Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Toy Review: Masters of the Universe Classics Zodak

Masters of the Universe Classics Zodak is the first bonus figure to have been offered in the line and as of this writing he is still available on mattycollector.com. Like King Grayskull before him, Zodak takes his inspiration directly from the 200X cartoon and comics, although realized in the Classics style. Although his little more than a kitbashed figure, Zodak has a lot of appeal and is a great addition to the MOTUC line.

Zodak's bio draws directly from the 200X continuity and references his backstory presented in the MYP cartoon. To justify the inclusion of both ZodaC and ZodaK in the same storyline, it is stated that Zodac trained Zodak to take his place after Zodac left Eternia on some mysterious mission for the Overlords of Trolla. Strangely, the bio omits Zodak's strongest character motivation in the series: his need to avenge the death of his brother at the mouths of King Hsss.

As stated above, there is little new to this figure: the body is from He-Man, the gloves are from Hordak, the boots and loincloth are from He-Ro and the head and armor are from Zodac. The only new piece is a staff. Combined with the paint, all of these pieces do a good job of approximating the look of 200X Zodak. Along with Grayskull, this gives you a good idea of how the modern figures are going to translate into this line.

The paint of this figure is up to par with what we have seen on the line thus far. The most distinguishing difference between Zodac and Zodak is in skin color and The Horsemen have given Zodak a nice chocolate-brown skin tone that contrasts beautifully with his blue cosmic warrior tattoos. Mattel has given us a nice surprise in that the tats actually glow in the dark which is a great touch on a figure that seems to have been put together on the cheap. There is also added white highlights on the Cosmic Enforcer armor as well as some painted details on the loincloth to approximate the look on the 2002 Zodak loincloth. The Hordak gloves are painted a very dingy white, much dirtier-looking than in the prototype photos. I'm glad to see that there are a lot of little metallic details on the boots, which is a nice surprise as they had looked almost unpainted in photos prior to the release. It is also great to see the He-Ro boots reused because they are a great design and are not seen often enough (unlike the Skeletor feet which are on every other figure it seems).

Accessories are where this figure really stumbles. As stated above, he comes with a staff, which is a Classics-ized version of his 200X staff. The ends have been redesigned to match the barrel of Zodac's gun. The staff is of good quality and not of any kind of "gummy" material. As far as weapons, they could have included any number of things. Zodak prominently used a mace while battling He-Man in one episode, that could have made a nice, simple add on to meet the Mattel-imposed two accessory threshold. In fact, there is a quick shot in the cartoon of Zodak's weapon rack, they could have included any number of things. Consider picking up Spy Monkey Creations'
200X version of the Master Blade of the Empyrean, which looks fantastic with Zodak's color scheme.

But what Zodak is really missing is a second, helmeted, head. More often than not he appeared this way on the show and he is even pictured without his helmet on the back of the MOTUC package. To not include a bonus head makes the figure feel like a cheap repaint, especially when he only comes with one accessory. Infuriatingly, Mattel has even stated that a bonus head would be a great way to "refresh" the character down the line. Now unless Mattel wants to sell the bonus figures for cheaper than the regular figures (since they are kitbashes and repaints and cost them less money) I am holding them to the same standards I would for a regular figure.

Despite the lack of bonus head and other accessories that would have made this a great figure, I'm still happy to get Zodak in the line. He's great example of how the 200X did such a great job of reinventing characters and giving them strong motivations. And he was a badass who rivaled He-Man in power. He has survived the translation into the Classics style relatively unscathed. If you want to pick him up, he is still available as of this writing at
mattycollector.com, but hurry because he is very close to being sold out.

Patrick Garone
Staff Reviewer

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