I like new stories coming out of old ideas. When creators take an old continuity or a basic concept and find ways to reinterpret it, I’m usually first in line to see the result. When the announcement about a new Masters of the Universe cartoon came along eight years ago, I had to try it out. And while not everything in that redesign lived up to my expectations, I loved the new Zodak. When Matty announced that they would continue to “Classic-ize” some of the 200x designs beyond Grayskull, Zodak was at the top of my want list. Luckily, he was at the top of Mattel’s list too.
Back in 2002, Mattel wanted to add diversity to the MOTU cast as part of the update. To that end, they made Zodac black and changed the spelling of his name. When it came time to reconcile the two characters into one continuity, they became contemporaries. Zodac trained Zodak as a Cosmic Enforcer. It was a simple solution. And after Zodac left Eternia, Zodak fought the Snake Men (presumably as a contemporary of He-Ro & Grayskull). It’s not clear how Zodak and Zodac function in the “modern era” with He-Man, but presumably it’s similar to their various cartoon appearances.
As a bonus figure, it shouldn’t be a surprise that Zodac is made entirely out of parts repurposed from other figures. He starts with the standard He-Man buck (no hairy chest here) and then borrows his non-furry loincloth and boots from He-Ro and his gloves from Hordak. While he’s not an exact update of the 200x figure, these parts let Mattel get very close to capturing that look while still keeping him in line as a classic. Perhaps the only disappointing part of his sculpt is the reuse of the Zodac head. I wasn’t a big fan of it the first time and the same is true again. While I do think the head works better on this body, I still wished the figure could have had a new head (with a removable helmet).
The paint on this Zodak isn’t bad, but it has a few minor sloppy areas like the loincloth and helmet. We order for three people to save on shipping and rotate who gets first pick. It was my turn to go last this time around (wait til we get to my GBC Ray). The other two Zodaks were pristine, so the paint apps still get a high rating from me. The white highlights on the chest armor really bring out its detail, as do the silver bullets lining the belt. I was worried the boots would be somewhat plain before I opened up the figure, but the mix of gray and silver paint really makes them stand out. But my favorite paint app has to be the blue glow-in-the-dark tattoos. All of mine were fairly sharp and they look great with the lights out.
The articulation is up to the standards you’ve come to expect in the MOTU classics line. I didn’t have any loose joints, but his rocker ankles seem to move more freely than they did on He-Ro. That’s not a complaint, it really lets him get down into some crouching poses that look great with his staff.
Like his namesake, Zodak comes with one accessory, a classic-ized staff. I was a big fan of the 200x staff and while I do appreciate the design for this weapon (the tips now resemble the barrel of Zodac’s gun), it might be a little too classic for my taste. Since I have the other swords, I plan to order a 200x Blade of Empyrean from Spy Monkey Creations here soon.
Overall, this is a great addition to the MOTU Classics line. If you’ve been holding out on ordering him
(and as of this writing, he’s still available, so maybe you have been), don’t do it. Your canon of MOTU may vary, but if you exclude Zodak you’re missing out on a great figure. He’s a great addition to your Pre-Eternia shelf and he hates snakes. What more do you want? On my MOTU shelf, Zodak is up in front where he belongs.
For more MOTU reviews, check out our MOTU Classics Collector’s Guide.