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MOTUClassics.Com New
Adventures Hydron Review

New Adventures should get more love than it does. Now don’t expect me to empirically back up this statement, but I still think it’s true. The main knocks against NA would appear to be quality and that it was different from what came before. The first part, quality; it’s not really a discussable issue – unless you’re among a group of friends that love you anyway (i.e., not the internet). It’s just too open to interpretation

I just finished what felt like a 574 hour marathon discussing the merits of various Hot Toys Robert Downey, Jr. heads. A large contingent of folks really liked this one particular head, I’d best describe it as random goateed guy, and thought the “whoa, is that a photo of the toy or the real person” head that I prefer, was “awful”, “terrible”, “epic fail”. Yes, quality is typically in the eye of the beholder.*

* – That said, there are outliers in quality, things that are so good or so bad that leave only contrarians to deny. New Adventures, however, is not one of those things.

The second part, that it’s simply too different from what came previously? Well, that by itself is generally not a great reason. I mean, it sure can feel right. It feels normal to be averse when something changes. It feels good to dislike it too. I’ve experienced that firsthand myself (I’m looking at you DC Comics!). Though, to be fair, and to cycle back around to quality a second, I mostly dislike The New 52 because I find so many of the new books low quality. It’s not the cut-and-dry though, because a lot of the books were also terrible before the New 52 started. I didn’t really notice at the time though.

Basically, I read more before the relaunch because whatever level of quality was wrapped in the familiar. I read bad books starring “my” Superman and it was kinda okay if they weren’t that great. Green Arrow. Flash. I just kept reading. Heck, my last New 52 book stars Kyle Rayner. It’s not always good either, but Kyle is relatively untouched by the entire hubbub, so he still feels like he’s mine.

Anyway, this wayward story is really the only defense I have for New Adventures. If I haven’t been heretical already, I’m going to do it now – Filmation is essentially the pre-New 52 DC in this story. It has its bright spots, it’s cloaked in nostalgia, and it has certainly fared better in modern times than the Joe & Transformers cartoons (I can barely watch those, I own MOTU on DVD twice!), but it has terrible elements too. I haven’t watched them all, nor all of NA, but if we did a poll of the select folks who have watched all episodes of both shows, would every episode of NA come in under all the episodes of Filmation? (Under POP? Under MO2K?) I imagine, albeit with uninformed optimism, that all the shows have highlights & lowlights. And that while Filmation is certainly considered better than NA overall, and its cultural impact (along with the toys, comics, etc) is undeniable, I think we should look at NA and find its bright spots, it’s contributions. I’d like to convince more folks to seek it out.

Why am I talking about this in a toy review (There will be a toy review I promise)? It’s because that NA-dismissiveness has already come at a cost in the line. NA will not be completed in the Classics line. NA characters have already had their first grudge match (in which Mattel let 57 people in NY vote on which character the thousands of subscribers would “Get” to buy). It’s disappointing. I admit I’m biased, but there are NA characters that I really want, that I’d prefer over some of the guaranteed vintage figures. I mean, there’s always going to be guys who don’t get figures – happens in every line no matter how hard the folks behind it try, but it’s still sad to see NA end up on the cutting room floor so soon before the others. I get why – I believe the sales numbers that TG cites when explaining NA’s demise in Classics. I just wish more folks could see what I see – it’s not about how the show was or the “how dare they change things” attitude. It’s just some cool figure designs that flesh out a line. Of course, the problem there is the figures need to stay cool… Something I’m not sure quite sure Hydron does.

The NA rollout has been slow. The line is in its sixth year and we just now got Hydron. This guy was one of my top wants when everything got underway back in 2009. I don’t know why. I never had the original toy. I think it’s just that one oil painting of Hydron flying maybe? Or swimming? Yea, through space. It looks so cool and I wanted that in toy form, but it’s not quite what we got.
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26 comments to MOTUClassics.Com New
Adventures Hydron Review

  • Sweet review and pics, outstanding comics.

    I like this figure much better than I thought I would, but he’s still not going to be in my Top 10, or even Top 20. The 4H have consistently done a good job on making these NA characters look loads better than the originals (bar the bulky underarm clasps).

