For me, February was a “finally!” month for Masters of the Universe Classics. And while there’s finally a figure of Shadow Weaver, finally a Fearless Photog figure, and Sorceress finally got her due in the Classics line, my personal “finally!” is for none other than the Heroic Hand-to-Hand fighter himself, Fisto!
I have to laugh at the thought of Fisto as a Hand-to-Hand fighter. The name implies some sort of an even match or a fair fight, but getting into a fistfight with a guy named Fisto is already questionable. And that’s before you see the big hunk of metal at the end of his right arm. It’s like pitting Rio Blast against Blade and calling him the Heroic Gun-to-Knife fighter. It’s just not fair. (And, with that, the Blade fans will write in assuring me of Rio’s imminent defeat…).
When I was a wee tot, Fisto was one of my more cherished vintage figures, sometimes replacing He-Man as the main hero. I’m not sure what originally made me like Fisto so much as a kid. Looking back, he was kinda the rugged hero, an outsider even in the group of heroes, but I don’t know if he had that. It might’ve just been the cool beard. Anyway, I enjoyed him enough that he was one of the few vintage Masters that simply had to be replaced after the flood wiped out my nine-year-old self’s burgeoning “collection”.
As I got older and was able to better appreciate MOTU (i.e. paying more attention to what actually happened in the cartoon), Fisto earned a new level of respect from me too. I had forgotten or never knew that Fisto had originally been a villain and only reformed after his first encounter with He-Man. Now, the episode itself is not particularly deep, but I so love the idea of reformed villains that it only made Fisto that much cooler.
Fisto as an outsider was a theme that continued into MO2K. I’m still not sold on that gigantic bare fist, but MO2K portrayed Fisto as an alleged deserter that had to again earn his way into the Masters fold. Some new elements were added: he was Man-At-Arms’ brother, and possibly Teela’s father, but at his core he was the same rough-and-tumble outsider that I’d come to appreciate some twenty years before.
When he was finally announced in Classics, I couldn’t have been more excited. I still have a short list of “characters-I-can’t-believe-aren’t-made-yet-why-won’t-they-make-them-aaaaargh!”, but Fisto is a big name crossed off my list.
As an avid supporter of MO2K elements in Classics, I have to point out this figure is a crowning achievement in that cause. While getting vintage characters that had unique MO2K looks is still an uphill battle, Fisto comes with the vast majority of his MO2K gear as options for an alternate build. I’ll detail them more specifically in the next sections, but Fisto includes what’s ostensibly a MO2K head (thanks to his gear, not his face), a MO2K belt, and his giant friggin’ MO2K sword – an accessory we were denied with the MO2K version no less. Regardless of what else I have to say good or bad about Fisto, there’s definitely an element of “more like this, please” with this figure.
As I’ll detail in later sections, Fisto has a nice complement of accessories. That’s largely due to the fact that the basic figure needed next to no work. The vintage Fisto look is achieved through new armor, his fist, a new head, and a new right bicep for good measure. The bicep is a funny touch, but the downside here is that it ended up being cast in a dark color (brown, I believe) and had to be painted. It’s not too bad, but the painted bicep between the molded shoulder and forearm is definitely noticeable.
The crowning achievement here is the head sculpt though. It’s simply fantastic in both versions and the pictures do all the talking. Easily one of my favorite sculpts in the line. I’ve got my Fisto mostly decked out in his MO2K gear, but I love the vintage head a bit more, so he’s sporting that head on my shelves long term.
Both Fisto’s armor and fist are upgrades to the classic look (though the armor now supports a slot for the MO2K sword) and I enjoy both, particularly the little added level of detail around the collar. With all the MO2K going on, I do lament the lack of a MO2K Fist somewhat. I can’t complain because this figure came with a lot already, but it would’ve been cool to get a “classicized” version of the “Battle Fist” here. I should note that the vintage fist is not necessarily intended to be removable, but mine pops on and off easily. It does contort a bit as it comes on and off, so I might be doing some incremental damage to the silver paint (the piece is molded brown) over time, but it’s been fine through all the popping on and off I did for this review.
Okay, so the fist has one big flaw by my count. I’ve gotta get this out of the way because you’ve seen me harp on Mattel about it for months. I love this figure – it’s awesome, but I absolutely, unequivocally, hate that the fist wasn’t designed to come off and work with Roboto & Trap Jaw. I know there’s some of you out there that feel it’s trivial and it probably is, but after inquiring about it almost immediately after Roboto’s parts were made Trap Jaw compatible (i.e. awhile ago) and getting positive feedback from Mattel about it multiple times, I thought this was a lock. My disappointment is further complicated by the more recent and inane Q&A answers which read as if the positive buzz before hand never happened and the compatibility was never intended in the first place. It’s not a dealbreaker, but it was going to be a bit of a bummer… until I got the figure in-hand. Continue to Page 2