I was gonna start MOTU Catch-Up Week 2 off with a different figure, but that review was turning out to be a bummer. Mondays are bummer enough. So I poked through the other MOTUC releases from earlier this year to find one that I would have fun talking about. It wasn’t hard to find. It stuck out like a nearly all-naked barbarian in a line of half-naked barbarians.
Oo-Larr is the He-Man that you didn’t know you wanted. Or maybe you did. MOTU Collectors can never agree on anything! In terms of publication history, Oo-Larr is first. If you were around back in 1982 and snagged a vintage (well, brand new if you’re in 1982) He-Man figure, then you were treated to his origin in the included mini-comic. You would see a strong barbarian wave bye to his tribe, fight a purple bear/dinosaur thing, save the Goddess, earn his “forcefield costume” (i.e. normal He-Man gear), axe, & shield, and then promptly… start to build a house. No Eternian Palace, no Power Sword, and definitely no Price Adam.
It wasn’t until Filmation came along with the cartoon that He-Man’s story got a little more familiar to how most of us remember it. And there is plenty in the mini-comics that is also in the cartoon – Skeletor breaking into Castle Grayskull, Teela, Man-At-Arms, etc. And, of course, He-Man sports the same basic gear. Until now, this has all largely been prologue though, the various incarnations of MOTU refining the overall story each time. Until Classics. The giant jigsaw puzzles of the Classics mythology converted He-Man to a title – one that Adam currently carries and has run through a line of some of Eternia’s greatest heroes – Vikor, Wun-Dar, & Oo-Larr among them. Oo-Larr takes his place as the “Jungle He-Man” who fought against Skeletor and his foes around the time that Adam was born.
Some fans aren’t fans of it, but I find it fascinating. Particularly the transition – did Adam grow up knowing about Oo-Larr, or He-Man rather? What happened to Oo-Larr? Did Skeletor finally get the best of him? Is that too dark? These are all the questions I would love to find out more about! But, whenever Oo-Larr comes up, everyone is usually talking about how his name is one letter off from Mo-Larr and how that’s a conspiracy of some sort.
Anyway, as you can imagine, I’m pretty enamored with finally getting Oo-Larr. I found the toys way later than 1982 and had already seen the cartoon, so I don’t really know him as mini-comics He-Man. I’m aware of the Goddess story in the mini-comics, but this is really my first real exposure to this iteration of the character and his being scooted over from being the “real” He-Man in the mini-comics to a predecessor is cool by me. Besides, even if you ignore the bios, this is still a cool barbarian figure. That sells me right there.
If there’s any complaint I have about this figure, it’s just that he’s so limited a release. Oo-Larr is the subscription exclusive and it’s a crying shame. He’s so naked that he’s the perfect customizable MOTU figure. Heck, some collectors might even just want him a generic barbarian to raid their other shelves. But, it’s not to be. The only way to get him was to sign up for a subscription or snag him second-hand at whatever price you’re willing to pay. Continue to Page 2…