I want new characters in MOTU Classics. I want Stinkor, Frosta, & Flipshot too – but I really want to see MOTU Classics expand by adding a few “new” guys in the mix (Horde Mummy, please). Mattel comes closest to fulfilling that desire with the January Club Eternia figure: Vikor – He-Man of the North!
Okay, technically, Mo-Larr is also an all-new character in the MOTU mythos, but let’s not go there, okay? Anyway, Vikor’s origin comes from the earliest days of Masters of the Universe – back when it was tentatively called “The Fighting Foe Men”. There were some drawings that accompanied that original pitch including one of a “prototype” for what would later be He-Man. That He-Man featured many familiar themes – the overall barbarian look, the sword/ax/shield weapon trio, etc., but it also featured longer hair, broken shackles, and a classic Viking helmet. Sound familiar?
Recently, Toy Guru let MOTUC collectors know that word had come down from Mattel’s upper management that they wanted “Vikor” to be a separate marketable part of the MOTU franchise instead of being a “prototype” He-Man similar to the (usually) awesome McQuarrie Star Wars figures. You usually find me criticizing Mattel’s upper management, but not on this. Vikor is ten times cooler being Vikor and having his own back story (which now includes those Fighting Foe Men as his adversaries) then he would have been as “prototype” He-Man.
He’s now the He-Man of the North, a warrior that was the first guardian of the Power Sword after King Grayskull died. That makes him the fourth He-Man in the line so far (and arguably one of the cooler ones).
Vikor has quite a few new pieces despite his simple appearance. There’s the obvious new ones like the head, right bicep, forearms, cape, loincloth, and boots, but there’s another new one that is a little more innocuous and possibly a bad sign for the future of our Vikors. He has a new back – the sculpt is the same, but Vikor doesn’t have the flash lines on his mid-back and it also features a deeper well for the neck peg to move around in. Normally, that’d be a good thing, but this new design also features a new neck peg. And it’s a neck peg we’ve seen before. Instead of the tried and true barbell that’s been on most (if not all) the male figures so far, Vikor features a peg similar to that of the MOTU Classics ladies.
I should stress that my Vikor is fine. There’s no bobblehead action and he has pretty decent neck range despite the longer hair. But this neck peg features a thinner plastic hoop that goes around a horizontal peg in the chest. That seems to me like it’s a weaker neck joint over the long run with the underside of that thin hoop having to absorb all the stress of removing the head. Luckily, there’s no need to swap Vikor’s head in and out with another, so this joint hopefully won’t see too much stress. But I’ve campaigned to get the “hoop” neck peg off the female figures, so I definitely don’t want to see it on the men.
Anyway, with that unhappiness out of the way, I love Vikor. The new sculpts on the arms and loincloth have great detail and are true to the original concept drawing. The metal chains are also a nice touch.
Vikor also has a terrific head sculpt. His expression is probably considered neutral, but I love it. He sort of stares at you. See, he knows he can kick your ass and his calm determined face is there to let you know that you pose no threat to him. I kinda wish He-Man had ended up with a similar expression, but I’ll happily take it here with Vikor. The helmet is similarly fantastic right down to the battle damage it’s covered in. I wish it were removable or that his helmeted hair was swappable with a regular hair piece, but MOTU Classics isn’t that kind of collector’s line.
The only piece of Vikor that I didn’t really like is the cape. The sculpt is fine, though it looks like it has been sculpted for Vikor’s right arm to be rearing back. And I do like the necklace/clasp (another thing I wish was a separate piece), but the overall piece is a harder material than it probably should be. I feel like it takes more form the figure than it adds, so I’ve discarded it for the display (and since I’m not too sure of that hoop neck configuration, I’m probably not going to be popping the head to put it back on anytime soon).
Finally, Vikor features some new calf pieces that not only hide the ankle peg, but also appear to be a stab at correcting the loose ankle syndrome that affects so many of the MOTU figures.
And it does. The joints are a little tight, but I’m not complaining. Vikor stays in the poses I want him to and, even though I don’t mind visible articulation, the boots do look extra with the peg hole covered. Continue to Page 2…
56 thoughts on “MOTUClassics.Com:
Excellent review once again! was waiting for this one to come up 🙂
there are 2 much awaited reviews still pending..the weapons store review for great wars weapons pak and the he-man review!!
I haven’t forgotten those. I have a list of articles/reviews that need doing and the weapons pack #2 is at the top of the list.
And, yeah, there is no He-Man review. I should get around to fixing that some day. 😉
Great review! Vikor is a great figure. I want to look at Mattel and just tell them “more like this”.
