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MOTU Classics.Com:
Thunder Punch He-Man Review

There’s little that challenges my fondness for nostalgia as much as a quarterly Masters of the Universe Classics He-Man armor variant. They’re not just like we remember with newly sculpted torsos and a swank action feature that provided not only added value, but something much more important at the time, novelty.

In the Classics line so far, the need for a unique torso has been replaced by smarter part reuse, requiring only a new harness or new armor. Toss in a new accessory and the vintage look is achieved pretty easily on Mattel’s end. But while doesn’t take as much investment as other characters, the shadow of the $20-22 price tag draws longer over a figure with so few new parts. Particularly one that is essentially just a change of clothes.

I never had Thunder Punch He-Man as a kid. I had the seldom-used Original and infinitely-more-awesome Battle Armor He-Man. I seemingly had no use for the other He-Men beyond that (or Skeletors either for that matter). I guess I was just that odd kid that didn’t need to pile up the different versions of the same character. Though somewhat ironically, I’ve apparently gained that compulsion as an adult. Mattel has gotten me to buy near a dozen DC Classics Hal Jordans (a character I’m not even all that fond of), and they’ve sold me He-Man six times over the last few years.

With those things in mind, I wasn’t that excited about spending $20 on another He-Man variant, particularly one that seemingly never appealed to my young self some nearly thirty years ago. I respect the need for these variants and the other collectors who really want them. I’d like to see some Snake, Ice, or Horde Armor myself, so I know the feeling. And yet, I felt like I was going to be taking a Thunder Punch for the team on this one. Draego-Man was the real prize for April, or so I thought. Then fate (a.k.a. Digital River) intervened. My 30th subscriptions would ship separately. Thunder Punch He-Man would arrive days before Draego (Draego still isn’t here, in fact); making sure that I had time to properly examine and appreciate TP He-Man.

And a funny thing happened. Thunder Punch He-Man actually turned out to be pretty cool. Yes, he’s still a modern version of a design I had little interest in as a kid. But I see some fun aspects to him now, so much so that I wonder if a cap-poppin’ He-Man would’ve been fun as a kid. I did love that feature on so many other figures after all.

SO, yes, he’s still just He-Man with new armor and a few new accessories, but the MOTUC team didn’t use him as an opportunity to simply cash in. I don’t know what the magic number of new pieces should be in terms of value, and quarterly variants still seem to be budgeted on the lower end in that regard, but the extras are what really sell Thunder Punch He-Man.

At his base, you’ve got the standard He-Man that we’ve surely all bought more than once. The shared parts that we’ve bought in an even wider variety of colors. TP He-Man adds to that variety too, as he’s considerably less tan than previous He-offerings. It makes sense too, as his place in the Toy Guru’s timeline suggests he largely lives underground in Tundaria on the run with other Renegade Masters. It’s hard to keep a tan when you’re on the run.

The coolness comes from the details. There is the exceptionally important fist, required for any good Thunder Punch. There’s the new armor which features vac metal on the front and a working “backpack” on the reverse that can hold another accessory, the imitation cap. The imitation cap is unintentionally hilarious, by the way. What a silly thing to have. The figure also includes the classic Thunder Punch shield that can be used to stow the imitation cap and the included sword, a new clear yellow version. Continue to Page 2

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54 comments to MOTU Classics.Com:
Thunder Punch He-Man Review

  • bmnbinc!

    Cool review! I always thought TP He-Man was most likely to be picked on everyone..masters and evil warriors alike..I was actually expecting a Snout Spout – TPHM pic which goes something like “Snot Spout Eh? Now look who’s the idiot TP boy!”

  • Shadow_Contact

    Great Looking Figure,and another great review. I wish something else was sculpted on the shield though. Will that “Energy” fit on any Skeletors hands?

    • The shield could’ve used a more detailed sculpt, but the vac metal looks good on the flat surface. I haven’t tried the energy on anyone else, but it’s very specifically designed for the fist. And, thanks!

  • nanite

    Maybe pop on Icarius’ helmetless head? Thanks for the review, like Hordark’s TP launcher.

  • Cirrus

    Hey not a single word about the mini-comic!!
    How is it??

    • Um? Oops?! So often, I forget about any ancillary material, but that was in the box. I might go back and add an addendum later tonight. I did enjoy the mini-comic! It was a little light on story, but it was a good lead-in to the second one. Lots of little implications and some cool background appearances.

  • Brainlock

    I passed on the new figures, but my Adams/Keldor/tri-klop/horses (Brightwind! and whatever black Knight’s horse is!) boxes came yesterday.
    I couldn’t help but notice the hands seem smaller on these??

    The few new TP additions look cool, but not for 22+s/h. maybe if he’s up for the next clearance? As for a new head for yours, Fisto comes with two. 😉
    (my new favorite! Adam/HM is just so plain and punchworthy, y’know?)

    just checked the May sale. Getting Jay on sub, then passing on the new MOTU, but Man At Arms is FINALLY BACK! (and Adora and might grab some Snake Mtn stands).

