line is that it was originally intended to be a Conan the Barbarian line. Before the nature of the toys changed there was a concept drawing of He-Man as Conan and this is where we get Vikor.
Vikor comes in the usual Masters of the Universe Classics packaging. The outside white mailer box is cleanly printed with the MOTUC Logo and the name of the figure within. For those of you that are already buying these there won’t be any surprises.
Vikor’s interior packaging matches the rest if line exactly. For any of you MOC collectors he is posed well on the card and has a nice “Powers of Grayskull” sticker just like the re-issue of King Grayskull.
The card back is also well done, showing Vikor amongst his fellow Preternians including Zodak, Wun-Dar and The Goddess. His bio is pretty much par for the course, I won’t type the whole thing out here but it gives us a few hints about characters we will almost definitely see down the line. Mattel did a decent job of making up a reason for this guy to exist even though most fans probably won’t care.
Once free from his plastic shell, Vikor comes to life! The first things I noticed about him while carefully removing the evil twist ties were his metal chains and his shackles. Vikor has clearly been in captivity at some point in his life and has gotten free. He’s so tough that he hasn’t even bothered to remove the irons he was imprisoned in!
Vikor’s body is made out of parts that MOTUC collectors have seen several times before. His body looks to be the He-Man buck almost entirely. This is definitely not a bad thing though, 2 lightly clothed barbarians are going to look largely the same until you get down to details. His muscles all have just the right amount of detail to make him look strong and powerful without seeming cartoonish or freaky.
Cona…uhhh….Vikor’s real strengths are in the tons of details you can find all over the figure. I mentioned his broken metal chains before but that is just the tip of the iceberg. His loincloth is a nice change of pace from the typical furry underwear found on most MOTUC males. It’s longer and ripped in places, obviously from years of hard-fought battles. Vikor has a fur cape that looks amazing and doesn’t inhibit his movement in the slightest, plus it’s removable(if you don’t mind popping his head off!).
Vikor even has his own, distinct facial sculpt. I’m really impressed with the way that he was made to undeniably resemble He-Man while retaining his own unique qualities. I looked very closely for paint slop and could only find a tiny spot on the inside of his left forearm. MOTUC figures tend to be a mixed bag in this area and I may have just been lucky. Overall the paint was very well done, I was especially impressed with the way the horns on his helmet came out.
Vikor has all of the same points of movement that I’ve come to expect on Masters of the Universe Classics figure. He has greatly improved range in the legs thanks to the new loincloth and VERY tight ankles, a welcome change from previous MOTUC figures.
My only complaint with him is on the head, where his long hair restricts the movement almost entirely. You can get a very small amount of movement from his noggin but only while fighting his hair for every centimeter. I had a lot of fun posing Vikor for the pictures in this review, he connects with the inner kid in the way that all great toys should.
Vikor comes with 3 accessories (4 if you count the cloak) that all work very well for him. He’s got an Axe, a Shield and a Sword that he is able to store behind his back. All three of them are sculpted in a style that reminds me a little bit of Anduril from The Return of King.
They are all metal and leather-looking, just detailed enough to make them interesting and yet not busy. The sword and axe fit very well in either hand while the shield clips on just behind the bracers. I didn’t have any problems with the shield popping loose of it’s own accord.
A minor negative is his non-removable helmet. I know we haven’t had a history of helmets coming off in this line, but I think that needs to change! Another option would’ve been an extra, helmetless, head.
I absolutely love the fact that his sword stores in a sheath behind him. I had no idea that this was a feature and actually said “Whoa!” out loud when I discovered it. Mattel has always been good about accessories and storage on the figures that get them, but they have truly stepped up their game with recent releases like Grizzlor and Vikor.
Here’s the point where MOTUC figures always lose some points. I paid $28 and change for Vikor including shipping which really is too much, no bones about it. For comparison, I recently bought the Transformers “Reveal the Shield” Battle in Space 2-pack for around $22 with tax. That set included 2 Deluxe size Transformers, a die-cast metal Matrix of Leadership and a comic book.
Fact is, you can’t get action figures anywhere near the quality or style of Masters of the Universe Classics anywhere else, for any price. While that’s no excuse to charge what Mattel is charging, it helps to put things in perspective.
I am comfortable with the cost of the line because I want these figures despite the high cost. More casual fans or collectors of multiple lines have to consider what else their hard-earned money could get them for the same cost as a MOTUC figure.
Vikor is a truly awesome action figure. When I first saw pictures of him I was sure that he’d end up in a bin with Battle Armor Skeletor and The Goddess but now that I have him in hand I know he’s destined to hang out on the top shelf with all of his fellow Preternians!
The fact that Mattel was willing to not only make a figure of this obscure, unknown character but to knock it right out of the park makes me very excited about the rest of the 2011 Club Eternia Subscription. This figure is recommended for MOTU fans.