Intergalactic Skeletor Review

Yes! It’s a Wednesday review! I can’t believe it either. As we’ve been preparing for the arrival of our first child, it seems things are just getting busier & busier – and we haven’t even had the kid yet. I can’t even imagine… The good news is that the nursery is painted and mostly setup, so I’ve got a free night. I figured I’d use it to take a look at some of these backed up reviews.

I picked New Adventures, er… Intergalactic Skeletor for tonight because I’ve got quite a few MOTU items backed up and I figured I had a lot to say about him. Let’s hope that’s the case, I’ve got more than few paragraphs before I run out of pics.

The easiest way to sum up this figure is that I’m very conflicted about it. I’ve read comments from people that really enjoy it and I kinda cringe at the thought of what those folks are overlooking. I’ve also read comments from people that trash it and I feel bad that they’ve let the flaws overtake the good. I’m somewhere in between. There’s a lot of areas where this figure annoys me, but overall I find myself liking it. I think. I might change my mind tomorrow.

The best thing about this is figure is that the original sculpt is amazing. The detail level has been amped up to eleven = and it’s fantastic, possibly the first time this design has been done justice in the twenty years since it debuted. I don’t recall hearing for sure, but I’d bet this amazing sculpt is the work of the “fifth” Horsemen, Djordje Djokovic. He really stepped up to capture the details that the techno-organic virus wreaked on Skeletor. He’s covered in them – even flipping up the bulky cape reveals awesome details all along the figure’s back and legs. And the head sculpt is downright creepy, even under the helmet. I love it! From a sculpt standpoint, he’s stunning.

And then Mattel did what they sometimes do. They take that uninspired, lazy notion that production technology can’t keep up with the Horsemen and so they paint over the Mona Lisa. I’m not going to stick my neck out and say Mattel should waste money on a new torso for this figure. I get it and I know it’s not in the cards – but the armor overlay could’ve been done better. The fasteners shouldn’t be under the armpits, making the figure look tubby. The top of the armor shouldn’t encapsulate the entire neck, severely limiting the articulation available to the head. The cape shouldn’t be so heavy and glued down so that it weighs the figure down.

At first, that really soured me overall. I’m a very visual collector. I want the figure to look good more so than I need every bit of articulation perfect. A bulky Skeletor stuck looking down isn’t going to make my happy, no matter how great the sculpt. I worked the figure a bit. If you bring the arms forward and in you can cover up the hideous lats on the “armor”. And you can kinda angle the head up & off the ball joint so he can look forward. And if you make sure to not pose him head on, he’s easier to love then too. Continue to Page 2…

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Intergalactic Skeletor Review

  1. wow. he looks like he should be headlining another line, entirely. and I mean that in a GOOD way.

    Sure, the “torso” (koff) is a bit wide, and the (Cerebro!?) helmet could use a few tweaks (front points turned inward a bit?), but I’m guessing it looks better in person? With or without that helmet, he looks badass.
    (adds to list, ponders putting it on extra Xavier. and/or Luthor. possibly a second to paint the cape and some other highlights black…?)

    What about those boots/feet? We only have them in one picture.

  2. Design dropped the ball on him. He is good, once you butcher him. He-Bro has made a tutorial on how to fix him. It involves a rotary sander (shaving the lats a little bit) and a lot of hard work, thanks to the seemingly reversed shoulders and their Special pegs that make it near impossible to do a traditional shoulder swap. I shouldn’t have to fix a $40 figure. (I only shave the lats. Doing the shoulder fix is way beyond my skills) They could have put the tabs further back since, his freaking back is covered by the cape!! Hopefully Brandon Sopinsky is a much MUCH better designer than Ruben Martinez.

    From an amazing Proto he ended up an OK-ish figure.

    1. I’m really hopeful the new designer is as awesome as he appears to be!

      The shoulders are apparently definitely reversed, but you can hardly tell and the joints not impeded, so it’s a wash for me.

