Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The First Annual MASTY Awards



In the spirit of end-of-the-year lists and award shows, we at Pendragon’s Post present the Masty Awards, our look back at the first full year of Mattel’s Masters of the Universe Classics line. Each 2009 figure was evaluated in a system that looked at sculpt, paint, accessories and character. Those scores were averaged out to come up with the Top 10 list which will be revealed next week. But before we count down lets look at the individual achievements for 2009.

BEST SCULPT – Teela

In a line that features so much parts swapping and repaints, when we talk about sculpt in MOTUC. we are often look almost exclusively at headsculpt and accessories. Teela, however, was a 100% new character and although she was not without her share of issues (problematic head joint, obstructed waist articulation) everyone can agree that she is a beautifully sculpted action figure. Her proportions are strong yet feminine as a warrior goddess should be. Her molded plastic “outfit” is a fully detailed recreation of her classic look. Even by the standards which we judge sculpting on the other figures, Teela more than holds her own with a terrific headsculpt and a bunch of really cool accessories, in particular an awesome 200X-inspired sword.

Runner Up: Tie, Hordak & Mer-Man

Although these guys are using parts that we had seen before, they both come with lots of really nicely sculpted armor and accessories and I have to give each of them a special shout out for having the two best headsculpts of the year. They are both so loaded with character that they look as they are about to open up their mouths and say something. In Hordak's case, something not particularly nice.

BEST PAINT – Faker

Faker could have easily been nothing more than a cheap repaint of He-Man but he was saved by an extraordinary paint job. The Four Horsemen have taken Faker’s traditional weird paint scheme and taken it to the next level with some truly eye-popping colors. If they ever start making blueberry FANTA, I think Faker could get a job as the first male Fantana.

Instead of just giving him the pale Skeletor color, Faker was painted a snazzy electric blue. His armor and weapons are a bronzy orange with dazzling metallic highlights. His boots and loin cloth are a pleasing grape soda color and this is all topped by silvery metallic accents on the braces and belt. You've really got to see him in person to appreciate how nice the paint is on this figure.

Runner Up: Mer-Man

Although he doesn't have the sweet paint scheme that his prototype had, Mer-Man looks appropriately wet and fishy. There is a nice dark wash over his body and another over his accessories and armor (in this case, an improvement over the prototype which had them a uniform bright yellow). This is a figure in which the paint really works well to bring out all of the great sculpted detail.

BEST ACCESSORIES—Man-At-Arms

No surprise here. Man-At-Arms is a walking arsenal who practically has a full weapons rack attached to his back. Not only does he come with a mace, a shortsword, the “techno” sword (all of which clip on to a removable piece of back armor) but a bonus head, and several other pieces of removable armor as well. This one of those figures with which you are definitely getting your $20 worth and this is not always the case.

Runner Up: Teela

Like father, like daughter, Teela's packaging is fairly overflowing with stuff. She's got her new sword, her staff, cobra armor, shield, alternate head and a damn bird, too.

BEST CHARACTER—He-Ro

While “Best Character” is somewhat subjective by nature, this award is for those characters that we were not expecting, for characters that are somewhat obscure, fan favorites, or maybe just from the deep and expansive history of Masters of the Universe. Perhaps they have never received a proper figure in previous lines. Or maybe they just never saw a wide release. Luckily, Mattel has done a great job so far getting these characters out there. The very first figure in the line, King Grayskull was one of these guys, after all.

While there have been a few of these so far in MOTUC, none compare to the long and tortured history of He-Ro. We were teased with glimpses of He-Ro over the years in the form of a few old pics of his prototype from a cancelled MOTU spinoff line. Poor He-Ro had never made it to retail in his original incarnation. We had been left to speculate on his character and history until his inclusion in Masters of the Universe Classics and, while there are certainly better and more interesting characters in the long history of MOTU, kudos to Matty and the Horsemen for finally giving us the opportunity to add this long-desired character to our collections and so early into the line.


Runner Up: The Goddess

The Goddess is another oddity from the early days of MOTU. She's the original female warrior/sorceress/mentor character that later split off into Teela and the Sorceress. It's really great to have her in the line. You really gotta love the fact that she is posed in her packaging to match one of the panels in the very first Masters of the Universe comic book.

Check back with us next week as we begin our week-long countdown of the Top 10 Masters of the Universe Classics figures of 2009.

1 comment:

Leslie said...

Niccee..i own 3 of the 5 characters you selected so it finally feels good to own them even with all the Q&A faults and ordering snafus each month.