    Of all the eras, NA may be my least favourite (didn’t like the cartoon at all or the original figures much), but these new versions are pretty darn cool, and thanks to the buck system, they fit into MOTU much more smoothly.

    • Them fitting in much better is a huge boon. I still laugh when I think about the folks complaining about Bow getting the standard buck. He looks fantastic with the group!

  • J. Lee

    Don’t recall anything on NA from youth but my folks kinda add to this as recall seeing the toys before and hearing, ” You have the originals Jay and look better than these” so went with that.

    Though now I dig the classics redesigns. Owning NA He-man is proof of this and wanted a NA She-ra as well. Looking for the past releases now. Gotta start saving for this years toy show.(if have it)

    Hydron I like, don’t own yet but will be looking for him. My only gripe is he needed a, not helmetless, non scuba geared up head. He-man got one, Flipshot/Icarius got one so, just feels wrong. Other than that looks to be a fun fig and hey a water hero to battle Merman in your own world where he is still alive.

    I just ponder if a customizer will attempt a Wet Suit with him. (Seen crazier things on other sites)

    • Brainlock

      Wet Suit or Deep Six? you are talking 6″ GI Joe custom, right? I can almost see a Deep Six from this guy. and yeah, seem cheap he didn’t get a second “unmasked” head, like his NA Brethren.

    • I think we’ll end up with a NA She-Ra fairly soon. Curious to see fan reaction to that…

      He definitely is a fun figure! He just could be a little better.

  • Paul

    Really enjoyed this review and the comics. I would have loved an appearance by Max Ray from Centurions as well. Power…ExTREME-Treme-treme….

  • Izdawiz

    I liked mine better without the armor which gave him a wet suit look. I slung the yellow pack around one shoulder like a back pack. That improved the figure quite a bit for me, but your mileage may vary.

  • ero

    I don’t care what anyone says. I love the figure, I love the armor, the way it fits, and I love that we can take him apart to fashion a makeshift version of the Scubattak accessory set. I’ve already tried it out on Skeletor and it works beautifully. Definitely plan on doing a permanent version with a boot swap if the line ends without this accessory set remake. Just need someone to cast Stinkor’s blue tanks in red, perhaps with a lengthier back peg, and I’m good.

    And he’s definitely my favorite NA release thus far. His Centurions-ness is just too awesome to behold.

    • I like the figure itself, once I toss the helmet in the extras bin! I’ve liked all 5 NA figures so far.

      Cool idea for the Scubattak set!

  • gnollah

    I feel the idea was there but the execution was lacking. On paper, he should be a cool figure but you’ve highlighted the problems with this guy. Plus the mismatched colors of the armor vs. body (I still can’t figure out if it was intentional or not). I don’t mind the lack of a device-free head but the accessory is a huge disappointment. What is it supposed to do again? He should have gotten that knife painted on his leg instead.

    • I don’t think it was intentional. In person the mismatch isn’t so bad, but the texture of the rubbery bits and the hard plastic just doesn’t quite gel. I kinda feel like the wetsuit underneath is one color and the armored up bits just aren’t.

  • Brainlock

    I was going to make a “Scuba Steve” joke, but J.Lee got me distracted with a custom GI Joe base for Deep Six. and again, the lack of “unmasked”/clean head is a demerit. ah well.

    is this NA sub-line of MOTUC dead? Isn’t there a NA Skeletor coming? shame the line would end without the Big Bad for the series.

    • NA’s not over – we’ve got Flogg, Skelly, & Mara for sure. And surely NA She-Ra at this point.

      But Darius is out. Tuskador’s unlikely since he lost to Mara in the 57-person vote at NYCC. And there are still probably a good dozen toys left – too many to fit into the plan. I’m just doom & gloom after losing Tuskador. 😉

  • Lsmopu!M

    some time ago mattel asked customers, how armour should look like? should they be removable? most of people in comments said yes it should be removable. everyone says- hydron have bulky armour. conclusion: sculptors should know for themselves, which way is better. of course mattel says- you cant please everyone, but still you can (MUST!) do a good figure. i love hydron`s masked head, looks mysterious and dangerous. i wont buy him- bulky armour.