    As for accessories, they won’t give us a GB accessory pack, with the proton streams and trap lightning, why would they do it for MOTU? or even DC?
    (Also, amazingly, GB Rookie SOLD OUT!?!?? who’da thunk? unless he only had a ten day sale window?)

    • I don’t know about the hands? Some figures have harder hands that are more annoying to use with the accessories.

      I did think about Fisto’s, but He-Man is awful pale! I’m really leaning towards just making a redhead He-Man to hang with Wun-Dar. 😀

      I’m excited for May except for those Snake Mountain stands. Those just didn’t come out right.

      And they only made 10 Rookies. Had to be. LOL

  • Yes, I can’t help but laugh at TP He-Man as a name. And there is something really really sad in my heart about a simulated ring cap. Color me astonished they actually made an ‘effect’ part, they must have seen pics of the various things Japanese figures come with and said “huh, ya know, we do have that unused tooling budget for Green Lantern constructs from the canceled wave to burn up…” 🙂

    Say, aren’t we due a new trip to the Weapon Store? 🙂

  • Sandman

    Wow, he really is pale.

    Also, is it just me or does his fist look a bit too veiny and detailed compared to the rest of the figure? I think it’s noticeable in the closeups.

    Great review as usual

    • It’s the paint. I think I ended up rambling around too much to hit on many specifics. The fist is painted and it’sa thick glop on my that added a lot of extra texture. There may be more texture underneath on the sculpt too, but the paint was the first problem.

      And thanks!

  • Great Job Noisy!!! Love that last pic with him all Tp’d the high five and little bits of Tp hanging out of Hordaks cannon really sell it!

    The mini comic really suprised me with some of the characters they chose to put in the backrounds..i’m wondering if its a sign of things to come or just fan service?

    • Thanks, Doc!

      The bit coming out of the cannon was a last minute touch that I was so glad I thought of!

      I think the background counters are maybe a mix of both. Some there for coolness sake, others as hints. I imagine we have to get Clamp Champ pretty soon, as an example.

  • TSR

    I was wondering if it was lighting or if he is indeed that much lighter of complexion?

    If he is indeed that much lighter, does that make you like him less or more? I ask since with the lighter skin tone, he might add some more variety to yourself or at least give some further justification for still owning him/displaying him.

    • He is indeed that much lighter. I’m in-between on the skin tone. I joke when I talk about his loving in Tundaria, I have no idea why they did it.

      What I really want is for He-Man variants to have different expressions/heads and them all too much. Since we’ve got the standard He-Head here, the change in skin tone doens’t hurt anything, so I don’t mind it. That said, the shelf is just really crowded at this point…

  • Logan

    This was the version of He-man I had as a kid. So for me this was the one that I was holding my breath for. I got mine and I was freaking love it. The whole time I was opening him and posing him and having him “punch” some bad guys I had a super huge grin on my face.

  • dayraven

    you know me… i’m never happy, right? so i will ask this… would it REALLY have broken the bank to include TWO “cap rings,” so you could keep one in the shield and one in the pack at the same time?

    other than that, i too am pleasantly surprised by the fig in general… and to avoid spoilers, i will be heading to the “comic book thread” in the motuc board to discuss that… cuz i can’t help but feel like that needs some discussion.

    • I was thinking the same thing DR

      • So, stupid technical question, is the faux cap ring sized like a real cap ring, or did they make it just enough ‘off’ to prevent some insane fan from building a working Thunderpunch feature into their figure? Altho, now I write that, it wouldn’t matter, would it? Whatever cap firing mechanism that gets re-purposed to this would naturally use caps that fit and one could leave the faux cap ring in the shield.

        HAW! there’s an addition to the next weapons pack! Extra faux cap rings!

        And had the toy come out in the early ’70s they could still have used official Mattel Greenie ™ roll caps!

        • It is larger based on the ones in the package.

          Though the ones in the package seem really small! I imagine that’s just cause I am much larger though….

          • I recall there being two sizes of ring caps, maybe three, plus the ‘zigzag strip’ caps, usually used for cap guns with removable magazines. This of course was back in the day when cap guns were allowed and the Italians were totally owning the market with some awesome toys. Then they went on to the air-powered yellow rubber bullet shooting guns and those were GREAT.

            I miss those days greatly.

            • Cap guns are still available though not in any great variety like “the old days”.

              As an aside, I was looking at the peg toys at Dollar General Market last night and they had two assortments of cap guns which both use either ring or strip caps *but* the guns did not include caps in the package and the only caps available were the paper roll type… 😕

            • Brainlock

              I recall us having a disk shooter and a gun that shot little yellow plastic BB’s.

    • Vault said the same thing and I don’t think it would’ve hurt, but I’m also not really worried if there’s one nestled in the backpack or not cause it’s back there and closed.

      I’ll be around to the boards sometime. Interested to see what you think…

  • Jesús Santillán

    Could you put photos of the content of the mini comic?