And I’m waiting for that Weapons Pack review too! I didn’t realize you hadn’t reviewed He-Man. That’s kind of weird. LOL
Not reviewing He-Man is like a running gag. 😀
I definitely want to see Demo-Man and some Fighting Foe Men now.
Great review, but that new catguy is awesome!! Did you repaint him or swap in some Stratos parts? He looks really cool.
Both! He uses the main chunk of Stratos with a few of the Carnivus pieces to match.
Doesn’t Wun-Dar count as a new character? 🙂
Yeah… I guess, real or not, I’ve seen that picture of brunette He-Man with black armor for years, so I don’t feel like Wun-Dar is all that new.
Great review. Vikor is going to be a tough figure for Mattel to beat for the rest of the year!
Bow is looking particularly awesome… and hopefully we’ll see some cool stuff at Toy Fair!
I don’t really understand all the Vikor love. I guess he’s a cool, but there are a ton of unmade vintage characters that deserved the plastic treatment before him.
i hate to disagree w/ you, but… wait, no i don’t, i completely, gleefully disagree w/ you.
without blowing some breath of the “new” and “unique” into this line, there’s just no way that mattel could sustain interest in complete rehashes of the vintage line. we’re there now man… do you REALLY want to dump twenty nine bucks on a thunderpunch he-man that doesn’t blow caps… or worse, a flying fists he-man? there’s no way anyone is battling that quagmire of a website to get gwildor. flourishes like wun-dar, he-ro, and vikor, provide not only some variety to the line up, but a showcase for the horsemen to show us exactly what they can do w/ NEW masters toys… if motuc as a brand is to have any future, and is going to important enough to the property to be worth archiving some time in the future, it had to something unique to stamp it’s own identity to the property. added articulation and the worst webstore ever put forth on the world wide web are not enough to earn that respect. vikor is.
on an aside, i want ram man and two-bad as much as anyone else man, but i’m realistic about my chances of getting them.
I do want those He-Men, but yes, I agree. 🙂
you’re the only one… BUT that said, you’ve stated many times that seeing new ideas and new characters is really what motuc should be about, as have i and many others.
I’m prolly not the only one. 😉 Those were some cool armors. It’s too bad we couldn’t just get an armor pack for them though.
It’s easy to understand. Vikor isn’t a predictable remake of an existing figure. I think the most exciting characters in MOTU are either going to be characters with iconic designs that we’re finally getting (POP style guides), improved characters (NA characters) or outright new characters (Vikor).
And more barbarians in MOTU is always a good thing!
Absolutely. If nothing else Vikor is providing some much needing spice & surprise in the middle of a vintage glut.
Yep, I said it. LOL
I don’t really get into the whole “Deserve” thing. They’re fictional characters, they don’t deserve anything. We may want them and we may feel our wants deserve to be ahead of others, but that’s not really true either.
I can understand the frustration of waiting for favourite characters (I’m personally hoping we don’t have to wait till 2017 for a Sorceress), but I think if there’s one thing these figures deserve it’s to be judged on their own merits – that’s tough to do in a slow-moving collector’s line, but it seems a bit unfair to Vikor if he’s looked at as ‘not the one I wanted’ first and ‘a really cool figure’ second.
We need the Sorceress! I hope she’s not on the short list to draw out the hype.
You’re right on Vikor, he shouldn’t be looked at as “not Ram Man” or “not Clawful”. A cool fig is a cool fig. I don’t understand the folks who want MOTU to grow only after the old ones are done. That’s a linekilling idea right there.
Another funny review. Conan finally it in MOTUC!!
I’m just bothered by mattel and it’s let’s fix something that isn’t broken mentality (the male neck peg). Yet they leave terrible problems alone and then reuse this problem on a figure that isn’t needed (the female neck peg).
What I’m trying to figure out is, don’t laugh, the logistics of the new neck peg (paired with the new torso that holds it). Usually something like this gets changed because it’s easier to manufacture, or it’s easier to assemble, or it uses less plastic, right?
Maybe I’m not visualizing correctly, but this really seems to be change for the sake of change and nothing else.
Unless. Does this now give us a torso buck suited for Mekaneck? Or was this the torso buck built for King Hiss (sp?) and they grabbed it to fast-track this figure?
All the customizers who’ve disassembled & reassembled a figure will vouch that the neck peg can be a bitch to stay in place when trying to fit the torso halves back together, couple with the keeping the arms in place too. This was definatly a production decision. Click the loop-peg in it’s place and it’s one less thing to worry about ending up on the floor during assembly.
