We take a brief hiatus from March of the Robots to take an in-depth look at the second of two exclusive Toys R Us Masters of the Universe Classics two packs. This time it’s the bad guys with Lex Luthor versus Skeletor. There is no real comic basis for this two pack, Mattel just figured since the first comic featured Superman versus He-Man, they needed some villains to fight.


MOTUC versus DCUC
Skeletor versus Lex Luthor
7 Inch Scale
By: Mattel
Toys R Us Exclusive
$29.99
Infinite Hollywood has been following these guys from the beginning and just last week I reviewed the He-Man/Superman Two Pack. That two pack quickly ranked among my favorites in terms of He-Man variants, but how will this Skeletor pack shake out?

Skeletor an evil entity and master of sorcery obsessed with ruling all of Eternia by forging both halves off the power sword together is joined by Lex Luthor, billionaire inventor and longtime foe of Superman. The two combine forces until a wedge is formed due to a dispute over Gummy Bears. Now they do battle while He-Man and Superman giggle like school girls at the sidelines.

Like I said, there’s no real story for why Luthor and Skeletor are packed together, so I just made one up. Sounds plausible enough to me. These packs have a dedicated spot at my TRU but I’ve been there several times since I originally found them and they’ve always been sold out. I purchased a second set online because I like them so much. TRU’s website has been selling out pretty quick of these every time they get in stock as well, but not Matty Collector quick.

Packaging:

As I said before, Mattel knows how to make a striking in package experience. There is some dynamic posing inside, which I detest, but Mattel doesn’t seem to care. The interesting thing about this package is that it features Snake Mountain in the background.

The He-man versus Superman pack featured artwork from the comic, but this one does not. It’s a pretty impressive package and certainly better than the dull backgrounds that most DCUC packages get. If you saw these on the Toys R Us website, you likely got to see the mock-up packages and those look dreadful by comparison.

There’s still the same problem of having to rip up the cool background to get to the figures and comic underneath. That’s a major bummer if you wanted to keep this little Snake Mountain background for a diorama or something.

The back of the package has some interesting tidbits, such as Skeletor riding Panthor. This is a good follow up to the picture used of He-Man riding Battle Cat. This is also the first time this art has appeared to my knowledge in the modern MOTUC figures.

I’m a bit perplexed at the bio for Lex Luthor though. This goes back to his original origins where he was some random dude that Superboy accidentally saved and caused him to lose his hair. I mean, really? I never cared for Lex Luthor as some angry scientist upset about his hair. The guy can build an empire, robotic suits, become president but he can’t get hair plugs? I’m also pretty sure that’s Luthor artwork from the DC Infinite Heroes Battle For Metropolis set and thus looks really lame in comparison to the epic Masters of the Universe art.

Sculpt:

Not quite as much as the last pack, Skeletor is the star of this show. I still imagine that 99% of the people who are buying this, will be buying it for old Bone Thugs and Sorcery, but the Lex Luthor here is a little bit more rare than the Superman that was included with the heroes pack.

Skeletor is actually an improvement over the first release of Skeletor, featuring the closed hand for clasping stuff. I appreciate that Mattel made that change for the second and third releases of Skeletor, but I do hope the open hand comes back at some point too.

This is still the Skeletor you know and love. The only real major differences is that his face is now painted completely yellow, more matching the old cartoon than the action figure which always had green tints throughout. There are some minor differences in the paint to the armor, but it’s not nearly as drastic as those with He-Man.

Luthor is actually an old DC Superheroes figure (DCSH) in the line that predated DC Universe Classics. I doubt you’ll be able to tell a difference as he seems just as poseable and modern as the other figures. His costume is a throwback to the Super Powers era with the green robotic suit. Honestly I never cared for this depiction of Lex Luthor either. I like my Lex as a guy in a business suit.

The good news is that Lex looks pretty cool. Although this figure has seen release before, he’s currently only available in this pack. However he will be getting re-released in an upcoming Supergirl two pack. Luthor’s suit seems to be channeling some Jack Kirby designs and definitely looks like the Four Horsemen tinkered with this suit to their liking. That’s actually a good thing as the Horsemen have often depicted much MOTU stuff in similar designs and if you’re a creative guy you can just pretend that Luthor is some random MOTUC character.

Skeletor is still going to be the draw for most people, but I do think the Luthor has some uses. I definitely plan on trying to work him into my MOTU collection somehow. I’ve pretty much quit DCUC and I don’t need this guy to be Luthor when I have other better Luthor figures. It would have been cool if Mattel had repainted Luthor.

