MOTUClassics.Com: Bizarro
Vs. Battle Armor Faker Review

Wow. It’s been almost three months since I reviewed any MOTUC! Between losing our MOTU subscription and Vault getting itchy to do a few, I haven’t had to haul out Castle Grayskull since Battleground Teela. Only fitting though, my return to MOTUC reviews is another fan requested figure, Battle Armor Faker!

When I was a wee tot, I enjoyed the heck out of my friend’s Faker. We would meet up at his house and play with MOTU figures for hours after school. I always wanted a Faker, but we could never find him. There was another hitch too. I had Battle Armor He-Man, not silly, old, regular He-Man, and, like a ton of other MOTU kids I imagine, wanted a Faker to match my He-Man. Thus, that germ for Battle Armor Faker started in the minds of wee tots near thirty years ago. A few years back, with Classics gaining steam – the idea again coalesced. IAT first asked about the possibility back in late 2009, early 2010. The response from Toy Guru was semi-positive, but he gave us an either/or – BA Faker over Dragon Blaster Skeletor? As one would surely suspect, the outcry for Dragon Blaster Skeletor was deafening. I wasn’t hopeful that day. And yet, here we are…

Mattel announced Battle Armor Faker as the last 2pk in their DC vs MOTU program in early July. The news of Battle Armor Faker was indeed awesome, but it was tempered somewhat by knowing it would be the last one (and that the eighth unidentified 2pk was cancelled outright). TRU slid this last 2-pack in with their SDCC exclusives (along with an awesome 8″ Lion-O, I can’t wait to review that – I’m way behind). Things went a little screwy, the shipment was delayed, very few seemed sold at SDCC, they weren’t available at TRU.Com on time, the eBay prices got a little crazy, and after I waited too long and missed out on the Zodac 2pk (still need one of those, now that I mention it), I started watching TRU.Com like a hawk. I ordered these Faker 2pks for me and my IAT bros. as soon as they became available. After all, I couldn’t miss out – how embarrassing would it be to miss a figure you’d been asking for for over a year-and-a-half??

Yes, I know… I’m all about Faker when there’s a Bizarro in this pack too. It’s not Bizarro’s fault – I’ve just got him already. A few times actually. This mold was sold separately in two different decos and in a 2pk with Superman. I was one of those suckers that bought it originally and then bought the redeco too because I liked it better. Now, here I am, five years later buying it again. Luckily, he is in a slightly different deco – maybe even one most folks would prefer. I prefer the redeco (above left) because he was the first to come with his name plate and I appreciated the darker, dirtier color scheme. This Bizarro does give him a run for his money though. The costume is back to basics – I think it pretty closely resembles the original release (via MWCToys), but the colors might be more saturated. More importantly though, the skin is finally, finally mostly white.

Honestly, I’m still waiting on a classic SA Bizarro, but I still love this sculpt. I like his exaggerated features, the McG-esque head sculpt, and the lower torso-down may be Superman, but it works. Like the original, this figure includes ball joints at the head (limited) & shoulders, swivels at the biceps, wrists, waist, thighs, hinges at the elbows, knees, and ankles, the ab crunch, rocker ankles, and 4H hips. Everything works great, though the head is somewhat limited and the cape prevents some deeper poses. The paintwork was sharp on mine except for a blemish on the ‘S’ tampo – though it’s usually covered up by the name plate. Finally, the name plate is again included, this time in a nice slate gray – there’s a few less links on the chain (gotta pinch those pennies), but it still comes off easy enough if you want it to. It’s really a hard decision between which Bizarro to keep out now, I was expecting to stow this guy, but in hand, I find that I like him more than I thought I would.

