Who would have thought that poor mellow Moss Man would be involved in so much drama? From the very beginning there were problems. We were first shown a knockout fully-flocked prototype of the character. Then we were told the flocking would present problems and we were given the option of several levels of flocking, and even shown a fairly hideous non-flocked version of the character. Once the decision was made, we were informed that Moss Man would be only partially flocked. When we were next shown the character, he was almost entirely flocked but he was a dingy brownish green and his ears were flocked over. We were told he was too far into production to make changes. Mattel then told us they were, in fact, making the change and that there would be two versions of the character sold, with and without the flocked ears. When Moss Man finally went on sale, both versions of the character sold out in under five minutes, which is a record even for Masters of the Universe Classics, especially considering that Moss Man is hardly an A-list character. Sadly, many fans did not get their figure, which is sad because so far Moss Man is easily my favorite figure released in the line this year.
Like his vintage counterpart, Moss Man is largely a flocked and repainted Beast Man. Being that he is based on Beast Man, he lacks the lateral calf articulation of the booted figures and has his right hand sculpted open. Unlike his MOTUC body double, Moss Man has the longer preternian loin cloth first introduced on King Grayskull.
Oddly, Mattel chose not to fully flock the figure because they were afraid the flocking would come off the joints...leaving the character looking like the version which they released. Maybe it would have been better to have flocked the joints for people who don't open their figures or handle them a lot. I'm just sayin'.
Although not as vivid a green as was first shown, the flocking is actually quite nice and has a few different shades of green and brown in it. Even with the limited flocking on the figure, it still manages to hide some of the joints quite nicely. When Moss Man is posed with his ab crunch bent down, the joint pretty much disappears into the flocking. Like the original toy, the flocking gives the character a different tactile element and he is literally fun and pleasing to handle. I find myself taking him down from the shelf to touch.
Moss Man includes an alternate head. The second head is said to be inspired by the 2002 cartoon but really doesn't look much like that version of the character. He is packaged using his Beast Man head, with its screaming Klingon expression. The alternate head is much nicer, with its stern simian gaze and pupil-less metallic green eyes. Moss Man's new headsculpt is really one of the nicest headsculpts of the line so far, he really has tons of character.
The figure is packed with an updated version of his classic mace and Matty really went the extra mile with the detail on this weapon. The could have just given us a flat brown mace but instead it is sculpted with all kinds of really nice woody details as well as a curling vine painted in a different shade of brown. Moss Man also comes with an over the shoulder satchel with a built in knife holder.
The satchel has lots of nice botanical details. The knife is a simple obsidian-looking blade with a stone handle which does not quite fit in Moss Man's weapon hand, although it fits snugly in its sheath next to the pouch.
As a throwback to the 1980's figure Moss Man is pine scented, although it is apparently not the exact same scent that you remember from the original. Some people online have been saying that it is overpowering or that it smells like Pinesol but I don't think so. It's strong but not overpowering, and certainly not unpleasant. There is a somewhat spicy quality like eucalyptus but to me it smells a lot like walking past a Christmas tree lot.
On the quality control front, my Moss Man has some loose joints. This is a collector line that has been around for over a year now, so I have to wonder why these figures are still shipping with loose joints. Are they shipped to a preschool between their production and the time in which they are packaged? Mattel, the only thing you have going for you in this line is the quality of your product, everything else has been screwed up at every opportunity. Please fix this, it is inexcusable.
Although I would have preferred a less articulated, fully-flocked, figure, I am happy to say that Moss Man ended up being a standout figure in Masters of the Universe Classics, and well worth all of the drama that surrounded his development and release. Due to his cool flocking, his excellent alternate headsculpt and accessories, and his enjoyable pine scent Moss Man has quickly become one of my favorite MOTUC figures. Sadly, due to his shockingly fast sellout, a lot of collectors were not able to pick him up on the 15th but Matty assures us that he will be re released early in 2011.