No new parts could be tooled, but design changes could be made. Trap Jaw’s thighs and forearms, Man-E-Faces’ shoulders, Roboto’s biceps, the longer loincloth, and a booted left foot were all swapped in. A gold highlight deco added to the armor along with a some color changes to the base figure itself. In all, he ended up a vastly different figure from what was originally shown. Response has still been mixed, but Mattel ended up putting in me in an unenviable position.
Since MAA is a favorite, his original 2009 figure has been a prominent piece in my collection since it arrived. I even bought a second MAA just to get some extra leg armor (while I love MAA, I hate the figures’ lopsided armor). When Snake MAA arrived, I removed the well-sculpted snake head and popped Duncan’s regular noggin’ up there instead (all mustache, all the time folks!). All of sudden, this figure shot up a dozen spots on the cool scale.
I found myself not sure what to do with two MAA figures. I mean, I’m unopposed to some cool MAA variants, but these two are so close. And I’ve spent the better part of three years treasuring the now seemingly less cool original. Ultimately, I came to the conclusion to amend my “all mustache, all the time rule”. The original 2009 MAA now sports that non-mustache head as my young MAA. He chills out with Keldor & Gygor awaiting Oo-lar. Yep, Snake MAA’s more MO2K-friendly deco and his armored up bits has become my go-to Duncan. He’s the older, wiser of the two with augmented armor – and the circuitry on his right arm almost makes the lack of armor there acceptable.
In addition to MAA’s classic mace (also with the new deco), Snake MAA also included the Serpents’ Ring. This is exactly the direction I want to MOTUC to go when the opportunity arises. The Masters of the Universe… uh, universe is full of relics. They might come across more like like props than regular accessories, but they’re more than welcome in the line. So, a loud “more like this” frome me on this go round.
Also, as a quarterly figure, Snake MAA included the second issue of the 2012 mini-comics. There’s so much crammed into the few pages of each of the two issues so far, that I’m waiting until the third and final issue before I really dig into what I think about it. I’ve enjoyed it for the most part, but a lot is riding on the finale.
Mattel still needs to solve the problem of how to include cheap repaints (and to make them valuable to the average collector) because I’d still like to get figures like green Trap Jaw & red Beast Man. The MOTU vs DC 2pks were (mostly) fantastic as an outlet for figures like that. I love my all-yellow face Skeletor and reverse Stratos, but I wouldn’t have wanted those figures in the subscription. They’re just not for everyone.
This time, I think the powers that be made sufficient changes to make Snake MAA worthwhile. He now looks different enough on the shelf and, if you’re so inclined, he makes for a snazzy MO2K Duncan provided you can track down the original head. But the real thing to takeaway from Snake MAA is that, sometimes, changes can be made. Figures can be improved. That it’s not always hopeless when something debuts and it’s less than stellar. That’s a good to know going into SDCC next week.
Oh, and as for Snake MAA’s head sculpt? Well, it’ll still get displayed here at my house, just not as prominently on the shelf. See, you might’ve noticed that my MO2K MAA in the picture at the top of the page there sports armor on both legs. You know what they say, a fool and his money are soon parted.
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