Okay, so some unforeseen circumstances slowed us down last week, but don’t look at this Vykron review as late – just think of it as Reviewapalooza going an extra day! I’ll be finishing off our theme week with a look at Vykron, Mattel’s Masters of the Universe SDCC offering this year.
Vykron is one of those middle of the road figures. Though his origins extend back to the earliest days of MOTU as three mock-ups put together by Roger Sweet, he’s basically a new figure. Or, more aptly, a “concept” figure. Concept figures, to me, add some needed flavor to the line and give Classics an identity unto itself. Unfortunately, not all agree and these concept figures have taken some flak for “causing the downfall” of MOTU in regards to the slower subscription sales this year. Ironically, there haven’t been many in the line itself, just Vikor & Demo-Man (sorry, folks, the Star Sisters appeared in the cartoon!), so I find that an easy reason to discount. Still, the drama over subscription-sales saw Toy Guru give his assurance that any potential concept figures would be removed from the 2014 line in favor of getting nostalgic figures sooner. That promise appears to have gone over well, but I find it maddening nonetheless. I shed a tear for Red Beast.
But, this is Vykron’s review, not a Truetorial. Vykron debuted to mixed reaction back in April/May. I’m not sure what my fellow collectors were expecting. We, as a group, seem to have invested a little more heavily in SDCC exclusives knocking our socks off. Hasbro has been killing me with much needed updates to classics Joes, Transformers as GI Joe vehicles, and some sweet Marvel choices including an Avengers 4’ long (that’s feet, people!) Helicarrier just this last year. With MOTU, Mattel hasn’t been as flashy, but the last two years have seen fan favorites Prince Adam, Orko, Marlena, & Cringer, so perhaps we had our expectations a little too high for this year. I wasn’t disappointed at all though and I was looking forward to Vykron.
The only hiccup along the way was his bio. When Vykron debuted as one man with three looks, my first instinct was to jump to his being three characters. I don’t know why, but he seems cooler that way. When his bio was shown, Vykron was revealed to be a gladiator with a taste for the theatrical; routinely participating in the games in a variety of costumes (including two apparently based on a US army tank and another on Boba Fett, but I digress…). The bio also revealed he met his end after being ripped in half by Gygor. Interestingly, Mattel created a cool looking illustration of this final battle for SDCC, but has never posted it online (marketing… why bother?).
Anyway, Vykron was always going to be three people to me. Mattel was even selling him packaged three different ways, each one featuring Vykron in a different set of armor. The traditional barbarian look was available only at SDCC while collectors could choose to order either the Tank or Space versions online after the show. I opted for the Tank Version, as that was my favorite of the three and I wanted those pieces to be in the best condition. A smarter man would’ve taken a picture of the box before ripping it up to open, but I wanted to play with the toys, okay?
With my intention of having “Team Vykron” instead of a single figure, I had originally planned to buy three. Between the reveal and the show though, I started getting more creative. An extra MAA body would be a great base for the tank version (though you do lose some of the campy appeal by going all green), so I would only need two… but, wait! Why not give the Space guy some clothes? Space is cold, after all. An extra Spikor would add mix some purples in with the orange (hey, I think it looks cool). The only problem I had was modded an existing extra head to fit in the helmet. I opted for one of the extra guard heads, but still had to lop off a good chunk of his head to fit it all together. Honestly, I kinda wish the Four Horsemen, Terry, Ruben, or whomever just designed all the ports for the hair and helmets the same. How cool would it be if we could easily break up the glue and put the blonde He-Hair on Vykron here? I think that’d be a pretty classic look. And that’s not to mention giving anybody guard helmets, or alternate hair, or all sorts of fun things. Things this figure is kinda trying to bring to the line?
Okay, so I’ve been talking about everything but Vykron’s figure so far it seems. At his base, we’ve got the basic He-Man body we’ve come to love as it comes with nearly every figure. The only new tooling here is on the forearms and hands to get the basic Vykron gauntlets right. There’s some excellent detailing on the gloves, but that’s all the base body really adds to the table. Continue to Page 2