Battle Armor Skeletor Review

I love my MOTU Classics Battle Armor Skeletor, but he’s a bit difficult to review. For one, I’ve already reviewed most of this figure at least three times already. He does include some swanky new armor and a fan-demanded axe, but can I really prattle on about that for a whole review? I guess we’ll find out…

Well, if that teaser didn’t get you click your way into the review, I don’t know what will! I think the funny thing about Battle Armor Skeletor is just how much enjoyment I’ve gotten out of him. He was paired with King Hssss for March and they’re really an odd couple. Hssss is almost entirely new, he’s got a ton more work put into him, he’s an important character, and he’s the first Snakeman in the line. And yet, he kinda sucked. He wasn’t a bad figure by any means, but he wasn’t awesome. And I kinda wanted awesome for MOTU’s third string antagonist.

That said, Battle Armor Skeletor is almost entirely a repaint of the previous Skeletor that I’ve picked up in three decos already (four if you want to stretch and count Keldor in there). He has barely any new pieces for the $20 I paid for him, but when I have him paired on my shelf with Battle Armor He-Man, he rocks. Though I will try to remember that I have to temper my excitement in relation to his value…

Battle Armor Skeletor originates as the first of a handful of different armored Skeletor figures in the vintage line. The armor was never featured on the cartoon, but it does pop up in various other media – particularly the oil paintings – and it’s become the preferred look for some MOTU fans. While there’s no replacing the originals, some fans (like me) embrace the Battle Armor versions of He-Man & Skeletor over their tried and true original figures. A lot of that original love surely stems from the original action feature.

On the old toys, the chest emblem would take “damage”. Whenever they were hit – the inner chest piece would roll from a clean emblem, to a slashed emblem, and then a double slashed emblem. It was pretty cool at the time (there were some Hot Wheels that smashed up similarly that I loved) and, honestly, it’s still pretty cool now. My wife picks on me because I have to flick the Brave & the Bold Metallo in the chest whenever we go to Wal-Mart.

Underneath the armor, Skeletor has the same sculpt we’ve all seen before. The only notable difference here is the loin cloth. The vintage figure featured furry undies only and that’s been duplicated here. I don’t mind the homage, but I almost feel like it would’ve been okay for Skeletor to keep his unique loin cloth for this figure at the same time. He could use a little more purple between his armor and boots.

The armor here is obviously the main draw and it doesn’t disappoint. It’s got a nice sculpt, classic with updated details. Since the MOTU line can’t afford to replicate older action features, the original figure’s ability to take damage has been duplicated with interchangeable plates. Skeletor comes with three to recreate each of the settings of the original. I’m happy to report that the armor on Skeletor is much more collector friendly than He-Man’s. He-Man’s armor always sounds like it’s about ready to break when you take it off or snap it together, but Skelly’s armor feels and sounds like it’s intended to be removed. I’ve already found myself much more willing to switch out the plates and have some fun with the figure while He-Man’s been mostly sporting his undamaged chest since his review was finished early last year.

Skeletor features a metallic purple chest with smooth abs under his armor, though his Battle Armor comes down pretty far forward in the front to hide all of that. Like Hssss and the other armored figures, the arms are forced to stick out a bit farther than normal which brings me to a question. Do these figures need to have normal chests underneath? The armor bulk annoys me on occasion (more so with Hssss than Skeletor here) and it’s got me wondering if Mattel has ever given any thought to making a new, slimmer “internal” torso that the armors can fit over without adding the bulk and interfering with the arms. I know it would make the armors less universal, but the armored figures would look better – and the armors would still be interchangeable between all of the ‘slim’ torso figures too. Continue to Page 2…

35 thoughts on “MOTUClassics.Com
Battle Armor Skeletor Review

  1. Holy Hell! they DID make the Plates fit to each other! 1 step closer to BA Faker!!

  2. I found this kind of amusing – your ad-bot gave me an ad for a local nail salon 😉


  3. Yeah, I *like* this BA Skelly, but it still feels a bit half-assed.

    Typical of their fan Q&A behavior, again Mattel misses the boat on the whole “purple boots on BA Skelly” thing.

