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…