Gah. Yes. That little barbell is a pain! But I drop stuff all the time anyways.
It could be for any reason really, but on the change to the DC neck peg, it appeared to be a change by the factory and Mattel was at their mercy. It could be that same way here.
And, of course, because it’s Mattel, we’ll be dealing with it for awhile.
Well, I know that for all my knowledge I’ll always have something to learn, but it seems to me a factory can’t just change a part because they want to. I’m sure they can lobby for a change, point out how something works better or results in a better product and such like, but I really really don’t think they can willy-nilly design, cut steel and manufacture new parts without the approval of the company paying for the work. I really don’t think it works that way and if that’s the line Mattel sells, well, it’s just a bald faced lie. “We can’t help the neck peg! They just did it and we have no say whatsoever boo hoo hoo!” Nonsense.
Hasbro has made similar statements too – where they’re not sure exactly what’s going on until the figures are stateside.
I’m not sure who handles the internal engineering of the figures but it doesn’t seem to be down on this side of the ocean.
Pretty much. We need the first female buck mold to wear out so the new one can be tooled with different bits.
Of course that would take getting some more women into the line. 😛
How in the hell did they get away with copying Conan so completely? I mean, I’m aware of the old urban legend that He-Man was originally supposed to be a Conan the Barbarian toyline, but then someone in charged wised up and realized that the movies weren’t really kidfriendly and then it got switched to He-Man. But still, “Vikor”? That’s friggin’ Conan!!
well, since conan is a public domain character, you can make conan anything you like.
also, this really only looks like frazetta’s conan, howard’s conan didn’t look much like vikor at all.
That’s a good point. Of course, everyone knows Frazetta’s Conan even if it’s only because they’ve seen it on the cover of the Arnold movies so often. I don’t actually know anyone else who has read the books as I have. As soon as I saw this figure, I felt like I was seeing Conan who walked right off the pages of Marvel’s comics and drawn by John Byrne. Well, slightly. You’ll forgive me if this makes little sense, I have not had coffee yet this morning.
Urrr, point of order, Conan is not public domain. Really.
Another great review. Is that Carnivus just a re-paint or some variant I have never heard of?
Just a custom. I wanted some fighting shots and it didn’t make sense to me to have Vikor fighting someone that wasn’t around, so I made one up.
“Just” a custom? It’s gorgeous – I think I prefer it to the already-cool original!
Aww… shucks! Thanks, Clay!
And that Carnivus custom is off the hook!
Excellent review, as per usual. I hope they listen to you when it comes to the inferior neck-peg. You’ve gotten Faker’s orange shield and battle-axe made, as well as a few other items, so chances seem good.
Now, as for that sweet Carnivus-based custom . . . what’s his deal?
Yeah, what’s going on with the gray catman? And with Grayskull’s cape, it looks customized too.
You really shouldn’t sneak your customs into the reviews and torture us!
Grayskull’s cape has been died from red to brown & painted. Saved me like $200. 😀
I’d like to think that IAT helped in getting the word out on the DC neck pegs and getting some improvement there, so, hopefully we can stop MOTU from getting crappy necks too.
Great Conan review.
Y’know, I managed to do the entire review without saying Conan once. 😉
Great review, as always. Informative, humorous, some nice pics and your own opinions…it’s always a really good read. I love the new ankles. Yeah, they’re super tight and it’s difficult to position the feet easily, but I prefer this to the alternative any day! I didn’t notice the neck peg difference and, quite frankly, I doubt I ever would have had you not mentioned it. It doesn’t bother me any, at least not yet. His accessories are outstanding and I agree, they pretty much He-Man’s to shame. All in all, a spectacular figure.
That Carnivus custom is cool! Where can we see more pics of it?!
I’ll post some more on the forum here soon.
And I agree on the ankles, better this than how they were getting.
Awesome review! I cant wait to get mine in. My Guards & Goddess came in today and after this review I definitely wish Vikor was in the package as well! Your pictures are great as always and I agree with the other guys in that the Carnivus custom is very cool! Love your reviews and can’t wait for more!
My Guards came today, but I haven’t had a chance to open them yet…
Just wanted to chime in and say great review! You have the best on the net!
I *Love* your custom. We need more pics ASAP.
I’ll snap a few more and put ’em on the forum here soon. Thanks!!
I always like these reviews a lot.
I gave up trying to customize years ago. I take it it’s not possible to get the cape off without removing the head? I’m pretty nervous about trying to pop the head off, but getting the figure to stand while wearing the cape is a pain in the neck. So to speak.
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