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Mattycollector Announces
Dragon Blaster Skeletor

Mattycollector announced another upcoming MOTU Classic via a “sneak peek” e-mail to Club Eternia members. I was again left off the mailing list, but it didn’t take long for news of Dragon Blaster Skeletor to make his way to me. I gotta tell you though, I’m not in love with it.

First the pic:

This one wasn’t really a surprise, last year featured both Battle Armors, so I was expecting to see Dragon Blaster Skeletor accompany Thunder Punch He-Man on the 2012 rollout. I’m curious to see if the MOTU team has the pairs planned for every year. And if they do, hopefully 2013 won’t just be Flying Fists and Terror Claws – no offense if you love those fellas, but there are some cooler He-Man & Skelly variants out there…

Anyway, unlike Mekaneck where I was really excited upon seeing the image, I’m not quite as thrilled here. There’s a lot to like – Skeletor looks great. I love the Kobra Kahn boots and the Whiplash forearms (I’m kinda tempted to assemble a new classic Skeletor, cardback art be damned!) The new armor looks great, I love the chain, the manacle, and the snazzy classic padlock. Most of the dragon looks pretty cool too, but I’m at a loss on the head.

I will, of course, wait to see it from more angles at SDCC and possibly even until it’s in my grubby little hands to see if I really like it or not. My kneejerk reaction though? It’s my least favorite head sculpt so far. It lacks a… menacing quality that a figure with a dragon strapped to his back probably could’ve used. And, keep in mind, I like my fair dose of silly in MOTUC – I love Snout Spout! But, yeah I’m not feeling this one. Luckily, it has the same ball-jointed, swappable head as the rest of the line:

Still not an open mouth (for y’know, blasting!), but an extra Draego-Man head and a little paint might just be what the doctor ordered…

44 comments to Mattycollector Announces
Dragon Blaster Skeletor

  • Lay Ze-Man

    Truly a figure only a nostalgia mother could love . . .

    It is a nice try on the forearms and shins, but old Skeletor head seen a billion times + same old feet seen a trillion times, and the whole thing just looks clunky and awkward.

    “Lacks a menacing quality” could describe far too many figs gone through the Classicizer machine.

    • You know, as often as I bring up He-Man needing different head sculpts, I haven’t really put much thought into new Skeletor heads. He could have a mouth open head?

      Maybe the Alcala head can liven this guy up a little more?

        • Megaduce Flare

          It looks a little better with the Alcala head.

          I think the dragon head at the very least needed a ‘clip-on flame-blast’ piece to ‘simulate’ the action feature, kinda like they did for Thunder-Punch He-Man.

        • Lay Ze-Man

          Yup, that’s definitely better. Though I’d still be happy to never see those feet again.

          Off and on over the years I have mentioned how cool it would be to see an open jaw Skelly along the lines of the vintage Scubattack box art:

          http://eternia.nuevadominion.com/imagenes/usuarios/709494d333bba43fac8e0e779077ac19Scubattack_01.jpg

          For me personally, I think there’s just an increasing disconnect between the way I see MotU and the way Scott (or whoever) wants it to be executed.

          I don’t blame Filmation or PoP entirely, but it certainly doesn’t help that they “need” to make the simple, cartoony Filmation designs look cohesive with the rest of the line, and I can’t help but think everything else has been (IMO) dumbed down to let everyone reach the bar.

          I mean, you look at the Scarabus figures. You look at the Skeletor Deluxe Statue. Heck even look at Draego himself, and we know the 4H are more than capable of hitting the correct tone on VILLAIN figures. The question is: why don’t we hardly ever see that in MOTUC?

          I just think it kinda sucks when people feel the need at all to go to Photoshop the moment any of these figures is revealed. They should be great right out of the gate.

          • Beedo Sookcool

            But what other feet would you have, mate? Those were the standard villain feet back in the day. Although, come to think of it, they’ve used almost every character who had those feet by now. It’s just the Skeletor variants and Ninjor, by my reckoning.

            • clark

              I wouldn’t mind seeing some three-toed feet without exposed toenails. Since we finally got new villain shins with Kobra Khan it would be cool to see some feet to match.

              • Lay Ze-Man

                This exactly.

                Here’s a mockup I created a while ago:

                http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v169/moturules/30thskelboot.jpg

              • Beedo Sookcool

                Right, I see what you mean, now. Yeah, that’d work. Perhaps with Ninjor, as he’s the last unmade non-Skeletor vintage character to use those feet?

