If you ask me, this set has the ability to separate the collectors that know how to have fun from the ones that don’t. Oh, I’m sure there are collectors out there who simply don’t like the Fighting Foe Men for a variety of legitimate reasons, but I’m going to just come right out and say it: the fact they weren’t around when a collector first discovered Masters of the Universe will never be one of them.
I’ll try to rein this in quick (this is a review, not a Truetorial after all), but when each of us first encountered MOTU, we were open to the possibilities. For some, those possibilities came to a screeching halt after the mini-comics, for others they ended during the languishing period prior to New Adventures. Others held on to those possibilities longer. Some are still holding on to them today. And it’s that last batch that my favorite collectors spring from.
Again, not every new character added to the new Classics mythos & toy line has been amazing, but, let’s face it, not every vintage character is amazing either (can age really remove “dud” status?). I know if you’re waiting for Rio Blast, then every character that’s not Rio Blast comes with a tinge of fear. Fear that you might not get that one toy you want most. I understand that, but I can’t say that it matters much to me. I would be sad if Ram Man had never made it. If Two-Bad ended up in some horrid, cancelled-sub, limited release. If Extendar never joined Classics proper. But I don’t think that should weigh in on the pros & cons of figures like Vikor or the Foe Men. My Dad wasn’t Ward Cleaver, but he was still a pretty great dad, y’know?
Anyway, so the Fighting Foe Men. They’ve been in our review backlog for awhile, but it’s not for lack of coolness. I’ve been a little too busy for MOTU reviews and Vault was daunted at the prospect of a three-figure review. So there they sat until this weekend, when they caught my eye on that shelf and I just had to get them done. Nite-Owl & Clamp Champ be damned!
For those not familiar, the Fighting Foe Men have a lot of mish-mashed behind the scenes back story going on. The name, Fighting Foe Men, comes from an early working title for MOTU thirty years ago. The basic look of the figures hail from “made-up” drivers for the box artwork on the Monogram model kits back in the 80s (though the Attak Trak driver has switched genders). And the names are all taken from the Four Horsemen’s Horsemen nos. 5, 6, & 7: Shane Dittsworth (Ditztroyer), Owen “O-Dawg” Oertling (Dawg-o-Tor), and Sherri Lynn Cook (Shield Maiden Sherrilyn).
Now, the names for the characters do give me some pause. While I think it’s an awesome thing to name the characters after such great people (well, I’ve met two of them and they’re great, and I’ll bet the third is pretty awesome too), I just don’t like the names. Sherrilyn sounds good, so I’ve been using that one, but I want to rename the others.
I’m also not a fan of the back story. First, they’re villains that don’t look particularly villainy. Second, the figures have been upgraded with armor & accessories that match the model kit they were originally drawn for (the Roton, Talon Fighter, & Attak Trak respectively) and so they were naturally given those vehicles. That would be fun, except these guys live 5,000 years before He-Man & Skeletor go racing around in those very same vehicles. Those are some old designs, eh? And then, after being frozen in ice for 5,000 years, Hordak thaws them out and makes them Horde. I just want some 5,000yr old people to just be dead, I think. I mean, I’d be sad, but it’s okay to be dead after 5,000 years. I’m sure the Ancient Egyptians would agree if they weren’t all, well… y’know. Continue to Page 2…