Okay, back to Faker! Toy companies must shout with glee when we fall in love characters like Faker. Sure, we’ll all go nuts for a character like Draego-Man with some great new pieces and get all in a tizzy when Mattel mentions they have to mess with his perfection because of the budget, but that’s where the Fakers of the world come in. He’s a repaint. When the first Faker was released in Classics in 2009 (as an NYCC exclusive), I was more than ready to snap him up. I had to have him right away. Some of my less easily swayed friends pointed out that he had zero development, that he didn’t even have all the same accessories as He-Man, that he was hardly worth the $20. And…

… they were right. I love Faker, but it’s a shame they did him so early in the line. Think of the recently announced figures – the alternate heads, the extra accessories and pack-ins – the upcoming figures are somply a lot more fleshed out than some of the early offerings. A Faker now could have an alternate head, either robotic or a new expression (that could be later used as He-Man), he could include a new unique accessory, or at least the MO2K Power Sword in orange. He could get something done to make him unique – to finally make him more than a simple repaint. But, alas, it wasn’t to be. There was hope that a Battle Armor Faker could include some of those things, but then he ended up as a low development TRU 2pk SKU. Sad day, right? Continue to Page 2

53 thoughts on “MOTUClassics.Com: Bizarro
Vs. Battle Armor Faker Review

  1. Battle Armor Faker looks cool..ended up swapping one of his hands with a T800 metal hand and replaced his boots with the 2 pack Luthor’s..BAF looks more badass that way..
    Maybe I should start a campaign for that missing He-Man review…high time we got one after so many release/re-issue that have happened (from red eyes to July’s all star sale!)

  2. Wait, sub canceled due to the Megator issue? I’m missing something here. I know it’s a personal thing but Noisy, WTH buddy? Did Megator try to steal your identity or something? He working with the Russians? 🙂

    Oh, fan demand character? Faker Battlecat, obviously. What would be more insane, Blue with Orange stripes or Orange with Blue stripes? Blue with Black stripes and Orange saddle/armor? Oh that armor HAS to be Orange.

    1. Mattel goofed and told DR that August was only Megator. So DR charged us for Megator (and when you have a big combined group sub, that gets hefty). To correct their mistake DR was to cancel the first charge for Megator and reissue a second charge for Man-E AND Megator.

      My initial charge never went away, so the second charge was denied, and it was still there days later, so the third charge was denied, and it was still there a week later, and thus the final charge was denied and our sub cancelled.

      It was a pretty bone-headed way to handle things – DR should’ve been capable of pro-rating a Man-E charge and not over-authorizing anyway… but I digress.

      Anyway, with so many things shipping outside of the sub in the final quarter (and nothing really worth getting doubles of), we opted to let the sub go instead of calling to try and get it back. The only downside is that we completely missed out on Man-E-Faces and Megator. I haven’t had much luck picking them up yet either.

      1. That’s…crazy.

        No, really, that seems like something a reasonable person, a little time and a few keystrokes on a computer should have been able to fix.

        I’m very sorry for your problems here. It boggles my mind that their system can be that inept.

        And it boggles my mind that all the ‘are you getting free toys’ crap notwithstanding that Toy Guru or someone from Mattel didn’t reach out to you and say “we fix thing, we appreciate what you do for the line, this problem was completely absurd”. But hey, why should they? You’re just a unit of income. :/

        1. My first calls to the overseas operations didn’t turn out well. There is an domestic number to Mattel that I was told would surely do the trick, but we looked ahead at the upcoming months – the Wind Raider, She-Ra 2.0, Slimeblower Ray, Vigo, & the Legion 12pk. We would’ve been paying double shipping three out of the four months – and the subs being cancelled meant we didn’t have to buy two of everything (nothing in the last quarter is really appealing enough to have doubles). So we decided to let the sub go and take our chances on the last four months.

          The only downside has been missing out on the Man-E’s and Megators and having to pick them up elsewhere.

      2. Well, there’s always BigBadToyStore, if all else fails. They’re my usual go-to option, and I don’t mind a bit of mark-up on occasion if, for example, my postman helpfully decided to send my April subscription crate back to MattyCollector without bothering to get my opinion on the matter first, and DR then went and allocated my Sy-Klone and Panthor to some other bugger before I could let them know it was a massive SNAFU on the post office’s part, and I wanted them sent back to me.

        Not that I’m bitter.

        1. There is BBTS. I’ve been trying to find him close to cost, but the individual shipping ups the price. Once money’s a little less tight, I’ll be able to get caught up.