                And then, when they re-release all the Skeletor variants, they can do them with the new feet and forearms so we can buy them all over again. (This is not sarcasm aimed at you, Clark, but a cynical comment on what Mattel would probably do to prey on completists. Logistics!) Although, having said that, I wouldn’t mind a Webstor with “correct” forearms . . . .

                Very nice mock-up by the way, LZM.

  • Seems like the closer they get to a figure that relied heavily on its action feature, the harder it is to get it right.

    The artwork on that Aquattack box is really cool, btw. First I’d seen of it.

  • I am actually ok with the head (no i am not a vintage purist) maybe i am just overall excited for my go to skeletor from when i was a kid. With that said, i believe the main issue is the teeth on that head, it doesnt look as naturual as it might look if the back of the teeth came more to a point and the teeth looked like a V. I mean i dont know, the 4H seem really busy lately, and it might be possible this one was phoned hom, But i will say this, the head doesnt seem on par with their normal level of work.

  • Jon

    I always dug the “muppet” Clawful head and I think this head gives me that same vibe.

    But I have to completely agree that some variation to the Skeletor head would be nice at this point. Just be careful that at SDCC they announce “we saw your requests to change up the Skeletor head sculpt so Dragon Blaster Skeletor will come with the Mo-Larr head!”

  • LV

    I’m with Jon. I kind of love that head. Draego-Man’s is fine and everything, but it’s a very generic “look I’m a fantasy dragon!” head. (Which is admittedly one of the reasons everyone loves it.)

    This thing is way more “I’m an insane little beast-thing that Skeletor has chained to his back for some reason”, and with a starting concept like that, I think the weirder the critter, the better.

    I also love the giant padlock.

    • TC

      I had originally hoped that if the 4H ever did this figure, the dragon would look more like something along the lines of the dragons from “Game of Thrones,” only a lot larger. But LV, you just convinced me that a sculpt in keeping with the look of the original is the way to go. I can imagine Skeletor finding this freaky little dude that’s been running around the bowels of Snake Mountain causing all kinds of mayhem amongst his troops, grabbing him around the neck and slapping a collar on him. It really is more in keeping with the spirit of the original line.

  • Logan

    This was the Skeletor I had growing up so for me i am super excited with the announcement. I can see how people might not like it but i have a huge smile and can’t wait to have it in hand.

  • I have to agree with some of the above comments. This is one of those figures that really do rely almost wholly on nostalgia. Even if you had the figure as a kid it might be a hard sell. Second, the figures whose charm came from their action figures are having trouble translating well into the Classics line. I think they made-do with the Battle Armor figures, but with others like Kobra Khan and Snout Spout whose charm came from being able to squirt water suffer.

    The dragon head is quite toonish. It seems like it does stay true to the original, which depending on how you like your coffee can be a good or bad thing. Even as someone who had no problem with the aforementioned “muppet” head on Clawful — even this was a bit “huh” — All that said, I’m going to reserve my final judgment until I see this figure in person.

    I honestly had no clue this was in the works — I was completely surprised by the reveal and it really made my day. I do have a lot of nostalgic attachment to this figure and I can’t wait to get my hands on it. I can understand how some aren’t exactly so thrilled. To be honest I don’t know how jazzed I am about the prospect of getting a Flying Fists He-Man or Terror Claws Skeletor — because I didn’t have them as a kid.

    At the very least, even if fans aren’t excited about the Dragon Armor — the Skeletor will be the most accurate to the vintage figure we’ve seen to date, what with the Whiplash forearms and Khan’s feathered greaves!

  • ero

    I’m really confused by everyone who dismisses the dragon sculpt as satisfying only to the nostalgia lovers. It’s a terrible sculpt that looks nothing like the vintage character. I think most of us assumed he’d get the faux-squirting open-mouth of Kobra Khan.

  • polo23

    Excellent news!!

  • Brainlock

    so…this is sub only? “third quarter variant”?
    and the dragon comes with two heads, cartoony/toothy and demony?

  • Russ

    Noisy, both Battle Armor figures did not come out the same year; Battle Armor He-Man came out the year before, and the Skeletor “variant” that year was Keldor.

    Last year, the variants were Battle Armor *Skeletor*, Battleground Teela, Hurricane Hordak, and Battleground Evil-Lyn.

  • Impaler

    While I understand the ‘vintage’-ness of including the power sword and no other accessories, I have to question the reason for keeping it as such, if we’re to follow the story they’re laying out, by the time of Dragon-Blaster Skelly He-Man should have had the full power sword for quite awhile, so why not give him the traditional havoc staff or even the purple battle-axe instead?

