While today might be Moss Man’s on sale date, I’m taking a look at another MOTUC figure. In fact it’s the first ever retail Masters of the Universe Classics figure. It’s He-Man versus Superman. It’s a DCUC versus MOTUC two pack. If you like this review, I’ll be checking out the second pack later this week as well.

He-Man versus Superman
7 Inch Scale
By: Mattel
Toys R Us Exclusive

Infinite Hollywood was the first to break the news of this Superman/He-Man two pack just over a month ago and now I finally have these figures in my grubby little mitts. I must say I was absolutely elated when I found them at TRU despite weeks of going there seemingly non-stop to find them. So how did Superman and He-Man get paired together?

When Skeletor uses his half of the power sword in an attempt to break into Castle Grayskull, it opens an interstellar rift. Superman sees the rip in space and time and unfortunately is sucked into it. There Skeletor and Superman do battle, until Superman befriends He-Man, only to be put under Skeletor’s evil spell and faces He-Man in an intergalactic clash of the champions.

Essentially that’s what happens in the 17 page comic which was clearly an early throw away for DC and MOTU. It’s amazing that 20 some odd years later that cheesy comic would help to create one of the coolest toys of 2010. As an added bonus the comic is included as well, making this the first DCUC comic pack as well as MOTUC comic pack. So how do these figures hold up since they are both essentially re-releases?

If there is one thing that Mattel knows how to do, it’s make a package. In fact I’ve often accused Mattel of going out of their way too much in making packages (SDCC Exclusives, I’m looking at you!) but there is no doubt that when they put their mind to it, they can make a beautiful package. These comic packs are a perfect example of this.

Right now there are only two comic packs available, He-man versus Superman and Lex Luthor versus Skeletor. Both packages have some similarity in size and shape, but the art work contained within is actually different on each package.

The front of the package shows a scene from the comic (actually the cover) with He-Man and Superman doing battle. Up in the top is Skeletor using his half of the power sword to dictate the pace. It’s a really neat scene even if you can’t quite see it all.

Once you remove the outer packaging, you get a better look at the picture below. It’s almost a shame that there’s NO WAY to open this package without destroying the image underneath. Further complicating things is that the comic is underneath this out layer, which protects the comic but ensures that you have to tear the package once again.

The back of the package shows off some more classic Masters of the Universe artwork. This might be a personal thing, but I’m baffled at how much cooler the MOTU artwork is in comparison to the DC artwork. You’d think with decades of Superman stuff to draw from they’d look better. The back of the package has a cool split thing going on showing you both packages in typical MOTUC and DCUC form, but with lightning separating the two.

Inside, be warned there are a LOT of rubber bands. It’s ridiculous how jammed into the packages these guys are. The rubber bands aren’t needed, nor is the dynamic styling inside the package. It’s a miracle the weapons and the figures aren’t warped more than they are. Please, Mattel, stop with that.

Let’s face it, while this is a two pack, Superman is darn near an accessory here. He-Man is the star of the show. This is the first MOTUC figure to hit retail since the line started over a year ago. This is also the first time He-Man has been inside a store since those abysmal 2002 anime infused variants that made me want to barf. Meanwhile, this Superman is available in this exact deco in no less than 3 other ways right now.

Yes, this is a repaint of the regular He-Man from MOTUC. However, if you’ve been following MOTUC, you know that He-Man has had his fair share of hiccups. The first figure had almost sullen eyes with a dark wash around them and a shiny complexion. He also had shoulders that apparently were in backwards, though to be honest I still don’t see it. The second re-release corrected those problems, but something got lost in translation and my re-release’s eyebrows are pencil thin and make him look Oriental. Finally we get this version…

In my view this is the best He-Man to date. This He-Man has some metrosexual frosty highlights in his hair and you know what? It really makes the figure. I suspect even if you don’t like the deco on the body of this He-Man, you’ll prefer the head. I know I certainly do.

I wasn’t entirely sure about the body when I saw it online, but in person this thing just pops. This quickly went from a variant to my default He-Man. Even though he’s got some pink and gold in his outfit, there’s something about this version that just seems right. I’m not sure that it’s more Filmation accurate or anything, but it certainy FEELS that way for some reason. There was so much great vintage He-Man artwork back in the day and this deco seems to channel a lot of that spirit.

As for Superman? Well he’s none too shabby either. Unlike most reviewers this is actually the first time I’ve ever had my hands on this guy. I never owned any DCSH versions and while I did buy the Walmart 5 Pack that has this guy in it, I haven’t opened it. So my first impressions of this guy are genuine first impressions.

Superman is good. He’s got everything you could want in a Superman figure. Despite the two being slightly different scales, he doesn’t even look that shabby next to He-Man. That said, this figure just pales in comparison to MOTUC’s efforts in this package. I think when you have the two in hand, you can see why MOTUC is the hottest toy on the market today.

Both figures are excellent. Granted there isn’t anything unique about this Superman. He’s not even a redeco. I’m sure some smartass in the comments section will point out some minor difference between the other versions on the market now, but yeah, for all intents and purposes the Superman is a complete re-release. Thankfully He-Man is good enough on his own to be worth the price tag.

Both of these guys are loaded up with articulation. While Toy Biz really showed off their skills in making articulation on their Marvel Legends figures, I’ve always felt that Mattel did it better. Why? Because these guys have TONS of articulation, but not so much that the sculpts are all cut up into pieces like Toy biz used to do.

He-Man even has some side to side motion on his ankle hinges. Something I don’t remember noticing before, but it’s definitely there. I guess it’s on all the MOTUC figures, but it’s been a while since I really paid attention.