  3. Hey Noisy, odd question.

    Have you tried mix/matching the breast plates between Faker / Skeletor armors? How does that look?

    I’m still up in the air on BA Faker. I feel like the armor he got is just…WAY orange. I tried giving my regular Faker Skelly’s battle armor and the result was no orange. I’m wondering if there’s a happy medium to be found.

    I’d heart you for a pic… 🙂

    1. It was in one of Toy Guru’s “State of the Unions” on Facebook. He said they’d made the case to management and gotten them approved. I imagine we’ll see them some time in 2013.

  4. The standard great review and fun pics, I see! I’ve got this set en route as well, and looking forward to getting it. A buddy of mine gets the DC figures, I keep the MOTU ones. Works out well for both of us.

    If Faker is supposed to be a “negative” He-Man, perhaps his feline mount should also be in a “negative exposure” colour scheme: red tiger with dusky blue stripes, and a lime green saddle and helmet . . . . Ick. Maybe not. Far too 1990s.

    If we’re talking about fan-requested characters, can I chime in with Horde Trooper Disguise He-Man or translucent green Slimed He-Man? Once Spikor, Two-Bad, Ram-Man, and Extendar have been made, of course.

  5. I’ve been hoping someone would want to sell or trade their Bizarro to me though I haven’t got any bites. I’m not much of a battle armor fan so a second Faker doesn’t do anything for me.

    1. i would be about this version, if i hadn’t already set my sights on extendar. we NEED extendar, before the subs aren’t selling enough to get unique tools anymore… and i suspect that day is not long off.

      1. Yeah, you get that feeling too?

        I think the lack of ad placement (and constant talking up) in Toyfare magazine (R.I.P.) is starting to have the trickle down effect. New people are just not coming in from that “Oh, I picked this up to read and HOLY CRAP there’s MOTU figures again?!” impulse.

        And I suspect there’s some attrition because there’s people who’ve got all the figures they want, and money is getting tight out there.

        Plus there’s likely an internal push towards She-Ra in order to grab the gal geek market. There’s always a push claiming that market is under-served. “How can we get little girls interested in Tonka Trucks? That’s a completely untapped market, girl’s heavy industry vehicles!”

        I wish I was more optimistic. Or is that OPTIK-MYSTIC? 🙂

        1. well, there’s admittedly not that much feeling needed… TG stated openly that shadow weaver would have the lowest production run of any motuc thusfar due to waning sub sales (though he also said that the sub sold enough to remain in the black, and they’re profiting from the figures still)

          my concern is, how many more sales do they need to lose before they’re no longer in the black? i know it’s stupid to make the “they’re killing teh lein” argument for them, and i’m not advocating everyone buy into the sub to get me my extendar… that would be silly 😉 but i am concerned that a dude w/ that unique sculpt and unique “play feature” would require a greater-than-average commitment of money to pull off, and if sales continue to slide, they’re going to be tighter and tighter about extras…

          truth be told, fisto astounds me. that figure almost looks like the horsemen slipped one by the numbers crunchers… think about it, he’s got two heads, two swords, and a belt, and he completed a 200x look and a classic look for having those accessories… the last time we saw that was whiplash and we were told that wouldn’t happen again… seriously, was someone handing out hand jobs at the meeting to get that fisto? (see what i’m doing there?)

          from a sales perspective, he’s a dumb figure, because those two looks are disparate enough you could easily have justified two releases for that character and made a boatload more cash. from a fan perspective, thank the lord above that they’re this stupid. but there is this nagging question of “exactly how much production capital did that guy eat up, and is he why we’re getting redux lyn?” and more importantly, “can extendar possibly cost less than fisto to produce, since he’s a much more complex design w/ fewer logical parts re-use, and if not, how badly do i have to beg while the coffers are still full to get him produced?”

          i worry about extendar and two-bad the most, at this point, as they represent to me the biggest investment in tooling (barring a completely unforeseen character, like the recently announced granamyr) for characters who are essential to most fans to have a “completed” roster. i can see them hitting the chopping block early should things go sour for the line as a whole.