    • Bigbot

      I don’t think they can put whole scans, but maybe a summary or select panels.

    • I might go back tonight an add an update talking about the comic with maybe a panel or two, but I couldn’t post the whole page, no. I respect Mattel’s rights on that front and, besides, a lot of those folks are IAT readers. An e-mail to remove ’em would no doubt be soon to follow!

  • PantherCult

    Love the review. The time it must have taken just to cut the toilet paper in a strip thin enough to do that last gag… seriously impressed.

    Thanks as always for the solid review.

    • Thanks, PC!

      Cutting the strips wasn’t too bad, though I’m told I could’ve saved time by actually buying dollhouse toilet paper. LOL

  • Reverend Ender

    So can you put the real caps in the backpack, and DO THEY WORK? WHY WILL NO ONE TELL ME THE ANSWER!

    • RocketPunch

      The answer is no, Pixel Dan did a comparison and real caps are smaller. Which sucks, because as dayraven pointed out, he only comes with one faux cap ring. Even though there is no working action feature, the shield and backpack should have been designed to hold a real cap.

      • Thanks, RocketPunch! I agree – the shield had to be resized to fit the classics figure, but it would’ve been cooler, even without the action feature, for the pieces to hold real caps.

    • No, there’s no action feature in the figure. The original TP He-Man had a metal hammer in his back that would crank and strike the cap when the waist is truned. The Classics figure has no internal mechanisms to strike the caps – and the slot of the caps is sized to fit the oversized imitation cap anyway.

  • JayT

    Is his fist a completely different color from his body, or is that just the lighting?

  • Beedo Sookcool

    Great review, outstanding pics!

    Looking forward to getting this guy. I had the original as a kid, and loved the smell of a detonated cap in the morning. (And, no, I didn’t hum “Ride of the Valyries” whilst strafing my good guys with the Fright Fighter, because I never saw that film as a kid.) I ordered an extra one of these on the day so I could eventually make a Preternia Deisguise He-Man with soft-goods robe.

    I don’t think you’re going to get any different He-Man expressions until they make a smiley “New Adventures” version. He was pretty much of the pained constipation look throughout the original run.

    How’d you get the vintage left-arm vambrace on your Fisto, by the way? Or is that just Fisto’s bits on a a King Grayskull?

  • Impaler

    I was actually hoping to see a picture of TP He-Man punching the SDCC toothless Skeletor… Ah well.

    TP He-Man was one I always wanted desperately when he came out, but didn’t get him ’til many years later from my cousin, but luckily got him at the time my original He-Man decided to disintegrate. I got my matty order yesterday, and I am loving this figure. I was initially thinking I might swap the sword with the yellow/gold comic pack one, but the pale clear yellow really does look better, the comic pack sword just seems to clash with the colors. And comparing the sword to my vintage TP He-Man the color is almost dead-on.

    Somehow the eyes seem off, but looking at the other he-man heads they’re pretty much painted the same, it’s gotta just be the more pale skin that makes it seem off, mainly the whites of the eyes not being as pronounced. Gives him more of an anime look I guess. Part of me almost wishes they had used the new Fisto bicep on him as well as the new fist is veiny too, but I dunno. I do wish he’d had a swappable grippy right hand as an option, but the closed fist is definitely iconic. Only other minor gripe is I thought the shield clip was going to be rotatable, but they put a tab on it that makes it only fit in the one position. Not a biggie but I would’ve liked to have the shield look the same on either arm.

  • TP He-Man is poised to become one of those figures where you *really* miss the action feature, especially after recreating the original mechanism up to the point where it used to work.

    My very first MOTU figure was the original He-Man. I later got an extra after I wore out the earlier one but I only cared about the original, so chalk up another non-variant hunting weird kid! I had stopped collecting by the time the deluxe figures showed up but all that shiny chrome did make He-Man look cool. Let’s see what Mattel comes up with if they get around to the Flying Fists version.

  • Gildeft

    That TP He-man joke was excellent!

  • Can’t wait for this guy to show up here – just 4 weeks from now! Whoop, whoop! Now that i know that Matty saves big time on shipping for internationals and shipping stuff by boat i’m now getting used to the schedule… Kobra Khan just showed up this monday *sigh* BUT all not so good moving joints aside i like him quite alot!

  • polo23

    He’s the 2nd best He-Man variant that i always loved. Flying Fist was also my favorite. That close fist with that clip on lighting effect brings this figure out. Bring on more He-man variants.

  • Levi Colson

    Any chance of seeing some DCUC Yellow Lantern figures with the punch an sword as constructs?

  • mad_mailman

    I just got mine today (canadians wait forever) When i got it out of the package my thunder punch he man has two RIGHT FEET!!!! what the hell is going on! Is there no quality control at all! Contacted matty , have to wait for an email from the return department to set up a pick up. I am really not looking foward to wait and see how long it takes for this problem to be resolved. What a pain in the a@$!