  3. Excellent review, pics, and comics, as always. While not my favourite figure, and he does have all the faults you point out, the 4H have made him a lot better than I’d expected. Considering the original version, this looks bad-ass.

    He-Bro’s fixes look excellent, but are a lot more complicated and involved than I dare to try. At some point, he’s going to get a soft-goods cape for easier balance and posing, but that’s about it.

    As for the Faker hair, I did a “simple” hair swap with one of the extra Fakers I ordered on the day specifically for this spare head. It was more complicated than I thought, because the ridges and grooves don’t match up. Had a bit of whittling and carving to do before the hair would fit right on the target head, in addition to the boiling, tugging, prying, and super-gluing. And in case you’re wondering why I didn’t just repaint the BD Faker’s hair the right colour: big, blatant mould lines. The end result is nothing spectacular, and it doesn’t take a lot of masterful skill, but it just ends up looking better, and that’s all I wanted.

  4. NA Skeletor was the first Skeletor figure I ever got (technically it was the only one I ever got bought to me as I bought a vintage one, 200X and the MOTUC versions myself) so I was really hoping Mattel would do a great job on this figure. Overall I still prefer the vintage figure.
    Great review and pics as always.

  5. I like that they have Faker lighter hair color because we now have both vintage colors. I plan on swapping the hair onto a normal Faker head for sure. Just bring on the pinkish armor!

  6. Noisy, I know you’re contra-soft goods for figures in this scale/size, but Space Skelly here would clearly ‘plus up’ with a fabric cape.

    And I agree, that head sculpt is pretty amazing! Depending on angle and lighting it’s really expressive.

    NA was a real oddball but Mattel sure promoted the living daylights out of it back in the day! I recall when we got the big steel chest of the NA He-Man costume at Children’s Palace. We had a problem finding an employee to look right wearing the thing but everybody wanted to play with the Power Sword.

    (the normal practice was Mattel would hire a model for the role, I think we got the costume at the tail end of the promotion.)

    I always had the idea that NA He-Man was a ‘day late Dollar short’ attempt to tie-in to the live movie but again, I’m known to be a crazy man. 🙂

  7. this dude seems like a lot of project… i’ve been thinking about how to tackle the torso pieces, and i’m thinking of doing some major trimming of the armor and gluing sections of it to his torso. like flat out carving off the side panels under his arms and then attacking the overlay to his chest and back, stopping above the ab crunch and letting than hang free so he can still move.

    and then removing the cape

    and giving the staff a wash

    and nu-shining the hands to try to stiffen them up a bit.

    yeesh. of course, i don’t get to inspect anything first hand until the postal service in fishers, IN gets done with their 3 day circle jerk and tries moving my package again. they might be roosters in that PO, but they sure are a bunch of cock-a-doodle-dos.

      1. Yeah but the vintage figure had loose combed back hair. Also the pony tail head didn’t really look like his cartoon appearance.

  8. I’m going to have to respectfully disagree. As far as I’m concerned, Mantenna has been dethroned: Intergalactic Skeletor is BY FAR the best figure in the entire line.

    I’ll admit my biases. I like New Adventures. The series, anyway, the story of it. With only four or so exceptions the toys were terrible. But Skelly 1 was definitely one of those. And I’ve always been quite partial to this Skeletor design, partly because it was my first, and for many many years only, Skeletor figure, but moreso because it’s just plain cool. So I was predisposed to liking this from the get go.

    But holy cow did the 4H step their game up with this one! The sheer level of detail in the sculpt is just astounding. It’s (no pun intended) light years ahead of everything else in the line. And it’s all the little details that really push it over the edge – the rivets between his vertebrae, the pistons in his jaws, the cybernetic eyes (my personal favorite touch). This figure really feels like it belongs more in the 200X line rather than Classics. Yes, that is a massive compliment.

