Gothitropolis
Red Time Keeper: Baraeth
8 Inch Scale
By: Four Horsemen
$10.00

The Four Horsemen, known sculptors of the Masters of the Universe Classics and DC Universe Classic figures also have figure lines of their own. The Gothitropolis line was supposed to be a big hit for the Horsemen and they announced Scarabus back in 2008. Unfortunately not being a licensed line, the Horsemen have had a lot of trouble getting this line available for purchase. The Time Keepers were released a while ago, but Scarabus (their master) still hasn’t seen the light of day.

BARAETH, the RED TIME KEEPER utilizes the power of hatred to open time portals for his master, SCARABUS! The first release in a set of three evil minions from the Four Horsemen’s property, “GOTHITROPOLIS”, the Time Keepers sport a ball-joint head, articulated jaw, ball-joint shoulders, swiveling wrists, an articulated “ab-crunch”, and a swivel waist. Each Time Keeper also wields his own “Chrono-Hammer”. He is the Messanger of Malice!

I bought these guys over a year ago but never got around to reviewing them. I decided to pull them out for Halloween and take a look at the Red Time Keeper. It’s a Four Horsemen product, so it has to be totally awesome, right?

Packaging:
Each figure comes in it’s own little window box. This is quite nice as it helps to keep these guys safe. The design is nice as well, with a little J hook on top for you MIB collectors. I bought these guys when the MOTUC line was just getting started as I thought they would be perfect minions for Skeletor.


The only real issue with the package is the twist ties. It definitely keeps the little guys safe, but it also makes them a pain to get out. Given that they’re very fragile, it’s a catch 22.


The best part of the package is the back which has a great painting of Baraeth. The artist was a guy named Nathan Baertch, so I wonder if the Red Time Keeper wasn’t named in homage to him? The package gives credit to all the people who helped with these figures, which goes to show how invested the Horsemen are in giving credit where it’s due. There is also an ad for Scarabus.

Sculpt:
It’s sculpted by the Four Horsemen, need I say more? Actually, I think it’s best that I should.


While the Time Keepers all look nice, they do largely share the same parts. The real difference comes in their “ears”. Baraeth has a bat-like set of ears. One thing I did notice is that Baraeth’s hands are a distinctly different red than the rest of his skeleton body.


The face has a mischievous little grin and you can imagine these gremlin-esque guys causing quite a bit of trouble and enjoying themselves while doing it. I really like the work on the face, especially in the bone structure. Although I find the arms to look a little contorted. The forearm bone almost looks upside down to me.


The costume is nice, somewhere between a Roman and a court jester. The little jewel on the belt buckle pops. The paint work on the face and eyes is also tremendous. The teeth are decently painted, which is quite the task on such a small figure. Although this line clocks in at close to 8 inches, these figures are right at 3 inches themselves.


Baraeth is actually the least impressive of the bunch. His two brothers, Nybbaz and Aestorath definitely look cooler. These figures debuted at SDCC but have been available online for a long time. They definitely look nice, but they feel ultra fragile.


The feet have little wings, similar to Hermes or Mercury. Given that Baraeth is the “Messenger of Malice” that makes sense. Unfortunately the little wings constantly pop out. The wings are TINY so the chances of you losing them are very high. The good news is that if you lose them, they okay without the wings.

Articulation:
The figure actually has a fair amount of articulation, with a ball jointed head, hinged jaw, cut arms, cut wrists and ab crunch and a waist swivel. That sounds like a lot for something so small, right?


The problem is that the ab crunch has to be crunched or the figure will fall over. The legs don’t really move, so you can’t position him in any pose other than crouched. While that definitely looks the best, it renders the joint sort of pointless. The jaw tends to go slack and more often than not it’s hanging agape instead of closed.

It claims that there is a ball joint at the shoulders in the advertising for the figure, but it only moves like a cut joint. Trying to pull the arm out to the side seems like it will break it. I heard the same thing over at MWCToys. The ball joint neck joint is great, but I really wanted some sort of swivel or cut at the elbow. I feel like the arm should fold in more and that would have greatly helped poseability.

Accessories:
Each figure comes with it’s own unique version of a time staff. It’s referred to as a Chrono-Hammer, but is essentially a hourglass on a stick. It’s a really nicely sculpted piece. The translucent interior really stands out and the detailing on the “hammer” including the Scarab Beetle is a nice touch. There is a black wash over the copper color that really makes it seem metal.


The staff is two pieces and is meant to be plugged in. Some people reported that they broke their’s trying it plug it in. I didn’t have this issue, but because the staff is top heavy, Baraeth fell over and broke his staff. I super glued it back together (which worked) but it broke again when I pulled it out for review. So yeah…

Value:
You can still get this guy for $10 individually or $25 for all three over at the Store Horsemen. Given the intricate details of the sculpt, that’s not a terrible deal. I could even see these as army builders, if there was a particular deco that you liked enough to buy multiples of. However, these guys are REALLY fragile and a bit fidgety.


Score Recap:
Packaging – 7
Sculpting – 8
Articulation – 5
Accessories – Chrono-Hammer
Value – 5
Overall – 6 out of 10

In the end Baraeth takes a big hit in my book. As great as the sculpting is, he’s just too flimsy to feel worth the price. You can’t “play” with him and he’s liable to fall apart even if you pose him. It should be noted that Michael Crawford said he had even a worse of a time with these guys, because of their nature to fall apart. Had his staff not broke a second time, I might would have been more lenient, but the constant popping off of parts and the accessory basically being made to break put me off.

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