          and yes, i think the lack of toyfare on newsstands/magazine racks is indeed hurting the industry as a whole, and in particular, the net-sclusive lines like motuc. where are they advertising? “on the internet… kinda” how do they hook fans who aren’t following toys on the internet? “on the inter… oh, wait…” hell, motuc advertising has been a ghost endeavor since day one. the hottest damned toy property of the 80s and they basically have a non-existent ad campaign. they’re letting sites like IAT do all the heavy lifting w/ reviews and Q&A’s like that enough awareness to grow the brand… it’s not. he-man had a huge fanbase, and a massive chunk of those guys don’t buy toys on the internet, and have never heard of this toy line. the best advertising mattel has done is slapping a motuc in w/ a dcu figure no one wanted for the 8th time and put them in TRU. again, that’s not an ad campaign, if you’re in TRU, you were already looking for toys. nostalgia has to be marketed to hook people again who AREN’T still interested in a product they used to buy. get them back to the table!

          1. Here’s the thing that gets me. The 2-packs could, should be used as an entry level way to get people to Mattycollector. Since the 2-packs have at most a tiny percent of development compared to both DCU and MOTUC, and are nothing but a way to amortize the tooling costs even further, they really SHOULD have been like $20. $20 for a He-Man and Superman? I’d get behind that. It’s STILL profit because the costing has already been paid for with each figure’s single release!

            But I’m sure there’s a very good reason why…ya know, everything. 🙂

            1. i want to know both why they’re not priced more like you’re thinking steve (cuz i agree, the figs already got developed) but more importantly, why is not stamped in big, glow in the dark lettering on both the front and back panels of the packaging… and maybe *GASP!* offer a coupon code for one matty collector purchase… you know, to persuade the new guys trying those two packs out to engage in an online order AND to incentivize us old bastards to REinvest.

              but again, clearly, i’m not a brand manager, what the hell do i know, right?

              1. well, I’m guessing that at $20 the 2-packs would seem as some kind of cheap dump of unselling figures product, but at $35 (or did the move back to $30?) they’re a high-end boutique item like the McFarlane and other companies items sold to TrU via Diamond. That appeals to the high end customer (male 18-23) who has tons of disposable income for impulse purchases.

                Which of course is NOT the customer for these toys. It’s old farts like us seeping in nostalgia and all that.

                And everyone forgets that INEXPENSIVE SELLS.

                I mean, look, why did Hasbro bring out those baby light sabers, the ones that are really cool but like big kid sized? Because there are a lot of people who like the coolness of the F/X sabers but just won’t pull the trigger on a $100+ toy. But they’re selling a TON of these new sabers at $35. I know I want one. 🙂

                1. I don’t mind the $30 on the MOTU 2pks, but I completely agree about how boneheaded it is that MATTYCOLLECTOR isn’t stamped on the package of every single ‘adult collectible’ in giant letters.

                  It’s all about reach and they just don’t really try. Even online, there’s factions – forum members, blog readers, social media folks – and they don’t have a ton of crossover. Mattel appears to have a vary narrow focus on the collector’s market. I know they don’t have the money to really publicize, but at least use your own packaging to your advantage.

  6. I may be the only guy who hates the smooth ab section. I mean HATE it. It ruined Hordak for me, and if it turns out to be true, may keep me from picking up Fist (I know I could transplant him, but don’t really want to). I want my MOTUC figures that had removable armor with abs underneath in the 80s to have removable armor with abs underneath now. That is why it didn’t matter with BA He-Man and Skelly (couldn’t remove their armor back in the day). I, for one, am glad Faker has abs.

    The abs are also better for custom. I would have loved a nude gray torso for custom (Hordak). Plus, Clamp Champ gives us an opportunity for a nude dark-skinned torso. An opportunity that will be missed under the current scheme of armored characters. No easy Machiste custom for you…

    Dadgum-diddly doo and crap in a hat. 🙂

    BTW, great review!

    1. I don’t really mind them one way or the other – He-Ro looks just fine with the abs, but the smooth guys look okay to me too. I understand how you feel though – it probably nags at you every time you see it – like a fly on a wall or a small error on an otherwise flawless piece of art.