  • Battle Catman

    I like the dragon’s head. If it were too menacing, you’d wonder “how the hell did Skeletor manage to wrangle that thing into a baby harness on his back?”

    I wonder if the Four Horsemen have painted (sculpted?) themselves into a corner with Draego-Man.

    • Lay Ze-Man

      “How the hell did Skeletor manage…?”

      Um, how about because he’s one of, if not THE most powerful sorcerer on Eternia?

      The real question is: Why does Skeletor want to harness a small dragon on his back to begin with?

      “Real” answer: to sell more toys, but you know what I’m saying.

      At its core it’s really a silly variant, not much more different than Indian Chief Donatello or Baseballin’ Michaelangelo or any of the other ideas to resell parents the same characters over and over again.

      • dayraven

        it’s easy to forget that skeletor was ever formidable, given that his toys mostly fail to deliver on the promises made by other media. the idea of him enslaving a young dragon to use against he-man not only spits in the face of his ally draego man, but makes a serious declaration of badassery from a power standpoint… the dragon should be take seriously, rather than this chibi-headed nonsense. the same giant head, tiny body stupid toothed dragon that fucked up the original is back to ruin the new one. what a waste of a slot.

        • Battle Catman

          Doesn’t Draego-Man’s bio state that he helped Skeletor ENSLAVE the other dragons? If anything, this dragon whelp could be one that Draego-Man himself captured and presented to Skeletor as a gift.

          Really though, the whole concept is silly so I don’t mind. Skeletor may be powerful but unless he’s got total control over the dragon he’s also very stupid; I wouldn’t let anything with those kind of teeth that hated me THAT close to my neck.

          • dayraven

            no, it doesn’t state that draego helped him enslave anyone. it says:

            “Draego-Man discovered Skeletor’s plans to enslave his dragon kin and use them as weapons against the Royal Palace. He returned from hiding to join Skeletor’s Evil Warriors seeking revenge against all who betrayed him.”

            damn that noisy and his incredibly convenient compilations of information! 😉

            an for the record, i agree it’s kinda silly, in the overall… but engaging in that silliness for a moment, if the evil overlord of destruction takes a pet, i’m fairly sure it’s total and complete domination.

            • Battle Catman

              Well, it certainly doesn’t make it sound like Draego-Man is going to do anything to oppose Skeletor’s dragon-enslavement plans.

              • dayraven

                no, no doubts there, i don’t think draego even has a conscience to appeal to there… his bio does imply that he’s a pretty cold-hearted guy. but even if you’re a hard bitten criminal, if some dude showed up to jail and starting kicking everyone’s ass… and he was wearing person-leather boots w/ the face still on them, even by convict standards, that’s pretty hardcore. it definitely illustrates that skeletor feels comfortable atop the heap, cuz he’s not concerned about pissing draego off at all.

                and honestly, think back to the trap jaw bio… trap jaw was a promising thug, via the icons of evil/motuc bio, and when he turned on keldor, SCHMACK! there goes his whole lower jaw. the guy has face meat hanging behind his jaw plate! and that was before the transformation to skeletor… this is large part why guy’s like lay ze and i get so hackled about stupid variants who play down his menace… he’s friggin skeletor. he IS menace. the minicomics in early days really played that up, that he was one dangerous mofo, but every media he’s been in, even where he was silly and cackling, there was always a scene here, a deed there, that implied that this dude was a serious sh!tkicker and deserved to be feared. and we’re seeing that in the motuc bios too, that despite the badassery of the horde and the snake men, skeletor is the one who wins the day for the bad guys. in the upcoming comic, who’s the villain that he-wipes adam? skeletor. so day-glo skeletor w/ chibi lizard is a bit of a let down when compared against his other appearances. this fig makes skeletor look less intimidating than daenerys targaryen and that’s just criminal.

                and then to cap, we see noisy’s p-shop already improves the mancing quality without a drastic change in design… it could be done, more cheaply than how they’re doing it, and be a worthwhile update to the vintage design.

                • dayraven

                  “improves the mancing quality”

                  that should read “menacing quality” sorry everyone.

            • Lay Ze-Man

              The only “pets” Skeletor need are:

              1) Panthor

              2) His lackeys

              Dumb variant. Sorry, people who had this as a kid.

              • Beedo Sookcool

                I look at it like this: Yes, Skeletor is a bad-ass. Are you going to make fun of him for carrying a baby dragon around on his back? No. Because then you’d have a ticked-off Skeletor AND a ticked-off dragon looking in your direction. Not smart.