The moral of this story is that you can get these guys into just about every pose you could think of. Both men do have some limitations with their ball jointed head, but not as much as more recent DCUC efforts. Sadly my He-Man has one slightly loose ankle thanks the packaging, but it’s not floppy or anything.

Personally I consider Superman an accessory. I know a lot of people will be buying this package and tossing him in the trash. That’s how useless he generally is. That said, we do have a few genuine accessories here, so let’s break them down.

He-Man comes with both his axe and shield. His chest straps are also removable. No power sword? Nope. He-Man doesn’t use the power sword in this comic. In fact, it’s alluded that he doesn’t even have it. So while it may seem out of place to casual fans that He-Man doesn’t have his sword, it’s not a mistake by Mattel.

The shield doesn’t work real well on mine. It snaps onto his wrist well enough but it’s so loose that it generally falls off easily. The axe was a bit warped thanks to it’s placement in the package and it can be a bit of a chore to get into He-Man’s hand. If you’ve been collecting MOTUC, you probably are already aware of these issues.

Finally you get the reprint of the Superman/MOTU crossover. So how is that? Well it’s actually pretty fun all things considered. One of the neatest parts is this is very, very early in the MOTU universe. He-Man doesn’t have a sword, the Goddess looks just like Teela, Beastman looks quite different and Man-At-Arms doesn’t have a moustache. We also see a lot of random characters who very well may end up with MOTUC figures if they keep digging into the mythos like they will.

If you’ve ever read a lot of 80’s comics, this one really shows of some of the weaker points of the time frame. No two panels are alike. He-Man and Superman practically look like they were drawn by different artists at times. Superman is in one panel and looks quite different in the next. As far as reprints go, this one is the nice glossy paper that comics of today are. It’s a neat bonus for fans though. It’s hokey, make no mistake, but fun too.

Additional Notes:
I generally don’t cut Mattel any slack. The blunders with MOTUC are legendary. So let me be the first to say that this is an INCREDIBLE pack. It’s a lot of fun and even though it’s some simple repaints, it’s a great set of toys. Kids would eat this up. Collectors will eat this up. It’s a win, win, win. Toys R Us, Mattel and all who were involved in getting this to retail should be applauded.

I haven’t been this excited about a toy in a long time. It’s an awesome feeling to be able to go into a retail store and pick up a He-Man figure. Keep em’ coming!

So $30 for two figures isn’t cheap. However, that’s been the price for DCUC 2 packs for a while now. When you factor in that most MOTUC figures run close to $30 with shipping anyway, this is quite the deal. Superman feels almost like an extra, but with the comic and the toys included I think this is a great value. Of course if you have a vast DCUC collection you’re probably pissed that you’ll be getting yet another Superman. I sympathize with that sentiment. The He-Man is worth it though, IMO.

Score Recap:
Packaging – 9
Sculpting – 9
Articulation – 9
Accessories – Reprint Comic, Axe, Sword, Harness
Value – 9
Overall – 9 out of 10

This is the most solid 9 out of 10 I’ve had in my hands for quite some time. Value wise, there’s really no reason for anyone not to pick this up if you’re even a moderate fan of MOTU. Masters of the Universe Classics at retail, nuff said.

I suspect these will be a gigantic hit. I’m not sure how well distributed these figures will be. TRU usually loads up on exclusives (if they ordered half as many of these as they did Mezco’s exploding Heroes Peter Petrelli we’ll be in good shape) but these have already become scalper bait. MOTUC is the hottest toy line in the galaxy and a lot of fans who haven’t committed to the MattyCollector line will probably try these guys out.

There’s really only one problem with this pack. It’s going to create another couple thousand MOTUC fans. Mattel already can’t meet demand on MOTUC, so I’m not sure what they were hoping to accomplish with this line. It’s just going to send more people to the site once a month and then piss them off when they can’t get the figures. Hopefully this leads to more Masters of the Universe at retail though and that could be a great thing… So long as they don’t end up as Walmart exclusives.

7 Responses to He-Man/Superman 2 Pack Review

  • Paco Eng says:

    Best reeview of this figure I've read thus far. Great work snagging him.

  • PresidentJuggernaut says:

    I love these packs too, but don't be so harsh on Superman. It's been around a while, but its still a great figure. As far as I'm concerned, the best ever based on the character. Luckily I didn't have one already. I didn't have any of the figures in these two-packs.

    I resent the idea that this is a good deal. Mattel's inflated prices just make it seem that way. MOTUC figures are the worst offenders. These two-packs would have been easier to stomach at $25.

  • Oh? I didn't think I was harsh on Superman. I think he's generally a stellar figure. Like I said, it's my first time handling this version. I really like him… It's just next to the He-Man he seems underwhelming. He's pretty great though, no doubt.

    Agreed on Mattel's prices, but the reality is, you normally spend this much on a MOTUC figure or two DCUC figures anyway, so one of both is a "good deal" with the market being the way it is.

  • clark says:

    I found both of these packs at TRU about two weeks ago, and I love both of them. I like how you said that this He-man somehow became your default. For some reason my re-release He-man (who does not have any paint issues like yours) has made his way back into the box, but this one is still out fighting Skeletor. My TRU received a second shipment of twelve of these packs (six each) and in five days they have only sold one of each pack, I hope this is a unique thing and that doesn't mean these will end up being the only DCUC/MOTUC packs we see.

  • Charles says:

    Great review. I agree with the other poster, best one of these I've seen yet.

  • Thanks. Appreciated. I haven't had a lot of chance to cover MOTU here, so I had some real fun with this guy and my impending Skeletor/Luthor review.

  • Pingback: Mattel Q&A: June 3, 2013 | Infinite Hollywood

Leave a Reply