    When fans are asking for purple feet, it’s because the vintage one had ’em, and it completed the “armored” look in a more cohesive way, but the problem is the kind of feet used on the vintage BA Skelly don’t exist in MOTUC because the 4H sculpted the original Skelly to match the cardback art, and cheap-ass that Mattel is, they figured they could just use that ONE pair of feet for pretty much any figure they felt like.

    So that said, I’m not digging the purple feet at all, especially with the painted nails.

    The face paint is a slight improvement, I do dig the green widow’s peak effect from (again) the original cardback look, but the teeth are still very cartoony, Karloff Frankenstein’s Monster scar-style.

    The way they did the green here paired with the more detailed and subtle teeth paint on the first release, and they might finally have a Skeletor head worthy of the 4H’s sculpting . . .

    1. I totally agree with you on the teeth. His mouth did look more like stitched-up lips a la “Origins: Wolverine” Deadpool than proper teeth. It took me all weekend but I finally got his teeth to look more like teeth (more like the vs. DC Skeletor).

      1. Another thing I noticed–for some reason the preview reviews all made a big deal about Skeletor’s neck peg being green, but mine is brown.

        1. I checked on mine and it’s blue. The early reviewers get the production samples that Mattel doesn’t use, so I can why here is different – but you got a brown one? Weird.

    2. I do agree on the boots! We need some new Skeletor feet, I just wasn’t thinking about that during my review. And the painted nails are like the cherry on top.

      I’ll have to look at the different teeth more closely in the future.

  4. Great review as always! I love my BA Skelly!

    I totally get what you’re saying about the slimmer torsos though. King Hissss looked inflatable from certain angles and its worse on guys like HeRo & Duncan too.

  5. I would’ve really appreciated the Hordak boots on Skeletor as well as some type of armor on his arms or wrists. He just looks too naked for being the battle ready version of Skels.

  6. I wouldn’t mind a BA Faker. Would we want him to come with He-Man armor and a BA Skelly bat plate? Or Skelly armor and a He-Man “H” breast plate?

    I think He-Man armor with a bat plate probably.

    Anyway, I love BA Skelly. He’s always been my favorite variant of Skelly. He still should have come with a Havoc staff though. He-Man and Skelly should always come with their iconic weapons respectively. It’s ridiculous that they didn’t.

    I’m very happy with the figure, but I’m so tired of seeing the three toed demon feet. If anything, BA Skelly should have come with the three toed Hordak armored feet since it was said Hordak may have helped him. I like more originality.

    BA Skelly is still one of my favorite figures in this line though.

    1. I’m happy with a new one over a reused one, but he definitely needed more gear at $20 and selling at the same level of the other figures.

  7. I really enjoyed this figure, but my face didn’t come out as nice and clean as yours did. And I agree with the rest of you that think Hordak boots should have been used here.

    1. Some of the other IAT ones weren’t as nice, but I think they did a better job this go round than previously.

      And Hordak boots overall? Even the tops?

  8. “Battle polish.” Ha! Just what I’d expect two dolls…er, action figures to argue about.

    I like this figure a LOT more than I thought I would…definitely more than Hsss. As for accessories, I’d have loved for him to come with the crossbones sword he used in one of the Filmation episodes…I swear I’m not hallucinating when I remember this.

    Regarding Mattel’s ongoing problems with getting the shoulders to function properly with armor, I’ll be VERY disappointed if all the Snake Men end up with similar horribly oversized torso pieces like what Hsss got.

    1. 🙂 Dolls! Meh!

      I would’ve loved for him to come with any new accessory, but he was likely planned outside the sub, so I’ll give him a pass.

      They really need to do something with the torsos. I don’t know why they have to make room for a normal chest under there.

  9. As ever a good review. Mine actually turned up in the post today so I was able to compare and contrast for real which was nice – This is still the Skelly I had as a Kid so it’s the version I have the soft-spot for but I think I agree about the feet, they just don’t work on the umpteenth version and boots would have worked so much better here.

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