                There are those who would see a powerful skull-faced sorcerer accompanied by a subservient venom-spitting carnivorous reptile and soil themselves. There are those who would poke fun at a blue guy carrying a purple croc in a Snugli. Doesn’t matter. Skeletor is comfortable in himself and his abilities as a completely bad mammajamma, and he doesn’t care what you, or anyone else, might think.

                The dragon is a psychological weapon to awe and terrorise opponents who are awed and terrorised by vicious reptiles (similar to inner-city youfs and their pit-bulls)*. It’s also an invitation to pick a fight for those who think they’re hard men who can lick the absurd. Either way, YOU WILL LOSE. Skeletor knows this. And he will pwn you, however goofy you think he might look.

                * Look for next year’s variant, Pit Bull Hoodie Skeletor!

                Note to self: Maybe not a good idea to post after drinking most of a bottle of Chilean Carmenere at the end of a very, very, very long day.

                • dayraven

                  quite the opposite, this post is awesome. feel free to drunk post more often BS!

                  the only thing in here that i’d challenge is, it’s not enough to be content in one’s abilities once you get to a certain level of badassery. like take, for example, gy-gor… nothing is going to intimidate a guy who rips his opponents in twain. skeletor needs to be as badassed as he looks, and look as badass as his is, if he’s going to keep a guy like that in check.

                  • Lay Ze-Man

                    Yes, awesome post, Beedo! 😀

                    But yeah, I just don’t think ANYTHING needs to be added to Skeletor to increase his perceived threat.

                    He’s walking death incarnate, the ultimate villain archetype.

                    No additional “psychological threat” needed.

                    • Beedo Sookcool

                      Thanks, guys; much appreciated!

                      Granted, Skeletor doesn’t need additional psych-out tactics, but I gather he’s the kind of guy who just likes making others as uncomfortable as possible, and aims for maximum disconcertion at every opportunity.

                      He probably ate bugs as a kid, then opened his mouth and showed the other kids a mouthful of crunchy bug-pulp.

    • Chase G.

      Draego Man helped him, according to Draego’s bio. That was how I knew this was coming this year- it’s already been hinted at in a bio.

  • Beedo Sookcool

    This was my favourite Skeletor version as a kid. Evil Leader character + predatory reptile = sweet.

    HOWEVER, like many here, I’m disappointed by the dragon’s head sculpt. REALLY disappointed. Also annoyed that they’ve changed Skeletor’s forearms. Okay, it looks more like the vintage figure this way, but it sticks out like a sore thumb compared to the rest of the Skeletor figures. I think maybe an arm-swap might be in order for mine.

  • da man

    I am not fan of this Skelly. I was a big fan of the original toy line and i had to do a Google search to find pics of the original this is based on which I could not remember. I am fine with finding a re-use for Skeletor or He-man (like Thunder-Punch), but for some reason this Skelly reminds me of the hundreds of TMNT versions of the main 4 that I never got into when I saw them on the shelves. This would be great at retail cause it the main bad guy with a cool dragon on his back, but seems like a bad choice for a collectors line and is a let-down after the Mekaneck reveal.

  • Bigbot

    This variant just looks stupid. I’m glad vintage fans are getting there variants, but a slot like this could be better used for a Millennium Skeletor or even NA Skeletor.

    • LV

      My feeling is this: any version of He-Man (or Skeletor) could have been somebody’s as a kid. Noisy goes on about how much he loved the Battle Armor guys; I had the originals and BA and Thunder Punch He-Man, but my favorites as a kid were Flying Fists and Terror Claws. I loved their gimmick, and I assume at the time I didn’t realize Skeletor was dressed like a chrome purple club girl.

      So if the goal of MOTUC is to remake the old line “like people remember it”, then that should be everyone’s memories, not just people who started buying it the first year.

  • clark

    I am not a vintage purist, I really liked the 200x line and wish that more of those elements (or even better, newly updated elements) would be introduced. However, this figure doesn’t bother me at all. I’m glad Skeletor is getting the new forearms and shins to help mix things up, and the head of the dragon really doesn’t bother me. It is a little comical, but I feel like the whole concept of this figure is kind of funny.

    I always thought this Skeletor had a really fun, and cool design, so I’m glad to get him. Unfortunately, you know the final figure is not going to look like this. That armor is inevitably going to get big and bulky forcing his arms way out from his side. However, maybe we could get some metallic paint on the bright green padlock and shackles.