    And of course there’s the irrefutable fact that Skeletor simply looks better with a cape. It’s science. And the way they have it attach Superman-style to the skulls on his chest is a brilliant tweak that further elevates the already stellar design.
    And I’m so glad to see they’ve straightened out their cape-making. I will never forgive them for making Hordak’s cape longer than his legs, so that he is physically unable to stand.

    Now of course I can see where folks would have a problem with it. And if I had a second one I would totally take an exacto knife to the sides of that armor. But that one minor quibble does nothing to detract from the rest of the figure, which is just truly outstanding. And – 100% honesty here – I have no idea what people mean by “his shoulders are reversed. ” Everything seems fine to me.

    All in all I’d say this almost rivals SDCC Keldor as the best Skeletor figure ever. Almost. But it’s certainly the best thing they’ve done in the past 8 years if you ask me.

    1. the mean, the shoulder on the right of his body, his deltoids, is supposed to be on the left side, because the pattern of the design is intended to flow from the delts to the biceps. a similar issue happened with roboto, and it’s easier to see on him because there’s no cape to cover the pattern, but if you want to see for yourself, raise his arm away from his torso, turn the bicep backwards, and look at the pattern when it’s lined up there.

      if you actually disassemble the shoulder, the deltoid pieces have a L and R inside, which was apparently ignored during assemble because the chinese workers all read them as Ds. that’s a language joke. they couldn’t really help it though, as the interior pegs that extend from the deltoids to the bicep are not the same size, and they only fit if you plug them into the wrong bicep (as in, left deltoid into right bicep,) and in turn, the vinyl disc around which the deltoids are anchored are likewise sized-coded for the fit into the chest, and again, they force assembly of the shoulders wrong. cuz logistics.

  9. Whoo boy, was there a lot riding on this figure, for me. NA Skeletor was one of my TOP favorite toys, back in the day. When this Classics line started, I seriously never thought we’d get this guy – much less with all his details intact. If we DID get him, I had assumed they would cut a whole bunch and take out all the junk that everyone hated about him.

    Thankfully that wasn’t the case! Unthankfully, the design team did handstands while shot-gunning beer cans when they carried this over to production. I’m biased, though: I really, REALLY want to love this figure. So I do. I can bend him forward to cover the belly, the head just needs some force to get it where I want it (seriously, he doesn’t have to look down all the time) and the hand’s aren’t so gummy that I can’t go “WHOOSH” and have him jump down from someplace high and try to stab He-Man with the bottom of his staff. Because sometimes I do that. I’m not skipping the chance to play with this monster just ’cause I’m supposed to not want to, by now.

    AAANYWAY, I totally agree with all the junk said about this figure. It is AMAZING, and it is also disappointing. My Super Nostalgia is just able to look past the flaws and OH GOD I LOVE HIM. Seriously, I’m gona ask my wife if she’s cool with polygamy, ’cause Skeletor is getting added to the marriage.

  10. Wow, all that to be done to fix this guy up. Wish my Grandpa was still around cause he had painting skills. Me not so much.

    On the Faker head, wouldn’t that be messy looking from battle? Just saying.

  11. I hated the vintage version of the first NA Skeletor. When the MOTUC prototype was revealed, I thought, “So the 4H made him not suck. But meh.” And when production photos were released, showcasing his multitude of design goofs, I figured I was probably not gonna care for him at all. So I was not at all prepared for what happened when I freed him from his plastic prison…

    I loved him. Production snafus and all. Easily my favourite of all the MOTUC Skeletors thus far.

    The biggest issue for me was the shoulders. Foolishly, I spent an hour trying to pry open the torso for my first ever shoulder-swap, nearly breaking him in the process, only to realize at the end that the biceps couldn’t be swapped. (Note to self: check bicep swivels FIRST.) After barely putting him back together, I realized I would just have to live with that, and I can.