Articulation:

These guys are quite articulated. Their articulation is similar, but a bit different. Luthor’s super suit does impede some of his movement. He does have an ab joint of some sort, but you don’t really get much movement out of it. Thankfully everyone’s joints feel pretty tights.

Luthor’s ball jointed head doesn’t allow him to look up, but he can look down and around. His ankles don’t have the “rocker” ability that MOTUC figures have. Obviously the rubber “skirt” also gets in the way of some of his leg movement.

Still, by all means these guys have lots of play value. If any kids actually manage to snag these, I’m sure they’ll have a blast. I know the big kid in me is definitely enjoying them.

Accessories:

Mattel’s choice of accessories is somewhat amusing. Last year they released a Brainiac figure with Lex Luthor’s Kryptonite gun and no Kryptonite. This pack included four pieces of Kryptonite, but no gun! D’oh! Of course if I had to have the choice between the gun or the Kryptonite, I’d rather have the stones.

You also get a cool almost translucent gold version of the power sword. It still might be my favorite version yet. The four pieces of Kryptonite are:

Green which makes Superman weak.

Red which makes Superman evil.

Blue which makes Superman stronger.

Gold which makes Superman bling.

The good news about these stones is that you can pretty much use them for whatever you want. They fit into both Luthor and Skeletor’s hands with ease so the can be ancient Eternian wisdom stones or amulets of power if you want. I’ll use them as some sort of magic rocks I’m sure.

The power sword is quite cool and it definitely looks like what I imagine the power sword should look like when it’s completed. When it’s just two halves, I think it’s gray and purple, but when it’s together it looks like this. At least, in my mind. There’s also something kind of cool about just having these two figures and only having one sword for them to fight over.

Finally you get a Masters of the Universe comic. This one is vastly better than the other comic, though it’s following the same storyline. There’s some interesting stuff here, including more development on Prince Adam as a playboy more like Bruce Wayne, than a wimp like Clark Kent.

Adam looks quite cool too and I hope we get this version of Adam someday. King Randor looks completely different and generic by comparison. Zodac is a big part of this issue as well, cruising around in his magical time toliet-chair.

Superman sort of needlessly ends up in the story as well. The MOTU stuff is vastly more interesting than the Superman stuff. Some major developments like He-Man finding his half of the power sword happen. Oh and Skeletor and He-Man both get killed. Yeah. Pretty cool actually.

Additional Notes:

I still think these sets are some of the best work Mattel has done in some time. The DCUC stuff they’ve clearly phoned in here, but the fact that we’re getting MOTUC at retail with included comics to me is excellent. I guess it’s because we’ve been told for so long that MOTUC wasn’t coming to retail. It’s good to get it in some fashion.

Getting these guys in hand again, I just feel like a kid. I also think Mattel wisely packed two heroes and two villains and if kids DID get these packs, it’s pretty much all they’d need. I remember being a kid and just having a couple MOTU figures and having a BLAST! He-Man and Skeletor brawling it out over the power sword… Man, that’s all you needed.

Masters of the Universe Classics is really such an awesome line. As cool as all the guys like Moss Man and Hordak and whatnot are, it’s the simple struggle between He-Man and Skeletor that I come back to as my favorite part of the whole mythos. It reminds me so much of being four years old playing in my Grandmother’s living room (Eternia) and enjoying simpler times.

Value:

There are still some people who think these are a rip off. I still feel that these are a pretty good value. It is a re-release, no doubt, but the MOTUC figures are very well done and the DC stuff isn’t that bad. The Luthor pack ups the ante a bit because the Lex Luthor figure is better than the Superman toy. The extra Kryptonite stones also add some play and fun value in my opinion.

Score Recap:
Packaging – 9
Sculpting – 9
Articulation – 9
Accessories – Reprint Comic, Power Sword, Kryptonite Stone (x4)
Value – 9
Overall – 9 out of 10

Even though I like the He-Man figure better than the Skeletor one, I’m almost inclined to bump this pack up to a 9.5! Because there seems to be more play value here. I can do more with this Luthor than I could that somewhat undersized Superman. In the end I’m sticking to giving both these packs a equal 9 out of 10.

Of course, had Mattel found a way to get a legit MOTUC two pack at retail I would have given this a 10 out of 10! He-Man and Skeletor are excellent figures and these are very worthy, albeit simple repaints. If you’re a child of the 80’s and haven’t jumped on the MOTUC bandwagon because of all Mattel’s pratfalls with the line… Get these two figures if nothing else and experience the magic and nostalgia of MOTU!

In a nutshell, these guys are fun. That’s what toys should be all about. And please don’t forget to follow me on Twitter if you enjoyed these reviews and want more. Leave a comment, let me know what you think! Your opinion matters.

Leave a Reply