The big paint issue heading into the figure was, strangely, the boots. There was some hullabaloo over them when Skeletor was first shown with his typical bare feet. After some fan input, this version of Skeletor features full boots like the classic figure, though it’s really just his blue feet cast in purple instead of something cooler like Hordak feet. Really, I’m fine with this combination, but I still don’t get the painted toenails on the boots thing. It’s weird. And why no paint on the clasps and hinges?
Boots aside, Skeletor didn’t feature too much paint, but there are some nice touches here and there. The metallic on the armor and torso is great and the mixed use of gloss and flat finish on the black armor and loincloth really pops. And Skeletor’s finally got a head that’s more like the classic toy! I’ve still come to really enjoy the all-yellow face of the TRU 2pk best, but it’s nice to finally get a Skeletor were the green stays out at the edges like the figures of old. Skeletor is also sporting painted fingernails.
Skeletor features the standard articulation of the line: ball-joints at the head, shoulders, & hips, swivels at the biceps, wrists, waist, thighs, & calves, hinges at the elbow, knees & ankles, rocker ankles, & the ab crunch. The joints around the armor are restricted by it, but only slightly. All the joints are tight – especially the waist! Geez! I’m not sure what was going on there, but the joint was frozen solid when he arrived and still tends to stick even after some play. I’m guessing the glossy paint on the loin cloth and the metallics on the torso are getting a little too friendly with one another.
With quarterly figures being included in the subscription this year, Skeletor probably should’ve come with more gear, but I’ll give Mattel the benefit of the doubt on this one and assume Skeletor was budgeted before the “all in” subscription was green lit. Bikini Teela looks to be a figure with more “development”, so things seem to be moving in the right direction for the quarterlies despite the apparent “cheapness” of this particular Skeletor.
That said, I’m really pleased by the one accessory Skeletor did get! We first campaigned for his purple axe way back in 2009 when we realized we were likely just to get another purple sword or havoc staff. It’s nice to have the accessory in a new deco and, truthfully, the battle axe just goes better with the battle armor than any of the other accessories Skeletor was likely to reuse. It’s got a nice deco and looks great with the figure. Course, now we really want a purple shield…
Amazingly, I didn’t have any issues with Skeletor other than the frozen waist, but fellow toy blogger Philip Reed wasn’t so lucky. Have a look at his Skeletor over at BattleGrip.com. It isn’t so much that Mattel needs to replace it (they do), but shouldn’t someone be kicking the bad nuts out of the assembly line?
I probably should have placed this closer to the pic of the figures, but I wanted to mention that the chest plates are somewhat interchangeable between the two Battle Armor figures. He-Man’s snap into Skeletor’s like just fine, but Skeletor’s have to be propped into place against He-Man’s chest. I find it odd that they’re not all uniform in size, but I suppose they all had to be sculpted invidividually and interchangeability didn’t really come up. I admit it’s a bit weird to want to swap ’em, but it did make for a funny picture, didn’t it?
Overall, I really couldn’t be more pleased with Battle Armor Skeletor. I’ve been waiting for him ever since we first saw Battle Armor He-Man nearly two years ago. As a fan that prefers the Battle Armors, I finally feel like I have “my” Skeletor. The armor looks great, though I might have liked him to keep his classic loin cloth. I did appreciate the classic toy face and purple axe quite a bit though. The only thing I’m missing now is something for Battle Armor Skeletor to ride…