    The puffy torso doesn’t bother me. Intergalactic Skeletor’s boots and gloves give his arms and legs more mass than previous MOTUC incarnations. The overlay keeps his torso in proportion to his thicker limbs and prevents him from looking like Mr. Mackey with his helmet on. In return, the helmet (which is a ten-fold improvement over the vintage piece) prevents him from looking pin-headed, making the thick neck easier to overlook.

    I won’t excuse Mattel’s poor development of the final production piece, but I can’t say they ruined it for me, either. And since Laser-Light Skeletor is visually quite similar to NA Skeletor, I’m hoping that figure will provide Matty with another chance to get things just right.

    1. This is exactly why I think it’s important to talk with actual collectors. There is just an in-hand quality that folks outside the line can’t speak to, even if we disagree. It’s funny because the shoulders don’t bother me at all and the fatsuit does (though you give it purpose well).

      I have high hopes for Laser Light too. My default Skelly is still the Battle Armor, but I’ll like anything cool.

  12. that is definitely Djordje, he showed me pictures of the prototype last year (I kinda know him) I like the orange hair back on Faker, but I always loved that he was a ridiculous repaint of he-man… he was my first MOTU figure, ever

  13. This was supposed to be “Figure of the Year.”

    Mattel Design sucks ass. Again.

    Hope they actually have the balls to fix it with Laser Light Skelly/IG Skelly 2.0

    1. I’m not sure what my favorite one is this year. I think Laser Light will come out alright. Sopinsky looks to be creative and seems to give a damn. I have high hopes!

  14. Good review. I think I’m like you. I mostly like this new Skeletor. My biggest dislike is the Fatties of the Fattyverse Armor.

  15. Very fair review, that.

    Before I got him in-hand, I was so disappointed by all those design flaws – I’ve always loved NA skeletor, I remember a small argument with my mother in-store who was very insistent that I get He-Man first, since he was the maim guy, but skeletor just looked so damn cool. The whole journey of the classics figure was such a rollercoaster; excellent pre-prod sample, terrible execution in the photos of the final figure, but once I’d seen him in person… he still just looks so damn cool! One of the best sculpts of the line so far for me.

    I have him up high, surveying the battlefield, so his constant downward gaze doesn’t bother me. But that ‘armour’ is annoying… I don’t see the bulk as fat – I mean, that is some impressive muscle definition for a supposedly fat dude – but its supposed to be flesh, not armour! The exposed belly kinda ruins that…

    1. Honestly, what’s the big deal with the exposed belly? I don’t actually mind that detail. It’s like Skelly is saying: “OK, I’ve lost the skin and the muscles on my face, I’ve been merged with a demon and I’ve been infected by a techno-virus… but I’m still a human being (gar, precisely!) Look, I’ve got a belly button!!”

      1. I have no issue with him having a visible belly button – it’s just that in this case, the overlay is actually his skin. So, it’s kind of “I’ve got a belly button! And if I bend over a little bit, it will ride up, and you can see my second, internal bell button! BELLY BUTTONS FOR EVERYONE!!!”

        Or something along those lines.

        1. I get your point, I didn’t think about the double belly, hehe. Well, considering the issue with the neck, it looks like he’s also got a double chin, which is even weirder for someone who has the skull exposed!

  16. so, finally laying hands on the figure, he’s not as bad as i thought from the reviews i’ve read (i know, i’m admitting to reading more than just IAT for my figure reviews/news… sue me) but i went to work pretty immediately. the first thing i did was rip the cape free, and then i trimmed a millimeter of material (maybe less, i went pretty damned thin) off the collar of the overlay so he gets better neck movement. today, i’m looking at warming the helmet and holding it tighter to his head to help secure it a little more tightly. still planning on how to cut the armor overlay up, but, when i trimmed the top edge off the neck of the overlay, i discovered something fun… the torso isn’t glued together. or at least, i can visibly see it opening and gaping around the top of his shoulders and along the seam of his neck. i’m almost scared to take the overlay off, if the figure falls apart in my hand, i’m going to be genuinely crestfallen.

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