      Your point about the custom potential is irrefutable though! That’s the best case I’ve read yet.

      And thanks!

  7. It’s funny, I’m not that interested in regular Faker and the BA versions of He-Man and Skeletor don’t do much for me – but BA Faker? Awesome! It’s a pain getting these sets into the UK (fair enough, we’re not their intended market) but I may have to brave customs charges on this one…

    My only issue with the otherwise awesome armour is not so much “too orange”, but more “top heavy orange”. I think it would balance a bit better if there were some orange shin guards… could we campaign for some palace guard armour in radioactive orange for the next weapons pak?

    1. I for one think it’s worth putting up with the customs charges &c, Clay. With the distribution centre in Canada, one would think going from one Commonwealth country to another would incur no costs. Not so. Still gotta pay a few quid per parcel, though it’s never been more than £16 for me so far, which, considering how expensive stuff is over here, that ain’t too bad.

      But sometimes . . . just sometimes . . . a package gets rerouted through Fance or Germany via cargo shipment for some reason or other, and as it comes “from the EU,” there’re no customs or VAT charges to pay. It’s only happened twice since I started getting MOTU Classics directly from Mattel instead of e-tailer middlemen, but I haven’t been doing it that long, and it’s enough to make an impact on the wallet and free up some cash for more beer ot what-have-you.

      Still, it’s the price one must pay in Devonshire, which has perhaps the worst retail shopping in any area of any country that’s not on the losing end of a world war.

      1. I’ve only been whacked with charges a few times – after a while, I twigged you could mostly avoid them by buying figures separately! Still get hit on a few of the pricier MOTUC items though, and I’m sure the DCUC vs MOTUC packs would be held to ransom at the sorting office.

        Still, £16 is roughly $25 at the moment, so it’s like buying the figure all over again!

        [And I sympathise with your retail situation – I’m just over the border in Somerset, where shopping consists of charity shops and Tesco Express…]

        1. I always feel bad for you overseas fellas. I don’t spend a lot of time worrying about price, but whatever it’s “worth” to us here in the states, it has to really be worth it you fellas.

          1. Well, at least MattyCollector ships overseas. So many other direct-to-consumer toy sales refuse to ship outside the USA (and sometimes Canada). And I think Mexico is worse off for this than any other country; they seem to get nothing, going by all the shipping disclaimers I’ve read over the years.

            The thing is, stuff in the UK is just that much more expensive after all the tax has been slapped on. Bought something for US$100? It’ll end up being £100 here, which is anywhere from $140 – $180, depending on the exchange rate at the time. My Megator and Man-E-Faces arrived yesterday, and had £15.43 in ransom VAT and customs charges added on before I could claim them. That works out to about $25(ish), making the total cost of those two things (minus shipping) about $85. Sold here under the usual “cross out the $ and make it a £” format, they’d be about $96. Which is where the shipping cost evens things out.

            So all things considered, this squeeze on our wallets is not really much different from what we put up with every day at every shop. Thirteen bucks for a Star Wars figure, Eleven bucks for a paperback book, and you really, really don’t want to know how much it costs us to fuel our cars.

        2. Well, Clay, the shopping ain’t much better here in Torbay, if that’s any consolation. We have a bit more variety, though: Tescos, charity shops, and empty shops.

          I like your suggestion for customs dodging*, but I’m a subscriber, so I don’t get the luxury of ordering things one at a time. I’m often at work when the sales come online, and I don’t like the thought of missing stuff, so I’ll take a near-guarantee of getting something over having to eventually pay up to $35 for the same thing on another online e-tailer site. Do not ask what I had to pay to get Bizarro / B.A. Faker. I’ll end up crying.

          *I’m Devonian. We have smuggling in our genes. (The smuggling gene is located on Chromosome 19, right between the Tourist Conning gene and the useless intron which should code for the ability to pass up a pasty, but is deactivated.)

          1. We have ASDA, guess we should get points for that (which is part of the WalMart group, so why no DCUC? They stock ML and infinite heroes, after all. But I digress).