    • The problem the armor is running into is that sculptors and the engineer live on opposite coasts and seemingly have little communication, so we can’t just leave it to one to the other to know best unfortunately. The real shame is that costs associated with unique torsos that sets up this issue in the first place.

  • He-Mullet

    It’s a shame that NA is getting the shortest end of the stick. MOTUC made me interested in NA and missing out on a bunch of characters royally sucks!

    I wish Mattel finds a way to give us a Hydron head WITHOUT the Breathing apparatus on his face… Even if he keeps the head piece of his wetsuit on. Right now Hydron looks like he’s making a lame DKR Bane impression.
    Also, we totally need Sagitar.

  • dayraven

    you confused me with that opening diatribe… you’re referring to design quality, like the character the toy is meant to represent, and how well the toy accomplishes that goal… when i refer to quality, it’s almost universally in reference to the durability and functionality of a toy. i know, some people use “QC” even when they don’t mean to, but that right there could have, perhaps, helped mitigate the marathon debate you’re referring to, using the correct terminology. so using your example, i don’t think the RDJ head fails in durability (i.e. quality) it fails in execution of likeness (according to you). and for the record, i have seen very few hot toys heads that hold up to a likeness inspection once you know the person being modeled and you look all the way around the toy. hot toys is, for me, VERY dependent on camera angle to create a profile, if you inspect the head in a more all-around way, like the eye rather than camera, their likenesses tend to fall apart. this one of the things i found most astounding about the NECA dutchi, the fact that the two models i laid eyes on held up VERY well to the all around inspection. the price tag on a hot toy is just beyond what i think people ought to consider paying for a toy, especially one with odd likeness issues and overall questionable quality (i.e. accessories break, costumes split, the figures aren’t durability… that’s not a QC error, as NONE of their products are real toys, they lack quality!)

    on to hydron specific rant, the figure suffers from some of the same design concept issues that all the NA guys share… first, there’s “detail kibble” wherein actual design work gives way to various fabricated kibble that doesn’t serve much of a logical function because the real designers were off making movies when these toys got commissioned. there’s a lack of color concept in NA too, like they combined similar colors that are distinct in shade, not color… so where the filmation designs are bold combinations of contrasting colors, these are kind of homogenous (he-man does the best at avoiding this of the released NA figs) now, whether you prefer one or the other is a matter of taste, but one can’t argue that in a crowded shelf, NA guys tend to become white noise and don’t stand out at all. and there’s that weapon-thing… ugh. poorly designed, poorly executed too (unless i got the only one that has the consistency of warm hubba bubba) he’s got a battle chandelier for god’s sake, how is that cool?

    on the one hand, like yourself noisy, i wish NA got a better shake in motuc… but then again, i kind of don’t. classics as a line has a few major faults, and none of those faults will fix NA or rehab its rep… what NA needs is an MYP style update. not an exact MYP style mind you, what i mean is, it needs a top-to-bottom redesign by people who love it as their primary motu reference point, people who will think through the designs and tell stories through those redesigns. THAT would put the fire in the NA community, and likely light a few of the rest of the fanbase too… and classics isn’t the line for any of that. the question is, where is the emiliano of NA? where are the horsemen of NA? THOSE guys are what it’s going to take to give you and i and the rest of the he-fans the NA figs we want so badly.

    • Skipping that first paragraph except to comment on my half dozen or so Hot Toys having fantastic likenesses; Nicholson Joker being the best. He’s uncanny. I do only have select few though as the bar for a $2-300 toy is pretty high and resulting well worth it.

      As for Hydorn, I disagree on the colors. The NA figures are akin to the Filmation characters in that they gleefully bring some life to the shelves even if they’re more monochromatic than contrast. Once I tossed the helmet and tucked the hose down behind the front of the armor I liked him a lot more. His fork thing is a crummy piece to be sure though.

  • I would consider myself part of the silent minority of MOTU fans who actually like New Adventures. While my love will always be securely placed with FILMATION series, I think as a whole is a better series in terms of story and animation.

    Much like Glimmer from earlier this year my thought is “FINALlY!” — It seems like we’ve been waiting forever to get our hands on this Hydron figure!

    I don’t feel as though I am very greedy when it comes to accessories, but he absolutely needed a second head, which I think would have increased his fun factor and added a ton of value to the figure right there.