            I’ll be experiencing the full delights of overseas subscriber conning next year – I just couldn’t pass up Shadow Weaver! (Also a genetic defect, I’m sure.) It killed me I couldn’t sign up for infinite earths as well, but for once financial logic managed to trump my craving for cool toys…

            There’s a thread on the .org where Toy Guru asked people to list their issues with DR – a lot of people are shouting for combined shipping on sub-and non-sub items, but a number of non-US customers are stressing that this needs be optional (and that this should apply to sub items too), so maybe things will get better and we’ll be able to split deliveries up?

            1. We’ve got a nearby ASDA, too, but I can’t be bothered navigating the traffic that surrounds it like a planetary ring. Basic rule of thumb: if an American store has an exclusive, the British version of the store won’t get it. The Single Exception: Plymouth Toys ‘R’ Us. I went there in October 2008 after auditioning to be an extra in Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland” (I didn’t get cast), as it was literally one block away. They had SDCC and online exclusives. From that very year. Outstanding place.

              If they want suggestions for DR, howzabout letting us cancel unwanted orders the day they’re made, instead of that “We now have to send it to you and you have to send it back before you get your money back” balderdash. I have another suggestion involving a large spiked morningstar and a bucket of boiling tar, but it’s not family-friendly.

              Splitting the orders up is a tempting money-saving trick all right, Clay, but the way my work schedule is, I couldn’t keep things organised from month to month, and knowing DR and our local postal service, there would be huge potential for screw-ups. I think I’ll just stick with the path of least resistance (and effort) and let things trickle in as they come. Provided DR doesn’t decide to question my subscription and the postman decides to actually deliver my crates, instead of being helpful and returning them to sender without asking me if I actually want them returned, that is. Not that I’m bitter. Time for a cider, methinks….

  8. he totally should have come w/ an orange mechanisword from the millenium cartoon… that is all. 🙂

    though i’d like to point out, the motuc/dcu packs are AGAIN reinforcing why draego-man should be getting all his intended gear… we’ve bought TONS of straight up repaints at this point, which rep ZERO new tooling… so we’ve invested enough in the line an an overall for them to suck it up and lose money on 1 damned figure.

    1. Agreed. I’m always down for more different colored accessories and that seemed like an easy one.

      I think they look at the budget for each individual figure. I’d much rather they work it out to be budget for larger periods where one can go over because another one stayed under.

  9. I want BA Faker, but I just can’t justify spending $40 for what essentially boils down to as the armor and breastplates. I have the original Faker and while I do not have Bizarro, its still a big investment.

    1. I think I only paid $30 at TRU, but regardless you’re right. There’s not much different for your $30 (and his aftermarket price is much higher).

  10. This set worked for for me cause I never got the original Faker and I used my last Bizarro for customs. Glad this got made. Sorry to see the 2 packs going away. I think some new paint jobs on the DCUC figures would have helped sales a lot. I wanted the stratos and merman packs, but I am essentially paying 40 bucks for a MOTUC figure because they packed in a DC figure that was almost exactly the same as the earlier release. Some new paint jobs would have kept this retail line going I think…

    1. The 2pks were a pain to find, but, yeah, they will be missed. And I completely agree, I’m not privy to how cheap they had to make these sets – but repainting the DC figures should’ve been a no-brainer to move units.

  11. Did anyone see the ads for the MOTU HotWheels in the new DC Comics issues this week?

    It’s curious what gets marketed and what does not…

      1. well, sure. Ads for DCU and the other DC Comics lines, there should be constant ads. Even some co-op from Toys R Us. Wonder why that doesn’t happen? Are there so MANY companies rushing to place ads in comics that the price is too high? Somehow I don’t think so…

  12. Heh, my Goddess broke today, too. Suddenly, she broke away when I was putting her on the shelf. It´s some kind of clone suffering of decaying?

    1. My first Goddess broke, too. I put it down to plastic of insufficient quality and durability. Or rather, the wrong kind of plastic (far too brittle) used for the parts in question. Probably for “logistics” reasons.

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